Day 2 Match Summaries | Collegiate Rugby Championship
By on

Women’s Challenge QF: ND vs. IU

Notre Dame got the day started against in-state rival, Indiana. The Irish were a converted try away from competing for the top prize of the weekend, but a loss to Navy to end Day 1, left Notre Dame as the top seed in challenge bracket. The Hoosiers had a much rougher go in pool play, The Irish took the (10–5) lead at halftime. The start of the second half saw the Irish again on the foot with a try up the right wing to extend the margin to 17–5. Notre Dame extended the lead with a breakaway try up the gut to put the match out of reach at 22–5. A final unconverted try for the Irish sent Notre Dame into the semifinal, leaving the Hoosiers with much work for the offseason. Notre Dame 27, Indiana 5.

Women’s Challenge QF: Temple vs. UNC

After early pressure, the Temple Owls finally broke through a tough Tar Heel defense to score in the right corner three minutes in. Bent but unbroken, UNC answered back with converted try to take the narrow two-point lead five minutes into the match. Almost instantly, Temple’s Haley Schwalm added a second try for Temple to retake the lead. The half ended with Temple ruled just shy of a third try.

Much like the first half, the second half began with UNC backed up, but proving stiff in defense. Despite occasional possession, North Carolina struggled to avoid errors, giving up possession in the process. Finally, Temple’s captain, Olivia Rasp, find space for a converted try to give her side a two-score advantage. Another try by Rasp capped off a solid victory for Temple and a spot in the Challenge Semis: Temple 22, North Carolina 7.

Women’s Challenge QF: Drexel vs. Northeastern

A cracking run by Northeastern looked likely to result in a try, but ended with a knock-on ten meters shy of the line. After conceding possession and playing on defense for several phases, Northeastern got the try that seemed on offer earlier, with an unconverted score in the far left corner. The next score would not come until two and a half minutes into the second half, when Drexel added its second unconverted try. With Drexel needing to score to stay in it, Northeastern added a third unconverted try to put the match out of reach. A fourth try in the fourteenth minute, this time under the post for the simple conversion, put any possibility of a reversal to rest. Showing a great deal of resiliency, Drexel continued to battle for a consolation score, finding that score comfortably into stoppage time. The upset victory is the first of the day. Northeastern 22, Drexel 5.

Women’s Challenge QF: Clemson v. Delaware

Delaware staved off an early deficit with a crucial tackle just ten meters from the Blue Hens line, leading to a Delware scrum, errors soon gave the ball back to Clemson inside the Delaware twenty-two, leading to a try by Hannah Miller for the 5–0 Tigers lead. A strong team try started by a spectacular run by Alexa Craig and capped off by Meghan Barnes. Paige Klein added the conversion for the 7–5 Delaware lead at the break.

To start the second half Barnes made it a brace with her second try. Much of the hard work for that score was led by Mekayla MacAdoo who literally bounced her run outside after throwing a massive shoulder into the Clemson defense. A powerful stiffarm added another score for Delaware, this time from Emily Griest. The conversion put Clemson two full scores behinds one more unconverted try for Delaware chalked up the second upset of the day. Delaware 24, Clemson 5.

Women’s Cup QF: Life vs. Navy

Most of the first three minutes were played inside the Navy tweet-two. Nevertheless, the resilience of the cadets held Life at bay. Despite a hard defense, the Middies were not able to get out of their own half before Life finally found space on the left wing for a converted try. A second converted try off the restart looked more like the Running Eagles we saw on Day 1. Although the second half ended with life up just 14–0, the second half proved more fruitful. Life began with another converted try right out of the gate from the Navy restart by Kim Semiglia. A second try of the half came two minutes later, this time unconverted. Yet another try was added by Alex Sedrick. On the stroke of full time Whitney Wilson capped off the try and added her own conversion for the impressive stroll into the semifinals. Life 38, Navy 0.

Women’s Cup QF: Penn State v. Bloomsburg

Closing out the morning slate of women’s matches, three-time CRC champion Penn State took on Bloomsburg. An interception and try by Gianna Solomen got Penn State on the board first in the second minute of play. The tough conversion left wanting, the Nittany Lions held the narrow lead. A minute later, Penn State extended that lead to two scores with another unconverted try. Bloomsburg made it tough for Penn State, but the second half saw a third unconverted Penn State try.

