The men’s team will be chomping at the bit for an East Coast Rugby Conference championship this fall in its third season in the competition. After finishing runner up in 2013 to Middlebury and winning an ACRC bowl game against St. Bonaventure, the team is primed to make a move to finish in the top of the league. The team will start the season at Army in what will surely be a great test. Heading into the ACRC championships, the team will host defending champion Kutztown University in a post season friendly that will surely pack a punch as well.
|11/22/2014||Sat||ACRC Championships||Charlotte, NC|
After a great spring campaign that saw the women’s team into the final four in Stanford, CA, the women’s team will ramp up their strength of schedule considerably in fall 2014. With the New England Women’s Collegiate Rugby Conference splitting the schedule into tiers, the Yellow Jackets will have two opportunities to play both Norwich and Army. One of which will be Friday night under the lights to kick off homecoming weekend versus Norwich.
In out of conference action, the women will kick off the season at the Beantown Collegiate Tournament and then travel to State College, PA to take on defending national champions Penn State. The semester will finish with the Conference and American Collegiate Rugby Association playoffs.
|9/6/2014||Sat||Beantown Collegiate Tournament||Boston, MA|
Congratulations to freshman winger Christian Adams on being named a second team all-american by rugbymag.com. Christian is a Criminal Justice major from Washington DC and hails from storied high school program Pride Rugby. He scored seven tries in the Yellow Jackets’ fall fifteens campaign including a huge solo effort from kickoff in an ACRC Bowl Game. Christian settled in this spring while adding a whopping twenty-six tries for AIC en route to the teams’ ACRC Sevens Championship.
Congrats to this young Yellow Jacket on a great season.
After just her second season of coaching at American International College, Head Women’s Rugby Coach Melanie Denham has decided to leave the program to pursue a similar opportunity at Central Washington University. Denham leaves AIC with a 22-6 (.785) win loss record. Under her guidance, the team enjoyed a NERFU division II championship, one division II sweet 16 appearance, a four leaf tournament championship, one division I sweet 16 victory, a division I final four appearance, and a third place nation finish in division I. Josh Macy, Director of Rugby, will take over in the interim. A search for a new coach is already under-weigh and, with a young talented core and ever growing school support, the future of the program looks very bright. For those interested in the vacant position, please check the job board at www.aic.edu it will be posted as soon as possible.
After shedding the dissapointment of Friday’s loss to Stanford, the women’s team was eager to lace up their boots and take on West Chester. The women had taken great ownership of their season, and that was evident in their preparation between Friday night and Sunday morning.
Jessica Davis, opportunistic as ever, found the goal line first off of a quick tap a mere five minutes into the game, but early jitters led to some errors and West Chester was happy to capitalize. In a flash, AIC found itself down 14-5. The Yellow Jackets were very much in the game though, as they harassed the West Chester scrum through Takiah Helton’s (SR; Springfield, MA) strong drive and enjoyed great breakdown play all over the field.
Just before half time, the AIC defense was turned to eleven as they pinned West Chester in their own try zone. Darian Lovelace scooped up a half hearted clearance, left some defenders, and sped to the line for AIC”s second score. The teams went into the break with AIC down 14-10, and the group confidently discussed just getting back to playing their game at half time.
The team obviously pepped themselves up as they came out and starting a roaring second half. Muneera Patton (SO; Buffalo, NY) enjoyed several line breaks, the first of which lead to a long Megan Pinson (FR; Fallbrook, CA) run and another Jess Davis try. Davis completed the hat trick after a strong defensive series led to a turnover in West Chester territory, and the forwards going in for a run of pick and jams.
The backs continued to be involve as the game went on. Haley Schafer (SO; Cameron Park, CA) and Nicole Valli (FR; Jupiter, FL) defended well in the centers, and Cassidy Meyers put in all kinds of work around the field. She ran the offense, punched well beyond her weight on defense, and intercepted her opposite fly half to speed beneath the posts and score.
West Chester continued to fight back as AIC did before, and came within a converted try of victory. Their momentum was stopped on the final play from open side Dommo Cammock (FR; Bronx, NY). As the West Chester center went into contact Dommo made a crunching tackle, rolled to her feet and stole the ball in seemingly one motion. The ball moved wide and was then kicked into touch for the win.
The women’s team enjoyed a great season and ended with an overall 15-5 record. This young team (12/15 regular starters are freshman) will be surely looking to improve on this year and enjoy repeated success at the highest level of women’s collegiate rugby. A special thanks should go out to Coaches Denham, Hoese, and Dowty for their leadership and patience.
AIC (37) West Chester (31)
Tries: Jessica Davis (3), Darian Lovelace, Cassidy Meyers, Rosalind Pena
Conversions: Cassidy Meyers (2)
Penalty: Caddidy Meyers
After a strong showing in the first round of the USA Rugby playoffs, the women’s team entered their first final four with heads held high. Stanford University, however, entered the match with a wealth of experience, having been to seven national championship games (winning three).
With many family and friends in attendance, the young Yellow Jackets were eager to stretch their legs at this newly entered level of competition. They started strong and, after Gio Cruz (FR; Bronx, NY) poached a Stanford ball in midfield, found the try zone first with a great rolling maul from just inside the Stanford 22m. Megan Pinson (FR; Fallbrook, CA) was all too happy to touch the ball down.
