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Dartmouth Wins Ivies, But Brown Made It Tough

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Dartmouth Wins Ivies, But Brown Made It Tough

Dartmouth is the best team in the men’s Ivy League rugby conference.

There’s no doubt about that. The Big Green went into this past weekend’s final against Brown having won the conference each of the last 11 years. Given that Dartmouth came into the final averaging 73 points scored per conference game, there was every reason to believe they’d run through Brown the way they did on October 19, a game that ended 57-7 for the Big Green.

But it didn’t end that way. Yes, Dartmouth won, but the score was 18-12, and Brown had a shot to win it at the end and actually could have pulled away with the upset. They camped out inside the Dartmouth 22 in the final ten minutes, and with a try begging on the outside they had the setup intercepted.

That, as much as anything, is the big takeaway from the Ivy final. Brown was that close.

“The game was really good,” said Brown Head Coach David LaFlamme. “Dartmouth are pretty high-quality and we’re building here as well.”

Brown dominated every game in league play except Dartmouth.

“Our first meeting [against Dartmouth] was our first test and we were not prepared,” said LaFlamme. “We’re much better now.”

 “Our boys really had to fight,” said Dartmouth Head Coach James Willocks. “That first game we played them kind of flattered us. But it helped that our guys have a lot of experience in tough games. We played Army and Penn State, so they responded well. It was very nice to have that challenge.”

For Dartmouth, center Matias Calvo has been among the conference leaders in try, while AJ Meyer has been one of the hardest-working players around. Mason Kochs is an excellent leader and flanker Jaime Chuidian has also been superb.

In the backs, Dartmouth is pretty experienced, with Patrick Sheehy, Luke Bienstock, and Mike Weir all showing plenty of poise. 

But Brown has some players, too. Jon Kim has played well but left the final injured in the first ten minutes. His older brother, Jae, has been dangerous while Christos Economos and freshmen Will Zeller and Grett Geiss are evidence that LaFlame’s recruiting has been very successful.

And leading the way has been Sean Lumkong. The former HS All American center is now a loose forward and like Meyer on Dartmouth, is one of the hardest working player in the conference.

So Brown almost pulled off a shocker, and that’s good news. The Ivy League needs to be more competitive. Brown has shown that it’s possible.