Written by Jackie Finlan    Monday, 17 October 2011 12:07    PDF Print Write e-mail
NOVA Gets the Win and the Seed
Clubs - Women's Clubs

NOVA defeated Albany 31-10 in a hard-fought match to end its women’s DI club’s league season with a 5-1 record.

“It wasn't pretty, but we clinched our playoff spot and that was our number one goal,” NOVA coach Brian Walker said. “We knew Albany would compete hard in the breakdowns and they did a great job of that.

“Collectively as a team, we weren't happy about our performance and that represents a mental step forward for us,” Walker continued. “In the past, we would have been happy with the win and not expected more. To compete effectively for a title we need to be hungry and wanting to do better than last week's match, every time out of the gate. I think we will go back into training this week with a new intensity, and be focused when we get to Austin.”

Albany fought for possession at every opportunity, and did a good job of playing controlled attacking phases with a lot of continuity. They played tough goalline defense as well and turned away several of NOVA scoring opportunities in the first half. They've shown all season that they can compete and win at the D1 level.

Playing with a strong wind at their backs, NOVA's backline found some early running and kicking opportunities to play deep in Albany's end for large parts of the first half. Scrumhalf Kristen Campbell opened the scoring with an early try, which she centered to provide flanker Rachel Primo with an easy conversion. Hooker Hayle Ziobro followed suit, taking a ball off a lineout for 20 meters before sliding into the right corner.

“As a coach it was one of those games where you wish you could take back a 10-minute chunk of the game and have a do-over,” Albany coach Lori Staples said. “We got down 12-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game by giving up some easy weak-side tries. After that the team started to bounce back. The turning point was the forwards deciding just to run it right at the heart of their defense for awhile. It got them on their back foot, and we were able to get a nice weak side overload when flyhalf JoAnne Kos drew the defender and sent a perfectly timed pass out to winger Wllow Eyers, who ran it in from about 20 meters out.”

NOVA spent the remainder of the half in Albany end, but was unable to breach the line until the 38th minute, when lock Alexsis Mansisidor took a pass from fellow lock Rachel Warden and dove over from short range, putting the score at 17-5 going into halftime.

“That try really was a tough one because I felt like we were really starting to get control of the match,” Staples said. “So instead of only being down five at the half it was back to 12.”

Albany didn’t back down, however, and the heavy hits continued into the second half. Albany knocked on the door a few times, and dominated possession and territory overall. Game MVP Erica Cavanaugh relieved pressure with two tries (both converted by Primo) to give NOVA some much needed breathing room in the middle part of the half.

“I knew our season was over when NOVA scored their fourth try and picked up the bonus point,” Staples said. “At that point I made sure to get some of our rookies in the game so they could get some quality playing time against a tough team.”

Albany bounced back and logged a forwards try at the 70th minute, and the game ended with a held-up try in NOVA’s end zone, 31-10 the final.

“Even though we finished the season with two losses, I'm really proud of how the club responded and never got down on themselves,” Staples said. “Next year the three teams we lost to will be traveling to us and I'm sure we'll be in for some exciting rematches.

“Overall I'm very happy with how our first season in DI went,” Staples continued. “I feel like that this is a division we definitely belong in and it was encouraging to see the whole club respond to the challenges of moving up a division.”

NOVA takes the second seed out of CR3 and will play Seattle in the national round of 8.

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Monday, 17 October 2011 11:57    PDF Print Write e-mail
RuggaMatrix America Show 70: Defensive Coordination
MultiMedia - RuggaMatrix America

USA defensive coordinator Mike Tolkin talks Eagles, player development, and whether he wants to be the next Eagles coach.

Click here to listen, or right-click and select "save as" to download.

Written by Jackie Finlan    Monday, 17 October 2011 09:39    PDF Print Write e-mail
Army Women 4-0 in NERFU
Colleges - Women's College

Army women improved to 4-0 in NERFU’s division one after its 49-0 win over Boston University, which is now 2-1-1. With the victory, the cadets have scored 201 points and haven’t allowed any against during league season.

Jess Sexauer was one of several multi-try scorers against BU. (Dobson Images)

Several players had multi-try performances, including Jess Sexauer, who came off the bench after National Championship MVP Annie Lee left with an injury, Sharon Gianessi and wing Allison Wilson.

