As group play in Chester moves on, here is your mid-day update on the local action:
Temple after two matches find themselves outside looking in, losing both games played so far. Temple opened up the morning, losing to tournament blue-bloods, Dartmouth 17-5. In a must win match against Utah, Temple fell behind early and couldn’t overcome a 14 point deficit despite making a run in the closing minutes of the match, falling 21-14. Temple fails to make the cup rounds for the sixth straight season.
St. Joseph’s University:
The Hawks are continuing to turn heads early in the competition, taking six out of six possible points thus far. Initially picked to finish last overall in the tournament, The Flying Phil Martelli’s have dropped both Army and Navy in consecutive matches, tying them for first in Pool C, with Arkansas, who they will face in their next match-up for the right to move on. Should St. Joe’s lose the match, their point differential may prevent them from moving forward in the tournament.
Penn State University:
The Nittany Lions have also taken their first two matches of the day, beating Virginia Tech in their opener, 29-12 and Drexel in their second of the day, 26-12. PSU now sits alone atop of Pool D with six points. Their remaining fixture of the day will come against powerhouse, Life University, who was upset by Virginia Tech, 7-5, in their second match-up of the day. This sets up another huge clash between two squads that, with a win, will advance. If Penn State wins, they move on to the knock-out round. A loss will put them in a precarious second place position, relying on point differential to punch the ticket past the group stages. A loss could send those from the Happy Valley home from the tournament early.
The Dragons, making just their second tournament appearance in their history sit in the basement of Pool D, having lost both of their first two matches. Drexel had fire extinguished early by Life U., getting blanked 46-0. In their second match of the day against PSU, the dragons put forth a valiant effort that say them fall 26-12. The tournament is over for the Dragons who exceeded expectations by making the cut in the first place.
Three-time defending champions Cal sits atop Pool A with six out of six taken, as they march towards their fourth straight Collegiate Seven’s Championship.
Pool B action has seen Kutztown take their first two, setting the stage for a possible third match in three years against Cal. If this scenario plays out, the Golden Bears will look to avenge back-to-back losses against Cal in the finals in consecutive seasons.
Arizona, in Pool C, remains tied for the top spot with St. Joe’s after two, blanking both Army and Navy along the way, putting both military academies out of reach for the cup round of play. The combined margin of victories enjoyed by the Wildcats will push them ahead of St. Joe’s should the final match end in a draw. St. Joes’s needs a win to advance or again, will rely on points to take one of the two second-place tickets to ride.
In the hotly contested Pool D, UCLA and South Carolina sit atop the group with three a piece after one played. At the time of this writing, South Carolina trails the Badgers of Wisconsin, 22-5 in the second half.
Finally, Pool F action puts Dartmouth in front of the pack, with early wins over both Clemson and Temple. Utah shares the top spot with the Big Green, setting up a winner advance scenario in the final match of group play.