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Written by Brett Anker    Monday, 07 April 2014 16:38    PDF Print Write e-mail
Last Second Score Saves Tempe
Clubs - Men's DII Clubs


The Arizona matchup lived up to it’s billing as Tempe defeated Red Mountain 14-13 on a last second try from Alex Teifu, essentially sealing the Arizona DII league.

The game was, as expected, a grind-it-out affair.

"Neither team could really get any continuity going in their attack," Tempe’s Brandon Thompson told Rugbymag. "It was a real battle at the breakdown and a tremendously physical contest."

Tempe's opening score came from Ladi T and was converted successfully by Keifu's brother Adrien.  With less than a minute to play Alex Teifu dove over. Thanks to brother Adrien’s boot, Tempe pulled out the dramatic victory.

Thompson added, "this was a typical Tempe Red Mountain affair. Both teams played hard but we were able to pull it out in the end."

The man of the match went to Ryan Thompson. Playing outside center for Tempe, Thompson made an impact offensively and defensively.

Tempe has taken a commanding lead in the Mens DII as they own a perfect record and have now beaten their rivals twice this season. Both teams will advance to Nationals and take on the one and two seeds from New Mexico respectively. If both team win, they will meet for the third time this season.

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Monday, 07 April 2014 15:26    PDF Print Write e-mail
West Chester Earns AB to Nationals
Colleges - Women's College



The Mason-Dixon conference ended its season properly, as an epic, lead-changing championship evolved between two deserving teams. South division leader North Carolina advanced to the Final Four after defeating Maryland 60-15 in the quarterfinals, while North division leader West Chester bettered Virginia Tech 72-0. The eventual finalists studied each during the semifinals on Saturday, as the Tar Heels defeated James Madison 37-12, and the Golden Rams topped East Carolina 41-5.

West Chester owned the 4th quarter for the Mason Dixon title. (Jose Mestre photo)

“After watching UNC play against JMU on Saturday, we knew we were going to be in for a physical battle,” West Chester coach Tony DeRemer said. “We knew we would have to be physical and up in their faces on defense to stop their attack. UNC center Naya Tapper was a huge presence against JMU, so we knew we would have to stop her to have any success on Sunday.”

The players executed their strategy well and bottled up the striker for the entire first half. Tanya Houston, however, distinguished herself and lit up the scoreboard with the first of her three first-half tries. West Chester did the next best thing: Every time Houston broke through, the Golden Rams answered right back. Flanker Erin Gallagher (2) and fullback/wing Nicole Benedetti ran in the scores to keep the tries even. UNC went into the break up 19-17, thanks to two conversions from Cameron Gunn, while West Chester got its two-pointer from freshman Sophia Schwab.

“We got ourselves into penalty trouble early and that allowed UNC to get into some attacking situations, which ended up hurting us on the scoreboard,” DeRemer said.

West Chester was the first to score in the second half, as Arielle Gannt rumbled over the tryline at the 53rd minute and gave her side the first lead of the game, 22-19. But true to form, North Carolina retook the lead 12 minutes later when Tapper dotted down, 24-22.

“We never gave up and fought back hard,” DeRemer said of the lead-changing rollercoaster. “It was a very physical and competitive match, and it felt like the match could tilt either way very fast.”

And it did. West Chester had a little more in the tank and triumphed in the final stretch of the title bout. As the clock neared 70 minutes, Benedetti intercepted a pass and raced to the try line for the go-ahead points, 27-24. With three minutes remaining, Erin Brosius dotted down the death blow, making it a two-score game and putting the title out of UNC’s reach, 32-24.

“Well, there are a couple things about this team,” DeRemer considered the relative strengths of this squad to years past. “We just got back from a week-long tour to Ireland where the girls learned a lot about each other, themselves and rugby. I think it helped us bond as a team, and they are working well together right now. We also have a lot of depth – which has rugby experience – on the roster. We brought in about 10 freshmen this year, and they all played in high school. They are making a huge impact on the starting team, or if they are needed in relief. Having that depth was key in yesterday’s match because it was high in physicality and pace.”

As conference champion, West Chester receives an automatic bid to the DI Round of 16, and North Carolina is attending as well. Few details have been released on the first round of playoffs, which kick off April 25, except for the venues: State College, Pa. (Penn State); Bowling Green, Mich.; Marietta, Ga. (Life Univ.); and Palo Alto, Calif. (Stanford).

 
Written by Pat Clifton    Monday, 07 April 2014 11:43    PDF Print Write e-mail
Air Force, Colorado Win in West
Colleges - Men's DI College


Colorado and Air Force claimed wins in the West over the weekend, beating Wyoming and Colorado State, respectively. The win pushes the Buffs to 4-0, needing just two more table points over two games to secure the conference championship.

Air Force is the only team still capable of eclipsing Colorado. The Zoomies would need bonus-point wins over Wyoming Saturday and Colorado Sunday, as well as a Colorado State win over CU Wednesday, to have a chance.

For Air Force, Saturday’s win stopped a two-game skid, during which the Zoomies fell to both the Cowboys and the Buffs.

