No. 4 Army Men’s Rugby Stunned, Drops Decision at Iona

D1A Rugby: No. 4 Army Men’s Rugby Stunned, Drops Decision at Iona
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The fourth-ranked Army West Point men’s rugby team earned its first loss of the season on Saturday afternoon, falling to Iona by a score of 42-26 in a road matchup.

Iona got on the board first, driving the ball down the field and taking the early 5-0 lead with a try.

In the 18th minute, the Black Knights responded as vice-captain Jacob Banarhall dotted down. Thomas Del Pino was able to successfully boot the conversion to give the Black Knights the 7-5 lead.

A penalty kick from the Gales in the 29th minute made it 8-7 in favor of the home team. They found the try zone once again in the 32nd minute to go up 15-7.

Army closed out the first half with a bit of momentum as they were able to score in the 38th minute to send the team into the break down by 15-14. Sullivan claimed the score as Del Pino earned his second conversion of the afternoon

Iona jumped out again in the second half with a kick-and-chase play to earn a try and take the 22-14 advantage.

The Black Knights answered on the following possession as Banarhall recorded his second score of the evening and Del Pino was again successful on the kick, bringing the score to within one as Iona clung to a 22-21 advantage.

The Gales would go on a 14-point unanswered streak to go up by a mark of 36-21.

Army was able to dot down once again as time ticked off the clock, but Iona sealed the deal on the ensuing kickoff, scoring again to put the game out of hand and walk away with the 43-26 win.

With the loss, Army falls to 5-1 on the season and breaks a streak of five-consecutive victories to open the season.

Army will return to the pitch on Saturday when it travels to Kutztown, Pa., for an afternoon battle with the seventh-ranked Golden Bears. Last season, Army battled to a 34-30 victory over the Golden Bears in front of a wild home crowd. Kutztown now stands as the only undefeated team in the Rugby East, with a mark of 3-0.