St. Joe's Faces Iona In Early Start To College Slate


St. Joseph's and Iona College are getting an early start to the college season with their upcoming clash this Saturday at Mazzella Field in New Rochelle, NY.

While most colleges are still wondering which teams might be available to play, the Hawks and the Gaels are going to mix it up in a preseason warmup at Iona that could tell us a lot about what their squads can offer.

St. Joe's is looking ahead to playing in the Keystone Conference again, where the Hawks enter as the favorites. Iona is part of the new Liberty Conference.

Liberty Conference Holds Out Hope For D1A Inclusion

Interestingly, St. Joe's still contributed players to the Liberty Conference All-Stars team that played the Texas All-Stars in Bermuda earlier this month, highlighted by a standout performance from the Hawks' Jimmy Wolfer.

St. Joseph's head coach Dan Yarusso said he's using this game as an extra opportunity to evaluate his squad.

"We had an excellent turnout for our first day of camp, and the guys are excited for the season," Yarusso said. "It is a bit early for a game, but our university allows us to move in early to get a jump on the season. Also gives our guys off for Labor Day weekend which most will spend at the Jersey Shore."

St. Joe's graduated a significant number of forwards, so it's important for returners such as utility forward George Harris and prop Nick Ballas (both juniors) to take leadership roles and raise their game.

The backs are solid. Wolfer returns for a fifth year, and Noah Niumataiwalu is looking to build off an excellent freshman year. St. Joe's also has some talented newcomers, such as Mark Dombroski (Archmere Academy), Ben Ehlers (Fairfield), and transfer Xavier Stewart.

For Iona, it has some important pieces of the puzzle returning. Scholz Award finalist Mike Scarcella is back for one more year, and Mike Marro is another returner. Santi Mascola was, like Niumataiwalu, a revelation as a freshman and is expected to be stronger this year.

Gaels head coach Bruce McLane used to coach at Xavier High School, and his former team's fingerprints are fairly heavy on both squads (although Bishop Hendricken has had its influence, too). Xavier product Conor Buckley will be a big addition at scrumhalf as a freshman.

"I coached Jimmy Wolfer in high school, and he's a fantastic player," McLane said. "I don't know Noah Niumataiwalu as a player, but I know his brother [Shelby, who plays for Penn State], and I know his dad [David, a former USA flyhalf], and they're fantastic. We're going to have a bunch of guys I went to high school with coming up to watch the game and I'm really excited."

What's Up With Notre Dame? Irish Pull Off Upset

Colleen McCloskey Navy_NotreDame_1765.jpg

The University of Notre Dame pulled off a bit of an upset this past week, beating Davenport 36-24 on the road to record the Fighting Irish's first victory of the season.

Merlins Weave Magic, Old Blue Tough in ARP

Glendale Rugby glendalevoldblue2017-glendalerugby.jpg

The Atlantic Rugby Premiership may be a small club competition, but for the Eastern men's clubs it's an important one — the sad news is that the best squad among them is from Colorado.

FloRugby All D1 College Rankings: What To Do About An Upset

Steven Zomberg undvdavenport-zomberg2017-1.jpg

How do you punish an upset? Do you make the assumption that the losing team selected down and didn't have its top players? Or do you immediately assume that both squads had their best lineup and punish the loser.

Justin Johnson, A Star In The Making


By Austin Willis

Who's Up, Who's Down: Taufete’e Shines At Euro Challenge Cup

David Barpal wwu7s2017.jpg

A USA Eagles player posted a hat trick for his club team in one of the most impressive performances of the weekend, while the Varsity Cup saw its run as a major postseason event all but extinguished.

Playoffs And Glory Beckon: D1A Standings

Anthony Stella pennstatevkutztown2017-1.jpg

With the news that the D1A playoffs will expand and likely will be the only high-level game in town, it's time to check in on the standings.

D1A Postseason Deadline Means Big Changes

Michael Geib smc-v-life-2017-diafinal-michael-geib-2875.jpg

Today, Oct. 15, is the deadline for D1A college teams to declare their intention to participate in the spring playoffs.

Austin Elite Hold Combine

Alex Goff austincombinegroup.jpg

Austin Elite of Major League Rugby held a combine Saturday in Austin, Texas, to look at several dozen players hoping to make the pro team.

Hanco Cuatro As USA Selects Beat Canada A In APC Finale

Colleen McCloskey arc2016-hanco-germishuys-colleen-mccloskey-1b.jpg

The USA Selects capped off the Americas Pacific Challenge with a 45-26 defeat of Canada A on Sunday in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Arkansas Red River 7s Champion Again

Jordan Maat rrrc7s-2017-jordan-maat-7.jpg

For the second year in a row, Arkansas won the Red River Rugby Conference 7s championship, defeating Texas A&M 26-12 in the final on Saturday in Stephenville, Texas.