On Oct 14, 2017, the Mary Washington women's rugby team hosted Old Dominion University. This would be the season's fourth and final league match for Mary Washington. A victory by Mary Washington would ensure them a place in the Capital Conference playoffs. However, several of the players remembered the previous year, when Old Dominion University pulled off an upset to down Mary Washington in the season opener.
The memories of the previous year's loss to ODU must have weighed heavily in the minds of several Mary Washington players. The match started with a lot of hesitation from the Mary Washington forwards. ODU was gaining the upper hand on the rucks, forcing Mary Washington turnovers. As the match progressed, in an effect to change their style of attack, Mary Washington overloaded their back line with forwards. This approach eventually worked, giving an opening to winger Laura Lang ('19). She ran down the side of the field, putting the first points on the board, making the score 5-0. Still playing a scrappy form of rugby, Mary Washington was able to score again at the 19 minute mark. Prop Temi Ogungbabe ('19) broke the tackles of several ODU defenders. Converting for Mary Washington was Jackie Sherman ('17).
The celebration was short lived by Mary Washington, their continued hesitation, allowed the ODU inside center to break through a slow Mary Washington backline. The ODU inside center ran for approximately 70 meters, scoring under the posts. The conversion cut Mary Washington's lead to 10-7. Realizing that their post season play could be slipping away, some urgency by Mary Washington became apparent; as they started forcing several turnovers against ODU, the team was able to increase their ball possession. While Mary Washington had most of possession for the final 10 minutes of the first half, the ODU defense kept shutting down the Mary Washington attack. A solid run by Mary Washington gave Temi Ogungbabe the ability to score her second try of the match. With the conversion by Jackie Sherman, the score was 17-7. One minute later the half time whistle blew.
In the second half, Mary Washington came out much more inspired, or at least Temi Ogungbade was inspired. Just 3 minutes into the half, she scored her third try of the match, again, breaking through several ODU defenders. The Mary Washington defense began to quicken their pace, shutting down ODU attacks. Additionally, the Mary Washington forwards increased their ruck intensity, beginning to maintain and sometimes win possession from ODU. This resulted in Mary Washington's second try of the half, just 10 minutes later. Scoring was Sidney "Squid" Casey ('18).
At this point in the match Mary Washington finally found their rhythm. Tries started to be scored every six or seven minutes. At minute 57 Temi Ogungbade scored her forth try and at minute 64 Laura Lang second her second of the match. This brought the score to 37-7 in Mary Washington's favor. At minute 71 scrumhalf Shelby "Slim" Sencindiver ('19) scored her first ever try for Mary Washington, diving across the line to bring the score to 44-7. At minute 77, player of the match Temi Ogungbade, scored her fifth try. The match ended with a 49-7 victory for Mary Washington.
As a result of their league games, Mary Washington will be playing in the Capital Conference playoffs, starting with a quarterfinals match on Oct 28. Their opponent and location is to be determined.