Category Archives: Match Reports
Given the layout of the bracket, Saturday’s match was clearly the big game of the weekend. Unfortunately, a young AIC team wavered under the pressure of the national championship tournament. Though they seemed to abandon their strengths and allow some uncharacteristic tries to Buffalo, the Yellow Jackets fought hard against a tough Buffalo team and came away from the hotly contested match with full hearts and lessons learned. Buffalo advanced to the national quarterfinal with a 19-10 victory over AIC. The next day, Buffalo rolled Lock Haven 44-0 to advance to the final four.
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.
Saturday in Brunswick, Maine, AIC and Bowdoin battled it out for a spot to compete in the USA Rugby Sweet 16. After a hard fought match, AIC walked away with a 37-21 win.
This was a game of two very different playing styles, both executed well. While the Yellow Jackets did a great job maintaining possession and putting together multiple phases of attack with ball in hand, the Bowdoin backs put pressure on AIC’s back three through an impressive kicking game. It was clear their strategy was to get the ball over the defensive line as much as possible. AIC freshman speedster Kaila Barnett, did a magnificent job countering these kicks at fullback with the non-stop pressure she faced. Great chases from Bowdoin’s back line created some opportunities for them, however, AIC was able to pressure Bowdoin’s ball carriers and create multiple turnovers. Read the rest of this entry
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
As the sun set Saturday evening, the AIC women lit up the field in their season opener against Amherst College, walking away with a 116 point victory and zero points conceded.
The score is not reflective of the heart and quality of the Amherst Women. Despite an early point differential, they did not slow or bow their heads during any moment of the game, playing hard and consistently for 80 minutes.
With this warm-up match under their belt, AIC Women are now preparing for a big game this weekend (April 6th) at Bowdoin College. Kick off is set for 1:00pm. The winner of this game will compete at the USA Rugby Division 2 Regional Playoffs in Pittsburgh, PA on April 12-14. From there, the winner will play in the Division 2 National Championships.
Final Score: 116-0
Conversions: Sarah Coucci (13)
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)
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)
In the last action of the semester, the men’s rugby team won the plate trophy at the New York Sevens at Randall’s Island. It was a cold and blustery day on the East River, but the guys overcame the elements and an early start to bring some hardware back to Springfield.
The first game of the day was against RIPA-SLC, a collegiate team from Ontario, Canada. Winger Wausa Onigbanjo put in a hat trick to get the team off to a great start; while the defense pitched a shutdown. In the next game, the team was caught off guard by a roaring second half from Stony Brook University, and saw a close game get away from them late. This loss moved the team from cup contention into the bracket for the plate trophy.
In the plate semi-final, the team avenged a loss in the Delaware Sevens with a win over the Kutztown Destoyers. Scrum Half Mike Tupai and Sam Seumaala combined for some great interplay, and freshman Tyler Nawrocki played with precision and confidence.
Moving into the final the team met the New Jersey Blaze, a motley team of collegiate players from Pennsylvania and New Jersey colleges and universities. With disciplined defense and four different try scorers, the team beat the Blaze to bring home the plate championship.
RIPA SLC (W 36-0)
Stony Brook (W 7-33)
Kutztown Destroyers (W 38-12)
NJ Blaze (W 22-12)
Tries: Anthony Aranda, Ben Roach (2), Gavan D’Amore Morrison (3), John Jackson, Mike Tupai (2), Sam Seumaala, Tyler Nawrocki (2), Wausa Onigbanjo
Conversions: John Jackson, Mike Tupai (4), Tyler Nawrocki (4)
Player of the Day: Samuel Seumaala
Roster: Anthony Aranda, Ben Roach (c), Corey Momsen, Gage Casey, Gavan D’Amore Morrison, Jalil Oates, John Jackson, Josh Short, Josue Guerra, Michael Martinez, Mike Tupai, Sam Seumaala, Tyler Nawrocki, Wausa Onigbanjo
In the 12th annual Cianci 7′s tournament hosted by Providence Rugby Club, the men’s and women’s teams had the rare opportunity to travel together for competition and supported each other well throughout the day with cheers, encouraging advice, and (of course) post game tunnels.
|Pool A||Pool B|
|Coast Guard||Coast Guard|
|UMASS Dartmouth||New Hampshire|
|Roger Williams||Johnson & Wales|
The men’s team got the first action of the day and, through a two try effort by wing Deshae Edwards, stifled a tough New Hampshire team by a margin of 22-17. New Hampshire are familiar opponents to AIC in sevens, as both competed in the Universal Sports Collegiate 7′s Series last spring.
