This past weekend, Mystic River’s Division 1 team travelled to Pittsburgh, PA to compete in the National Championship Semifinals. Unfortunately, the team’s National Championship title defense came to a halt with a loss to NYAC in the Elite Eight.
At the start of the match, both Mystic River and NYAC traded field possession and momentum. NYAC opened the scoring about 5 minutes into the match when the Mystics committed a penalty in the middle of the pitch by the 22 meter. NYAC easily slotted the penalty conversion and led 0-3 early. The Mystics continued to battle hard by playing disciplined defense and forcing turnovers as NYAC pressured heavily for the rest of the half. NYAC then managed to score a converted try taking the 0-10 lead about 25 minutes into the match. Soon after, NYAC converted a penalty extending the lead to 0-13 entering the second half.
NYAC continued to extend the lead about 15 minutes into the second half with another converted try, now leading 0-20. The Mystics found themselves deep into NYAC territory but could not force themselves over the NYAC try line despite several attempts. NYAC was able to respond to the Mystic attack by scoring an unconverted try, now leading 0-25. But in traditional Mystic fashion, they would not die easily. Flyhalf Robbie Malneek dished a long pass to wing Chris Frazierwho burned the defense for the first Mystic try of the match. Wing Spike Armstrong showcased his leg by slotting the conversion narrowing the lead to 7-25. The Mystics continued to threaten NYAC’s strong defense causing a penalty tryagainst NYAC. Armstrong’s conversion narrowed the deficit to 14-25. Unfortunately, the late attack by Mystic River wasn’t enough. NYAC added another try and took the Elite Eight matchup 14-32, effectively eliminating Mystic River from playoff contention.
The following day, Mystic River competed in a consolation match against Rocky Gorge. Mystic River easily won the match 77-17. Mystic try scorers were 8-man Thomas Thekakera (2), center Jared Collinson, wing Chris Frazier, lock Mikaele Misinale, flanker John Sullivan, wing Spike Armstrong, wing Aki Raymond and fullback Duncan Wood (3) who also went 11 for 11 on try conversions for the day totaling 37 points! A great final match to the 2016-2017 15’s season!
We want to thank all of Mystic River’s supporters and sponsors for helping the team compete to defend their title!
Stay tuned for more information on this summer’s 7’s season where Mystic River will compete for a 7’s National Championship!