Northeastern’s Historic National Championship

The Maddogs opened the tournament against a strong Arizona team coming off a win over Cal in the PAC. Despite a strong start with two tries from Ryan Connolly, Arizona was able to come back in the second half, finishing the match 38-14. Northeastern faced Ohio State next, who came out aggressively, putting in two quick tries in the first two minutes. The Maddogs fought their way back and tied the game up with tries from Ryan Connolly and Alex Parciak, but Ohio State put in a late try to finish the game. Final score 21-14. Despite this 0-2 start, The men stayed focused and came ready to play for the final match of the group stage against Arkansas. The game started off close with tried by both teams, but Northeastern quickly pulled away and never looked back. Final score 33-12 with tries by Alex Sadler, Alex Parciak and three by Ryan Connolly.

Unfortunately Northeastern did not place top two in their group on day 1, placing them in the bowl bracket as the #3 seed. Their first opponent was USC, and then men picked up right where they left off. Tries by Niall Carlson, David De Luzuriaga, and Ryan Connolly led to a 19-10 victory and advanced Northeastern to the Plate semifinal versus Minnesota. An unbelievable effort led to almost complete ball retention. Minnesota never got a chance to attack and the Maddogs shut them out. Tries by Matt Urrea, Niall Carlson, Darren Chan for a final score of 21-0. In the Plate final Northeastern faced Cal Poly. Northeastern put everything they had into it and got up 17-0 with a try from Matt Urrea and two from Ryan Connolly, but Cal Poly made a late comeback and pulled within one try at 17-12. The men did not quit and fought until the last whistle, despite being on their own 5 meter.
The Maddogs finished the tournament 4-2, winning the Plate Final and placing 9th overall, despite being the only club rugby team among all the varsity programs. It is the best finish Northeastern Rugby has had in the history of the club. The coaches chose scrum half Matt Urrea as the man of the tournament. Matt saved numerous tries on defense with his open field tackling and helped facilitate just as many from the middle of the offense. Ryan Connolly was selected to Dream Team 1st team and Darren Chan made the 2nd team.

Leave a Reply