2012 Mid Atlantic Regional Championship Team MARC Third Place Finishers Lock Haven Men’s Rugby Football Club By: Matt Croak Lock Haven University
The Foundation • Club founded in 1985 • The original club started with only 18 members • Began playing in the EPRU (Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union) • At first had no paid coach and was entirely player coached by the team itself.
Early Club Successes The LHURFC enjoyed great success in it’s early years capturing an NSCRO National title in only it’s 10th year of existence. Upon winning the title, the club elected to advance up to the division 1 level where they continued to experience the same success. Within the three years they spent at the division 1 level, they earned a 37-10 record in the regular seasons, and 40-15 record overall including play-offs and spring exhibition games. The tenure also saw them win two EPRU division 1 championships.
Continued Success In 1999 the club returned to Division II, we piled up 437 points in just six games while allowing only 42. We were the first EPRU team in years to have scored over 100 points in two different games in a single season. After winning the EPRU Championship for the Fall of 1999, LHURFC then hosted the first round of the MARFU (Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union) spring playoff season.
Early Success (Continued) In the first round of MARFU's Haven disposed of a very impressive Johns Hopkins squad. 39-12. Travelling to Emittsburg Maryland for the MARFU championships, the Haven ruggers lost a heartbreaking match to eventual MARFU champs, Radford. Even though Haven kept the ball in the Radford end for over 30 minutes in the second half, they just couldn't put the ball over, and ended their National Championship run, 12-17. The Haven ruggers then went on to take first place in the annual California of Pa Cockfight Tourney, and fourth in the Slippery Rock tourney.
Rebuilding Years • After the 1999 season, Lock Haven Men’s Rugby Club continued to enjoy some successes but not greater than the early successes they saw in the 1990’s. Some accolades that they achieved were • 2004 Spring Pittsburgh Rugby Classic Champions • 2008 Beast of the East 4th place finishers • 2009 had defeated the NSCRO National Champions PSU Berks Campus in the early part of the fall season.
Resurgence After having experienced several down and poor played semesters, the club began it’s turn around in the beginning of the 2010 year. In the fall they only had a record of one win, three losses and one tie but ended up leading the league in points scored. They were 75 points better than the next club.
Return as a title contender In the fall season, the club had a league record of 5-1 and entered the play-offs as the number 2 seed from the west behind Gettysburg University. They posted a decisive first round victory over Widener University before falling to eventual EPRU Champions, Rowan University. With the loss they had just fallen short of making nationals. They defeated the top seed from the west Gettysburg College and earned a seed in the MARFU Play-Offs. In the spring of 2011, Lock Haven achieved a record of 4-3 and placed second in the Pittsburg Rugby Classic, losing to a Division One University of Pittsburgh Rugby Club.
Recognition With their return to power, LHU Men’s Rugby was featured in an early promo for all Lock Haven University Fall Sports. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHTR_2h8ojI
MARFU Championship Run In the opening round of play-offs Lock Haven drew William and Mary University, who were the number one seed from Potomac Region. This game resulted in a dominant win for Lock Haven and advanced them to the semi-final round in Pittsburgh where they would once again find victory from the number two seed Frostburg State, also from the Potomac. In the championship game the club earned it’s rematch with Rowan and this time upset Rowan 38-35 with a final kick for points with no time left on the clock. During this run, Lock Haven had beaten 3 of the top 25 Division 3 Teams in the nation and finished ranked sixth overall in the nation.
Return to Division 2 In the fall of 2012, the club elected to return to the division 2 level but in the newly formed MARC conference. In just one season, the club finished second in the overall division standings, knocking off old Division 2 Champions East Stroudsburg and only losing to the eventual champion and rival Rowan University by the score of 17-12. In the play-offs, the club was upset by East Stroudsburg and had to settle for a third place finish in the conference beating Drexel in the consolation final and once again just missing out on a trip to nationals.
The Future • March 2nd-Away Gettysburg College • (Loss 33-21) • March 9th-Home Wilkes Barre Breakers • Men’s Club (Win 38-5) • March 16th-Away Scranton University • (Loss 17-12 in Sudden Death) • March 23rd-Spring Break • March 30th-Home Millersville University • (Loss 17-12) • April 6th- Pocono Cup • April 13th-Home Susquehanna • April 20-Beast of the East • April 27- Away Juniata College This upcoming season, the club features a very tough schedule to prepare them for the upcoming fall season. It features two Division 3 NSCRO National Qualifiers in former rivals Susquehanna University and Gettysburg College, Scranton University who as a MARC fourth seed play-off team, Millersville who is a Division One Team. They also make their return to the Beast of the East which is the largest college tournament run on the east coast, and make their debut in the fifth annual Pocono Cup which features tough men’s clubs and two MARC opponents in ESU and Bloomsburg. They cap off their season with an unknown foe in Juniata College.