Mount St. Mary's rugby takes the bite out of the Long Island Sharks

GUAM REPRESENTS: From left, Mount St. Mary's University Mountaineers women's rugby team's Mara Tamayo, Lavona Rae Aromin, Seiana Nedlic and Hanna Rojas-Rhodes gather on the team bus after defeating the Long Island University Sharks 45-15 on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 (ChST) in Brookville, N.Y. Photo courtesy of Lavona Rae Aromin

The Mount St. Mary’s University Mountaineers women’s rugby team picked up its first official win of the early 2021 season on Sunday (Guam time), toppling the Long Island University Sharks 45-15.

The NCAA Division I matchup, played in Brookville, New York, featured three student athletes from Guam on the MSMU roster. Lavona Rae Aromin, Mara Tamayo and Hanna Rojas-Rhodes each saw playing time for the Mount. Three other Guamanians, Taylor Paige Aguon, Jalana Garcia and Seiana Nedlic, also play for the Mount.

Aromin described the Northeast Conference showdown as a test of wits.

"This game was a mental challenge overall,” she said. “Since LIU and MSMU are basically the underdogs, we both came out today thinking that we were both beatable."

"They gave us a hard time and it was difficult for us to center ourselves and play our system,” Aromin said while on the long, five-hour bus ride back to MSMU. “We should have run up the score but, as a collective, we just weren’t all there. We’ve acknowledged our mistakes and will have it together next game.”

In a match dominated by Mount St. Mary’s, the Sharks tested the Mountaineers but didn’t have enough bite to mount much of a challenge.

"We won, but LIU definitely put up a fight,” Rojas-Rhodes said. “They tested us physically and mentally and tripped us up occasionally. Despite that, we did have some players shine through this game and I can’t wait to see them take that confidence into the games ahead.”

Against the Sharks, MSMU sophomore Katie Stern scored two tries, freshman Sankara Price, junior Veronica Blair, senior Holly Click, junior Emma Jacobs and sophomore Kaylee Madray scored one try apiece. The Mount’s Maya Grassi, a senior, scored five conversions.

“This game taught us that teamwork is everything,” Tamayo said. “Our next game our focus needs to be be running our system and working as one team.”

Up next for the Mount, at 12:30 a.m., Sunday (Guam time), the Mountaineers will take on the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

To see how college teams with players from Guam on the rosters, please see accompanying information box.