COLUMBIA, Maryland- One of the greatest challenges that a team encounters mid-season is the ability to continue returning to the pitch with the same level of focus and motivation that was held on day one. In their third consecutive weekend of competitive play, the Furies Elite side faced this challenge head-on at Slug 7s and exemplified the resilience needed to overcome it.
In a five game series this past Saturday, the Furies faced teams from Philly, NoVA, and Scion, losing only one of their matches to NoVA’s first side during pool play. The morning games showed sluggishness and an unpreparedness for the level of physicality presented by teams like NoVA. “We played into other team’s game plans instead of playing our style of rugby.” said captain Jaime Albarelli.
When the Furies took on Scion, however, a refocus on team cohesion and offensive support, combined with strong impact substitutions, brought the squad the preparedness that they needed to defeat Scion and reface Nova 1 for the Championship. In the 20 minute final match, NOVA capitalized on Furies penalties to counter their 12-0 half-time lead with a threatening comeback in the second half. Battling the heat and fatigue, however, the Furies continued to pull each other up to create both a consistent defensive wall and a strong offensive line. The 19-7 victory secured the Slug 7s championship for the Furies. “Every time we play NOVA it is a very tough challenge” said senior player Eli White, “and we expect it to continue to be a battle at MACs.”
With regional qualifiers behind them, the Furies now have their sights set on the Mid Atlantic Conference title in two weeks. The squad is looking to continue elevating its level of play and capitalize on the strengths that have been identified over the past three weeks. “We have a lot of work to do.” said Coach Fanueli. “Slug 7s highlighted our mental toughness. It was also a great opportunity to evaluate young talent and see where they best fit in the squad. Great team effort all around.”
Furies 2 Squad Wins 2nd Place in Social Bracket
The Furies second side came with all hands on deck this Saturday, securing 2nd place after a 2-1 record leading up to the final match. Team highlights included successful defensive execution of flooding the passing lanes as well as maximization of individual player strength and speed where needed. Several players stood out this weekend, including rookie Briley Acker at scrum half, Liv D’Alberti and Charlie Cordero as impact subs, and Hana Passen‘s and Meg Foster’s defensive performances.
In their third match of the day against Nova 3, the squad showed significant improvement in defensive discipline and tackling, and offensive support, which provided an opportunity for a rematch against Severn River. With a stronger defensive line and more emphasis on game plan, the squad defeated Severn and faced the MD Exiles in the final.