For the second consecutive year, the men’s team brought home a bit of hardware from the New York Sevens tournament. The team lost its first game as players trickled in from Thanksgiving vacation, but won out in the next four matches to earn the plate championship.
This was the 55th year of the New York 7′s Tournament – the largest and longest running sevens tournament in the United States. The New York Rugby Club has hosted The Tournament on the Saturday following Thanksgiving since 1959, and it traditionally marks the end of the Fall rugby season in the New York Metropolitan area. There were over 130 teams entered in the 2012 event.
In this year’s event, the team enjoyed predictably stellar play from veterans Corey Momsen, Tyler Nawrocki and Benjamin Roach. Though new faces such as Christian Adams, Brandon Solomon, and Kurtis Werner contributed in big ways to the team’s effort. This will surely be a group to look out for during sevens competition this spring semester.
In a bonus accomplishment to the team, Ben Roach and John Jackson also played for the New England Olympic Development Academy. Roach was featured prominently in the cup final as the NEODA beat the Tiger Rugby Cubs. Be on the look out for more Yellow Jackets to be involved with this program soon.
Wilfred Laurier University (L 12-19)
Molloy College (W 40-0)
New Paltz (W 56-5)
VO & I (W 35-12)
NJ Blaze (W 35-7)
Tries: Brandon Solomon (4), Kurtis Werner, Deshae Edwards (3), Josue Guerra, Ben Roach (6), Bryce Neff, Tyler Nawrocki (2), Michael Martinez, Jalil Oates, Christian Adams (5), Corey Momsen
Conversions: Kurtis Werner, Josue Guerra (9), Ben Roach, Tyler Nawrocki (12), Christian Adams
Amidst questions on the ACRA postseason set up, the Yellow Jackets boarded the bus Friday and headed down to Shippensburg, PA not entirely sure what awaited them there. The team, normally dead set on preparing for each opponent individually, was forced to focus on the game from their own perspective. What resulted was a wide open and intense game that the team enjoyed from start to finish. AIC jumped out to a 42-5 lead behind a total team effort before letting a few points in and ending the season in style.
St. Bonaventure (runners-up in this year’s Empire Rugby Conference) gave up the first try early after center Ben Roach poached the ball, and flanker Gavan D’Amore-Morrison sprinted through the transition defense. After gaining some initial confidence, AIC was off to the races through some great interplay and offloading. While the scrums and line outs stayed competitive all game, the Yellow Jackets had their way in the open field.
The back line had their normal gain-line success, but the forwards found themselves all over the score sheet. Gavan D’Amore-Morrison scored a hat trick, nearly all three from long range. While big prop Monte Davis, dummied the full back and put another try in from about 50m after a short channel snipe from freshman scrum half Kurt Werner.
The win brings home an ACRA Bowl trophy to the East Coast Rugby Conference, and settles the Yellow Jackets at 7-1 for the semester.
Final Score: AIC 42 St. Bonaventure 22
1. Monte Davis (Jesus Periera ’70) 2. Blake Gurgul (Anthony Morales ’65) 3. Jamal Hadley (James Everhart ’65) 4. Corey Momsen 5. Connor Gleason 6. Brian Lizotte (Anthony Cutler ’60) 7. Gavan D’Amore-Morrison 8. Michael Martinez 9. Johnni Dideriksen (Kurtis Werner ’40) 10. Forrest Morgan 11. Christian Adams (Josue Guerra ’70) 12. Ben Roach 13. Brandon Solomon 14. Adrian Ray 15. Bryce Neff (Tyler Nawrocki ’65)
Tomorrow afternoon, the women’s Yellow Jackets will head to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY to play in the first ever American Collegiate Rugby Association playoff.
First up in the Round of 16, AIC will play against Ivy Leaguers Brown University. Brown finished third in the Ivies this year, and in the past has been known for a wide open attack. The game will take place on Saturday 11:00am at West Point’s Warrior Field.
Should the Yellow Jackets beat Brown, they will play on Sunday 10:00am against the winner of Norwich and Syracuse. If AIC wins both games this weekend, they will advance to the Final Four in Auburndale, FL the weekend of Dec 7.
On a sunny morning at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, AIC (only its fourth season of competition) took on another young team in Wheeling Jesuit University (currently in year two). While the game was only a friendly match, it was hotly contested with plenty of bragging rights up for grabs.
The Cardinals showed up ready to play, and were all too eager to capitalize on some early miscues to maul in the game’s first try from a line out. This seemed to be just what AIC needed, and the team soon found itself in its opponent’s end–the ball staying in tight and bodies being bounced around. Captain Jamal Hadley would put an end to the series by smashing over the line at the expense of several Cardinals. Bryce Neff knocked over the extras and the game was on.
