Kutztown rugby team reaches national quarterfinals

Kutztown University put up a valiant effort, but lost to Life University 31-17 in the quarterfinal of the USA Sevens Collegiate Men`s Rugby Championship at PPL Park.

Life, seeded second in the championship round, led the entire game, beginning with a try and conversion by Joe Cowley at 5:28, who ran the distance for the score. 

Kutztown, seeded seventh, closed the gap to 7-5 on a spectacular run by Gareth Lourens.  After breaking several tackles, Lourens weaved his way to the right sideline, threw a couple of stiff arms, and dove to the corner for the try at the 4:09 mark.

The Running Eagles opened the gap to 14-5 with 1:45 remaining in the first half on another try and conversion by Cowley.  Cam Dolan pitched the ball to a wide open Cowley, who sprinted in down the left side for the score.

Life scored again as the first half buzzer sounded on a try by Jake Anderson.  The conversion failed, giving Life a commanding 19-5 lead at the half.

Kutztown scored first in the second half, as Bruce Dolan dove to the right pylon for the try.  The conversion sailed wide, and the score stood at 19-10 in favor of Life.

Life answered on the next possession, as Colton Carriaga fell on a loose ball in the try zone at the five-minute mark.  With a chance to take a three-score lead, Cowley missed the conversion, keeping Life's advantage at 24-10.

With the game on the line, the Golden Bears answered.  KU worked the ball down the field and punched the ball over the line on a try by Tim Acker at the 2:33 mark. The conversion by Acker split the uprights, and Kutztown was back in the game, trailing 24-17.

Needing to regain possession, the Golden Bears could not find an answer for the high-powered Life offense.  The Running Eagles drove the ball easily inside the KU 22-yard line, and punched the ball in when Carriaga dove up the middle for the try with 1:20 remaining.   Cowley added the conversion and the victory was sealed.

The loss ended a spirited effort by the Golden Bears, who finished their first appearance in tournament in the title round of eight teams.  The CRC featured 20 teams from some of the biggest universities in the nation.

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