Molloy College Admissions Counselor, Brendan Droge, founded the Molloy College Rugby Football Club in 2005. A former player, captain and club president at Iona College, Droge wanted the students here to experience the excitement of this unique and challenging sport.
Droge and the entire squad have been aided tremendously by the guidance and rugby expertise of Scott Salvato, Director of Campus Ministries. A prop all his life, Salvato played his collegiate rugby at St. Bonaventure and was named captain in 1992. In 1993, he began playing for the Rockville Centre/Long Island Men's Club and anchored their transition into the ranks of Division 1. He was named team captain from 2000-2003.
Salvato's experience in the front row proved to be invaluable for the young Molloy forwards. His strong relationship with the Long Island Rugby Club enabled the Molloy students to attend their practices and was crucial in helping the squad acquire fields for their matches. Molloy College is now an affiliate of the Long Island Rugby Club. Many Molloy ruggers have gone on to play with the men's club at the conclusion of their collegiate careers. The first game in Molloy College Rugby Football Club history was played on
April 1, 2006 against local rival Hofstra University. The team celebrated their first win after a hard-fought 19 - 17 victory over Drew University on October 1, 2006.
The Men in Maroon and Black
The 25-member team resides in Division III of the Met Union along with Bard College, Drew University, Montclair State University, SUNY Maritime, Rowan University, Rutgers University "C", Wagner College and William Paterson University. The squad is an affiliate of perennial club-level powerhouse Long Island Rugby Football Club and a member of the Metropolitan New York Rugby Football Union. The Metropolitan New York Rugby Football Union governs more than 80 men's and women's clubs, college, high school and youth rugby teams in the Metropolitan New York City region, covering parts of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
The Early Years
Fall 2006 was the Lions first league season as a member of the Met Union. Despite the lack of experience and resources, the ruggers finished the season with a 3-3 record, highlighted by two shutout triumphs over Dominican and Bard.
The following Fall, anchored by an influx of new freshmen and transfer players, Molloy entered the season infused with anticipation. The new school year began with the squad setting up a partnership with the Kaizen Centre, a massage therapy company located in Bellmore, New York. Boasting a roster of 25 players, the Lions got off to a roaring start with consecutive victories over SUNY Maritime, Bard and Drew. Unbelievable! Molloy College found themselves in first place!
Despite losing their final two matches of the regular season to Montclair State and William Paterson, a conference newcomer, the Men in Maroon and Black earned a berth in the Met Union NY Championships. A loss in the semifinals to Montclair State refused to damper the newfound rugby excitement in Rockville Centre. In only their second full year as a club, the Lions had finished the Fall 2007 season with their first-ever winning record.
The Team Today
Spring 2008 was a monumental season for the Ruggers from RVC. Highlighted by the team's first-ever match on campus, a 5-0 victory over Drew University, the squad was elected Club of the Year and minted a sponsorship with the National Guard. Despite tough losses to Division II opponents Hofstra and Fairfield, the Lions rallied to finish the spring on a positive note with their second on-campus victory, a resounding 24-10 triumph over the Long Island Colts, and a strong showing at the annual Long Island Tournament.
The 2009 Season
2009 was a bittersweet year for The Men in Maroon and Grey. The men watched the departure of original Lions like Kevin Sweikata and Kevin Agro to graduation and the "real world." Months later though, a tremendous recruitment effort led to a host of key additions. The league season in the fall didn't quite end the way Molloy had hoped. A thrilling early season victory over Wagner College had The Ruggers from RVC talking playoffs. One injury after another, however, had the Lions thinking perhaps this wasn't their year. Nevertheless, the team's first annual Rugby Homecoming and an ESPN-Classic worthy triumph over arch-rival SUNY Maritime will not soon be forgotten
The 2010 Campaign
2010 was a breakthrough year for The Men in Maroon and Grey. Within 365 days, the RVC Ruggers hosted their first annual Formal, set-up their first-ever Alumni Match (won by the Brendan Droge-led Old Maroon!) and secured their first Met Union title. The Lions finished Fall 2010 with a 7-1 record, highlighted by a tremendous victory over rival SUNY Maritime during Rugby Homecoming. The season ended with a tough loss to The College of New Jersey in an East Regional playoff match. The year 2010 also marked the final league season for the "2nd generation" of Molloy Ruggers (Joe Buscarino, Joe "Yaz" Yasinoski, Dan "Teddy" Schreiner, Linwood Pitt and others). The 3rd wave of Lions, led by newly-named captain Rob Catalano, have a lot to live up too!