On March 18, 2017, after one month without a match, Mary Washington women's rugby travelled to George Mason University. Mary Washington was originally schedule to play two matches, first against George Mason and then against American University. Due to injuries and availability of players on GMU and AU, the three teams agreed to a single match – Mary Washington versus a combined George Mason and American University team.
Possession for both sides went back and forth for the first several minutes. It appeared that both teams were rusty from lack of recent matches, as they each gave up the ball easily. Both sides struggled with rucks and mauls, disrupting the continuity of their attacks. Mary Washington finally began to settle into its game and worked the ball down the field.
Breaking free and scoring her first try ever for Mary Washington was Fullback Laura Lang ('19). Converting the score was Ashleigh Holzworth ('19). Mary Washington picked up the pace of their attack and Lani Budi put in another try for UMW just 5 minutes later. Ashleigh Holzworth again converted, bringing the score to 14-0. Within 5 more minutes Ashleigh Holzwoth broke several tackles scoring a try. Unfortunately her attempted conversion was wide. The quick points gave Mary Washington too much confidence, they relaxed, missed a few key tackles and the GMU/AU team scored shortly before half. The first half ended with Mary Washington leading 19-5.
As the second half started, GMU/AU picked up the pressure. Their attacks put them deep into Mary Washington territory several times. While Mary Washington played good defense, keeping GMU/AU out of the goal. However, a few ball retention issues plagued GMU/AU, resulting in a number of turnovers. Additionally, both sides managed to advance the ball over the goal line, but failed to score, as the ball was held up in goal each time. In football a score occurs when the ball breaks the plane of the goal line. In rugby the ball must break the plane and be touched to the ground in the goal area for a score to occur.
The first score of the second half occurred around the 15 minute mark when Sydney "Squid" Casey ('18) broke through several GMU/AU defenders and scored. Ashleigh Holzworth slotted the conversion, bringing the score to 26-5. However, 1 minute later GMU/AM countered with a strong open field run, eluding several Mary Washington tacklers, and scoring. The conversion was short, bringing the score to 26-10. With about ten minutes remaining in the period, Mary Washington found itself in front of the GMU/AU goal line. Attacking the GMU/AU defense, Emily Gaetjen ('20) place herself into an excellent support position, catching a pass at full pace, attacking an open space, and scoring for Mary Washington. The try also marked Emily's first try ever for Mary Washington. Ashleigh converted her fourth attempt of the day, giving Mary Washington a 33-10 point lead. Just 3 minutes later, Ashleigh Holzworth broke free for her second try of the match. This time, Captain Jackie Sherman ('17) made the conversion, bringing the final score to 40-10 in favor of Mary Washington.
An additional period was added to give extra playing time to each of the teams' subs and b-side players. In the additional period. Scoring for Mary Washington in the extra period were Lani Budi, Ebony Clarke ('17), and Ashleigh Holzworth. Two conversions were made, one each by Jackie Sherman and Ashleigh Holzworth. The GMU/AU combination scored two tries, converting one. The score for the extra period was 19-12, Mary Washington.