First National Title for UMD Men's Rugby Team
2013 was a big year for the UMD Men's Rugby Club, the Fighting Penguins. The Penguins had an undefeated record, shutting out many of their opponents. The highest points they gave out during a game was just seven points. They continued on through the season to beat Salisbury University of Maryland 31-7 for the USA Men's Rugby Division II Collegiate National Championship on December 9, in Greensboro, South Carolina.
The last game the Fighting Penguins lost was in last season's National Championship tournament, against Salisbury University. "Last year was our first appearance at the National Championship and we placed second, this year was our second appearance and we placed first," said Senior Derrek Van Klein.
Senior Captain Blake Martin, who was named MVP for the whole tournament, said winning the National Championship is his biggest accomplishment yet. "I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys to share it with." The men's rugby team is graduating one starter, Andrew Godeen, but will have the rest of the team back for the 2014 season.
Story in "Rugby Mag" (Includes full video of game)
The Men's Rugby Club is a Campus Life Program and is part of UMD's Recreational Sports Outdoor Program.
Story by Ellie Neigebauer, December 2013.