Later that half, Wheeling Jesuit slipped through for another try after a decent build up and went into the break up 12-7.
In the second half, AIC heaped defensive pressure on the WJU scrum and back line and the Cardinals seemed happy to kick the ball away. The Yellow Jackets worked hard to counter attack through the efforts of Bryce Neff, John Jackson, and Deshae Edwards and ended better off in many territorial exchanges. Ben Roach and Christian Adams both scored from the other side of the ball as AIC continues to defend with passion and precision.
Wheeling Jesuit, once down 31-12 in the match, fought hard all the way to the final whistle and should be commended for their efforts.
While in Philadelphia for the game, the team managed to have a little fun and take in the sights as well. Friday night, the team ran the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with “Gonna Fly Now” blaring in the background. After the match, the team walked through history at Constitution Hall and stayed in town for the USA Eagles vs NZ Maori match.
Final Score: AIC 31 WJU 19
Tries: Jamal Hadley, Ben Roach (3), Christian Adams
Conversions: Bryce Neff (3)
1. Monte Davis (Jesus Periera ’70) 2. Blake Gurgul 3. Jamal Hadley 4. Corey Momsen (Justin Leaphart ’65) 5. Connor Gleason 6. Anthony Cutler (Brian Lizotte ’70) 7. Gavan D’Amore-Morrison 8. Michael Martinez 9. Johnni Dideriksen (Kurt Werner ’60) 10. Forrest Morgan 11. Deshae Edwards (John Jackson ’65) 12. Ben Roach (Adrian Ray ’70) 13. Brandon Solomon 14. Christian Adams 15. Bryce Neff
A surprisingly warm November day in the Northeast set the stage for a great day of rugby. While URI never let down on pressure, the Yellow Jackets were able to walk away with the win and zero points conceded against them. Solidifying this win was necessary for AIC in securing a spot in the ACRA Round of 16, which is to be held at West Point on November 16th and 17th. The shut out score was an added triumph, indicative off all the defensive training the women have been working on. The final score was AIC 93-0 University of Rhode Island.
A stand out performance was had by “flanker turned scrum half” Rosalind Pena (FR; Bronx, NY). Her distribution and vision set up multiple scores. She was able to touch down two of her own as well. Haley Schafer (SO; Cameron Park, CA), who played in the forwards and back line, had an outstanding game on both attack and defense. Her decision making skills on attack put away wing Mercedes Minaya for two tries, while her defensive tracking resulted in some devastating tackles.
Without conference playoffs being held this year in ACRA, the women have a bye weekend ahead and two weeks to prepare for the Round of 16. Conference playoffs would have seen the Yellow Jackets paired withQuinnipiac, whom they handedly defeated earlier this season in a cross-conference game, for the 1st or 2nd seed in the Northeast. Without the playoffs however, the women will have to settle with the 4th seed in the Northeast, coming in second to Norwich in League A. Regardless of seeding, AIC are ready to take whatever is in front of them and use the next two weeks to work hard and prepare for a great performance.
The inaugural ACRA Round of 16 will be held at West Point in New York on November 16th and 17th. Game times are yet to be determined.
Gioanna Cruz (2); Jess Davis (4); Tonya Denny-Rochester; Christina Gedeon; Rosa Pena (2); Mercedes Minaya (2); Bethany Montague; Haley Schafer; Carrie Vaillancourt
Cassidy Meyers (8)
At Nickerson Stadium Saturday night in Boston, the AIC Women turned it on under the lights to dominate a talented Boston University side. A large group of AIC fans and supporters from the Boston area came out to support and made some real noise in the stands. Those in attendance were rewarded with some big hits and impressive play by the Yellow Jackets. While BU put up a physical battle in the contact area turning over some ball, AIC adjusted and prevailed in a 52-5 win.
While most of the game was played in AIC’s attacking half, BU never let down and capitalized on some miscommunication in AIC’s defense, slicing through for a try. The Yellow Jackets played a solid, well-rounded game of rugby and saw points scored by team efforts through phase play and off set pieces. Tries were scored by forwards and backs alike.
Lock Carrie Vaillancourt (FR; Olympia, WA) had a fantastic game finding space and attacking it gracefully, resulting in one of her two tries. Wing Nicole Valli (FR; Jupiter, FL) was back from injury and played a great attacking game. Open side flanker Domo Cammock (FR; Bronx, NY) left it all on the field defensively, in fashion fitting for the seven on her back.
