In their first appearance at the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championships, Kutztown University advanced to the quarter-final rounds on Sunday at PPL Park.
The small D-1 team quickly made a name for themselves as the CRCs got underway on Friday evening when they routed Temple 33-5.
Cal Berkley was their biggest competitor in Saturday’s matches, as they dropped the match to the big name school 10-5. Kutztown had started off strong earning the lead, but Cal proved to be a worthy opponent when they took the second half and the match.
In their last match of the day, Kutztown came back with a vengeance in a no contest shutout of Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech was at fault for a lot of penalties and even had two yellow cards during the match, which really propelled the Bears over them. Kutztown stripped Virginia Tech of any scoring chances as they annihilated them 39-0.
Kutztown went 2-1 during pool play and advanced to the quarter-finals to play Life University on Sunday morning. Life University made it into the semi-finals last year as a practially unknown school. Rugby is also their biggest and strongest sport, but Kutztown was up for the challenge as they faced off against them on Sunday.
Life came out strong in the first half with a try and conversion right at the start. At the half, Life was leading with a crushing 19-5 lead. Kutztown is not a team that gives up so easily, and they proved that in the second half of the match by fighting to survive.
Although Kutztown made some successful plays in the second half, Life banked on a late try and converted to win 31-17. Life knocked out Kutztown and moves on to the semi-finals.
Following on the cusp of Kutztown’s loss, the only other local school left in the championship round was Penn State. Penn State was undefeated during pool play with three wins under their belt, but the Naval Academy found the flaws in their game. The Naval Academy defeated Penn State, 22-17 and moves onto the semi-finals.
Penn State got the lead early, but Navy was behind them every step of the way in the short, fast-paced game. At the half Navy had the 17-5 lead, but going into the second Penn State would not easily break.
Penn State tried to bridge the scoring gap as they scored a try and a successful conversion late in the game. However, time and speed was on Navy’s side as the horn sounded for the final play of the game and they knocked Penn State out of the competition.
There are no more local schools in the championship competition as the semi-final games get underway at 3:00 p.m. when Cal Berkley takes on UCLA. Life University will take on the Naval Academy at 3:25 p.m. The victors of the matches will play in the Championship match at 5:29 p.m.