Binghamton held on to take the resurrected SUNY (State University of New York) Rugby Championship in Albany, NY Saturday. Featuring suffocating defense and a creative backline attack, lead by outside center and tournament MVP Noah Reichman, Binghamton held off Buffalo to win the DI bracket. SUNY Geneseo captured DII honors in an exciting finish over New Platz.
The DI bracket was a five-team round-robin format with each team playing four shortened games, receiving four points for a win and a bonus point for scoring four tries. Binghamton got off to an early start defeating host Albany 17-10, and Buffalo won a nail biter over rival Brockport 14-13. Brockport saw the win slip away after missing a penalty kick on the last play of the game.
Stony Brook got off to a good start by defeating Albany 29-7. Stony Brook also won over Brockport 18-7 and lost to Binghamton 12-24. In one of the most exciting games of the day, Binghamton dispatched Buffalo in a narrow 7-0 win. In one of the upsets of the day, Brockport went up on Binghamton 28-0 in the first half and held on for a 31-24 win.
Albany took the wooden spoon losing to Brockport 24-12 and Buffalo 42-0. In the last game of the day, Stony Brook faced off against Buffalo with either team having the opportunity to take the championship with a four-try bonus point win. In a tight first half, Buffalo lead 7-5. After the turnaround, Buffalo dominated the second half and scored two more tries, but came up short on the fourth try with the game ending on the Stony Brook goal line, handing the championship to Binghamton.
Binghamton 3-1 13*
Buffalo 3-1 13
Stony Brook 2-2 9
Brockport 2-2 9
Albany 0-4 0
*won head to head vs. Buffalo
The DII competition featured some very exciting and competitive games throughout the day. In the first round of the eight-team bracket, Geneseo got off to an early lead by downing Fredonia 17-0, and Cortland upended Brockport B 17-0. New Paltz dispatched Plattsburgh 13-3, and Maritime defeated Genseo B 27-0. SUNY Maritime, who plays in MetNY DIII, is unique in the SUNY family with only 1,500 students. It is a four-year college which offers an academic program coupled with a structured cadet life and prepares studentS for careers in the merchant marine and military.
The DII semifinal games pitted Cortland State against upstate rivals Geneseo, and in an exciting game, Geneseo came away with the 20-10 win. On the other side of the bracket, New Paltz won over Maritime by a score of 17-3. In the final, Geneseo’s forwards were lead by DII MVP lock Kevin Episcopo and dominated run of play and territory, defeating New Paltz by a score of 17-5 to be named the first ever DII SUNY Champions.
The modern version of the SUNY Championship was ecstatically received by the schools involved and is sure to become a highlight of the annual rugby fixture list for the SUNY Schools. Next year’s version of the championship will feature a full women’s competition, along with an extended B-side tournament.