Up 15–0 to start the second half, Gabby Cantorna took the opening kick in for a converted score, and a 22–0 lead with six minutes left. A streaking run by Sophie Pyrz was capped off by a try for Ellie Fromstein to make it 27–0 with a quarter of the match left to play. Solomen added a sixth score for her side, with the conversion slotted by Fromstein. Up 34–0, Penn State kept the killer instinct pressing forward, leading to a seventh try and leaving just enough time to add another. A foot in touch was all that kept that eighth try from happening. Penn State 39, Bloomsburg 0.

Bloomsburg acquitted itself well but there is no program in women’s rugby with bluer blood than Penn State, and it showed against Bloomsburg.

Men’s Pool D: Arizona v. AIC

The first men’s match in the stadium pitted Arizona against AIC. Arizona, the 2012 runner up is one of the few squads to have competed in every CRC. AIC, on the other hand, was making its debut. AIC started its CRC legacy with an inauspicious beginning, as the kickoff went directly into touch. Arizona controlled the opening possession, but Christian Adams got AIC the first points of the match. Jihad Khabir’s long conversion attempt was just off, leaving AIC up 5–0. Arizona’s Jonah Eldridge gave his team a try to level the match, with Shane Dempsey’s conversion giving Arizona the lead five minutes in. The first half ended with Arizona on attack, showing that experience matters at this level.

The second half was marked with massive hits and sold back and forth rugby. Arizona looked like it might score three minutes into the half with big runs by Ben Scoular and Matt Rogers. Instead, the AIC defense was able to stop Arizona and a short while later got a go-ahead score of its own. A knock on with a minute left squandered good attacking position for the Wildcats. In the end, the debutants proved the better side on the day. AIC 12, Arizona 7

Men’s Pool D: UCLA v. Va. Tech

Continuing the ferocious Pool D, UCLA and Virginia Tech took the Talen Energy Stadium pitch. The Hokies looked to have scored first by way of John Gerard, but the ball was deemed to have gone loose prior to the grounding, giving UCLA a five-meter scrum. Instead, it was the Bruins who scored first, thanks to Jordan Robertson. Cain Barry added the conversion. A second UCLA score was avoided by a staunch Hokes defense that forced a penalty six meters out from the Virginia Tech line. As the half rolled to a close, UCLA regained possession, with Patrick French adding a second try. Barry’s conversion sent UCLA to halftime up 14–0.

An opportunistic try for Robertson to complete his brace came from an interception to put UCLA ahead 21–0 following Barry’s third conversion. Virginia Tech twice threatened to get on the board, but a great steal from Daniel Thomas stopped the first attempt an ill-advised chip ahead cost Virginia Tech the other. The next score went to UCLA from Jax Carter. The match ended with a dropped pass on the wing to keep UCLA from adding a fifth try. UCLA 26, Va. Tech 0.

The win keeps UCLA in the hunt in an extremely tough Pool D. For Virginia Tech, the loss means a very real possibility of going winless on Day 1.

Men’s Pool C: Army v. Lindenwood

Like the Arizona-AIC match, Army v. Lindenwood paired a CRC debutant, Lindenwood, against a CRC founder, Army. The cadets reached the 2011 CRC final but have struggled to perform consistently in the competition since. Lindenwood, although a newcomer, enters the CRC as the favorite in the eyes of many to hoist the  Dawkins Trophy at the close of tomorrow. The Lions scored first, but it was not easy. Four minutes of back and forth play finally opened up when Christian Rodriguez got the St. Louis team a try under the post. Captain Michael Baska nailed the easy conversion for a full-score lead over the West Pointers. A second score came quickly in the far right corner. Sam Chapman’s score did not leave an easy conversion for his captain, but Baska drove the ki k home for a 14–0 lead. Off the restart, Army looked to have awoken, but an initial foray into the Lindenwood half was ended with an interception that eventually resulted in Nick Feakes breaking free for Lindenwood’s third try of the half. The conversion by Baska was no good.

Army came out running in the second half, but a yellow card two minutes into the half all but officially put the matter to rest. Lindenwood added a fourth try and a third conversion to take firm hold of the match. Army continued to fight even down a man. Captain Jake Lachina dotted down by the post, giving Harrsion Farrell an easy conversion. The converted try also burned the yellow card, returning Army to its full complement. Although a win was out of reach, closing the gap in points could prove vital to Army’s hopes of reaching the quarterfinal as  one of the  top two second-placed teams. For good measure, Lindenwood’s Sam Chapman notched a second try for himself. The long conversion by Feakes made it a convincing win for the Lions. Lindenwood 33, Army 7.

