Keene edges men’s rugby

The White Dawgs stormed proudly onto the pitch Saturday morning, looking for their first win against a conference opponent this season. They were met by a formidable Keene State side, boasting several players who had served tours of duty in Afghanistan. Though appreciative of their service, Williams was happy to see that most of the Keene State side was unarmed.

Unfortunately, Keene State jumped out to an early lead after converting two blocked kicks into tries during the first 10 minutes of play. Down by 12 points, the Dawgs pressed down toward the enemy try zone. Strong play from the forwards and swift running by the Williams backs brought the team down to Keene’s five meter line. Sensing the field with a preternatural sense reserved for experienced English ruggers, Mike Moss ’11 punched in Williams’ first try of the day to make the score 5-12. Williams pushed forward, looking to secure another try before the half expired. However, the Keene State army had other plans, scoring two more times for a halftime score of 5-24.

A digressive but rousing halftime speech by Head Coach Bruce Stephenson gave the White Dawgs some much-needed energy in the second half. Andrew Dominitz ’11 led the second half charge, scoring a try only five minutes after kickoff for a 10-24 score. While the moment marked Dominitz’s first try, his decision to attend Convocation rather than the post-game celebration remains highly controversial. Fueled by sheer determination after too much gym time left him with a torn bicep, Tim Marrs ’11 scored a third try for Williams to narrow the gap to 15-24. Despite the men’s hard work, Williams was unable to capitalize on Keene State penalties, leaving the final score 15-24 in favor of Keene.

The Killer B’s took the field hungry for victory in the B-side match. Williams jumped out to an early lead after a 70-yard run back by Ivan Evsyukov ’14 put Seamus McKinsey ’12 in perfect position to execute a drop goal, bringing the score to 3-0 Williams. Powerful scrums by the Williams pack allowed them to keep possession nearly the entire game, allowing forwards Javier Mariscal ’13 and Hamza Zaidan ’14 to score a try each. After successful conversion kicks by Antonio Lorenzo ’11, Williams was up 17-0 at halftime.

The B’s continued their attack in the second half. Aidan Lawrence ’14 and Pete Mertz ’12 popped two kicks over Keene State’s heads, allowing Williams players Sam McManama ’12 and Lane Wang ’11 to score their first tries of the season. The Killer Bees returned a final score of 27-0.

Williams next plays on Saturday at 1 p.m., when the team travel to WPI.

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