On November 5th, The Eckerd Men’s Rugby Club avenged a heartbreaking three point loss to Florida Gulf Coast University. Four weeks earlier, the men traveled to Ft. Myers to take on the Eagles of FGCU in what would turn into a hard-fought loss in a heavy downpour that soaked the field and led to a defensive struggle. Eckerd was anxious coming into the rematch at home and ready to erase all memory of what was the FGCU club‘s first ever victory. In the highly advertised home match, Eckerd put on a great show for the fans in attendance and came away with a big victory, ultimately scoring 5 tries to the Eagles’ 1. Buck added 4 out of 5 conversions, some at very difficult angles, to bring the final score to 33-7. Eckerd heldFGCU scoreless for much of the game, with the Eagles’ only try of the match coming shortly after halftime as they were awarded a penalty and before Eckerd could get organized to mount a defense, dove for the line and snuck the ball under a few Tritons for the score. Eckerd held possession of the ball for a lot of the remainder of the game and were awarded at the final whistle with a big win at home against a team that is sure to become a rival in upcoming seasons.
The Eckerd Sirens took center stage on November 12th against Florida International University in their Tackle Hunger Women’s Rugby match. In front of a good home crowd on Kappa Field, the Sirens beat FIU, 27-5. After delaying the game nearly an hour for a late FIU team, the women got off to a shaky start but after settling down, played a very good game on both sides of the ball. The Sirens’ forwards worked well in the scrum and the backs ran well and had good kicking. Defensive play was strong for the Sirens, allowing very few long runs. Eckerd played with several starters missing due to injuries but those who were active in the game stepped up nicely for the Sirens second home win in as many weeks. Impressive performances by the Sirens included excellent tackling from Briana Ballard, solid play from Zoe O’Donoghue stepping into the #8 position for the match, and Maxine Tan scoring her first ever try for the team. Along with the victory, the women were able to collect a large amount of canned goods and toiletries to donate to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, which provides food, shelter, and health care for those in need in the area.