MARC at NSCO Women’s Select Side Conference Championship
St. Petersburg, Fla. – The Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference's (MARC) Women's National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) 7s All-Star team finished fourth in the second annual NSCRO Women's 7s All-Star Championship at Eckerd College.
The MARC All-Star team included players from the University of Scranton, Marywood University, York College, and Catholic University (D.C). Representing Marywood was freshman Ciara Sharkey and juniors Gabrielle Tutoni and Alyssa Tirella. All three Marywood All-Stars were named to the starting lineup for the tournament. Sharkey was named co-captain behind Scranton's Brianne Niewinski.
The Championship Tournament was a two-day tournament with 12 All-Star teams from all over the country. Day one started off with pool play with four pools of three teams and the first round of bracket play. In pool play each team in their pool played each other once. The top eight teams after pool play moved on to the bracket and the bottom four played in a round robin consolation bracket.
The first round of pool play the MARC All-Star 7s faced off against the Great Water All-Star 7s in a very back and forth match that ended in a 17-17 tie. In the first half the MARC got on the board first with a try from Scranton's Pam Sbarra giving them the lead 5-0. Great Waters came back with a try of their own before the end of the first half to tie it at 5-5 after the first seven minutes. In the second half Great Waters started strong with a try in the first minute of the half (12-5) with a successful conversion. The MARC answered with two tries of their own from York's Melissa Robertson and Julia Malicotti of Catholic. One conversion was successful to take the lead 17-12. Great Waters scored a try in the final minute of play to tie the match 17-17 but did not the convert the conversion. Marywood'sCiara Sharkey had a great match, setting up her teammates with in the open field to score.
In the second round of pool play the MARC faced off against the Ohio All-Stars. MARC came off on top 26-20. The MARC got started off strong with a try in the first minute from Pam Sbarra, conversion was good (7-0). Ohio came back with back to back tries to take the lead 10-0. Sbarra scored her second try of the match to take back the lead 12-10. Ohio scored in the last minute of the first half to take back the lead 15-12, the conversion was unsuccessful. In the second half Ohio go things going right away scoring their final try of the match to add to their lead (20-12) with 6 minutes left. The MARC answered with two tries, one from York College's Melissa Robertson and the game winning try came from Lizzie Eways of Catholic University. Both tries were converted by Julia Malicotti. With this win the MARC won their pool finishing 1-0-1, Ohio went 1-1, and Great Waters 0-1-1. The MARC got seeded fourth in the bracket and Ohio was seeded eighth.
In the first round of the elimination bracket MARC faced off against fifth Colonial Coast All-Stars. Melissa Rabertson of York got the MARC started off on the right foot with a try earlier in the first half (5-0). Colonial Coast scored with 30 seconds left in the first half and converted it to take the lead 7-5. The MARC was not done, and Brianne Niewinski scored with no time left to the give the MARC a 10-7 lead going into the half. In the second half it was a hard-fought battle neither team gave up any group until Colonial Coast scored in the 12th minute giving them a 12-10 lead. This match came down to the last minute of play where the MARC was able to keep possession of the and with a few broke tackles Pam Sbarra scored with no time on the clock to advance to the semi-finals. The final score 17-12. Despite not scoring a try in the match Marywood's Alyssa Tirella had an amazing match. Tirella was all over the field making tackles and contesting every ball, she even forced multiple turnovers. The MARC moved on to face the Prairie States (1) on Day 2.
MARC's day started with their match up against number one seed Prairie States. In the first half it took a while but after a few minutes of no scoring it was all Prairie states, scoring three unanswered tries and converting one of them (17-0). The MARC had multiple chances but was unable to capitalize on them. In the second half it was scoreless half until Marywood's Gabrielle Tutoni scored making it 17-5. Unfortuatly there was not enough time for the MARC to make a comeback as time expired as there were making an offensive attack. Prairie States went on the win the tournament and they scored the least amount of point against the MARC the entire weekend. The MARC's try was only one of three scored on them. The MARC then got matched up against Upstate New York in the third and fourth place match.
In the third and fourth place match against Upstate New York, both teams were battling it out going most of the first half without any points. Then Upstate New York took control of the match scoring three unanswered tries and one conversion. Making it 17-0 at half. The MARC did not give up and fought back with Julia Malicotti scoring in the first minutes to mount a comeback (17-5). The MARC was building back the momentum to make the comeback but one mistake lead to Upstate New York scoring one last try to seal it. The MARC finished in fourth, Upstate New York took third, South All-Stars lost to Prairie States in the finals to take second place.
NSCRO had representatives scouting players for the NSCRO 7s National Team that competes in the Las Vegas 7s International Tournament in March and the Collegiate Rugby Championship held in Philadelphia in June. Pam Sbarra from the University of Scranton has been selected to the NSCRO National 7s team and will compete at the Las Vegas 7s. The MARC will be assisting Sbarra with expenses to compete in Las Vegas. Lizzie Eways of Catholic University and Melissa Robertson have earned honorable mention to the NSCRO National 7s squad
Team Roster: Alyssa Tirella, Brianne Niewinski, Ciara Sharky, Gabrielle Tutoni, Julia Malcotti, Kayleigh Sullivan, Lizzie Eways, Marie Johns, Melissa Robinson, Pam Sbarra, Sarah Costa. Coaches: Ashley Letten, John Gulden, Alex Schaefer
The Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference is divided into a D2 Division and a National Small College Rugby Conference Organization (NSCRO) Division. Since the MARC Women’s Division has been founded it has been competitive on the local, and national level, as well as developed several players to the National Team Level.
2018 MARC DII Champion Bloomsburg Women's Rugby
2018 MARC DII MVP Selena Fernanandez
2018 MARC NSCRO Champion University of Scranton Women's Rugby
2018 MARC NSCRO MVP Micole Madrazo