Men's Rugby Team at Ithaca College Prepares to Face Off at Nationals
ITHACA, NY — The Ithaca College Men’s Rugby Team is bringing a whole new meaning to the saying “Sweet 16”; after a 16-year absence from campus, the undefeated club team is pushing its way to a national championship. The 34-member squad has recently vaulted itself into the Division III National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO)’s Final Four by beating the College of New Jersey 17-7. The Bombers are currently ranked second in the country by NSCRO, which ranks more than 200 men and women’s Division III and IV collegiate rugby teams nationwide.
The men’s rugby team, under the leadership of coach Annemarie Farrell; team captains Pat Koch ’11 and Scott Kamp ’11; and team president Dallas Koller ’12 has gone undefeated by outscoring its opponents 428-51 through nine matches.
“We started up hoping just to return to campus and get a chance to compete,” Koch said. “Now we’re preparing to fight for a national championship. This team, more than anything else, shows what you can do when you put your mind to something.”
The next stop for IC’s men’s rugby team is Virginia Beach’s Sportsplex Stadium, where the players will face off against Occidental College, the Southern California champion, in the Final Four on Saturday, April 30. The winner of that match will play for the Division III NSCRO National Championship on Sunday, May 1, at 1 p.m. Both matches will be webcast live on the Internet.
Although the Occidental College team has been established for decades, Bombers head coach Annemarie Farrell, assistant professor of sport management and media, has expressed full faith in her team’s ability to tackle its opponent, despite its rookie status. She stated, “For a program to reach this level of success, this quickly, is a credit to the commitment of the players and their determination to represent their sport well and make their school proud. They exemplify the spirit, tradition, and excellence of Ithaca College.” Farrell is only one of a handful of women currently coaching collegiate men.
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