Men’s Pool C: St. Joe’s vs. Navy

St. Joseph’s narrowly missed stealing the opening kick and left Navy in good position in the process. The Middies registered the opening score forty-five seconds in from Connor McNerney. The Hawks did not back down, earning a try to level the match two minutes later. The makeable conversion clanged off the post to keep the team’s level. Despite an error on the restart–kicking directly to touch–the Hawks got the next score as well, thanks to a cracking run and chip ahead. The long conversion was true for the 12–5 Hawks lead ahead of intermission.

The second half started much better for Navy than the first half ended. Early attacking position pulled the Midshipmen within two of SJU with more than four minutes left in the match. A penalty a minute later against Navy called back what would have been the go-ahead try. The Hawks extended their lead with a remarkable try from Daniel Tilghman. The conversion was no good, keeping Navy within striking distance with seconds left. There was certainly not enough time for a Navy win, but there was just enough for a draw. In the end, it was not to be for the men of the United States Naval Academy. St. Joseph’s 17, Navy 10.

Pool F: Kutztown v. Tennessee

Kutztown wasted no time to show why the Golden Bears are in the short list of tournament favorites. Jason DeNofa streaked past the orange jerseys of the Volunteers for the opening try. Jackson Clark kicked the simple conversion. A minute later, DeNofa added his second try in line with the post. Clark once again struck the two-pointer. From there, the Volunteers stepped their game up, coming within one better offload from a try of their own. Instead, the next score came from a hard running Kina Malafu. Clark remained sure with the boot to make it 21–0 in the seventh minute of action. A fourth converted try on the stroke of halftime put Kutztown comfortably into the driver’s seat.

A true from Dmontae Noble and conversion by David Snead pushed Kutztown ahead 35–0. Next it was a highlight-reel step and run by Aaron Gray for the sixth Kutztown try. Snead again added the points after. Then it was a try for Sam Devine, capping off a run from Angel Santiago. Snead added the final points of the match. Kutztown 49, Tennessee 0.

Pool F: IU vs. South Carolina

The Hoosiers entered this year’s CRC an upset loss to Boston College last year away from consecutive quarterfinal appearances. Two years ago, an upset victory over Life saw the Hoosiers to the quarterfinals before a loss to Kutztown sent them back to Bloomington. A dark horse for a quarterfinal birth, Indiana would need to get by the Gamecocks to keep that hope alive. A second-minute unconverted try gave Indiana the early advantage. The Hoosiers followed the score up with a stolen restart, narrowly missing out on a second try with a great defensive effort knocking the ball  loose in goal. But a strike against the head in the resulting scrum gave Indiana the delayed points. South Carolina just about returned the favor with a steal of an Indiana scrum near midfield, but the Indiana defense managed to drag the Gamecock runner to touch. But, like Indiana’s second try, the great defensive effort proved a mere delay, as South Carolina soon crossed under the post to pull within three at the half.

A sloppy restart set Indiana up for a third try to once more make the lead two scores. South Carolina came agonizingly close to a try of its own, but Nick Skalka was pulled down just short, losing the ball in his attempt to ground it in-goal. As South Carolina desperately looked to get two scores, Indiana’s Alex Dorrier gifted the Gamecocks a yellow card for throwing the ball away after a penalty. With the man advantage, South Carolina looked to have plenty of time to eek out a victory. Instead, Indiana stood tall with a man down and held South Carolina scoreless in the final two minutes to secure a 15–7 victory, setting up a date with Kutztown to decide the Pool F champion.

Pool A: St. Mary’s vs. Temple

Another newcomer to the CRC, St. Mary’s took on the hometown favorite Temple Owls. The Gaels are certainly a team to watch and expected to top Pool A. Saint Mary’s methodically worked through Temple’s defense for the opening try. With the conversion, The Gaels made it 7–0 less than two minutes in. A kick over the Temple defense and offload to Aaron Matthews sent Matthews away for the Gaels’ second converted try. Consistent support and perfectly executed offloads made it three first-half tries for St. Mary’s. The conversion was just off to end the half.

In the second half, St. Mary’s continued to keep the scoreboard ticking. Three tries and one conversion in just over four minutes turned the match into a route. Temple had a great chance for try with 80 seconds left, but a pass down the chain failed to hit the unmarked wing to finish off the movement. Immediately after that mistake, Lenny Ramos sprinted away for yet another and, mercifully, final St. Mary’s try. Saint Mary’s 41, Temple 0.

