VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The American International College (AIC) men’s rugby team swept the inaugural American Collegiate Rugby Championship Sevens last weekend at the Virginia Beach Sports Complex, winning in six straight games to claim the title.|
The first-time event took place over two days featuring tournament winners from all over the east coast and mid-west. The victory marked the 19th consecutive win for the Yellow Jackets, leaving them 25-3 this semester and giving them their fifth piece of hardware in six tournaments played.
AIC entered day one seeded second overall behind Kutztown University and found themselves pooled with Eastern Tennessee State, Miami of Ohio, and Stony Brook.
The Yellow Jackets opened the tournament with Eastern Tennessee, an opponent that allowed the team to stretch the legs of nearly the entire roster. Center Jalil Oates put in some powerful runs in his first tournament with the top team. Members of the scrum half, Kurt Werner (Centennial, Colo.) and Josue Guerra (Clinton, Mass.) took turns running the offense, each adding two tries of their own, while flanker Michael Martinez (Bronx, N.Y.) was happy to create and dish the ball to several of his try scoring teammates.
Miami of Ohio brought a much more physical game, but AIC’s stingy defense and the consistency and creativity of Ben Roach saw them through, as the Yellow Jackets stung the Red Hawks, 24-12.
Against Stony Brook, Christian Adams pounded his way down the sideline, producing a hat trick of tries to lead the Jackets over the Seawolves, 33-12. Adrian Ray also contributed greatly with his deft work in the breakdown and a nifty try scoring run to end the game.
Finishing pool play 3-0 and earning the second seed, the team was well positioned to succeed, but had much to improve for the knockout stages.
In the final, AIC was paired with Kutztown and was eager for a rematch after losing a heartbreaker to the Golden Bears in North Carolina earlier in the semester.
The Yellow Jackets jumped all over their opponents. Christian Adams and Roach accounted for three tries, while Roach called for a long penalty kick to end the first half up 24-0.
Kutztown would not be left behind, pulling back into the contest with their hallmark skill and speed. It proved to be insufficient, as the game was iced with a long movement through the AIC forwards.
D’Amore-Morrison drew two defenders, and gave a no look, one handed pass between them to 6’5 Corey Momsen rumbling down the sideline. Momsen crashed into a third defender and laid a perfect offload up for Ray, who was all too happy to step and fend his way in for the score.
Roach returned from a blood sub and capped both the game and his collegiate career with a slice through the defense from a penalty.
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