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Men's Rugby Ends Season With Win over Springfield

By Eric Oliver
Team Member

The men's rugby team concluded its season with an exciting come from behind victory over the Springfield men's club on Briggs field Saturday. This game had a high revenge factor, as two weeks earlier the Springfield club had defeated a depleted MIT team on its home turf.

In the first half, Springfield took advantage of wet, cold, and windy conditions to take a 13-3 lead. This was accomplished by overloading backs on runs to the outside, beating the MIT backs with quick passes and long sprints. MIT managed one penalty kick by Ben Paul G before the half ended.

The halftime break fired up the MIT squad, reminding it of the mission to end the season. The forwards immediately pounded the Springfield team back down the field, and soon MIT had a penalty play a few yards out. Paul took the ball off the play and passed to a sprinting Mark Johnson G, who easily beat his Springfield counterpart to the corner for a score.

Not letting up, MIT scored again as Miguel Ortiz G took a pass and scored in the corner, tying the score 13-13. Momentum continued to favor the Engineers, who led an exciting drive down the length of the field with the forwards maintaining posession and the backs, led by Dave Stracher G, executing textbook passing and running.

Approaching the Springfield try line, Hal Ackler G flipped a pass to Raj Anandan '95 who made a shoestring catch and fell in the end zone, giving MIT a lead it would not lose.

A late try by Jaco de Plassis G closed the scoring and MIT had a 23-13 win. The A side finished the season third in the division, behind the top two teams in New England.

The B side match featured an exciting finish and two MIT players, Frank Benham '97 and Scott Wallace G scoring their first tries of the season. But it was Springfield's side that came away with a 16-12 win.