Pool A: Dartmouth vs. Boston College

In a match of two schools that epitomize the uniqueness of the CRC in which the student part of student-athlete is a crucial part, the academic powerhouses of Dartmouth and Boston College trotted out. Dartmouth is a two-time CRC champion (2011 & 2012) and the alma mater of USA Sevens Men’s National Team captain Madiosn Hughes.

Dartmouth stole the opening kick and looked likely to start in front, but Boston College took possession and streaked down the pitch for a quick-strike, 7–0 lead. Dartmouth answered back to level the score. Right before the half, Dartmouth added a five-pointer to take its first lead of the match. Halfway through the second half, a powerful run gave Boston College a try to pull level. The makeable conversion missed its mark. A minute later, Dartmouth’s energetic fans had reason to celebrate again as Dartmouth found pay dirt for a converted try and seven point lead heading into the final two minutes. But Boston College fired right back with a streaking try worthy of USA national star Perry Baker. The score having come under the post, saw a simple conversion to knot the match at 19 in the final minute. A poor strike on the restart kick gifted Dartmouth a free kick at midfield. Dartmouth capitalized, hitting a converted try on full time to make the final match with Saint Mary’s a winner-take-all for Pool A.

Pool B: Life vs. Notre Dame

Life entered the match as the prohibitive favorite against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. A kick into touch to start the match, gifted the Irish an early attacking opportunity. After three minutes spent inside the Life ten-meter line, Life’s Mitch Wilson burst up the right wing going the other way. Wilson’s try gave the Running Eagles a hard-earned lead. A perfect restart gave Life the ball back, but excellent counter-rucking saw the Irish with ball in hand. It did not last long, however, as Life quickly turned the tables and sent captain Harley Davidson under the post for the try. The conversion from Duncan van Schalkwyk dug the hole deeper for Notre Dame. Justin Johnson’s try moments later along with a second conversion from van Schalkwyk all but finished off the Irish hope of pulling the upset.

In the second half, Notre Dame battled remarkably hard and finally earned a try from David Pribyl Pierdinock. Without the conversion, the Fighting Irish needed two converted tries to draw even. Zander Van Schalkwyk looked like he may single handedly close the door on Notre Dame’s comeback, but living up to the name earned on the gridiron, the Fighting Irish defense proved fierce. Mike Mattarazzo broke free up the right wing for the Irish and had just enough pace to beat Mitch Wilson in chase. Carter Bench’s conversion gave Notre Dame a chance with twenty-two seconds left. The restart, however, killed that chance. The ball went directly to touch, and gave life a free kick at midfield. Oddly, life tried to play out the final phase and was saved an infamous error by a forward pass. Life 19, Notre Dame 12.

Pool B: Arkansas State v. Wisconsin

Arkansas State has one of the proudest rugby sevens traditions of any team in the country. However, like may other proud rugby programs, a CRC title has proved elusive. In a tough pool Arkansas State needed to maximize its scores ahead of an anticipated pool decider with Life to keep the chance of a quarterfinal appearance alive even with a 2–1 record. A quick converted try for Arkansas State had the Red Wolves rolling. It took several more minutes before Blace Walser broke free for the second Arkansas State try. The conversion from Preston Weigel had the Red Wolves in good position for winning the match but far from where they wanted to be in the bigger picture. To make matters worse, the Badgers refused to roll over. Tyler Crass dove across the line for a try under the post to end the half. The conversion made it only a one-score lead as the team’s headed out for the final seven minutes.

For almost three straI got minutes, Wisconsin hammered away at Arkansas State deep in Red Wolf territory. The men in red and black never broke. That resolve eventually was rewarded with a clean break by Dan Pettay. The conversion once more had Arkansas State ahead by two full scores. A poor decision to kick a Wisconsin lineout ball away, led to a yellow card for Arkansas State with just under two minutes left. Wisconsin looked to capitalize on them and advantage, but a forward pass ended the attack and allowed crucial seconds to continue you tick away. Wisconsin eventually got in for the try, but it was too little too late. The score came as the hooter sounded. The conversion shaded left. Arkansas State 21, Wisconsin 12.

Pool E: Clemson v. Delaware

Delaware and Clemson are each making their third appearance in the CRC. For the Tigers, this is the third year in a row. For Delaware, 2017 marks the first time in the CRC for the Blue Hens since 2013. Clemson entered the match as the definite favorite. Despite poor runs in each of the last two years, resulting in a combined record of 1–8 and consecutive 19th-place finishes, Clemson has a proud recent tradition in sevens, just not in the CRC. Delaware, on the other hand, reached the quarterfinals in 2012 and finished 9th in 2013.