In the second game of the day, the men’s team found themselves pitted against another familiar opponent–Northeastern University. The Yellow Jackets were knocked out of the ECRC 7′s in the semi final by the Huskies and were keen to redeem themselves. Josue Guerra crashed over the try line on a quick tap penalty in the first half and AIC displayed an impressive amount of determination in a great defensive game. Northeastern scored a try as well and the game ended in a 5-5 tie. This set off an arms race between the two teams, as they tried to amass more total points than the other to win the top seed in the pool.
In the rest of pool play, the bottom half of the roster went hog wild. Against Johnson and Wales, winger Sol Prensky scored a hat trick, while towering prop Corey Momsen played a monster game out in space. It was more of the same against Coast Guard as the entire roster racked up points and guaranteed a bye to the championship match.
After watching a Coast Guard give Northeastern a run for its money in the semi-final, the Yellow Jackets were feeling confident going into the final match of the day. Several miscues out wide, however, cost the team valuable attacking opportunities. In the end, the team played hard but could not overcome its conference rivals. Despite the upsetting loss, the team earned the runner’s up trophy and went home with heads held high.
UNH (W 22-17)
Northeastern (D 5-5)
Johnson & Wales (W 39-5)
Coast Guard (W 38-0)
Northeastern (L 7-15)
Tries: Anthony Aranda (2), John Jackson (2), Josue Guerra (3), Deshae Edwards (3), Corey Newton (2), Corey Momsen (4), Benjamin Roach, Sol Prensky (5), Ryan Adair (2)
Conversions: Josue Guerra (6), Sol Prensky, Benjamin Roach
Player of the Day: Deshae Edwards
|Pool A||Pool B|
Being the first sevens tournament the women’s team had ever entered, the team thought they were merely testing the waters, but drawing the tournament favorites Radcliffe (Harvard) in the first game of the day forced them to dive into sevens right away and the game proved to be within reach of the Yellow Jackets. Christina Gedeon sped away for two tries and Bethany Montague sliced through the middle of the field to add her own. At final whistle, a conversion was the only difference between the two. Harvard made one while AIC had none. With this close result, the team knew they could make noise at this and other tournaments.
In the next games against Hartford and Bryant, tenacious defense from Haley Schafer and Kim Shepherd consistently put teams under massive amounts of pressure. On the other side of the ball, great handling by Laurel Myers and Sarah Coucci opened things up all over the field for AIC’s finishers. The ladies walked away from pool play with two wins and the earlier loss from Radcliffe.
In a back and forth semi final against Boston College, the Yellow Jackets came from behind with great leadership from Arayel Hillman and a try from freshman Aaliyah Cammock and to win the game. This set up the a rematch in the final against Harvard.
In the last game of the day, Harvard came at the Yellow Jackets hard while the Yellow Jackets struggled to find space. Haley Schafer played a great game with two tries and big plays on defense and put her team in the lead heading into the second half. In the second half, fatigue and a lack of depth undid the AIC women and the game was lost by the exact margin as earlier in the day. One conversion was all that separated the two teams.
Harvard (L 15-17)
Hartford (W 22-12)
Bryant (W 36-0)
Boston College (W 14-7)
Harvard (L 15-17)
Tries: Kim Sheperd, Laurel Myers, Bethany Montague (5), Christina Gedeon (4), Aaliyah Cammock, Haley Schafer (3)
Conversions: Bethany Montague (4)
Player of the Day: Bethany Montague
Directly after their final fifteens match of the season, the players selected for Delaware’s Halloween 7′s tournament loaded onto a different bus and began the long trip south. Once settled at the hotel in Delaware, the players began their recovery regimen only to repeat it again the next morning. After a good prep period, the guys showed up to play in the cold, windy weather.
The first game found AIC matched up against Wheeling Jesuit, a young varsity team from West Virginia. AIC scored first through a great team try that saw almost every man touch the ball, and confidently went into the half time break. Alas, three knock-ons near the Cardinal goal line saw the effort undone.
AIC found it’s only win on the day against the second side of the No. 10 ranked Delaware Blue Hens. The Destroyers put some good possession together, but eventually fell to the Yellow Jackets. Who rode a two try effort from Samuel Seumaala to a solid victory.
In the last match of the day. The Yellow Jackets let go of an early lead given to them by speedster Deshae Edwards and gave the game to the Kutztown second side with some fatigue encouraged defensive gaffs.
After an exhausting weekend, the team was happy to get experience against some of the top sevens teams in the country and has many experiences with which to build off of.
Wheeling Jesuit, L 4-17
Kutztown, L 0-34
Delaware Destroyers, W 22-7
Kutztown B, L 5-19
Tournament Winners: Penn State
Runners Up: Delaware