“With the exception of our scrumhalf and outside center, our entire backline is back,” Army coach Will Riddle said. “Our strength is still in our outside play, and we’re sticking to our style of play. We are rebuilding our scrum and lineouts, which has been difficult with only one of eight returners present.”

National team scrum coach Bill Le Clerc is on staff for both the men’s and women’s teams, so that’s a big plus for the reigning national champs.

Riddle was pleased with the team’s turnaround in the tackle area, which needed some improvement as well.

“We were giving up two or three meters and every tackle, and that was killing us,” Riddle reflected on previous matches. “We let the attacking side stay on the front foot. Again it’s difficult when you only have one returning forward and three freshmen in the starting 15. They’re learning the intensity part of the game, which is good.”

One of the new forward freshman showing promise is flanker Nicki Capple. She eventually left play with a shoulder injury, but her time on the pitch was well noted.

In other DI NERFU news, UConn defeated Northeastern 48-0 and saw Rosie Edreira (3), USA U20 Eagle Alycia Washington (2), Jenny Jaekle and Cassie Eilers score tries, while Chelsea Martin slotted four conversions. Boston College outlasted UMass 10-0 for the team’s second win of the season.

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Monday, 17 October 2011 10:26    PDF Print Write e-mail
Men's DI-AA College Top 25, Oct. 17, 2011
Rankings - Men DI College

While there wasn't a mass of exciting league games to keep an eye on last week, there was a rash of intriguing non-conference friendlies.

In one, LSU became the second highly-ranked SEC Rugby team to tumble in an early season tilt, losing 23-10 to Texas State. The Renegades were in our preseason poll, having reached the Sweet 16 last season, but were dropped due to early idleness. They're a great example of how we deal with idle teams. We can't ignore the winning of the teams currently playing, but when an idle team gets its season going and bags a couple wins, it'll be rewarded appropriately.

Tennessee, the first highly-ranked SEC Rugby team to be upset (losing to Maryland a couple weeks back) returned to the winner's circle with a 23-point win over Virginia Tech. Vols coach Marty Bradley says it's taken his team longer to transition from 7s than he would have expected or liked, but it appears Tennessee is coming along. 

In another SEC Rugby-versus-Atlantic Coast matchup, South Carolina pounded NC State 38-7. The Gamecocks have a couple of impressive wins over area men's clubs in the bag this preseason, which coupled with the way they finished last year, has them looking quite dangerous. 

