UCONN RUGBY (5-1) faced off against Binghamton (5-1) In the ingaural “Liberty Conference Challenge Games” held at Fairfield University last Saturday and lost a closely contested game when Binghamton scored the winning try with less than 4 minutes remaining. UCONN jumped out to 12-0 lead at 15 minute mark with Connor Elliot and Derek Litty scoring as the raining evening match began. UCONN then lost momentum as Binghamton fought back and scored next 20 points (3 unconverted tries/1 PK) to take a 12-20 lead at Halftime. “We lost our focus and discipline against a good team and Binghamton took advantage and never gave up. We faced a real challenge to fight back at start of 2nd half” mentioned Coach Merola. “Our half time talk centered around showing our character as a team and need to come out determined to set the pace at the start of 2nd H KO.”
And UCONN responded and showed their character as both Ethan Finn (Phillips Conversion) and Connor Elliot (again) scored in first 10 minutes to put UCONN ahead 24-20. Both teams traded scored at 20 minute mark and UCONN held 29-25 lead going into last 18 minutes. Rainy wet conditions made it difficult for both teams as numerous mishandles hurt both sides throughout the game. Unfortunately for UCONN several untimely penalties and missed tackles allowed Binghamton to pressure us at the goal line and eventually Binghamton scored the winning try/conversion with under 4 minutes left.
“We played well for most of the match and showed great character and strength for a young team to come back and take lead into last 5 minutes. Coaches and players should feel proud of what this squad accomplished this season, a winning D1A record for 1st Side (5-3) in many years and undefeated (7-0-1) record for 2nd team. Now we have to see what future brings– with more hard work and continued mental growth we’re expecting a lot more success.” summed up Coach Merola. “Future is bright for UCONN RUGBY.”
—Game recap written by Coach Bob Merola