LOWELL, Mass. — The Norwich men claimed five straight victories to win their second straight Rugby Northeast Tournament 7s title.
Norwich (13-4-3) went 3-0 to win its pool and then won two more matches in the knockout stage to punch its ticket to its third straight USA Rugby Division II 7s National Tournament. The tournament will take place next month at the University of Arizona’s Kino Sports Complex in Tucson.
The Cadets beat Bentley 28-0 in the semifinal round and then came from behind to beat Middlebury 33-19 in the final match. Norwich beat New England College 33-21, Providence 31-0 and Middlebury 29-12 in the pool-play round.
Junior Connor Miller was named the Rugby Northeast 7s Most Valuable Player after scoring five tries and going 18-for-24 on conversions to account for 61 points.
Junior Nathan Rolling scored a team-leading six tries, while sophomore Rashawn Fraser added four tries. Eli Henderson and Joshua Knoll each had two tries.
Norwich will host the annual Chris Munn 7s Tournament on April 27. The Cadets will have two 15s development matches prior to that, facing Keene State on Thursday before facing Bridgton Academy on April 24.
Norwich places fourth
FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The Cadets finished fourth out of eight teams at the Sacred Heart 7s Tournament.
Norwich (1-5-1) went 1-1-1 in pool play and then lost in the first round of elimination action. Norwich opened pool play with a 19-5 loss to the hosts, Sacred Heart. The Cadets responded with a 24-7 victory over LIU-Post before earning a 10-10 tie against Colby-Sawyer. The Cadets were matched up with Mount St. Mary in the third-place match and fell 29-7.
Angelica Greene and Amber Kelly led the Norwich offense on the day with two tries each. Greene scored the lone try in the Sacred Heart loss. Brooke Stafford, Emma Parizo, Kelly and Ida Mweze each scored tries in the victory over LIU-Post. Amanda Lodi was successful on one conversion and Norwich was awarded a two-point conversion for a penalty try.
Reagan Aldersea and Kelly each scored tries in the Colby-Sawyer match. Greene capped the scoring in the final playoff match, with Lodi hitting a conversion.
Norwich will travel to the Bowdoin 7s Tournament on Saturday.
Thomas 6, Norwich 3
BERLIN — The Cadets fell short against Thomas in non-conference action on Sunday at First in Fitness.
Thomas swept the doubles portion of the match to gain a 3-0 lead. That proved to be the difference as the two sides split the six singles matches.
Sophomores Alexi Gilmore and Noah Stillman and junior Timothy Birnbaum won singles matches for the Cadets.
Gilmore earned a 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 2 singles over Kaleb Payson to improve to a team-best 10-7 in singles matches this season.
Stillman and Birnbaum both won three-set thrillers, with Stillman beating Jose Afonso 6-4, 4-6, 10-3 at the No. 5 spot. Birnbaum beat John Farrington 6-2, 4-6 and 10-5 at No. 6 singles. Norwich will close out its 2019 season with road matches at Regis (Massachusetts) on Thursday and at Suffolk on Saturday.
Colby-Sawyer 2, Norwich 0
Norwich 12, Colby-Sawyer 0
NEW LONDON, Conn. — The Cadets split a doubleheader after dominating the second game in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action on Sunday.
The Chargers broke open a scoreless deadlock with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning during the opener. Norwich freshman Tanner Raymond was the tough-luck loser, allowing two earned runs on five hits during six innings. He walked one and struck out one while falling to 1-4. Senior center fielder Kevin Lynch, senior first baseman Jacob Barlow and sophomore shortstop Jacob Parizo all had hits in the loss.
The Cadet offense exploded for eight runs in the top of the third during Game 2. Junior second baseman Chris Dayos broke a scoreless game open with a one-run single. Parizo, junior left fielder Brady Doherty and freshman catcher Cameron Chamberlain all drew bases-loaded walks to make it 4-0.
A run came around on a throwing error, then freshman right fielder Michael Koytikh hit a sacrifice fly to center for a 6-0 lead. Lynch ripped a two-run double to left field, making it 8-0.
Norwich added another run on Doherty’s one-run double to left center in the top of the fourth for a 9-0 edge. In the top of the sixth, Chamberlain delivered a one-run single through the left side of the infield. Senior pinch-hitter Chris Leach followed with an one-run double for an 11-0 lead. In the top of the seventh, freshman first baseman Luis Molina reached base on a fielder’s choice for his first career RBI and a 12-0 lead.
Senior Jake Ryan was dominant on the mound for the Cadets, throwing six innings of shutout baseball. Ryan allowed five hits and issued two walks while striking out five batters to improve to 2-3.
The Cadets now stand at 5-15 overall and 3-7 in GNAC play. The Chargers are 5-19 overall and 3-7 in the GNAC.
Norwich 16, Regis 1
WESTON, Mass. — The Cadets exploded offensively while cruising to a Great Northeast Athletic Conference victory.
Norwich scored early and often, as Cody Moore got things started 2:30 into play. The Cadets wound up scoring seven goals in the first quarter and five in the second.
Moore (two goals, two assists), Aidan Moulton (two goals, one assist) and Russell Gilligan (two goals, one assist) paced Norwich. A trio of NU goalies combined for five saves, with Nick Kandra providing a spotless first half to pick up his second win of the season.
The Cadets improve to 7-4 overall and 5-1 within the conference. They will host Castleton at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the annual Connor Roberts Memorial Game.