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The Northeast DI featured a trio of games this past weekend, with Life, Mystic River and NYAC coming away with victories. Mystic River blasted Boston 58-13, Life defeated Old Blue 39-7, and NYAC downed the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 52-27.
Life vs Old Blue
Despite missing AJ MacGinty and Phil Thiel to World Cup duties, Life got off to a strong start in its ARP campaign. The Running Eagles dotted down less than two minutes into the match, and added two more before Old Blue got on the board.
Luke Hume, the former USA Eagle, has been recovering from a devastating leg injury and is finally returning to form. Hume earned Old Blue’s only score of the match midway through the first half while the New York side maintained a player advantage due to a yellow card.
Life added a pair penalties and a pair of tries and to take home a 39-7 victory in Marrieta, Saturday.
Mystic River vs Boston
Up in the Northeast, Mystic River continues to impress, pounding the local ARP competition. The Mystics dominated the game throughout, conceding the only try of the game at the end of the match.
Mystic River, who usually beats teams with a dynamic backline, employed a more forward centric approach this week. The boys from Malden were missing a handful of backline starters to injuries, so the emphasis was on establishing a strong platform.
“We used our forwards a lot more this week. Just trying to set the backs up a little bit more. We kind of had to tweak the backline a little bit. We had a couple guys injured from last week. We figured we would try to lean on our forwards a little bit more,” said Mystic River coach Josh Smith.
Chris Frazier scored the first try of the game and finished with a hat trick on the day. The former Northeastern player spent last season with Potomac but recently moved back to the Northeast to play with the Mystics.
Stephen Dazzo, who played cornerback at Dartmouth, and spent the spring playing in the Big Green backline, slotted into the second row this week. Smith praised his work defensively and in contact as well as his explosive ability with ball in hand. Dazzo added two tries on the afternoon.
“In a pinch, we moved him into lock,” Smith said of Dazzo. “He responded unbelievably. He was huge in there. We kind of gave him a crash course in there, just to make sure we had him on the field and he took to it.”
NYAC vs. BIWRFC
In the final match of the weekend, NYAC defeated the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 52-27. It was not an easy first half, however, as the Wolfhounds jumped out to an early 8-0 lead.
“The wolfhounds got stuck into it right from the start and definitely put together some great phases and pressure and were deservedly in the lead for the start of the first half,” said NYAC coach Neil McMillan. “They punished our errors and it took until he second half for us to put our patterns and game play together.”
Although NYAC got off to a slow start, the New York side scored three tries in the first to take a 22-8 lead into the break. Boston was not done, however, scoring the first try of the second half and cutting it to a one score game. NYAC weathered the storm, however, scoring three unanswered tries. NYAC would go on to score three more tries mixed in with a pair from the Wolfhounds to end the game 52-27.
McMillan praised the play of some of the senior players. Nate Brakely, James Denise and Patrick Fiffe all had strong performances. Combined with strong play at the set piece and a good performance from the bench, NYAC remained undefeated this season.
Next weekend NYAC will travel to Malden to take on Mystic River. The rematch of last year’s DI semifinal should be another exciting match.
“I think the boys are going to be ready to fight it up and get a look at NYAC again,” added Smith. “Last year I think we were excited to get through Kansas City….I think now the boys know we can play at that level…. Guys are pretty fired up going into that match especially after the result last spring.”