April 27, 2024

Slippery Rock finishes Cinderella Run with Championship Win Small College

Slippery Rock may have ultimately come out on top of the men’s Small College Division but plenty of players put their hands up and were deserving of recognition. Seven have been chosen for inclusion on this year’s Men’s Small College All-Conference Team representing seven different schools, showing just how much talent was on display all weekend. 

Kyle Ernest - Endicott

Aidan Gallagher - Duke

Charlie Ackla - Christendom

Anthony Rice - Denver

Zach Herrington - Slippery Rock

Izaiah Murphy - St. Thomas

Dan Mundy - Loyola Maryland

Although Slippery Rock entered this year's CRCs as the 6th seed in the West Region, they proved that they more than belonged by beating St. Thomas in the Men’s Small College Championship game, 19-12. Zach Herrington got the scoring going for Slippery Rock running a quick tap-and-go for a try. Slippery Rock held the lead until late in the first half when Izaiah Murphy ran in a try for St. Thomas. Both teams made their conversions, bringing the score to 7-7 at the half. It would not stay tied for long, however, as Chase Nething scored a try and made the conversion to put Slippery Rock in front 14-7. Later in the half, Christian Dosch would score a try in the corner to push their lead to 12. St. Thomas would score once more before the final whistle but it would be too little, too late. Thanks to his efforts, Herrington, who also earned a spot on the All-Conference team, was named the game MVP. 

The Cup semifinals saw some tightly contested games. Slippery Rock faced top-seeded Christendom Crusaders and needed every try to win the 12-7 defensive battle. Dosch scored the opening try in the first 2 minutes to give Slippery Rock an early lead. The Crusaders answered back and held a lead late into the game. With only a few minutes left, Herrington scored to seal the win for Slippery Rock. In the other semifinal, St. Thomas pulled off the upset over Endicott. This game was even closer, with both teams tied at two tries and a missed conversion each heading into the final seconds. With little time remaining in regulation, Aidan O’Connor scored a 50 meter try off a scrum and made the conversion, putting St. Thomas in the final with a 19-12 win over the higher-seeded Endicott.

As for the other finals, Duke was able to beat VMI 14-10 to win the Plate Final. Harvey Bracken-Smith and Alex Soudmand both scored in the Blue Devils victory. The Bowl final was not as close, with Franciscan beating Loyola Maryland 15-7. Three different players scored tries in that win. In the Shield Final, local team Howard, whose rugby program has been around for just three years, took down UW Eau Claire 22-5. Hilary Kangethe led the Herd with 2 tries in the game. 


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