The backline really came together and showed what building chemistry over time can do. Connections were made on attack and defense, putting constant pressure on BU. All in all it was a great display of well practiced and well executed rugby.
While walking away with a win, the Yellow Jackets know they still have a lot to improve on. Preparation for URI and playoffs are the motivation. The women have used this bye week to work rather than rest.
Saturday November 2nd the women will face URI at home in the last regular season match of the season
Gio Cruz, Jess Davis (2), Cassidy Meyers, Rosalind Pena (2), Carrie Vaillancourt (2)
Cassidy Meyers (6)
In their last ECRC match of the semester, the Yellow Jackets welcomed Boston College to Ronald J Abdow field. The game was a defensive struggle. With AIC covering well and putting immense pressure on the golden eagle backs, it was only a matter of time before the AIC turned pressure into points. Ben Roach picked off a mid field pass and touched down under the posts to push the team into intermission with a 7-0 lead.
In the second half, it was more of the same. AIC was committed to shutting down the opponent and turning pressure into points. Soon into the second half, fly half Forrest Morgan scooped up a dropped pass and finished another try under the posts. Boston College, however, soon mounted some substantive attacks into AIC territory, touching down two tries of their own.
The Yellow Jackets soon gained some breathing room when replacement hooker Anthony Morales (FR; Orlando, FL) latched onto the ball and earned a penalty in the BC end. Bryce Neff (JR; Sacramento, CA) made the kick seem run of the mill and AIC had room to operate for the rest of the night. As the final whistle beckoned, big second row Connor Gleason (FR; Neenah, WI) crashed over after a series of pick and drives from the forward pack to effectively seal Boston College’s coffin with a final nail.
Special mention should go out to scrum half Kurtis Werner (FR; Centennial, CO), who managed the game like a veteran in his first start and consistently kept the BC defense on its toes.
The win was a great one for the team, but lacked the necessary bonus point to give the team a chance at first place. When league leader Middlebury plays Boston College next week they will retain first place no matter the result. AIC will likely finish second in the conference in only its second year in division one and will match up in one of three bowl games in the newly formed American Collegiate Rugby Championship. For more information on league results, please see the East Coast Rugby Conference standings.
AIC 20 Boston College 10
Tries: Ben Roach, Forrest Morgan, Connor Gleason
Conversion: Bryce Neff
Penalty: Bryce Neff
1. Monte Davis 2. Blake Gurgul (Anthony Morales ’60) 3. Jamal Hadley 4. James Everhart (’75 Justin Leaphart) 5. Connor Gleason 6. Michael Martinez 7. Gavan D’Amore Morrison (’70 Anthony Cutler) 8. Corey Momsen 9. Kurtis Werner 10. Forrest Morgan 11. Christian Adams 12. Ben Roach 13. Brandon Solomon 14. Deshae Edwards 15. Bryce Neff
Men of the Match: Gavan D’Amore-Morrison, Benjamin Roach
AIC was looking to get another bonus point after last week’s win over UMASS. The Great Danes of Albany, however, had other plans as they started quickly in front of a boisterous home crowd. Seemingly right away, an AIC miscue gave Albany a 7-0 advantage while the Yellow Jackets were still shaking off the road dust. Bryce Neff would soon collect the team with a penalty kick sent perfectly through the uprights.
Albany struggled to keep up as the team gained momentum. Ben Roach, yet to score this year’s campaign, touched down in the corner with a nice grubber down the sideline. He then added three more in an outstanding effort on the day. Albany continued to attack and was eager to find space behind the AIC defensive line. Neff rose to this challenge well and kept the ball moving forward from the full back position.
As the game wore on, Albany began to close the gap but the result was never in doubt. The game was iced by freshman scrumhalf Kurtis Werner, who scampered through the defense after line out to touch down his first try for AIC. First year player Brandon Solomon was rewarded in the second half with a nice try through the midfield as well.
Score: W 39-27
2nd XV Score: W 27-5
Tries: Ben Roach (4), Brandon Solomon, Kurtis Werner
Conversions: Bryce Neff (3)
Penalty: Bryce Neff
Men of the Match
Benjamin Roach & Bryce Neff
1. Demarie Davis (Skyler Adams ’60) 2. Blake Gurgul 3. Jamal Hadley 4. James Everhart 5. Connor Gleason 6. Michael Martinez 7. Gavan D’Amore Morrison 8. Corey Momsen 9. Johnni Dideriksen (Kurtis Werner ’40) 10. Forrest Morgan 11. Christian Adams (Adrian Ray ’40) 12. Benjamin Roach 13. Brandon Solomon 14. Deshae Edwards 15. Bryce Neff
For more pictures, click here.