Empire Conference Breakdown

Check out the ‘Empire Conference Breakdown’ article on RugbyToday.com or read below.

Article written by Evan Lappen and published on Sunday, 21 September 2014.

USMMA at Binghamton
The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point made the 200 mile trip to Vestal, NY to match up against Binghamton University Saturday. Both teams won their first games of the season by at least two tries, but Kings Point would emerge the 31-12 victor.

Junior Dan Ardis had two tries on the day for USMMA, and Josh Raines and Kees Elling contributed with tries of their own. Junior John Wesley, who converted all of his kicks, also punched one penalty kick through the uprights. Binghamton countered with tries from senior Steve Prosperi and junior Nick Coppola, but they were not enough. Senior Kevin Wash was able to convert the second try for his club.

“Kings Point did a good job of attacking rucks and counter rucking. Their inside center, who is their captain, did a real good job commanding the plays and getting things moving for them,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin Dublin. “They have an overall good team and were able to adjust early in the game to the weaknesses they saw in us and were able to take advantage of it.”

The results improves the Merchant Marines in training to 2-0 in the Empire Rugby Conference and Binghamton evens to 1-1.

Brockport at Fordham
After taking a halftime lead, Fordham University was unable to fend off the attack of Brockport University, who won the game 27-10. Both teams had something to prove after they lost their first game the weekend before. Brockport traveled the six hours to Fordham’s pitch in the Bronx, NY.

Brockport got on the board early when Dan King dotted the ball down for a try. Fordham responded with two tries by second row Sean Malizia and wing Elias Gelpi. The half ended with Fordham leading 10-5.

The second half was a different story, as Brockport’s offense took over and its defense shut out Fordham. The four second-half tries were by Trevor Vale, Sebastian Hastings, Sean Porrata, and Andrew Hornyak. Ryan Mahar converted one of his kicks to cap off 22-unanswered points to finish the game, 27-10.

“Coming off a loss last week to the USMMA, it was a good win,” Brockport head coach Bart Pareschi said. “I thought we were going to have a rebuilding year this year, as we lost about 15 out of the 23. I was really proud of the guys today. They really turned it around.”

Brockport pulls to 1-1 and Fordham falls to 0-2.

Syracuse at Stony Brook 3-0 (2-0 ERC)
Behind a total of seven tries from five players, Stony Brook blanked Syracuse 45-0. The Seawolves won their first game of the season against Colgate, and Syracuse was idle last week. On Saturday, Syracuse drove the five hours to Long Island, NY, however, and when they got there, they were soundly defeated by a solid squad.

In the first half, lock Dan Lyons and loose forward Phil Salter scored tries for the Seawolves. It was the start of a great day for Salter. His try was converted by flyhalf and captain PJ Abelein to end the half, 12-0.

Stony Brook exploded in the second half for five more tries. Salter completed the hat trick by scoring two of them, and center Xavier Quinn, lock Jed Hendrixson, and Gabe Bleicher scored the remaining tries in the half.  Abelein was four-for-five on his conversions in the half.

“When we played them last year, they were a big team and played a huge mauling game, and we anticipated that again. We recognized the maul coming against us, and we stuffed it as best we could,” stated Stony Brook head coach Jerry Mirro. “We kept it close in the first half, and in the second half we were able to open the field up with some tactical kicking, then move the ball out to our backs on the quick turnovers based on our defense. We wore them down in the second half with our fitness.”

Stony Brook joins USMMA at 2-0 and Syracuse starts the season at 0-1.