Notre Dame hosted Aspen in a 7s exhibition Saturday during the Notre Dame
spring football Blue-and-Gold game.
This was a historic day for a Notre Dame rugby program that is still not that
far from having been kicked off campus.
The exhibition, in front of over 30,000 fans, was prompted by James Aldridge,
now playing with Aspen after a stint in New Zealand, and a former Notre Dame
This was a special experience for all the players, and the fans were
especially enthusiastic watching to 7s. The fans responded well to the big
hits and the fast pace of game.
The roars began to build up about midway through the single 7-minute period
when winger Dom Carsaro tried to win the corner, but was pushed out 10 yards
away from the end zone. The first and only score came with about a minute
left, when senior Dan Scheper made an and passed to sophomore Byron
Henry on a cutback. Henry split two defenders and found senior David
Harrington, who offloaded in contact to senior Chris "Sparky" Pesigan to set
him up for the 60-yard race to the tryline.
"It was the best experience of my life," said Sparky.
The Notre Dame 7s team is now preparing for the USA 7s Collegiate Rugby
Championship at PPL Park in Philadelphia June 2-3. This experience at the
Blue and Gold game will help the players for the CRC, too, as the size of the
crowd won't be a shock. Notre Dame has brought in former Eagle (7s and 15s)
David Fee to lead the 7s effort, and they will look to build on their 2011
finish, where they made the Challenger Cup final.