After the conclusion of the spring 2013 semester, four members of the men’s rugby team jumped to the top of the all time sevens scoring table. Josue Guerra, John Jackson, and Wausa Onigbanjo boosted their station to rankings second through fourth with strong performances in the Scott Milley and Capital Cup Sevens Tournaments.
The top spot, however, belongs to Gavan D’Amore-Morrison with 100 points. With his break-away speed and knack for sliding through gaps, Gavan is a threat to score from anywhere on the field.
The four players pass Nick Felton (’12) and Jason Dennis (’12) on the all-time list. These two dangerous speedsters were a big part of the team that won the 2012 Collegiate Sevens Series run by Universal Sports.
Despite the graduations of Jackson and Onigbanjo, it isn’t clear sailing for Gavan. Josue Guerra, an elusive runner and strong goal-kicker, is just a point behind him with 99 points.
Men’s All Time Sevens Scoring
|Gavan D’Amore Morrison||20||0||100|
Four players received second-team all-conference honors during the team’s first year in Division I. The awards were voted on by coaches from each of the eight teams in the East Coast Rugby Conference.
On most days, sevens rugby union is a fast paced game involving clean handling and hot nasty speed—unless you’re playing in inches of mud. This past Saturday in Albany, mud invaded all parts of the game. Footing often eluded the players, the ball was covered, and teams had to adjust to a tighter game of sevens than usual.
The team was lucky to take fresh tracks against Albany University’s second team, and racked up a tally of 38-0. The day would get much more interesting in the next game, however, as a clever Albany team played to a 19-19 draw as the Yellow Jackets struggled to adjust to the conditions.
In the next game, the University of New Hampshire defeated AIC by a margin of 17-12. The team was found to be far too flat footed, and the Wildcats were more than willing to play on the front foot.
The guys were split into two teams. One team filled with sevens veterans and the other with mostly newer players and tight five forwards. The first team went by the Usos, while the second enjoyed the moniker of the Rhinos.
Pool A: New Hampshire, Usos, Northeastern B, Norwich
Pool B: New Hampshire B, Rhinos, Northeastern, Mass Maritime
Rhinos Roster: Jamal Hadley, James Everhart, Shawn Linio, Mike Burgos, Sol Prensky, Demarie Davis, Deon Smith, Thadryan Sweeney, Michael Martinez, Jalil Oates, Ernest Mitchell
In the last home game for several players, the men of AIC rugby welcomed the Coast Guard Academy to campus in a one off
match. Coast Guard came out fired up for the chance to head into the Division II regional with a win and, after many missing many opportunities in the first half, the guys found themselves down 0-5 at half time.
After resolving to fix the line outs and solidify the phase play, the team was off to the races with some great interplay and offloads. Sam Seumaala dotted down two tries and the team finished much stronger. Soon the changes were rung in for Coast Guard and the day ended with the replacements getting a run and a meal shared between the two teams.
Final Score: 12-10
Tries: Sam Seumaala (2)
Conversion: Tyler Nawrocki
Second XV Score: 36-10
Lineup: 1. James Everhart 2. Josh Short 3. Jamal Hadley (Demarie Davis) 4. Deon Smith 5. Corey Momsen 6. Michael Martinez 7. Gavan D’Amore Morrison 8. Anthony Aranda 9. Johnni Dideriksen (Bryce Neff) 10. Tyler Nawrocki 11. Wausa Onigbanjo (Mike Burgos) 12. Ben Roach 13. Samuel Seumaala 14. Corey Newton 15. Nick Tinnirella (Sol Prensky)
In the latest rugbymag.com rankings, the women’s rugby team was ranked 10th in the country. Check here for info on the schools and rankings.
1. Washington State
4. Mary Washington
5. Grand Valley
6. CSU Northridge
8. Utah Valley
11. UC Santa Cruz
13. American International College
14. Appalachian State
15. St. Michael’s
18. UW La Crosse
20. Lee University
After a strong showing in preseason, the men’s team looked to say goodbye to winter and burst into spring with a successful outing at the Four Leafs tournament at Randall’s Island hosted by the Village Lions.
The first match against Fordham started slow, but once everyone settled into the game plan the team ran away with a 33-5 victory. The midfield of AIC was impressive as they ran in four tries between Ben Roach, Sam Seumaala, and John Jackson. Freshmen fly half Tyler Nawrocki started a good day with the boot as he knocked in several conversions.
Against school rivals Bentley, the the team got out to a quick start through some big play from the forwards. First, sophomore Jamal Hadley thundered through the line from the 22m line to score. Quickly thereafter, a scrum was stolen near the Falcon try zone and eight man Anthony Aranda scooped up the turnover and crashed over the line. Very quickly the score was 12-0. Moving forward, the team rung in the changes and a closer game ensued with the final score being 24-19. The difference being competitive play at the breakdown and winning heaps of turned over ball.
The Bentley game however, seemed to be a Pyrrhic victory as the team moved forward against Iona. A fatigued but talented group took the field but lacked the pace and power to put the game away. Iona did a good job starving the Yellow Jackets of possession and came away with a 24-7 win. Iona went on to win the tournament.
The team will be looking to apply the day’s lessons against the Coast Guard Academy this Saturday (3/30) at noon on their home turf of Ronald J. Abdow field.
Tries: Anthony Aranda, Jamal Hadley, John Jackson (2), Benjamin Roach (3), Samuel Seumaala (3)
As announced on 3/14 by USA Rugby, the AIC Yellow Jackets will face off against the Bowdoin Polar Bears on Saturday, April 6th in the National Playoff Round of 32.
The Polar Bears are one of a handful of NCAA varsity teams and should be a tough match for the Yellow Jackets. The match will take place at Pickard Field on Bowdoin’s campus in Brunswick, Maine.
The Yellow Jackets will be facing Amherst College at home on March 30th at 7:00pm to prepare for what will be on of the biggest games of the year.
The other Northeast Regional playoff games will be: St. Michael’s vs. Cortland; Buffalo vs. Stonehill; Lock Haven vs. TBD.
This past week before the Yellow Jackets took off for Spring Break. Resting on the beach was the last thing on Joshua Short’s mind. The freshman hooker was on his way to Las Vegas to attend the second USA Junior All American assembly. Comprised of the best forty under-20 players in the country, this assembly was the last in deciding who will remain with the team as they take on Canada twice later this year and then head to France for the Junior World Championships.
This second assembly featured more training with the All American coaching staff and ended with two matches against top level men’s teams. For more information on the matches and a full list of participants click here.
Short played his high school rugby for Dixon Rugby Club, and made five appearances (three starts) for the Yellow Jackets this past fall. Moving forward, Short is expected to be in the center of a young but dominant scrum. Click here for highlights of Short from this semester.
Despite the rigors of camp, the players still seems to manage some time for fun…
AIC was well represented last weekend at the USA Women’s OETC- Olympic Eagle Training Center at UMASS Amherst. These regional camps are held monthly in various locations around the country. Players are fitness tested and assessed on their basic rugby skills. OETC camps will be the main selection vehicle for the Top Sixty Elite Performance Series coming up in May. AIC rugby coach and USA Eagle veteran Mel Denham attended the camp with not one but two of her AIC student athletes. Junior Jess Davis, who along with Denham participated in the Fall International Tour to Europe, was joined by sophomore Haley Schafer in her first elite invitational experience.
The next OETC is set to be held the weekend of March 23rd-24th.