Norwich rallies past UMass Lowell 19-13, advances to Rugby Northeast finals

LOWELL, Mass. - The Norwich University men's rugby team advanced to the Rugby Northeast Championship game with a come-from-behind 19-13 victory over UMass Lowell on Saturday morning in the semifinal round of the playoffs.

Neither side scored in the opening 30 minutes of the game until UMass Lowell scored on a penalty kick to take a 3-0 lead. Brad Fennell scored the Cadets' first try and Jeffrey Minicucci (Bolton, Conn.) added the conversion to give Norwich a 7-3 lead. UMass Lowell responded with a try and conversion right before halftime to take a 10-7 lead.

UMass Lowell added another penalty kick in the beginning of the second half to take a 13-7 lead.

Senior Korbin Wayton (Highland Village, Texas) scored a try to cut the deficit to 13-12 with 28 minutes left in the game. Junior Nathan Rolling (Taylorsville, Utah) scored with a successful conversion by Minicucci to give Norwich the lead again at 19-13 with 25:30 left.

Norwich (7-1, 6-0 Rugby Northeast) held on from there and neither side was able to score again as the Cadets escaped with the 19-13 victory to punch their ticket into the finals.

The Cadets will now face No. 2 seed Bentley in the finals at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Bentley defeated Middlebury in the other semifinal 5-0. The winner of Sunday's game will earn a bid into the USA Rugby Division II National Tournament.

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