By Sam Scanlon ’19
As the fall season comes to a close, Providence College’s Men’s Rugby Team concluded their 40th annual season on Oct. 27 with a considerable win over Saint Michael’s College by a score of 47-10. This marked the “Black Pack’s” second win of the season.
Their first win came against Middlebury College in the season opener on Sept. 15. The Black Pack narrowly edged out the Panthers 26-25. PC trailed for the entire game, but punched in a last minute try to cut the Panthers lead to just one. The conversion was then made by Nate Jakaitis ’20 to lift the Black Pack to a 26-25 victory.
The next four matches for the Friars did not go their way, as they dropped all four against some of the top teams in the league. Captain James Lesniak ’19 stated, “We had a tough schedule to start the season which had us playing the top 3 teams in the league, but it was great to finish our season on a high note with a win over St. Michael’s.”
In the Black Pack’s first loss of the season, Bentley University got the upper hand, winning 50-22. The following week, the Friars traveled to Norwich University to face off against the top team in the league. Norwich proved why they finished the year atop the standings as they brought the Friars their second loss with a score of 69-0.
The next two matches brought the Friars two more losses. A 49-24 loss to in-state rival Roger Williams, followed by a trip to University of Massachusetts-Lowell that ended in a 45-29 loss dropped the Black Pack’s record to 1-4.
The final match of the season brought the Saint Michael’s Purple Knights to Providence. The Black Pack’s offense continued to progress as they capped off their fall season with a sizeable victory (47-10) over the Purple Knights to conclude their season with a record of 2-4.
Perhaps PC’s grittiest team, the Black Pack exemplifies hard work, teamwork, and the epitome of toughness each season. Lesniak explained just how the Black Pack’s ferocity stays strong by articulating, “Our core mission is to play with heart, tenacity, and integrity.”
The season was plagued by injuries suffered by the Black Pack’s veteran core. “We were plagued by injuries this season,” said Lesniak, “four of our senior starters suffered season ending injuries. We worked through it by adopting a next man up mentality. A lot of younger guys stepped up to fill the voids.”
With what appears to have not been the season the Black Pack would have liked on paper, Lesniak remains positive by expressing even more excitement and praise for the squad’s young core. “The biggest takeaway from this year has to be our potential. With our new coach and our young talent, we have a lot to be looking forward to in the future.”
The Black Pack looks to come back in for their spring season with a vengeance. As Lesniak looks ahead to his final season in the black and white, he welcomes a positive outlook for the upcoming offseason. He concluded, “Our main focus to improving over the spring is our commitment. If we stay committed during the offseason, whether it be through keeping in shape or watching film, we can hit the ground running in our busy spring season.”
You can watch Lesniak and the Black Pack this spring as they look to capture a league championship.