April 20, 2013
Albany 31-Saratoga 23
Albany welcomed the Saratoga Stampede to Dick Green Field on Saturday in what was expected to be an intense match. Saratoga is gearing up for a run at the Div. III National Championship before making the leap into Div. II competition next fall. There was a decent crowd of old boys there to support the Knicks, with Mike Jones watching as well. Saratoga had no shortage of fans either. Both sides had loads of talent. While Albany stuck with their core players, Saratoga opted to test several combinations throughout the match, with many Stampede players trying to lock in their spot on the 25 man playoff roster.
Albany got on the board first as wing Scottie Bergen worked the far sideline after receiving a pass from fullback Dorian Simes. Captain Tom Breslin could not convert the difficult kick into the wind but the Knicks led 5-0 at 7 minutes in. Saratoga came back 7 minutes later though when their kicker, aided by the strong wind, landed a long range penalty. 5-3 Albany at 14 minutes. The Knicks answered though when eightman Brandon Bailey muscled his way over the try line just right of the posts after several pick and go attempts. Breslin had a better angle this time and slotted the conversion to give Albany a 12-3 lead. Saratoga came back again though and at the 27 minute mark scored a try right under the posts with a nice crash ball right up the middle with their backs. The conversion was made and it was 12-10 to Albany. Bergen scored Albany’s third try six minutes later, where once again he found himself receiving another ball along the far sideline. He had a little bit of work to do to beat some cover defense but was able to round the corner and finish under the posts; leaving Breslin with an easy conversion. Albany was now up 19-10. Saratoga finished the scoring in the first half as they worked their way downfield and were awarded a penalty just shy of the whistle. They converted successful on the penalty kick and went into the break down by 6 points. Things got interesting in the second half with Saratoga striking first, off a turnover in midfield twelve minutes in. The conversion missed and Albany’s lead was one point. It remained 19-18 in Albany’s favor for the next 18 minutes until Saratoga crossed again and took their first lead. Saratoga was up 23-19 and Albany knew they weren’t going to get many chances with 10 minutes to go. In a key moment with about 5 minutes to go Breslin opted for the lineout over a penalty kick. Albany secured the lineout ball and maintained possession for several phases before Brandon Bailey was able to power his way through two defenders and score what would be the winning try. Breslin missed the conversion leaving the score at 24-23. There were three tense minutes left with Saratoga trying desperately to get back into the Albany half. Each attempt was thwarted and Albany was doing everything it could to hang on. With less than 30 seconds to go Albany pivot David O’Neill punched a line drive kick towards the opposition fullback, the kick was mishandled just outside Saratoga’s line and flanker Cody Morton raced to the loose ball, picked it up and scored to seal the victory. Breslin converted to end the game 31-23 to Albany. A lot of players rose to the occasion but flanker Cody Morton was all over the field and made several key tackles that stopped the Saratoga offense in their tracks. He also moved to inside center when Sean Mertz went down with an ankle injury. The try at the end was a testament to his fitness.
Sean Bayliss (Nick St. John @ halftime)
Steve Arango (Todd Martin @ halftime)
Tommy Breslin (Captain)
Sean Mertz (Brian Killips @ 70’)
Saratoga won the B match 5-0. The match was scoreless well into the 2ndhalf when Saratoga took a turnover ball from mid-field and raced down the left sideline. Albany had several attempts to put points on the board but failed to execute. Scrumhalf Tim Pendergast earned man of the match honors for Albany.
Thomas Sage (Steve Arango @ 50’)
Damien Lopez (Bryan Lynch @ halftime)
Marty White (Bill Zedaker @ 50’)
Albany travels to Syracuse on 4/27 to play a round robin tournament against Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester in what is being billed as the I-90 tournament.
April 13, 2012
Albany 93 - Rochester 0
The Rochester Aardvarks traveled down the I-90 corridor to play Albany at Dick Green Field on a cool spring day. Albany started strong with the first try coming just 6 minutes in. The home side crossed the try line 15 times and kept the visitors scoreless. The match saw several 2nd side players get valuable time which will strengthen the bench as the season continues.
Jesse Boehme (@ 38’ Brian Killips)
Jason Reigart (@53’ Alex Brooks)
Tom Breslin (Captain)
Sean Mertz (@ 45’ Kurt Willms)
Man of the Match – Tommy Breslin
Scoring Summary: Tries: Sean Mertz (3), Tom Breslin (3), Cody Morton (3), David Malizia, David O’Neill, Max Schuler, Brian Killips, Murphy Lill, and Scottie Bergen. Conversions: Breslin (9 out of 15)
The Knicks were left scrambling Thursday night to find a B side opponent after finding out Rochester would only travel with 16. Thankfully RPI agreed to send a side over. The Engineers have come through countless times to help Albany in moments like these and the club is grateful. Albany was up 20-5 before RPI came back to within 5 points but 2 late tries by Albany helped the Knicks claim their 2nd B side win of the season.
Albany 32 - RPI 15
Steve Arango (Captain)
Man of the Match – Rich O’Brien
Subs – Bob Grimm, Joe Judge, Bill Zedaker
Scoring Summary: Tries – Rev Protain, Marty White, Rich O’Brien, Brandon Murphy, Kurt Willms, Steve Arango; Conversions – Tim Pendergast (0 of 5); Kurt Willms (1 of 1)
The Knicks take on local rivals Saratoga Rugby Club next Saturday, April 20th at Dick Green Field. Saratoga is gearing up for a run at the USA Rugby Div. III Championship. Kickoff is at 11:00am with a full day of rugby to follow, including a B match and several women’s games.
