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Army Holds Off Determined Dartmouth

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Army Holds Off Determined Dartmouth

Adam Smith photo.

The Army West Point men's rugby team managed to get by a very tough Dartmouth side 29-23 on Sunday, logging a nice victory against one of the top DIAA teams in the nation.

Army was coming off a loss to Trinity, the Dublin University team that toured the East Coast, and this game offered a chance to rebound.

"I think the positive for the weekend was a lot of minutes for a lot of guys, and some new guys getting tested," said Army Head Coach Matt Sherman. 

Dartmouth put Army under pressure early, and that pressure resulted in some kickable penalties. Pat Sheehy missed an early attempt, but connected on the second chance to give the Big Green an early 3-0 lead in the 11th minute. 

(Adam Smith photos)

Army responded with back-to-back Larry Williams Jr. tries, one of which was converted, to stake the Black Knights to a 12-3 lead after 26 minutes. Prop Marco Carrabotta raced for a long try in the 35th minute, followed by Jason Blackwood's second conversion. And then Nolan Green also galloped in from long range, punishing a Dartmouth turnover. With Blackwood's conversion it was 26-3.

But the Big Green answered. Charlton McArdle went in just before the stroke of halftime to put his side closer at 26-8.

The second half was a defensive battle for the first twenty minutes. Then Mike Weir cut through for a try, which Sheehy converted to make it 26-15. With the momentum, Dartmouth came right back and Luke Bienstock was over. With Sheehy's conversion it was now a one-score game at 26-22.

But Army closed it out, shoring up the defense, and getting a Jack Royston penalty goal to ice it 29-22.

It was a bit of a cautionary tale for Army about making sure a game in under control, but Dartmouth's comeback put teams on notice that the Big Green will once again be a contender in DIAA.