West Point All-Academy 7s Tournament
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard rugby team travels to compete at the West Point All-Academy 7s Tournament this weekend. The Crimson (15-4) are one of five teams entering the challenge hosted by Army at Anderson Rugby Complex. Harvard has met the Black Knights in two tournament championships this season.
Pool play begins at 9:40 a.m. and is expected to last until 1:20 p.m. The Crimson will begin the day against Army at 11 a.m. and take on Mt. St. Mary's at 12:20 p.m. Both bouts will take place on the grass field. The semifinal rounds are projected to start at 1:40 p.m. with the top finishers from each group competing in a crossover semifinal with the runner-ups at 1:40 p.m. The championship match is scheduled for 3:20 p.m. The following pools have been established:
Pool 1: Harvard, Army-I, Mount Saint Mary's
Pool 2: American International, Army-II, Dartmouth
Last Time Out
Harvard fell on the final play of the championship game to Army West Point to come in second place at the Bowdoin Polar Bear 7s. The Crimson went 3-2 at the event, advancing to the championship bout after victories over Maine (54-0), Northeastern (31-5) and Dartmouth (24-12). The title contest against Army was a rematch of a meeting during group play, which the Black Knights won, 24-12.
Freshman Arianna Romero led the scoring for Harvard with five tries over the five matchups, while a total of eight different players touched down for tries. Classmate Milan Roberts totaled four tries, while sophomore Delia Hellander contributed three of her own. Senior Haley Langan and freshman Erin Wright pitched in two apiece.
Last Time at the West Point All-Academy 7s Tournament
This will be Harvard's first appearance at Army All-Academy 7s Tournament as a varsity program. However, the Crimson have competed in West Point, N.Y. in two other tournaments. Harvard took fourth at the American Collegiate Rugby Association (ACRA) 7s Championship in 2015 and the Varsity 7s Championship in 2016.
The Crimson are 15-5 on the year and have reached the finals of each tournament its entered. Harvard's offense has proved versatile this season. Three different student-athletes have led the Crimson in scoring in four tournaments: Milan Roberts had 46 points (6 tries, 8 conversions) at Crimson 7s; Delia Hellander netted 42 points (6t, 6c) at Brown 7s; and Arianna Romero had eight tries at Ivy 7s, in addition to five at the Polar Bear 7s.
Additionally, seven different student-athletes have registered 20 or more points 11 times:
Crimson 7s - Sarah Lipson (7 tries), Hellander (3t, 5c), Roberts (6t, 8c), and Dominique Cantave (4t);
Brown 7s – Hellander (6t, 6c);
Ivy 7s – Romero (8t), Hellander (4t, 7c), Rachel Harkavy (4t), and Susie Clements (10c); and
Polar Bear 7s – Romero (5t), Roberts (4t).
Defensively, the Crimson have earned five victories by virtue of shutout and limited opposing teams to 10 or fewer points in seven additional contests. Harvard has outscored opponents 507-140 to date.
The Black Knights are 15-0 this sevens season. Army won its third sevens tournament of the year at the Polar Bear 7s Tournament on April 21. The Black Knights defeated Harvard, 12-5, in the opener, then shut out Northeastern, 31-0, Maine, 59-0, and AIC, 40-0. The Black Knights needed all of the clock against the Crimson in the tournament finale, scoring on the final possession to win, 17-12.
As a varsity program, Harvard's A-side is 1-9 in the all-time sevens-series with Army. The lone win came as a 25-5 victory at the Quinnipiac 7s on April 2, 2016.
Scouting Mt. St. Mary's
The Mountaineers are 2-8 this sevens season, after going 1-3 at the Pioneer's 7s Tournament on April 21. There the Mountaineers were shutout by Sacred Heart, 41-0, and victorious over LIU Post, 36-0, before losing to Molloy, 31-12, and Brown, 41-0.
Harvard's 7s in `17
The 2017 sevens season saw Harvard win its second Ivy League Championship in a row and finish third in the nation. The Crimson earned its No. 3 national standing after going 4-1 at the NIRA 7s Challenge. Harvard topped West Chester, 17-7, AIC, 24-5, and Dartmouth, 10-7, in group play, but was defeated by Army, 26-7, to finish second in pool play. In the third-place bout, Harvard upended AIC, 26-5, to conclude the year as the No. 3 team in the country.
Harvard became back-to-back Ivy League champions when it defeated Dartmouth in the final. The Crimson swept Columbia, 29-0, and Penn, 45-0, before falling to Dartmouth, 12-0. Harvard then won a 22-19 battle against Princeton to earn a spot in the Ancient Eight title game where it used a strong second half to defeat the Big Green, 10-5.
The Crimson went 4-3-1, reaching the Ivy League Championship and NIRA National Semifinal. Senior captain Maya Learned, juniors Caitlin Weigel and Jenny Kronish, and freshman Milan Roberts earned All-America honors. Senior lock Haley Langan was bestowed an All-America honorable mention. Roberts paced the Crimson with eight tries, while Weigel scored seven times and converted four times. Learned accumulated five tries, while Kronish led the team with 24 conversions.
National Intercollegiate Rugby Association
NIRA is a cohort of 17 member institutions sponsoring NCAA rugby at their respective divisional level (I, II, or III). Together these schools committed to the expansion of women's rugby and achieving full NCAA sponsorship. Harvard, along with Army, Brown, Dartmouth, Mount St. Mary's, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart are NIRA Division I programs. American International College, Central Washington, Long Island University-Post, Molloy College, Notre Dame College, and West Chester University are Division II schools. Bowdoin College, Castleton University, Norwich University, and the University of New England compete at the Division III level. Each compete against the others for the NIRA national title.
Pending qualification, the Crimson will compete at the USA Rugby 7s Collegiate National Championship in Glendale, Colo. on Saturday, May 19. If the Crimson do not receive a bid, the tournament in West Point will mark the conclusion of its 2018 7s campaign. Invitations for nationals may be announced as early as Monday, April 30.