Mid Atlantic Championship Weekend

Over the weekend the champions of the Mid-Atlantic Regions were determined.

Men's Division I
A new DI champion was crowned on Saturday as the Norfolk Blues toppled Rocky Gorge in a closely fought 29-21 win to advance to Regionals in two weeks. Down 21-15 late in the match, the Blues found themselves deep inside Gorge territory and captain Eric Hagen scored his third try giving Norfolk the one point lead. The Blues scored another to top off the victory booking its ticket to Obetz, Ohio.

"This year when we came out in the fall, we said we wanted to play a full 80," coach Chris Porter said. "That was our whole focus all season long. Today, we proved that all the hard work we put into it, we played the full 80 [to get the win]."

Mystic River awaits Norfolk in the next round on May 19th.

Men's Division II
On Sunday, a pair of undefeated clubs met in the DII MAC Championship as Doylestown and Northern Virginia advanced. Big momentum swings throughout the game saw NOVA open up an 18-8 lead at the half. Doylestown scored twice to begin the second half, but NOVA countered to take back the lead at 28-22. Kevin Hockings' third try in the 71st minute proved to be the game-winner as the Dragons claimed the trophy, 35-28.

"It came down to 15 to 25 guys all playing together," captain Oliver Samuels. "There were times when we were challenged and it was our ability to pick each other up as opposed to putting each other down. That got us through both games, especially Sunday."

Doylestown advances to Regionals for the first time since 2010 and will play the Atlanta Renegades in the quarterfinals.

Men's Division III
Phoenixville White Horse capped off an undefeated season with a 36-25 victory over Virginia to claim its first DIII MAC Championship. After trading blows in the first half, White Horse scored two of its five tries in the second for the victory.

Head coach Eoin Beck summed up the win to resiliency and depth. "We went down for the first time all season and came back. We made adjustments to our system and got the ball wide in the rain. Our depth was huge as our subs came in and there is no drop-off. We were able to claw our way back, take the lead, and maintain it."

This is White Horse's first trip in Nationals and draws the South's Palm Beach Panthers in the quarterfinals.


Men's Division IV
In the first DIV MAC Championship, the Washington Renegades defeated the Philadelphia Gryphons, 17-8. It was a total team victory for the Renegades as John Lawrence, John Mains, and Spencer Zimmerman dotted down tries.

Coach Mike Cohen attributed the win to the team defense and was proud of both clubs' achievement. "This was the first DIV Championship and to win the first one is huge. In this particular case, we had two IGR (International Gay Rugby) teams playing for the championship so it just goes to show how gay and inclusive rugby has progressed in the last 10-15 years. It's exciting all around."

Women's Division I
After beating NOVA 27-20 in the semifinals, Raleigh met Philadelphia in the DI MAC final. The Venom raced out to a 40-8 advantage by the 60th minute behind four tries from LaShawna Gatewood. Philadelphia scored three times in the final 20 minutes but the damage was done as Raleigh won 47-25.

"Our offense is built on going side to side and being able to move the ball from any position on the field and that's what we did," said head coach Mike Streicker. "We did a really good job with the forwards pounding the ball in tight and move it across to score. We want to make the other team keep up with us and today they couldn't."

The road doesn't end here for Philadelphia as it hosts Albany in a repechage match on Saturday. The winner will play Raleigh at Regionals in two weeks.

Women's Division II
With revenge on its mind, Harrisburg has been waiting for a rematch with Doylestown ever since its season-opening loss back in September. In a physical game dominated by forwards play, the teams exchanged scores resulting in a 17-17 stalemate for 80 minutes of play. With no time left after successive infractions, captain Courtney Reeves kicked the deciding penalty to win the game, 20-17.

This is Harrisburg's third trip in a row to Regionals and will face Charlotte in Ohio. In order to advance, captain Georgia Goodman said, "We have to play our game, communicate, stay wide, and defend well."

Women's Division III
After losing the last year's championship, the Northeast Philadelphia Irish captured DIII title by beating the Maryland Stingers, 34-22, on Sunday. The championship culminated an undefeated season for the Irish.