On Sep 10, 2016, Mary Washington traveled to Norfolk to face Old Dominion University in the season opening league match. ODU shocked Mary Washington by winning 41-24. This was Mary Washington's first loss to Old Dominion in over ten years.
On March 25, 2017, Mary Washington wanted revenge for the season opening loss. Additionally, while ODU was eliminated from post season play, Mary Washington was still in contention, hoping to receive an At-Large bid from USA Rugby for the spring playoffs.
It did not take much time for Mary Washington to strike. Just two minutes into the match Bernice Kear ('18) scored a try from a long open field run. Although Ashleigh Holzworth ('19) was unable to convert the try, she made up for the miss just 5 minutes later, as she scored and converted a try, bringing the score to12-0 in favor of Mary Washington.
On the following kickoff ODU drove down field. Mary Washington was unable to produce any turnovers. After several attacks, ODU caught Mary Washington out of position, managing a try of their own. Unable to convert, the score was now 12-5.
Perhaps the try from ODU was a wake-up call for Mary Washington. Marching quickly downfield, Mary Washington's Lani Budi ('17) ran through several ODU defenders, scoring a try under the posts, just two minutes after ODU's try. Ashleigh Holzworth was easily able to kick the conversion, bringing the score to 19-5.
For the rest of the first half, Mary Washington never let up their attacks and stood firm in defense. Several forced turnovers by Mary Washington and lack of defensive positioning by ODU resulted in 5 additional tries before the half ended. Ebony Clarke ('18) scored at the 24 minute mark, while Bernice Kear scored at 16, 22, 30, and 36 minutes. Ashleigh Holzworth converted Ebony's try and one of Bernice's try. Jackie Sherman ('17) converted two of Bernice's tries, bringing the half time score to 52-5.
In the second half, Mary Washington made several tactical shifts, hoping to focus on different aspects of the game. Without missing a beat, the team score just 1 minute into the second half. A try by Lani Budi and conversion by Ashleigh brought the score to 59-5. Just 4 minutes later, Mary Washington put points on the board again. Scoring her first try ever for Mary Washington was Zoe Fox.
With the score now at 64-5, the pace of the game began to slow, as each side knew the pending outcome. Play went back and forth for the next 15 minutes with each side advancing the ball downfield, but never able to capitalize. As fitness began to show, Mary Washington's offense was able to catch ODU out of position, resulting in a try from Megan Ferguson ('18), Ashleigh Holzworth converting the score. Mary Washington continued to put pressure on ODU and at minutes 62 and 75 Ebony Clarke scored her second and third tries of the match. Ashleigh converted both tries, bringing the score to 85-5.
ODU showed a lot of heart at the end of the match, while clearly defeated, they never quit their attacks. They gained some momentum and with no time on the game clock, ODU was able to bring the ball down in goal. The conversion fell short, the whistle blew, and Mary Washington was victories 85-10; clearly avenging their loss to ODU earlier in the season.