Battle of the Hawks

Tyger Allen, Sports Manager

Every athletic team has a rival. The Boston Red Sox have the New York Yankees. The Chicago Bears have the Green Bay Packers. It’s a part of sports that makes people tune in to watch another chapter of a historic matchup take place. 

For RWU, that rival is Salve Regina University. Students from both schools know that winning the matchup against the other is vital, no matter the team’s records.

But the competing schools aren’t trying to demolish the other in their game. There aren’t violent outbreaks that halt the game and create even more tension. The atmosphere is much more focused on defeating a worthy opponent.

“It’s a mutual respect I think,” said Salve Regina University student Benjamin Watson.

That mutual respect is what makes the matchups so much more enjoyable to students and other fans who watch the games. Two teams that acknowledge the skill and success of the other’s makes for some outstanding matches.

On Oct. 9, the women’s soccer teams faced off in front of a half-filled bleachers section. The Hawks went up 3-0 early, but the Seahawks notched three consecutive goals of their own to push the game into overtime. It was in extra time that RWU sealed the game on a golden goal.

A day later, it was the men’s teams that faced off in Bristol. Aside from the occasional chirp from either team’s fan section, the game was played without much disruption. The two squads gave the crowd an even match, but it was Salve Regina who quieted most of the stadium seats with a 2-0 win.

The RWU field hockey team won their most recent matchup 6-4 at home. Last spring, the baseball teams split their doubleheader. In men’s lacrosse, it was Salve who escaped with an 11-8 win. Most of the games that are played between the schools are tight, which adds so much more to the long-time rivalry.

The next time the two schools will face off is on Oct. 23, when the women’s volleyball teams play at Salve Regina.

Roger Williams and Salve Regina are not the biggest schools in Rhode Island by any means. They have less than 7,000 undergrad students combined. Their games are not televised and the fan turnout isn’t colossal unless advertised. But whenever the two schools meet, it’s always a battle.

 “I know they’re competitive,” said RWU senior Zach Bova. “It’s the best.”