TUCSON, Ariz. — The Norwich University men’s rugby team finished seventh for the second straight year at the USA Rugby Division II 7s National Championships at the Kino Sports Complex on Memorial Day weekend.
Norwich (21-10-3) fell 27-14 to UW-Whitewater in the quarterfinal round and then lost to William Patterson 19-17 in a consolation semifinal on Day 2 of the tournament.
The Cadets finished 2-3 in the tourney as the program continued its impressive three-year run qualifying for both the USA Rugby National Tournament in both 15s and 7s in all three seasons.
Norwich fell behind 17-0 to No. 4 seed and 2017 national champion UW-Whitewater and was never able to fully recover as the Cadets’ national championship hopes were dashed in the quarterfinals.
The Cadets scored on the last play of the first half, with Connor Miller touching down a try and kicking his own conversion to cut the deficit to 17-7 heading into the break.
Norwich started off the second half strong and nearly scored another try to cut the Warhawks’ lead down to 17-12. However, the try was called off and UW-Whitewater immediately seized momentum out of the ensuing scrum with a long try run up the left side to take a 22-7 lead.
The Cadets clawed back with another try by Joshua Johnson and a conversion from Miller to cut the deficit to 22-14 with 3:49 remaining. However, UW-Whitewater put the game away with another try with just over a minute remaining in the second half to seal the victory.
Norwich fell behind again in the consolation semifinal against William Patterson. But this time the Cadets were able to answer every time except for the final conversion as they fell short by two points.
William Rambin scored a converted try to knot the score at 7 at the 3:30 mark. Mac Nagel scored again late in the first half to tie the game up at 14 following a Miller conversion. Norwich’s Eli Henderson scored at the 5:30 mark of the second half, but NU was unable to make the conversion and their tournament run came to an end.
Norwich compiled a 52-25-3 record over the last three seasons in 7s play, winning three straight conference titles and going unbeaten against league opponents.