Clemson seemed to live up to the pre-match expectations with two first half tries from Abraham Chris and then Drew Dommel. Captain Nick Richards failed on both conversion attempts. Delaware struck back to end the half with a try from Delaware captain John McCurdy and conversion by John Hand. Down 10–7 to start the second half, Delaware got early possession but was unable to get points from it. Clemson, however, took its limited time with the ball down to pay dirt with a try from Richards. Again, no conversion followed, leaving Delaware only eight points back. A fourth try in the twelfth minute directly under the post from Dommel had the potential to salt the match away, but the failure at the conversion from directly in front of the post, kept it a thirteen-point match.

On the ensuing restart, Mathew Absher was shown a yellow card for taking the Delaware player out in the air. Delaware capitalized on the advantage with a try in the right corner from McCurdy, his second. Despite scoring with more than ten seconds remaining, Delaware did not get the conversion attempt off before the hooter, leaving the full time score Clemson 20, Delaware 12.

Pool A: Boston College v. Temple

Boston College took a 5–0 lead two and a half minutes into the match. A shifty move by Daniel Schatzman sent BC to a two-score lead in the sixth minute. Schatzman added his own conversion to make it 12–0. Temple’s lone flash of offense in the first half was an impressive sprint by TJ Dellipriscoli, but the Owls failed to crack the goose egg on the scoreboard.

The second half started with another try from Schatzman. After his conversion, the Eagles stood in front 19–0. A heated moment threatened to send Temple’s captain Mike Wellstein to the sin bin, but calmer heads prevailed and Wellstein’s act of sportsmanship in shaking hands with his opposite number kept both teams at their full complements, and ended the chippy play before it went any further. A fourth try in the thirteenth minute ended any lingering doubt about the outcome of the match. Temple continued to battle well into stoppage time, but a knock on ended the match in a shutout. Boston College 24, Temple 0.

Women’s Cup Quarterfinal: Lindenwood vs. Kutztown

Off the opening kick, Lindenwood darts up the gut for try under the post. Straight-forward conversion good for the 7–0 lead. Throughout most of the first half, Kutztown struggled to get out of its own half. Untidy ball handling and quick gap-control defense by Lindenwood hampered any attack Kutztown could mount. Lindenwood was also not immune to ball-handling errors, with at least one directly costing Lindenwood a try. Despite the quick start, the opening try remained the only score at halftime.

Kutztown finally got some forward momentum from the restart and charged inside the Lindenwood ten-meter line. Although unable to find an edge or a gap, Lindenwood penalties kept Kutztown’s attack alive. After several minutes of consistent defense, Lindenwood finally got possession and made the most of it with a long-distance try and conversion to take a 14–0 lead, which felt insurmountable in the face of the relentless Lion’s defense. Right off the kick, Kutztown again got its best offense of the match. Finally crossing for a try to the right of the post. The crucial conversion was off, keeping Lindenwood in front by two-scores. Lindenwood soon ended any possibility of defeat with a sixty-meter try under the post. The conversion made it 21–5. On full time, Lindenwood added one last try, this time unconverted, to place a stamp on the match. Lindenwood 26, Kutztown 5. Lindenwood’s hope of a first-ever CRC title remains alive and well.

Women’s Cup Quarterfinal:Dartmouth vs NSCRO All-Stars

What looked on paper and proved in practice to be the most competitive of the women’s quarterfinals, the NSCRO All-Stars and Dartmouth battled back and forth for the entirety of the first half with neither side giving much. With a woman advantage, Dartmouth managed to work into the NSCRO half but struggled to find the goal. After the entirety of the first half, Dartmouth won a penalty directly in front of the NSCRO sticks and finally broke through for the lone score of the half. Dartmouth added the conversion to make it 7–0 at intermission.

Kicking into a stiff breeze, Dartmouth gifted the NSCRO come back a free kick at midfield. The All-Stars steamed ahead into shouting distance of the try line, but Dartmouth continued to stand strong. A pass outside to cash in on the pressure failed to go to hand, givying Dartmouth a scrum feed inside its own twenty-two. NSCRO soon won the ball by forcing Dartmouth into touch, but failed to secure its own lineout throw. With time becoming the enemy, NSCRO regained possession still inside the Dartmouth ten-meter. Again standing strong in defense, Dartmouth finally broke out of its own ten-meter and capped the movement off with a try under the post. The conversion combined with the time constraint meant the match was likely out of reach for NSCRO. The All-Stars pride shown through in the end with a late try to avoid the shutout. The very difficult conversion meant a chance for the upset still remained. In the end, it was not to be for the valiant All-Stars as Dartmouth did just enough to come away the 14–7 victor and advance to the semifinals.

