Both West 2 and the Northeast were defeated by sizeable margins in the opening round of the National Collegiate All Star Championships, and both walk away from Saturday’s consolation match with something to take home.
For the Northeast, it’s a 41-15 win. They felt as though they let the West 1 escape on Thursday, and that had they protected the ball, they could have been playing the Mid-Atlantic for the chance to be promoted to Tier 1 status instead of battling for a .500 record in the consolation match.
“Turnovers cost us the first game, and we kind of got after that in the second game, so that made the difference for us,” said Northeast coach Mike Hodgins.
“We got off to a strong start. We had improved some things that we needed to work on defensively and it went good. We had a couple of good tries early on through the backs, and so that kind of got started us in the right direction.”
The Northeast’s first two tries did come from the backs, Daniel Levine-Spound of Brown and Kyle Harris of Syracuse, to be specific. Between them, Yale’s Ryan Vandersloot hit a penalty. Both of his conversion attempts failed, however.
Kansas State’s Joe D’Agostino tried to put the West 2 on the board with a penalty, but missed, and a pair of forwards tries from UConn prop Matt Pappas and Columbia flanker Bobby McMahon gave the Northeast the 27-0 lead they’d take into intermission. Before the break, D’Agostino missed another penalty attempt.
The Mustangs broke into the books with a try to start the second half. Wing Marques Vieria of Colorado State was the one who touched it down. D’Agostino, usually an accurate striker of the ball, missed his third shot at post on the day during the conversion attempt.
Vandersloot had a better day at the tee, as he followed Iona wing Shawn Verma's try with another conversion. He'd end with four on the day.
Nebraska’s Andrew Markham then broke through for back-to-back tries, trimming the Northeast’s sizeable lead to 34-15. Both conversions were missed, one by Kansas State’s Dan Knapp and the other by Regis’s Ryan Parkhouse.
McMahon nabbed his second try of the day, which Vandersloot converted, to seal the 41-15 win.
Despite again losing large (though not 91-3 like they did to MARFU Thursday) the West 2 team goes home with something gained -- experience.
“We weren’t really paying attention to the scoreboard today for this one, for this team,” said West coach Jim Snyder. “It was learning for the guys, getting the playing experience. We pretty much let go of the Thursday result, so today was letting the guys get the learning experience and time palying with each other.”
The West 2 team was chocked full of young talent, guys who could boot up for the Mustang first-team in the future (that is if the NCASCs exist in their current form in the future). Snyder said several underclassmen will benefit from this week’s experience especially these: Jackson Bristol (Air Force), Brian Wanless (Colorado), and David Zimmerman (Northern Colorado).
“Their development throughout the week was noticeable,” said Snyder, "and now they can take that growth back to their own clubs.”
Tries: Levine-Spound, Harris, Pappas, McMahon (2), Verma
Cons: Vandersloot (4)
Tries: Markham (2), Vieria