CHESTER, PA. 6/4/2017 – The rugby season for the Saint Joseph’s Hawks came to an end with a 15 – 7 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Plate Semifinal round at the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships. In the end it was mistakes that cost the team an opportunity to play for a trophy.
There were two miscues that tilted the game in the direction of the Badgers. With the Hawks holding a 7 – 5 lead late in the first half, SJU had a throw in near midfield, but were whistled for a throw in violation giving the ball to Wisconsin. With no time on the clock the Badgers kept the ball moving. Luke Henricks scored the try giving his team a 10 – 5 lead at halftime.
With a little over two minutes left on the clock in the second half Saint Joseph’s was mounting offense toward a winning try. However, a pass was intercepted by Hunter Crass who took it down the field and registered the dicisive score.
“We gave up possessions which are critical in a sevens game, and that’s unfortunate” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Dan Yarusso.
The Hawks took a 7 – 0 lead in the first minute and a half when Chris Curcio crossed the scoring line, the first time they scored first in the tournament. Jack McGinnity answered for the Badgers a minute and a half later.
The top 12 finish for Saint Joe’s was their best finish in the CRC. The Plate is for teams who finished in the middle tier of points scored in pool play. The program is establishing themselves as one who will continue to play more and tournament games each year.
“I think so,” Yarusso said. “Statistically, this is the best that we have done placement wise. Amongst this field, that is really good for us. We are only losing one senior and have a good group of juniors.”
The Hawks look to build on this finish with an eye toward playing for hardware, or even better, to compete as a top tier team for the championship or as they call it ‘The Cup.’
“The Cup is what we want,” said Yarusso. “It’s nice to play for hardware, but we want to play for the Cup.”
Saint Joseph’s may have lost a game, but built a bond between the team and their fans that will continue to grow.
Written By: Glenn Papazian