April 6, 2013
Albany over Monadnock
Albany 43 - Berkshire 36
Albany welcomed the Monadnock Wolfpack Rugby Club of Keene, NH to Kiwanis Park in Latham for the 1st home game of the season. The visitors scrapped for the full 80 minutes; but were outgunned by Albany. The Knicks crossed the line 22 times and captain Tom Breslin converted on 17 of 22 attempts. Monadnock was able to get on the board with 2 PKs. Albany was impressed by Monadnock’s resiliency and it was noted several times how positive their team leaders remained despite the score. Their eightman continually took time to teach his young charges. It was a shining example of how to act even in defeat.
The Knicks second side faced off against Berkshire Rugby in the B match and fell behind 28-10 at halftime. Berkshire was relentless with the kick and chase continually putting Albany under pressure due to poor positioning. Berkshire’s inside center had several strong runs and caused problems all game. However after some adjustments at halftime Albany mounted an impressive comeback to down Berkshire 43-36.
The Knicks will be tested by the very physical Rochester Aardvarks at Dick Green Field this coming Saturday, April 13th. Kick-off is scheduled or 2:00pm with B game to follow.
Man of the Match – Sean Mertz
Man of the Match – Kevin Warren
Tries – Penalty Try (1), Brandon Murphy (1), Kurt Willms (1), Kevin Warren (1), Greg Matthew (2)
Conversions – Tim Pendergast (5 of 6)
PKs – Tim Pendergast (1 of 1)
White Plains, NY
March 30, 2013
Albany 24 - White Plains 37
Albany traveled down to White Plains this past Saturday to play longtime rivals White Plains. It was White Plains though who came out on top with a 37-24 win. Albany opened up the scoring three minutes in with a Breslin penalty. White Plains hit back though at the 10 minute mark with the first of three successive tries – off a quick tap penalty the WP # 9 got the ball to a streaking winger who dotted down in the corner. Their 2nd try also came as the result of a quick tap penalty, with the conversion being made. The 3rd try for the home side came from a lost scrum with the ball being worked quickly to the strong side wing. After 30 minutes of play White Plains was up 17-3. Albany started to claw their way back in and at 34 minutes was rewarded with their 1st try as hooker Sean Bayliss muscled over the try line with a close pick. Breslin converted and at halftime the score was 17-10.
White Plains struck first in the 2nd half at the 12 minute mark with their own try off a pick n go near the line. The conversion was missed. Four minutes later Albany flanker Cody Morton took a short pick over the line to start to bridge the gap. Captain Breslin again made the conversion and Albany was within 5 points. On the next possession Knicks flyhalf Scottie Bergen showed some individual brilliance when he spotted a gap and slice through the White Plains backline racing 60 meters for his 1st try of the season. Breslin again converted and 19 minutes in Albany was up 24-22. White Plains wasn’t rattled though and calmly mounted their own comeback and three minutes later scored what turned out to be the game winning try. The replacement center wrong-footed his opposite number and broke through the line from 40m out. He was left with a 2 v 1 which was executed nicely, putting his wing in for the 5 pointer. White Plains added two more insurance tries at the 30 & 33 minute marks. Final score was 37-24. Scottie Bergen was named Albany Man of the Match. Bergen played out of position and did well with the little ball that the backline saw off of set pieces. Fullback Dorian Simes was also exceptional making meters on every ball that was kicked to him.
Albany’s 2nd side took the field against a young athletic White Plains side. The game was won by White Plains 19-15. Steve Arango, Dave Mink, and Dan Weingarten all scored for Albany. Captain Steve Arango won Man of the Match honors for his on-field leadership.
It was great to see so many White Plains Old Boys and especially Jo-Jo Moore – who passed along his thanks for all the Knicks have done and also sent his best wishes along to Jonesy. Both clubs raised $140 for Jonesy through bracelets sales. Many old boys are planning to come up in May for the Jonesy Open.
The Knicks will be hosting both Monadnock (Keene, NH) and Berkshire on Saturday, April 6. The A game vs. Monadnock will kick-off at 11:30am and the B game vs. Berkshire will follow immediately after at 1:00pm. The games will be played at Kiwanis Park in Latham, NY off of Route 2, just east of the Latham Circle.
1. Dave Malizia
2. Sean Bayliss
3. Jeff Cosgrove
4. Jesse Boehme
5. Jason Reigart (@ 50’ – Max Schuler)
6. Ed Kos
7. Cody Morton
8. Brandon Bailey
9. Gordon Eddie
10. Scottie Bergen
11. Tom Breslin (Captain)
12. Sean Mertz
13. Murphy Lill
14. Steve Arango (@ 40’ Kurt Willms)
15. Dorian Simes
Penalties – Breslin (1/1)
Conversions – Breslin (3/3)
Tries – Bayliss, Morton, Bergen
1. Ethan Lusted (@30’ Dan Weingarten)
2. Alex Rufer
3. Frank Williams
4. Eric O’Bryan (@30’ Thomas Sage)
5. Max Schuler
6. Todd Drake
7. Alex Brooks
8. Brian Killips
9. Brandon Murphy (@ 30’ Bryan Lynch)
10. Kevin Warren
11. Steve Arango
12. Kurt Willms
13. Josh Clevenger (40’ Damien Lopez)
14. Dave Mink
15. Josh Vics (moved to 9 at halftime)
Tries – Arango, Mink, Weingarten