“We’re finding our old form, I think. We probably had 70-percent possession the whole match, just controlled the ball. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get more scores. We probably messed around with the ball too much and let it slip away a bit,” said Air Force coach Joe Muehlbauer of the Colorado State win.

“CSU’s a good defensive team. We did well. I think our defense and our tackling and our aggressiveness was a step up from where we’d been the last couple of matches. So I think that was the difference.”

Air Force got the usual standout performance from All American No. 8 Jack Bristol, and it was accompanied by a big game from sophomore lock Heath Reichenbach

“Heath played well and got a nice try – a lot of his own effort. He played well the whole game – good defender, really quick, really good in attack.”

Colorado’s win over Wyoming wasn’t a sure thing until the death. The Cowboys led most of the game, including 15-10 in the first half, and 22-15 and 22-20 in the second half. The score was knotted at 15-15 going into intermission.

The Buffs’ inability to make conversions was took its toll. Colorado ran in five tries to Wyoming’s three, but the Cowboys converted two and slotted a penalty. Jacob Shomer scored twice for Colorado on the day, the second coming under the posts off a penalty at the death to secure the win.

West W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Colorado 4 0 0 126 104 22 4 0 20
Air Force 2 2 0 109 109 0 3 0 11
Colorado State 1 3 0 100 104 -4 2 2 8
Wyoming 1 3 0 93 111 -18 1 2 7


 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Monday, 07 April 2014 14:46    PDF Print Write e-mail
Santa Monica U18s Keep Winning
School Age - Boys

Saturday's U18s boys game between Santa Monica and Los Angeles was a terrific spectacle of enthralling rugby played on a sunny day in Palos Verdes, home of LARC.

Undefeated Santa Monica were caught by surprise within the first three minutes when their scrum was pushed back. LA quickly cleared the ball to score out wide for an easy try.

Santa Monica center Evan Clark replied a few minutes later, dancing through several would-be tackles to reduce the deficit to two points in favor.

LARC dominated possession in this first half with the strong wind at their back and completely stifled the Santa Monica attack. Constant infringements by Santa Monica didn't help, but they defended well and the halftime score was 7-5 for LA.

A nice try from LA No. 8 four minutes after the break enabled LA to draw further ahead 14-5, and it looked like the dark clouds had truly set in for the visitors. However, with a gusty wind at their back, enabling Walsh to kick deep into LA territory, Santa Monica replied with a series of phases. Santa Monica No. 8 Conor Lydon drew in several defenders and then prop Benny Gonda bulldozed his way over to make it 14-12.

A few minutes later the momentum was firmly in favor of the visitors. Santa Monica started gaining more ball and Gonda was on hand again, this time taking a sweet pass from ubiquitous hooker Willie Hock. Alex Walsh converted both tries and it was game on with 10 minutes to go and 19-14 in favor of Santa Monica. Walsh, the captain, sealed the game, breaking the hearts of LA when he ran through five defenders to score beside the uprights. This was followed by another breakaway try from Walsh.

Not to be outdone, the lads from LARC fought on, only to see any hopes of coming back being dashed when center Parker made a fine interception and ran 55 meters from midfield to score a copybook try. That made the score 34—14 to Santa Monica with five minutes to go. Los Angeles scored in the final few minutes but Santa Monica finished with a penalty from Walsh to make it 37-21 for Santa Monica.
 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Monday, 07 April 2014 10:46    PDF Print Write e-mail
Merrimack Wins Rugby Northeast Women's College 7s
Sevens - Collegiate Sevens


Merrimack College won the Rugby Northeast women's 7s tournament, riding a superb defensive effort to go 5-0.

Merrimack shut out three of their five opponents, and allowed only three tries on the weekend, two in the finala against a tough Stonehill team.

Stonehill, for their part, were unscored-upon until they faced UMass Lowell in the semis.

Autumn Linteau of Merrimack was named the tournament MVP.

Merrimack College
Autumn Linteau, tournament MVP

Pool Play
Stonehill 24 - 0 Providence
Holy Cross 5 - 22 UMLowell
Providence 5 - 21 Bentley
UMLowell 19 - 5 Bryant
Stonehill 0 - 15 Merrimack
Holy Cross 17 - 12 Saint Anselm
Merrimack 10 - 0 Southern CT
Saint Anselm 5 - 10 Saint Michael's
Bentley 5 - 24 Southern CT
Bryant 5 - 27 Saint Michael's
Bentley 0 - 10 Merrimack
Bryant 0 - 30 Saint Anselm
Stonehill 12 - 0 Southern CT
Holy Cross 22 - 10 Saint Michael's
Southern CT 22 - 0 Providence
Saint Michael's 0 - 27 UMLowell
Stonehill 31 - 0 Bentley
Holy Cross 27 - 7 Bryant
Providence 5 - 24 Merrimack
UMLowell 0 - 34 Saint Anselm

Plate Semi
Southern CT 7 - 19 Saint Anselm
Bentley 5 - 0 Saint Michael's

Cup Semi
Merrimack 25 - 0 Holy Cross
Stonehill 33 - 20 UMLowell

Plate Final
Bentley 0 - 7 Saint Anselm

Cup Final
Stonehill 12 - 25 Merrimack


 


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