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The Blue & Gray Press | March 24, 2019

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Homecoming welcomes wins and past players to field


Complete with hundreds of students and alumni lined up to tailgate and support their efforts, five University of Mary Washington athletic teams battled to take home wins at this year’s Homecoming showdown on Saturday.

The men’s soccer team, women’s soccer team, field hockey team and men’s and women’s rugby teams all faced off on Saturday throughout the afternoon.zUMW-Homecoming-15-1024x647

Women’s rugby began the day at 10 a.m. against UMW alumni. The team lost 51-41, but, in the past, the losing margins were much greater according to senior Psychology major Erika Persil.

“This year we really picked up our defensive game on the field, and only lost by 10 points,” Persil said.

The game brought together generations of challenging alumni, but the games are still fun, Persil said.

“Playing the alums is always terrifying because typically the ones that come back are some of the better players our team has had, but it’s always gratifying to say you tackled one of them,” Persil said.

Later in the day, at 1 p.m. the women’s soccer team, field hockey team and men’s rugby started games against the Frostburg State Bobcats and Radford University.

While the women’s soccer team lost 3-1 against the Bobcats, they finished their season 9-9 overall, wining 2-1 against Southern Virginia University on Tuesday.

At intermission of the women’s game, the Bobcats led with a score of 1-0, scoring with only a few minutes remaining.

After the second half the Eagles found their way to the scoreboard, with senior Erin Reynold scoring to tie the teams not long after the beginning of the second half.

The lady Eagles were not able to catch up to the Bobcats after two goals later in the half, but Sara Armor, in goal for UMW, saved five attempted goals by the Bobcats.

Field hockey also faced Frostburg, adding another win to their 12th ranked, 15-1 overall season.

The final score of the game was 11-2, with three goals from sophomore Jenna Steele, and two goals from senior Caitlin Baker, both which started and ended the game.

The other six goals included two from freshman Ashlin Jones and one goal each from sophomore Carlee Juddone, freshman Katlyn Taliaferro, senior Sarah Rankin and sophomore Haley Kane.

The men’s soccer team played later in the afternoon at 3:30, drawing a large crowd from the tailgating happening behind them.

The men defeated Frostburg 2-0 and continued on to win their Tuesday game against Southern Virginia University, leaving their season at 12-6 overall.

Men’s soccer coach Jason Kilby said the atmosphere of Homecoming “propelled our team to victory.”

“Our team was organized defensively, which led to several attacking opportunities and we converted two goals. Overall, great team performance,” he said.

After many attempts on goal for the Eagles in the first half, the second half brought two goals from UMW freshman Riley Fisher, ending the game with a win near the end of the second half.

With victories for many UMW athletes, Homecoming proved to be a successful day filled with school spirit and goals everywhere.