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Norwich Takes 3rd in DII

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Norwich Takes 3rd in DII

The Norwich University men's rugby team finished off the best season in program history with an impressive 40-17 victory over three-time defending USA Rugby Division II National Champion Minnesota-Duluth on Sunday morning in the third-place match at Furman University. 

The Cadets (11-1) scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to rally from a 17-12 halftime deficit and hand the reigning champions their second straight loss on the weekend. 

Junior Tom St. Pierre scored two tries, including one in the Cadets' dominant second half to lead the Norwich offense on the day. Seniors Mark Hill(Bordentown, N.J.) and James Rowan (Fairfax, Va.), while sophomore Ryan Wagner(Newtown, Conn.) each scored a try. 

Senior Keegan Frick went 5-for-6 on conversions for the day, including all four in the second half. 

Minnesota-Duluth took the lead in the 10th minute with a converted try to take a 7-0 lead. Norwich answered back with a try by Rowan to cut the deficit to 7-5 in the 15thminute. Duluth extended its lead to 12-5 in the 30th minute with another try. St. Pierre scored his third try of the weekend in the 37th minute with a conversion by Frick to tie the game back up at 12-12. 

Duluth seized the momentum heading into the second half by scoring on the last play of the first half to take a 17-12 lead to halftime.

As Norwich has done all season though, the Cadets battled back and dominated the second half, scoring four converted tries and completely shutting down Duluth's offense with a tremendous defensive effort. 

"Today we played the best defense we have played all year, especially in the second half," said NU head coach Bob Weggler. "Yesterday we learned that the game is won in the second half. I'm so proud of the boys, we had an excellent fan base all weekend of alums, family and friends of Norwich. This was a really good weekend for Norwich rugby."