Pool E: Cal vs Penn State:

In American rugby there is Cal and everyone else. For the first three years of the CRC, everyone else ended up on top (Utah in 2010 and Dartmouth in 2011 & 2012). Then, in 2013, Cal broke through and have not looked back. Four consecutive titles have the Golden Bears in a league all their own. But Cal enters the 2017 CRC in unique circumstances. In victory at the Varsity Cup, securing the fifteens national title, Cal suffered a serious injury that has left one of the valued members of the Cal rugby family in serious condition.

Despite heavy hearts, Cal looked as methodical as ever against a tough Penn State squad. The Golden Bears struck first with a try and conversion from captain Russell Webb. The Nittany Lions soon leveled the contest with a converted try from Mike Dabulas. Cal went back ahead when Jake Goena dotted one down. Webb again hit the conversion. Goena’s half was not done, however, as he added a second try to send the team’s to halftime. The tough conversion slipped over the crossbar for the two-pointer, making it 21–7 at halftime.

Penn State scored first in the second half on the back of an excellent dummy by Joe Kelly followed by Kelly turning on the jets and hitting the corner. The angle proved too much for Dabulas on the conversion attempt, leaving the Golden Bears ahead by two scores. A penalty on Cal at the restart further opened the door for a Penn State come back. After avoiding disaster with Penn State threatening, Cal’s Sam Cusano exploded down the left wing for a try under the post. Webb’s conversion with under two minutes left, all but secured the win. With just under a minute left, Cal conceded a yellow card, but Penn State needed to score three tries in under fifty seconds. Whatever remote hope the Nittany Lions had ended with a penalty at the cal five-meter line. Penn State did add a consolation try under the post with sever seconds left from Kevin Trotter. The quick conversion made it 28–19.

Pool  C: Army vs. Navy

In one of the oldest and most honorable rivalries in all of sports, few matches in rugby carry the history of Army-Navy. Dating back to the first CRC, Army and Navy have competed in some of the most memorable matches in the history of the competition. Not only do these academies produce some of the finest men and women the country has T offer, it also produces phenomenal athletes as shown by Army alumnus Will Holder who has earned many caps as an Eagle in the USA national team.

In the 2017 edition of Army-Navy, it was Navy that struck first with a try from Michael Samniego and a very impressive conversion from the left touchline for Jake Martin. Army had missed opportunities inside the Navy twenty-two, but finally a yellow card on Navy’s Gardy Lebon freed enough space for Harrsion Farrell to break through for the try. Farrell added his own conversion to tie it up. With just enough time for the restart, Navy’s Alec Smith took the kick perfectly but Navy was unable to get much production prior giving up possession to Army. A combination of a strong run by captain Jake Lachina, offloading to Jon Kim, who found Torrance Raby in support, and finally Andrew Fargo for the go-in-front try to close the half.

Back to seven-on-seven, Army entered the second half trying to build on its lead. Four minutes into the half, neither side had managed to change the halftime margin. Finally, Navy’s Connor McNerney tried a kick over the Army defense and got a magnificent bounce. Although McNerney was unable to finish the sequence with a try, Navy won a penalty following the tackle, and Gardy Lebon got in under the post for Navy’s second try. Jake Martin’s conversion gave Navy the momentary lead. Army, however, was not done. Harrsion Farrell streaked down the left wing for a try in the corner and the 17–14 lead. As time expired, Navy had a lineout throw just inside its own twenty-two. The throw was ruled not-straight, giving Army a scrum feed. Army won the scrum and kicked to touch. Army 17, Navy 14.

Pool B: Life vs. Arkansas State

In one of the most anticipated matches in pool play, the Life Running Eagles took on the Arkansas State Red Wolves. Many had expected that the loser of this match would still advance to the quarterfinals, but a narrow victory for Arkansas State over Wisconsin placed the Red Wolves in serious jeopardy of missing the quarterfinals for the first time ever.

