D1A Fall Week 3 Recap: Teams Survive Close Scares

D1A Rugby: D1A Fall Week 3 Recap: Teams Survive Close Scares
Photo Credit: Iona College Rugby Football Club
This past weekend saw the return of several top 20 programs, as well as the start of many teams’ league season.

11th ranked Notre Dame College Falcons (NDC) travelled to the 5th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions this past weekend and lost 14-29. While the Nittany Lions struggled at the set piece this past weekend, they were able to launch some effective attack off their scrums late in the second half. This helped distance them from NDC. The Falcons were effective at the breakdown against Penn State, causing turnovers and disrupting to the flow of attack.

“Notre Dame College were great at the breakdown,” said Penn State head coach Justin Hundley. “They were able to get hands on the ball and slow some of our attack down. They got pretty unlucky at times not to win some penalties.” Hundley praised his team’s performance too, “Overall thought it was a solid team effort and we played well to our strengths. Mike Jennings was man of the match, and had a solid day from second row. Made some great tackles and was a strong ball carrier. Rob Irimescu is playing really well and demands a lot of respect from defenses whenever he is near the ball.”

20th ranked Iona Gaels took on 8th ranked Navy Midshipmen. The scoring started early, with a penalty kick converted by flanker Andrew “Birdman” Malick to put the Midshipmen up 3-0. The Gaels soon followed with a try after a well weighted kick and chase. In the dying minutes of the first half Navy’s scrum pushed Iona back over the line, the pressure led to a penalty try and a 10-7 lead heading into the half. The second half of the game was controlled by  the Midshipmen as they scored 15 unanswered points in the second half. Navy was led by flanker Spencer Craig in the second half, who scored two tries in the second half. Final score, 25-7.

6th ranked Army had a busy rugby weekend, as they sent two of their teams to play two D1A teams. Army’s first game of the weekend on Friday night was against St Bonaventure, whom they beat 28-10. Army then played Buffalo on Saturday, and ran through the bulls on their way to a 86-3 win.

The first week of Big Ten action saw Purdue keep 18th ranked Ohio State close in their match. The Buckeyes, prevailing, 31-24. Minnesota also opened up their season with a win Michigan, beating the Wolverines 20-15.

The Rocky Mountain conference is  getting underway, as four teams had their first preseason matches last Saturday. Air Force travelled to Colorado State and were defeated in a tight game, falling, 14-10. University of Colorado travelled to New Mexico for a high scoring affair, but managed to come out with a hard fought 46-29 victory.

University of Notre Dame continued their Independent D1A schedule, this week hosting a strong Davenport side that limited the Fighting Irish to a single converted try. Davenport beat Notre Dame 48-7.

It was a busy week in the Liberty Conference, new members of the Liberty Conference, AIC, wasted no time introducing themselves to their new league with a 71-0 victory against Rutgers. Northeastern travelled to the University of Rhode Island (URI) and shutout URI for a 69-0 win. Elsewhere in the Liberty conference Syracuse defeated Oswego 43-5, Fordham beat Stony Brook 31-5, Albany came away victorious against Brockport 48-17, Binghamton won at Colgate 32-14, UConn blanked Tufts 30-0, and UMass won against Fairfield 49-14.