BGSU rugby team finishes 9th in the nation
The Bowling Green State University Rugby team placed 9th in the nation after defeating St. Bonaventure University 21-10 in their final game of the National 7s Championship in Cary, N.C., over Memorial Day weekend.
The win over St. Bonaventure in the bowl championship game was the club’s fifth in a row at the championship. They also beat San Diego State, the University of Oklahoma, New England College and James Madison University. The team lost their first game to American International College, where rugby is a varsity sport.
“The fact that we’re competing against other clubs and varsity teams and still doing well is really cool,” said Rugby Director Roger Mazzarella. “The guys played a very close to the vest game; it was like watching them play a chess match. They were very methodical, very disciplined. They played the way they needed to play to win.”
There were 24 teams in the championship. After pool play, the teams are ranked, which is how BGSU went to the bowl. This was the club’s ninth consecutive appearance at nationals. Last year, the BGSU team placed 17th in the nation.
“With school being out, the guys came from all over to play,” Mazzarella said. “They are dedicated to the school and the sport.”
The team finished its 2015-2016 season 47-9-1 and was Mid-American Conference champions in both 7s and 15s, which refers to how many players are on the pitch for each team. The 2016-2017 season will begin in the fall.