Dartmouth men's rugby improved to 3-1 with a solid win over the Boston College Eagles this Saturday. Dartmouth is now in second place, only behind Army, to whom Dartmouth lost in the second week of the season. With only one game remaining in the regular season, a potential win for the ruggers next week over UMass would put the team in solid position for the playoffs.
Head coach Alexander Magleby '00 made adjustments to the lineup for the game, and the changes paid off. Jared Hyatt '06, starting for the first time in three games, broke a scoreless tie with a try twenty minutes into the first half. Deep in the Eagles' zone, co-captain eight-man Joe Killefer '06 picked the ball up at the back of a scrum and broke out to space on the blind side, created a two-on-one with Hyatt. Drawing the defender to him Killefer spun the ball out to Hyatt, who beat the defender to the corner of the try zone and touched the ball down.
Co-captain Andrew Caspary '06 missed the ensuing conversion and the score stayed at 5-0 for the remainder of the half.
"I should have made that kick," Caspary said in reference to his effort on the conversion.
Ten minutes into the second half, Dartmouth increased its lead to 12-0. Dan Kovler '06, also starting for the second time this season, took the ball from a collapsed maul and touched the ball down for a try. Caspary then made a very tough conversion from 40 meters out.
"I'm glad I made that kick," Caspary added.
Not letting up, BC's fullback caught the ball off of a Dartmouth kick and pased it through the hands of the backs, despite the rain, which made for a very sloppy game, got the ball wide to space and scored a try. The score, after a missed conversion, was 12-5.
Coming right back at the Eagles' defense, the Dartmouth ruggers marched down the field five minutes later and scored again to increase their lead to 17-5. The team traveled the length of the field with a series of plays to the backs and with a tackle made two meters from the try-zone, scrum-half Angad Banga '06 took the ball from the back of the ruck and touched the ball down for a try.
"It's tough playing scrum-half cause I want to run the ball so bad," Banga commented. "I have killer speed and I always want to use it, so it was good to get this opportunity and score a try today."
Making sure to seal the game, Dartmouth took the ball off of the restart and went down the field for its second straight try. After Killefer made a twenty meter run to set up Dartmouth deep in BC's defensive zone, Paul Huelskamp '06 recieved a pass from captain and flyhalf Jesse Blom '06 to score Dartmouth's final try of the game. Despite having so much space that there were no defenders in front of him, Huelskamp still opted to hurdle into the try zone and scored the try.
"I ran track in high school and the instinct just kicked in," explained Huelskamp.
With time running out, BC scored a meaningless try, and after the missed conversion, the referee blew the whistle to end the game. The Dartmouth ruggers ran off the field to the cheers of 150 fans knowing they are only one step away from the playoffs.
"It was a great game to win and I'm really proud of the way the forwards played today," Blom commented. "Like we always say on this team, 'If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.' That showed today and we left the pitch with a victory."
The final game of the season will be played on Dartmouth's three week-old-field, one mile north of campus, next Saturday. The match will determine Dartmouth's seed in the playoffs.
"We always need fan support for the games," commented Raph Clarke '06. "It can get lonely at the pitch and it makes me nervous."