Life’s captain Harley Davidson revved his engine and put his side in front 7–0. Right away, Arkansas State came roaring back with a try of its own from Nicke Abreus one minute and eight seconds into the match. As the third minute of the match began, the two powerhouse squads stood even at seven all.The next try went again to Red Wolf Nicke Abreus. The long conversion failed, making it a five-point match five minutes in. Life got to work the final two minutes of the half up a man after Sione Fangaiuiha was sent to the sin bin for an intentional knock on. Arkansas State had a chance at an under-manned score when Zach Young kicked for space with Neil Maestri in pursuit. Maestri opted to try and dive on the ball instead of chipping ahead, giving Life another taste of possession, but the Red Wolf defense managed to prevent a score before the half.

The second half began with great excitement as Life’s Harley Davidson cut through the Arkansas State defense, but Life was not able to finish it off. Instead, Arkansas State soon tried a deep kick and chase with Maestri outpacing the Life sweeper. Although Maestri was unable to get in for the try, the Life defender was called for a high tackle and a penalty try was awarded, giving Arkansas State the easy conversion and a man advantage with the resulting yellow card to Life. The Running Eagles survived the yellow card and were the next to score with Davidson burning rubber around the corner for the five-pointer. With two minutes left in the match, Arkansas State stood in front 19–12. With just over a minute left, Life won a yellow card against Zach Young, the third of the match. With the penalty inside the Red Wolf twenty-two, Life found itself up two men when Fangaiuiha was shown a red card. Life punched it in with thirty-six seconds left, but to the left of the post. The conversion went through, leveling the match with just enough time for the restart. Life botched the restart, giving Arkansas State the a free kick at midfield. The Red Wolves opted to tap and kick into touch to accept the draw. At 2–1–0, each team should advance to the quarterfinals.

Pool B: Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame

Despite a proud rugby history, including a national title awarded by Sports Illustrated in the 1965, Notre Dame has struggled at the CRC. A participant in every CRC, Notre Dame has posted a mere 13–19 record prior to this year and never finished higher than tenth. The Irish lone hardware was a bowl victory, which also stands as the lowest finish for Notre Dame. Wisconsin, by contrast, has gone 7–1–6 in the prior three appearances, including a quarterfinal appearance in in 2012 and a plate victory last year.

Playing with the hopes of going to the Plate competition on Day 2, Wisconsin struck first to lead the Fighting Irish 7–0. The Badgers extended their lead just before half with a try from Dan Pettay, who added his own conversion. In the opening minute of the second half, Jack McGinnity extended the Wisconsin lead. Pettay added the conversion to make it 21–0. Tries from Tyler Crass and Pettay, along with two more conversions from Pettay set the final margin at Wisconsin 35, Notre Dame 0.

Pool A: Dartmouth vs. St. Mary’s

Alongside Life-Arkansas State, Dartmouth vs. Saint Mary’s was one of the most anticipated matches on Day 1. Dartmouth, winner of the 2011 and 2012 CRC represents a long tradition in the CRC. Saint Mary’s, on the other hand, is in its first ever CRC, but carries its own distinguished history of success in both XVs and 7s.

In the second minute of the match, CRC experience showed through for Dartmouth with a try from Struan Coleman and conversion by Ollie Englehart. Dartmouth stole the following restart but failed to hold possession for long. The Gaels took off running but failed to finish off with a score after an intercept pass gave Dartmouth a reprieve. A little later, St. Mary’s was on the receiving end of a yellow card. Despite playing the rest of the half at a disadvantage, St. Mary’s refused to allow any more points.

Thirty seconds into the second half, the Gaels strolled in for a Dylan Audsley try under the post. Holden Yungert added the conversion for the tie. A second St. Mary’s try come just over a minute later with an interception score by Ronan Murphy. In the eleventh minute, Audsley added his second try of the half. Yungert chipped over the conversion to move ahead by twelve. A Hat trick for Audsley finished off the monstrous half for the Gaels. Yungert added two more points to make it St. Mary’s 26, Dartmouth 7. With that result, St. Mary’s advances to the quarterfinals in its first year at the CRC. The two-time champion, Dartmouth, will be left to watch the remaining results to see if the quarterfinals or the plate await on Day 2.

Pool D: UCLA vs. Arizona

With spots in the quarterfinals rapidly filling up, Arizona and UCLA headed out to try and secure their own spots. A victory or draw for UCLA would see the Bruins atop Pool D. A win for Arizona, however, would see AIC with the tiebreaker atop the pool, but leave the Wildcats in great position for one of the the final two seeds. For AIC, unless Arizona won, the Plate competition awaited.

