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Sunday, May 29, 2016

St. Mary's Earn The College 7s National Championship

Dylan Audsley had been unstoppable for St. Mary's all weekend but it was the play of teammate Kevin O'Connor that won the Gaels the College 7s National Championship. Holding a narrow two point lead with time set to expire AIC's Christian Adams shrugged off a couple of tackles and looked to have scored the winning try but O'Connor did very well to track back and prevent Adams from being able to touch down. It was literally a matter of inches that gave St. Mary's the 7-5 win.

Each team traded possession to start the final but with St. Mary's having a slight edge. Despite that AIC did well to turn the ball over and then switch it across the pitch to see Deshae Edwards score. It was a typical try that showed great heads-up play from AIC to turn nothing into a try quickly. The conversion was off but AIC led 5-0 against the run of play. Still, St. Mary's would have the final word of the half. Staying patient the Gaels built from their own end. Using territory gained from a kick ahead from Audsley they eventually broke through with Holden Yungert. The conversion was good and the Gaels led 7-5 at the break.

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St. Mary's continued to have possession in the second half but credit to the AIC defense as they had an answer on every occasion. Christian Adams, Jihad Khabir, and Gavan D'Amore-Morrison were very big all weekend and have bright futures ahead of them. Similarly. St. Mary's were also there with the defense and only the couple of occasions when AIC were able to break out, including the final moments, St. Mary's was there.

To reach the final St. Mary's beat Arizona State 19-12. Audsley was big in that match as well with several tries that secured the win. Even though they lost Arizona State had an excellent weekend and played a lot of good rugby. AIC advanced to the final with a 17-5 win over Davenport. Arizona State then beat Davenport 24-5 for third place.

The Plate went to Lindenwood, the Bowl to Bowling Green, and the Shield to Alabama.

Women's DI

The Life women downed their Lindenwood rivals 10-0 to come away with the Women's DI national championship. Penn State had seemed like the favorites all weekend but that was abruptly put to a halt in the semi-finals where Lindenwood won 19-12. Life beat Stanford, another top team, 26-0 in their semi-final.

In the final, Life struck first when Megan Rom powered through a couple of tackles. The conversion was not good but Life led 5-0. Lindenwood caught a break when Life had a player sent to the bin for throwing the ball away but Life's defense came up big. Each side had their chances but the slippy conditions didn't make for the cleanest of matches. Life was able to put their stamp on the match with a late try from Kaitlyn Broughton.

Penn State would claim third place with a 10-5 win over Stanford. Central Washington won the Plate.

Men's DII

The Men's DII title went to Minnesota-Duluth who beat St. Louis 17-5. Minnesota-Duluth scored early before St. Louis tied it up but then Duluth rallied with a couple of tries to secure the win. Minnesota-Duluth beat Wisconsin-Whitewater in the semi-finals and St. Louis beat Lindenwood-Belleville. UW-Whitewater then took third place.

Women's DII

Davenport were the class of the Women's DII tournament and there was little question they were going home with the title thanks to their 24-14 win over Bloomsburgh. Montana State took home the Plate over Utah State. 

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