The Mid-Atlantic 7s championships were heavily disrupted by rain and lightning Saturday, but somehow organizers got the games in ... mostly.
After two long delays for rain the tournament had to be moved to an artificial turf stadium across the street. NOVA and Maryland moved with 1:49 left in their semifinal game. Schuylkill River and Norfolk had five minutes left.
The teams had to wait for a kids soccer tournament to finish up, and then the games resumed. The women's tournament, which had finished its semifinals, ended by acclimation from the teams. NOVA 1 took 1st, Furies 2nd, NOVA 2 3rd, and Philadelphia 4th. The top three go to the women's national tournament.
But the men needed to finish things up. With Maryland leading 12-5, NOVA and the Exiles finished their game with no further scoring. Then Schuylkill River and Norfolk faced off with five minutes to go and tied 12-12. Schuylkill had played all day without star Greg Ambrogi, who injured his ankle over a week ago.
Ambrogi begged to be put on the field, but warned coach Chris Ryan that he couldn't really change direction. He didn't need to. SR got the ball to Ambrogi, and he raced in for the try, and the 17-12 win.
"Slice played 26 seconds the whole day, but it was 26 seconds we needed," said Ryan.
So 15 minutes to rest up and Schuylkill River returned to the rain-soaked field for the final.
Paced by tries by Will Knipscher, Jimmy Rosato and Gareth Jones, Schuylkill ran out to a 19-7 lead, and held on 26-17 over the Exiles.
"The guys have started to realize that they can score without players like Greg," said Ryan. "The guys really stepped up.
Rosato scored a key try. Pay Boyle had a good final, and Jamie Pierce-Williams, said Ryan, had his best game in a long time.
"It was a really tough day, but we got it done."