On Oct 7, 2017, the Mary Washington women's rugby team travelled to Farmville, VA to face Longwood University. This would be the third league match for Mary Washington. Several players were looking forward to the match, as Mary Washington hoped to pull itself out a hole with their league match loss to William & Mary.
On the opening kickoff, Mary Washington took possession of the ball and marched down field. Through a series of rucks and mauls, they found themselves just outside of Longwood's goal. Just two minutes into the match, inside center Ashleigh Holzworth ('19) crashed through the Longwood defense. Converting her try was flyhalf Jackie Sherman ('17). Mary Washington took the lead 7-0. After the score, both sides went back and forth through a series of rucks and mauls. Both teams strung together lengthy phases of rugby, but ultimately a turnover or minor penalty kept either team from scoring. At the 17 minute mark, Mary Washington attacked several out of position Longwood players, finding the hole in the defense, Ashleigh Holzworth was able to score her second try of the match. Jackie Sherman also made her second conversion, putting the score in favor of Mary Washington 14-0.
About 9 minutes later, Mary Washington found themselves outside of Longwood's goal line. A quick sweep around the outside by Ebony Clarke ('19) resulted in the Mary Washington's third try. Jackie Sherman also converted her third try of the match. After the score, Mary Washington turned the ball over to Longwood. However, the Mary Washington defense continued to put pressure on Longwood. Forcing a turnover within Mary Washington's territory, Beth Haden was able to scoop up the ball and run straight through the Longwood defense, breaking several tackles along the way. Her 60 meter run resulted in another Mary Washington score. Jackie Sherman continue her conversion streak, hitting her fourth of the match. For the remainder of the second half, both sides moved the ball down the field. While each team had close scoring opportunities, neither team could finish their attack. When the halftime whistle blew, Mary Washington led 28-0.
In the second half Mary Washington's attacked seem to tire. Although they had more possession than Longwood, Mary Washington's back line could not put together a steady attack to work the ball down field. About 15 minutes into the half, Mary Washington found the break they were looking for. Longwood committed a penalty deep in their own territory. Jackie Sherman took a quick tap and managed to out maneuver two of the Longwood defenders, diving and scoring under the posts. Converting her own try, the score was now 35-0. The momentum continued for Mary Washington as they capitalized on their ball control. Just a few minutes later, rookie wing Courtney Flowers ('21) scored her first ever try for Mary Washington. The conversion was the first miss of the day for Sherman, with the score at 40-0.
Beginning to coast, Mary Washington's defense got a little sloppy. Longwood started to threaten at Mary Washington's end. At the 66 minute mark, missed tackles by Mary Washington allowed Longwood to put their first points on the board, making the score 40-5. Determined to make up for their errors, Mary Washington took control of the game's pace. After several exchanges, Shannon Gaskins ('21) scored her first ever try for Mary Washington. With Jackie Sherman slotting the conversion, the score was brought to 47-5. Again, Mary Washington let down their guard and a few minutes later, Longwood put in their second try of the afternoon. Converting this one, the score was 47-12. Not to be outdone, Mary Washington turned up the pressure. With no time remaining, 8-man Ebony Clarke scored the final try for Mary Washington, giving them the 52-12 victory.