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RPI Puts It Together At Key Time

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RPI Puts It Together At Key Time

RPI shocked pretty much everyone with a 30-19 defeat of the US Merchant Marine Academy Sunday to move on to the Tri-State Conference Men’s DII final.

The Troy, NY engineering and technology school, the oldest such institution in the United States, has continued to field solid rugby teams in both men’s and women’s DII, but after a late-season loss to William Paterson and a less-than-stellar effort over Monroe last week, the Engineers looked vulnerable.

But RPI matched up well against Kings Point, losing by only three 37-34 back in September.

This past Sunday, It was close again, for about 60 minutes. RPI led 12-11 at the break, and the teams traded penalty goals to make it 18-14 Engineers with 20 minutes to go. 

But in that final quarter, RPI pulled away with two tries and a conversion. USMMA scored a try, but it was too late, and RPI won 30-19.

Steven Beseler scored two tries for RPI, with Doug Ladzinski and Brandon Gares adding tries.

“Everything finally clicked for us as a team,” said Gares. “Our rookies have gotten plenty of valuable experience throughout the season and are finally understanding the game enough to utilize their physical talent well. We limited our mistakes and capitalized on theirs. To put it simply, we finally played to our ability and controlled the game.”

Now RPI has one more hurdle to negotiate in order to make the national playoffs. A few weeks after losing 22-20 to William Paterson, RPI gets a chance at revenge. WPU will be waiting.