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Fordham Win Shakes Up Empire Again

College Men

Fordham Win Shakes Up Empire Again

Fordham University Men's Rugby displayed aggressive defense and a nice team performance to shock Brockport 54-0 Sunday to move into 2nd in the Empire Conference.

The Empire continues to confound predictions and fans as teams that look on top of the world one weekend will be down the next. traveling seems to be a problem for many, as home teams are 9-3 so far, with one of those three away wins a forfeit, and another by the score of 3-0. Only one team, Syracuse, has managed a truly impressive road win, 34-14 at Stony Brook. But Syracuse then found themselves on the business end of a 39-10 score from Colgate this past weekend just to keep them humble.

Brockport unleashed its characteristically aggressive playing style, and kept Fordham in check early. But the home team weathered the initial storm and in the 15th minute flanker Max Zhitnik opened the scoring. Following a Brockport penalty within their own 22, Nate Fisher slotted a penalty goal to give the Rams a two-possession lead 8-0. And from then on Brockport started to feel the urgency, perhaps a little too much.

The best Fordham team try on the day was scored through a nice interchange of forwards and backs as hooker Andrew Washburn drew and passed to put wing Vincent Brucculeri into space for Fordham's second try of the day. Fisher to make it 15-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Fordham showed how hard they've been working on fitness and blew the game apart. Fisher hit a penalty, and then Zhitnik scored two more on his way to a player-of-the-game pick.Wing Parker Lynch was given clean ball in space by the outside backs all day and rewarded that faith with two second-half tries. Captain AJ Shoemaker capped the scoring off the bench with a great individual run through the line for a try.

Fisher ended the day with 19 points, knocking over three penalty goals and finishing 5-7 converting tries.

The most impressive asset for the Rams continues to be their line speed and integrity on defense, and making those turnovers pay off.

"Our defense just wore them down and the turnover ball we got through defense led to points," said Fordham Coach Andrew Gheraldi. 

SUNY Binghamton remains in 1st after beating Kings Point 63-19. Pierce Butler scored two tries early on and flyhalf Brandon Healey scored a try, six conversions, and two penalties to log 23 points. 

And, as reported, Colgate beat Syracuse to deny the Hammerheads an opportunity to keep 1st. Elija Brick and Chris Wren once again were crucial in keeping the scoreboard moving for Colgate, accounting for the first 17 points of the game.

So with every team having lost at least once, and three teams stuck at 2-2, and with those teams having only two games remaining, it's a mad chase for the top two spots, and the championship game.

The winner of the final will qualify for the DIAA national playoffs for sure. There is an outside chance that the #2 team could get an at-large shot at the fall playoffs.

 

Empire Conference W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Binghamton 2 1 0 120 53 67 2 1 11
Fordham 2 1 0 95 22 73 2 0 10
Syracuse 2 2 0 66 68 -2 2 0 10
Colgate 2 2 0 113 117 -4 1 1 10
Brockport 2 2 0 85 125 -40 2 0 10
Stony Brook 2 1 0 51 49 2 1 0 9
USMMA 0 3 0 33 129 -96 0 0 0