The Harvard rugby team opened its fall campaign last weekend by dropping a close non-league contest to the University of Massacusetts, 7-6, in Amherst.

"We played moderatly well," Co-Captain Ray LaRaja said. "It's a disappointment to lose, but the main concern is developing team skills."

UMass took a 3-0 lead on a penalty kick about 15 minutes into the first half and never trailed. Harvard tied the score, 3-3, on a Chris North penalty kick late in the opening frame but was unable to take a lead.

The Minutemen extended their lead to 7-3 in the opening minutes of the second half when they converted a pack try, pushing the ball across the Crimson goal line.

Harvard rallied to close the UMass lead to one point when North collected his second penalty kick of the afternoon, but UMass held on to spoil the ruggers' season opener.

The Crimson next sees action at home this Saturday when it faces league rival Framingham State at Soldiers Field.