The Harvard Rugby Football Club is just as consistent at winning the Beanpot as the Harvard hockey team is at losing it.
Two years, two titles.
The Crimson (10-3) collected its second consecutive Beanpot title after it defeated Northeastern, 9-8, in the championship final Saturday at Soldiers Field. Harvard defeated Boston College, 10-6, to capture the title last year in its first-ever Beanpot appearance.
"It's a real credit to our team that we won it again," senior rugger Richard Butcher said. "We were beat up from last weekend, and we still put it together enough to win."
Harvard was coming off a long, disappointing weekend. The ruggers played four games in two days, and fell to Southern Connecticut, 11-9, in the final minutes of the New England Invitational.
This time, the Crimson rallied in the final minutes to win. Senior fly-half Chris North hit a penalty kick with three minutes remaining to put Harvard on top for good.
"It was nice to come back and get one like that," Co-Captain Mike Newhouse said.
For Northeastern, the tournament meant a chance at quick revenge. Harvard victimized the Bulldogs, 22-0 last weekend.
"They were much better this time, plus we were a little banged up," Newhouse said. "They were fired-up, and they had a couple of guys back who had been injured."
Senior fullback Nathan Koenig hit a penalty kick in the first half to put Harvard ahead, 3-0, at the half. Koenig added another penalty kick early in the second half to put Harvard ahead, 6-0.
Northeastern countered with two trys, including one with five minutes remaining, to pull in front, 8-6.
It appeared Harvard would lose another close one in the final minutes. Last weekend, Southern Connecticut rallied past Harvard in the final minutes. And three weeks ago in the Ivy League tournament final, Brown rallied to tie Harvard late in regulation, and then defeated the Crimson in double-overtime on penalty kicks.
Things appeared to worsen after a penalty kicking situation. Koenig, who hit five penalty kicks on the weekend, was on the sidelines nursing an injury, and North was forced to attempt a 40-yard penalty kick. The senior nailed the kick, giving Harvard the lead and the 'Pot.
"You have to hand the game to Chris North," Butcher said. "He hit the kick under pressure."
The Crimson opened its title defense with a 15-3 victory over Boston University in the first round.
Harvard led the entire way in this one. Chris Arbery scored Harvard's only try of the day, and Koenig booted three penalty kicks and added a conversion after Arbery's try.
"I'm glad to see we held together," Butcher said. "We were able to win on a day in which we were not as sharp as usual."
The "B"-side (5-3) fell to Boston College, 18-13, in the finals of the "B"-side Beanpot. The "B"-side got to the finals by defeating B.U., 28-6.
Oscar de la Rosa hit the seven penalty kicks in the two games. Kevin Dulsky, Charlie Duggan and Mike Agostini all scored trys.