PURFC kicked off the fall season in the annual Lopacki- MacFarlane cup with a 26-14 win over our Princeton Alumni Flying Tigers. The Flying Tigers team, traveling from far and wide, was led by Matt Ginivan at captain and also included many of our best players from recent years. In addition to Matt, the team included Ali Alami, Matt Wong, Chris Hamm, Michael Danger Dreibelbis, Peter Na, Colin Quinn, Chris Green, Mo Lao, Ross Shark Mazo, Alex Stickarm Renaud, Adie Howe, Juan Mazzini, Peter Davison, Ivan Camponogara, and Nick Martin.
The Flying Tigers scored first with a blistering try by Ivan Camponogara, who is without doubt the fastest ever Princeton Rugby player since the start of the new millennium. A hard fought first half ended with the Flying Tigers leading 7-0. In the second half both teams found their rhythm. The Flying Tigers scored their second try when Colin Quinn broke through the students’ defense with one of his legendary storming runs. Despite all the great work by the Flying Tigers, the undergrads scored 4 second-half tries to make the final score 26-14. Man of the Match was awarded to Mark Goldstein, who had some fine runs across the try line.
The student side was entirely made up of returning students since none of our new students has yet been cleared for match play. We have a new, very comprehensive university medical clearance process before our students can practice and play. This new policy comes from all the great work done by the Ivy League Rugby Safety committee but the clearance timetable means that we will not have any of our new students, who are also new to rugby, appear in matches until after the second week of October. Since Princeton graduated 13 seniors in the summer, we will have issues fielding a full B-side for a number of Ivy League games in the fall.
The undergrads’ victory ties the series at 4 wins each in addition to one literal draw. 2017 will make the 10th anniversary of the Lopacki-MacFarlane Cup.
After the match, both teams gathered at Tiger Inn for the Lopacki-MacFarlane Cup presentation, speeches, and songs while enjoying a lavish spread of hamburgers and grilled chicken. Many thanks to our young alumni for helping us work through the new regulations in order to make the post-match gathering at Tiger Inn possible. Also a huge thank you to Ross Mazo who organized the alumni side and who also works hard to promote career guidance, summer internships and mentoring support for all of the Princeton Rugby Club.