The Hawks once again competed in the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, PA. The Hawks finished with an even record, winning twice and losing twice. In the tournament pool play Saint Joe’s finished with a 2 – 1. Although they did not qualify for the Championship round, they were in the Plate Division, the competition for the next eight qualifiers in terms of record.
“I was pleased with their performance, especially since we struggled during the year,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Daniel Yarusso. “It was nice to hit our stride at the CRC’s and show that we can be competitive with all the teams in the tournament.”
The Mantra on Hawk Hill is that “The Hawk Will Never die!” This team showed that grit in each game.
The Hawks started their tournament run on Saturday, June 4 with a game against Navy. SJU fell behind 7 – 0, but came back behind 22 straight points. Aram Keshgegian had two tries in the run. Brendan Shields, and Tom Curivan added scores in the 22 – 12 win over the Midshipmen.
In the second pool round game SJU trialed Army 5 – 0, then ran off five consecutive tries to earn a 25 – 5 victory. Chris Curio had two tries. Jimmy Wolfer, Tyler Kelley, and Aram Keshgegian crossed the line for Saint Joe’s.
In their final match of the day the Arizona Wildcats was the opponent, coached by former Saint Joseph’s Coach Sean Duffy. For the third consecutive game the opponent got the opening score as Ben Joseph put Arizona ahead 7 – 0. Early in the second half Chris Curcio got Saint Joe’s to within 7 – 5. The missed conversion loomed large as the Wildcats Joseph scored again and with the conversion the score was 14 – 5 with just under four and a half minutes to play. The Hawks would need two scores and could not get it.
Plate Quarterfinal action was next up for Saint Joseph’s. The opponent was the South Carolina Gamecocks. This time SJU went in front on a try by George Harris at the 5:50 mark of the first half. Chris Harrell scored the first of his two tries at 4:07 to tie the game at 7. The Hawks went ahead after the halftime horn when Greg McTiernan got a late try and a 12 – 7 halftime lead. Harrell tied the game at 12. Late in the game South Carolina kicked the ball downfield. The ball skidded along the side line, but did not go out of bounds. In the ensuing chase the Gamecocks tracked the ball down, and were given a last second penalty try on a scoring obstruction call. Nick Skalkes converted the try, and the tournament ended with a heartbreaking 19 – 12 loss.
For the tournament Chris Curcio and Aram Keshgegian led Saint Joseph’s in scoring with 3 tries each. Brendan Shields, Tome Curivan, Jimmy Wolfer, Tyler Kelley, George Harris, and Greg McTiernan had one each for the team.
A fourteen minute time segment does not define this team. Saint Joe’s has a growing program in the sport. There are more steps that need to be taken and a getting a berth in the championship round. These Hawks continue to show that they have ‘The Magis.’
“The guys put a tremendous effort in preparing for the event during the month of May and I think that work ethic will carry over to our upcoming fall season,” Yarusso said. “So the future should be exciting for Hawks Rugby.”
Tyler Kelley Jimmy Wolfer Michael McGee Greg McTiernan Aram Keshgegian
Tom Curivan Chris Curcio Paul Gunter Pat Ryan Justin Young George Harris
Brendan Shields Matt Zebrowski Finn Tuite
Written By: Glenn Papazian