Men's Rugby advances to Division I Championships
Men's Rugby places third in New England, second in the Northeast, and earns fourth seed at the National Sweet Sixteens
The Norwich University men's rugby team has advanced to the Sweet 16
of USA Rugby's Division I Collegiate Championships for the first time
in the history of the program. The Cadets, led by senior captains Ryan
Scott and Andy Grenier, qualified for the playoff round by virtue of a
second place finish at the Northeast Rugby Union (NRU) championships played
at UMass-Amherst on November 8 and 9.
The Cadets' outstanding performance at the NRU playoffs capped a Cinderella season that opened with a disappointing loss to Amherst, and culminated with a dramatic win over perennial powerhouse Dartmouth. Norwich finished 4-3 on the regular season, good enough for third-place in the highly competitive New England Rugby Football Union [White League].
One week earlier, Norwich played their Northeast quarterfinal match at the University of Buffalo, handing the Bengals a 29-20 loss and advancing to the final four of the Northeast Championships for the second year in a row.
Norwich, seeded fourth coming into the Northeast playoffs, surprised everyone but themselves by walking away with a second-place finish and a ticket to the Sweet Sixteen. Third-year head coach Bob Weggler praised his team for their consistent effort throughout the season.
"This was our goal since camp way back in August - to qualify for the Nationals," Weggler said. "It's what we've been building towards all season long. We were fortunate enough to peak at the right time."
Norwich is seeded fourth going into the tournament, which will take place in Spring 2004 at a venue yet to be determined. For a look at the entire season, see grid below.
firstname.lastname@example.org, December 2003