Arizona struck first with a converted try from Shane Dempsey for the only points of the first half. A minute and a half into the second half Patrick French got UCLA in for five. A minute later, Jordan Robertson gave the Bruins the lead with an unconverted try. Cain Barry’s untouched try under the post with a minute left wrapped it up for UCLA. Arizona got a consolation from Matt Rogers to leave a flattering scoreline, but the result still meant that the Wildcats would not be in the quarterfinal. UCLA 17, Arizona 12.

Pool C: Cal v. Delaware

The Golden Bears, having bested Clemson and Penn State earlier in the day, had clinched the top spot in Pool C ahead of the showdown with Delaware. Cal got on the scoreboard first with a try and conversion by the captain, Russell Webb, two minutes in. A second first half try went to the Golden Bears from Aidan Flynn down the right wing. The conversion from midway between the post and the right touchline failed. A third first half try went to Christian Dyer with the conversion coming from Webb.

The second half started with a try by Anthony Salaber and third conversion by Webb. Will Fuller made it five for the dominant men from Berkley. Webb made it four from five with the boot, still with four minutes left in the match. Before it was over Patrick Barrientes and Zac Tevenner would add tries to the Cal haul along with three more conversions from Webb. Aidan Flynn also added a second to complete his brace. Cal 54, Delaware 0.

Pool F: Kutztown v. Indiana

With only two matches left in pool play, all eyes were on the Pool F decider between Indiana and Kutztown. The winner would take the pool and the loser, depending on margin of defeat, would be in excellent position to claim the final quarterfinal spot. A draw would send both teams through to the quarterfinals and officially make the final match between Clemson and Penn State a consolation match. These two teams have met in each of the last two CRCs. In 2015, Kutztown knocked Indiana out of the quarterfinal (31–12), ending high Hoosier hopes after a pool victory over Life. Last year, Kutztown defeated IU 17–12 in pool play.

The match began with physicality befitting its importance. The record setting crowd of nearly fifteen thousand roared with every phase of play. It was the Hoosiers who scored first thanks to Jake Hidalgo streaking down the left wing and curving in under the post. Alex Dorrier added the easy points. Hoosier hopes soared as they cracked inside the Kutztown twenty-two, breaking through in the seventh minute for a second try, this time from Dorrier. Dorrier was unable add his own conversion. A penalty inside the Kutztown twenty-two following the restart gave the Bloomington men one last shot for points. A held up call gave Indiana an attacking five-meter scrum, which they used to great effect with a try from Tyler Sousely. Dorrier connected on the conversion for a 19–0 lead at the half.

Kutztown came out the gate strong but was stopped less than a meter from the try line. A clearance kick by the Hoosiers and a chip ahead followed by a penalty set up a try for Tyler Graham. The conversion went astray. Kutztown answered back with an unconverted try from Kina Malafu. With a quarter to play, Indiana led 24–5. A second quick try for Kutztown, this one under the post quickly cut the Hoosier lead in half from its high point. Down twelve points with over two minutes left, the Golden Bears had awoken. The Hoosiers refused to let the comeback happen as Dacoda Worth steamed down the right wing for the five-pointer. Up seventeen with just over a minute left, the Hoosiers looked like a safe bet to win Pool F. What remained was the potential of changing seeding with more points. Kutztown added a converted try from Angel Santiago to finish the match. As the saying goes, it’s tough to beat a good team three times in a row: Indiana 29, Kutztown 19. The result officially sent Dartmouth to the Plate competition.

Pool E: Clemson v. Penn State

With Kutztown boasting an impressive +74 differential on two wins and one loss, Penn State would need to defeat Clemson by at least 52 points to reach the quarterfinal. Clemson would need to defeat Penn State by at least 87. Neither result was going to happen. The match still was a great pairing of two really good teams and a fine way to close a memorable day of rugby and the winner would have a spot in the plate competition, leaving the loser to the bowl.

Penn State scored a try in the first minute from Mike Eife. Mike Dabulas added the conversion. A converted try by Clemson pulled it even. On the stroke of halftime Penn State’s Kevin Trotter trotted in for the go-ahead try. A second try from Trotter two and a half minutes into the second half plus the conversion gave the Nittany Lions a cushion over the Tigers. Joe Kelly wrapped it up for Penn State with a burst through a Clemson gap. Dabulas added the two points to put the match out of reach.On full time, the Nittany Lions proved that they still had one more try in them. Penn State 31, Clemson 7.

Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × two =