August 31, 2019 – Union 12 – Monmouth 22
Labor Day weekend made for tight numbers on both sides asMonmouth travelled to Union for the season opener. It was a hot and hard-hittingmatch. Monmouth opened up the scoring in the first 10 minutes as the Mudturtlestook injuries to starting hooker Jenna Rodriguez and Prop Danica Lindsay. WingerGabby Longchamp and Fullback Jordan Seubert got the home side rolling with backto back tries in the 30th minute. Seubert also converted her owntry. Monmouth struck back with another try before half entering halftime with a12-12 tie. Despite a back and forth defensive battle, Monmouth was able to dotdown twice more in the second half for a final score of 22-12. Several playerswith prior experience made their Mudturtle Debuts: Aries Zamora (GW), MercedezRoper (Buffalo), Ariel Wang (Rutgers), Kiersten Lascher (Kings College), ShaylaVaz (Girls HS Mudturtles). WOM honorswent to Gabby Longchamp who scored abreakaway try to open up the scoring and played some crazy cover defense in theback line. Prop Jennifer Cortez played the entire game and never let up theintensity, laying on big hits and barreling into the defense, earning her thetitle of Ninja Turtle for the match.
September 14, 2019 – Union 0 – Morris 79
It was a tough day as Union travelled to a strong andexperienced Morris side. Although injuries again took their toll in the firsthalf losing starters flanker Sam Andaya and number 8 Aries Zamora, and nothingseemed to be working, there were several positives on the day. The match sawMORE new Mudturtles making their debut: Katie Duca, Danielle Sydlo, and JessieKaminskyj all saw time in their first match as rookie ruggers. Alyssa DeSordi(MSU rugby) also joined the squad. Stars of the match were WOM prop SteffiVillagomez who was on point with her kicks and carried the ball with strengthand poise all day. Ninja Turtle honors went to Sydlo who stepped into big shoesat flanker for her first game and was super aggressive in every tackle andruck! Morris selected co-captain Ashley Purper as their player’s choice for herwork at the flyhalf position.
September 21, 2019 – Union 7 - Brooklyn 25
The Mudturtles next travelled to Brooklyn for a late afternoonmatch. Travelling light with few subs, the ladies were up for the challenge andfocused to improve upon the prior week’s play. Although Brooklyn was the strongerside in experience and numbers, the Mudturtles put up a good fight and playedsome good defense despite the scoreline. WOM honors went to co-captain TiffaniGregory who barreled through for the team’s only try to end the first half.Tiffani has been flexible all season in playing in the loose forwards and ahooker, although her normal spot is #12. Jordan Seubert was good on theconversion. Ninja Turtle honors went to Ariel Wang whoflung herself all overthe field and made countless try-saving tackles. Our rookie of the match was forwardJessie Kaminskyj and Brooklyn chose Steffi Villagomez as their player’s choicefor her strength in contact.
September 28, 2019 – Union 38 – Long Island 12
Finally the Mudturtles get a win at home! It was a beautifulday for rugby and a win! The Mudurtles opened up scoring in the first 5 minuteswith a try from #13 Mercedez Roper, converted by Jordan Seubert. Roper wouldtouch down 3 more times for 20 points on the day. Jordan Seubert earned WOMhonors for making 4/6 conversions and a try of her own for 13 points. NinjaTurtle went to Hajja Abdur-Rahman who earned her first start in the front rowand scored her first try! Julie Buonaguro made some amazing offloads and playson the wing! The Mudturtles welcomed back Vic Steele, Avery Salermo, MariaGuerra, and Danica Lindsey to the pitch. Great play all around!
The Mudturtles entered their bye weekend with a 1-3 record andhope to continue the upward momentum into the second half of the season.