While the Yellow Jackets would continue to heap pressure on the Stanford pack and get several more chances at the line, they were seemingly plagued by a rash of knock ons forced by a credibly scrappy Stanford defense. The Yellow Jackets left three tries on the table and went into half time down two tries to one.
After the break, Stanford’s confidence grew as the Yellow Jackets struggled to break the gain line with its typically bruising runners. The competitive spirit of the Yellow Jackets never waned, and some strong play from stalwarts Megan Pinson, Haley Schafer (SO; Cameron Park, CA), and Jess Davis (SR; Rescue, CA) kept the AIC spark alive.
Stanford did well to exploit what little space was found outside and put together several double digit phase possessions to earn their last tries. Pinson and Davis combined several times to push the score closer, but the Yellow Jackets came up short.
Stanford will play Penn State in the national championship game Saturday May 10th at 5:0opm pt while AIC will square of against West Chester University in the bronze match Sunday at 8:00am pt. Both games will be streamed live at USA Rugby TV. The semi final match against Stanford can also be found on demand at that site.
Final Score: Stanford (29) AIC (15)
Try Scorers: Pinson (2), Davis
The men’s team swept the American Collegiate Rugby Championship Sevens this weekend by winning six straight games. The inaugural event was held over two days at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex and featured tournament winners from all over the east coast and midwest. The victory this weekend marks nineteen consecutive wins, earns the Yellow Jackets a 25-3 record for the semester, and gives them their fifth piece of hardware in six tournaments played.
AIC entered day one seeded second overall behind Kutztown University and found themselves pooled with Eastern Tennessee State, Miami of Ohio, and Stony Brook. The first game allowed the team to stretch the legs of nearly the whole roster. Center Jalil Oates put in some powerful runs in his first tournament with the top team, while Kurt Werner and Josue Guerra took turns running the offense while each adding two of their own. Michael Martinez was happy to create and dish the ball to several of his try scoring team mates. Miami of Ohio brought a much more physical game, but AIC’s stingy defense and the consistency and creativity of Ben Roach saw them through. Stony Brook fell to a Christian Adams hat trick of tries as he pounded his way down the sideline. Adrian Ray also contributed greatly with his deft work in the breakdown and a nifty try scoring run to end the game. Finishing 3-0 and earning the second seed, the team was well positioned to succeed but had much to improve for the knockout stages.
In the final, AIC was paired with Kutztown University. The team was eager for a rematch after losing a heartbreaker to the Golden Bears in North Carolina earlier in the semester. The men jumped all over their opponents. Christian Adams and Ben Roach accounted for three tries, while Roach called for a long penalty kick to end the first half 24-0. Kutztown would not be left behind, however, as they started to fight back with their hallmark skill and speed. Though it was proved to be insufficient as the game was iced through a long movement through the AIC forwards. It started when D’Amore-Morrison drew two defenders, and gave a no look, one handed pass between them to 6’5 Corey Momsen rumbling down the sideline. He would crash into a third defender and lay a perfect offload up for Adrian Ray, who was all to happy to step and fend his way in for the score. Ben Roach, after returning from a blood sub, capped both the game and his collegiate career with a slice through the defense from a penalty.
Christian Adams, Will Blair, Gavan D’Amore-Morrison, Monte Davis, Deshae Edwards, Josue Guerra, Blake Gurgul, Justin Leaphart, Michael Martinez, Corey Momsen, Jalil Oates, Bryce Neff, Adrian Ray, Ben Roach, Kurtis Werner
Day 1: East Tennessee State University (W 41-0), Miami University of Ohio (W 24-12), Stony Brook University (W 33-12)
Day 2: Western Michigan University (W 36-12), Penn State University (W 33-5), Kutztown University (W 38-17)
Tries: Christian Adams (10), Gavan D’Amore-Morrison (4), Deshae Edwards, Josue Guerra (3), Corey Momsen, Adrian Ray (2), Benjamin Roach (4), Jalil Oates (2), Kurtis Werner (5)
Conversions: Bryce Neff (2), Benjamin Roach (18)
Penalty: Benjamin Roach
Tomorrow afternoon, the men’s sevens team will hit the road to Virginia Beach, VA. They’ll be looking to end a successful sevens season on a high note at the ACRC Sevens held at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. The team is carrying a 19-3 record into the tournament after winning hardware at 4 of the 5 tournaments they’ve attended. In addition, the team also won the East Coast Rugby Conference Sevens Championship. The fifteen players representing AIC in the ACRC sevens are:
- Christian Adams (C, W)
- Will Blair (FH)
- Gavan D’Amore-Morrison (HK, P)
- Monte Davis (P)
- Deshae Edwards (W, C)
- Josue Guerra (SH, W)
- Blake Gurgul (HK, SH)
- Justin Leaphart (P)
- Michael Martinez (HK, P)
- Corey Momsen (P)
- Jalil Oates (C, W)
- Bryce Neff (HK, FH)
- Adrian Ray (HK, C)
- Ben Roach (FH)
- Kurtis Werner (SH, FH)
The team has been lead in scoring by Ben Roach (SR; San Jose, CA) and Christian Adams (FR; Washington DC). Leading to a 21-9 average score. While these two have been impressive, eighteen different players have scored points for AIC sevens this semester.
As the weekend approaches, watch this space for pool and schedule information!