Florida used a big second half Saturday to down rival Florida State in Tallahassee in front of a large partisan crowd. Florida coach Ken Simmons, though pleased with the win, says the Gators are still in a transitional phase and coping with the loss of several key playmakers. For the Noles, the void left by Dylan Hamilton at flyhalf has yet to be filled. 
Texas State in playoff action this spring. Dropkick photo
There were two conference games of note Saturday; then undefeated Princeton against undefeated Dartmouth in the Ivy League and Stony Brook against Iona in the Empire East. Stony Brook avenged a heartbreaking loss from earlier in the season and replaced Iona in the rankings, and Princeton lost big to Dartmouth and followed the disappointment with a letdown against Brown on Sunday. 
The most important match of the upcoming weekend? Easy: Miami (OH) at Davenport. Both teams are led by very experienced players, especially at flyhalf. The Reds' Luke Markovich could lineup in a number of different positions, and one of them could well be at standoff directly across from DU's all-world JP Eloff. This game is part of a three-game series that will determine the Mideast, and potentially the national title. The other two feature Bowling Green against Saturday's contestants. 
1 (1) Davenport  4-0 Won 52-5 over Indiana
2 (2) Dartmouth  6-0 Won 57-5 over Penn, 53-21 over Princeton
3 (3) UC Santa Barbara  0-0 played in Cal Poly 7s
4 (4) Miami (OH)  3-0 Won 92-13 over Purdue 
5 (5) Bowling Green  4-0 Won 20-19 over Ohio State 
6 (6) San Diego State  0-0 Idle
7 (9) Florida  2-0  Won 28-5 over Florida State 
8 (8) Stanford  0-0  Idle (first game Nov. 5 against San Jose State)
9 (13) Northeastern  5-0 Won 50-6 over UConn
10 (10) Claremont Colleges  0-0 Idle
11 (11) Indiana  2-3  Lost 52-5 to Davenport
12 (12) Wisconsin  4-1 Won 76-0 over Nebraska
13 (20) South Carolina  1-0  Won 38-7 over NC State
14 (14) Sacramento State  0-0 Idle (first game is Oct. 29 vs. Oregon)
15 (16) Minnesota  3-1  Won 13-10 over UNI 
16 (17) Maryland  2-1  Won 24-17 over Towson
17 (18) Tennessee  2-1  Won 30-7 over Virginia Tech
18 (Unr.) Texas State  1-0  Won 23-10 over LSU
19 (7) LSU  0-1  Lost 23-10 to Texas State
20 (19) St. Bonaventure  3-1  Idle 
21 (21) Oregon State  0-0  Played in NCRC 7s
22 (22) Loyola Marymount  0-0  Idle (first game Nov. 12 against UCLA)
23 (Unr.) Stony Brook  3-1  Won 24-20 over Iona
24 (24) Virginia Tech 1-1  Lost 30-7 to Tennessee
25 (25) Kansas State 0-0  Played in Oklahoma 7s
Dropped out:
23 (Unr.) Iona  3-1  Lost 24-20 to Stony Brook 
15 (19) Princeton  4-2 Lost 53-21 to Dartmouth, 19-12 to Brown
Written by Pat Clifton    Sunday, 16 October 2011 17:15    PDF Print Write e-mail
Points Aplenty in the Mideast
Colleges - Men's DI College
Bowling Green's Tommy Walsh powers onward. Roger Mazzarella photo
Davenport's JP Eloff en route to one of three tries, Taylor Hodge photo

Davenport and Miami shellacked their respective opponents Saturday by a combined score of 144-18, setting up a massive Oct. 22 clash in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Miami’s win, 92-13, came against Purdue. The Boilermakers are far from a traditional rugby powerhouse, but they boast wins this season over Ohio State and Michigan State. Outside back Reed Fenton scored four tries in the effort.

The Reds are having a stellar season so far, averaging over 60 points a game. Says Jared Moore, Miami’s coach, the success isn’t a result of an infusion of talent.

“They understand the mental part of the game. Not to take anything away from the guys that we have now, but I think there was just as much talent on the two teams that went to nationals and last year’s team, but the problem was the mental preparation and the mental part of it.

“For instance, yesterday a guy that would have normally dump-tackled a guy or hit a guy after a kick, he let up, he didn’t do it, whereas, a year ago or two years ago he would have done that, and that’s a dumb thing to do.

“They’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Not that in years past they didn’t do what they were supposed to do, but this year it’s the little things I see them doing each week that I think is attributing to their success, besides the fact that they’ve been playing for a while.”

Davenport scored 40 less points than Miami Saturday, but did so against a tougher opponent in a 52-5 win over Indiana. The Mudsharks, on the tail end of a brutal three-game series against Bowling Green, Miami and Davneport, came out of the opening bell swinging but lost steam after intermission. Indiana trailed just 10-0 at halftime, but were run off the pitch in the second half.

“They had their backs against the walls and they needed to win to still be able to qualify. I think they came out aggressive on defense. They came after us, and they spent all but 30 minutes in our half. They came out to play. Our defense just held up, which was good for us,” said Davenport coach Kruger von Biljon.

“There were a lot of knock-ons, stupid mistakes from us in the first half. I told the guys to just go back to what we know, play our structures, and we started running our lines and our calls and the game started opening up.”

When it opened up, Panther flyhalf JP Eloff and hooker Gabe Sochanek took advantage. Eloff bagged three tries and Sochanek two.

Elsewhere in the Mideast, Bowling Green managed a 20-19 defeat of Ohio State. The Buckeyes led almost the entire match, but the Falcons jumped ahead with the game’s final score, when down 19-15 Bowling Green fullback Matt Marquette dotted down the game-winning try.

The big momentum shift came a score earlier, though, when Bowling Green’s Sam Polzin intercepted an Ohio State pass and dished to center Alex Hopkirk for the try that brought the Falcons within an unconverted score from the lead.


Page 1558 of 1947




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