Much of the movement on the Girls U19 national ranking occurred due to the addition of unranked teams - most notably Lakewood (Ohio) - and some teams that have been winning the last few weeks actually slid in the lineup. Former national finalist Lakewood has pushed everyone below #6 down a spot and has exacted revenge against reigning Ohio State Champion St. Joseph's Academy with two wins (19-12, 20-5) for the Ohio seed to Midwest Championships.
"We are looking really focused and determined to prove the critics wrong," Lakewood coach Andre Bruwer said. "We have been winning our games by over 80 points to nothing, and our only loss so far was to Ohio State University, who beat us 12-27."
Lakewood assumed St. Joseph's rank but has the potential to gain even more ground as it looks toward the Midwest Championship in two weeks. Kettle Morraine (Wisc.) and Lakewood are the favorites to face Divine Savior in the territorial final, and we believe Lakewood could beat the 27-3 scoreline that Kettle Morraine posted against DSHA in last fall's Wisconsin state championship.
Also new to the lineup are Beaverton (Ore.), which edged Canby (Ore.) 10-7, and Karns Blue (Tenn.), which defeated Maryville (Tenn.) 12-5. There are now three teams from Tennessee on the rankings, including reigning state champ Ravenwood, and several teams on the watch list, so a couple more weeks of play will likely see a replacement.
Fallbrook (Calif.) and Kent (Wash.) are undefeated in their respective leagues. Southern California has entered its playoff season and has seen Fullerton, Back Bay and ICEF move onto the semifinals. There's no reason Fallbrook shouldn't secure the top SoCal seed, although they were nicely challenged by Fullerton a few weeks back, winning 17-3. That performance is why Fullerton still clings to a top 20 slot, although it's a tenuous grip considering Back Bay beat them 15-5 (Why isn't Back Bay on the list? Fallbrook crushed them 53-7).
Kent lost to Fallbrook during an early season tournament match, but that aside, the Washington squad is looking as strong as ever. Last weekend, the Crusaders played their second game against Budd Bay - a game that was aired on local television - and tacked an extra 20 points onto the first match's scoreline. Kent has also beat the top Oregon teams - Canby, Beaverton, West Linn - in friendlies, and has every reason to believe it'll advance deep into playoffs. Unfortunately for the perennial powerhouse it'll once again be more difficult than it need be. The Pacific Coast powers-that-be amended this year's playoff structure, and Kent won't have the option to play for the top seed in the region. The territory has decided that the Pacific Coast #1 seed will be contested between Northern California #1 and Utah #1, and the second seed will go to the victor of Washington State #1 v Northern California #2 (stay tuned for more debate).
Nor Cal will contest its quarterfinals this weekend, and while league-leader Mother Lode (5-0) beat reigning national champion Sacramento earlier in the season, the rebuilding Amazons has started posting scary scores reminiscent of last year. Sacramento may be young, but rugby's in its blood, and a Mother Lode v Sacramento rematch could see very different results.
Slipping one spot is EPRU's West Carroll, which played a close 34-26 win against unranked North Bay a couple of weeks ago. The Maryland team was down 14-0 at half but rallied with 34 straight points to hold onto the win. Last weekend capped the team's final league match in which its B side scored 34 second-half points for the big win.
Last year's Northeast represent at nationals, Portland (Maine) has been playing college sides in preparation for the NRU championships set to occur in early May. The team's ambitious schedule has afforded it an 0-4 record, but the only blowout occurred against Boston University, 60-10. Early indications show that Fairport (NY) and New York will be Portland's top competition during NRUs.
Several teams mentioned earlier are on our watch list - New York, which won the Met NY, Back Bay (Calif.) and North Bay (Md.). We're also keeping our eye on Lowland, which broke took the lead in Utah's standings after last weekend's 22-5 win over Snow Canyon, and Orchard Park, which fell to Fairport by a mere three points.
GIRLS U19 TOP 20 - APRIL 20, 2011*
1 (1) Summit (Colo.) (8-0). Idle
2 (2) DSHA (Wisc.) (7-1) (10-1). Defeated Rockford 65-0, Vernon 41-0, Oak Creek 80-0
3 (3) Fallbrook (Calif.) (5-0). Forfeit win over SOC in SoCal quarterfinals. Closest game: 17-3 win v Fullerton (17)
4 (4) Kent (Wash.) (5-0). Defeated Budd Bay 45-0
5 (5) Sacramento Amazons (Calif.) (4-1). Defeated Elsie Allen 94-0, Davis 94-5
6 (unr) Lakewood (Ohio) (10-0). Defeated St. Joe's 19-12, then 20-5 for Ohio seed to Midwest Championship
7 (6) Kettle Morraine (Wisc.) (6-2) (7-3). Defeated Vernon 32-10, lost to DI College UW-Milwaukee 37-0
8 (10) Mother Lode (Calif.) (5-0). Defeated Davis 37-0, Alameda 10-0, Bishop O'Dowd 28-0
9 (8) West Carroll (Md.) (5-0). Defeated Cumberland Valley 85-5; Closest game: 34-26 win v North Bay
10 (9) Portland (ME) (0-4). All college games; only blowout was to Boston University 60-10
11 (7) St. Joseph's Academy (Ohio) (4-2). Lost to Lakewood 19-12, then 20-5
12 (unr) Beaverton (Ore.) (5-0) (5-1). Defeated defending Oregon State Champ Canby 10-7; lost to Washington leader Kent 29-0
13 (11) Canby (Ore.) (4-1) (4-2). Lost to Beaverton 10-7 and Kent 30-3
14 (13) Brookfield (Wisc.) (4-4) (7-4). Defeated Muskego 84-0, St. Louis Sirens 43-0, Kansas City 27-0
15 (12) Douglas County (Colo.) (6-2). Idle
16 (14) Ravenwood (Tenn.) (5-0). Defeated Riverdale 43-17, Independence 49-7, Blackman 64 -7, Siegel 34-17, Brentwood 34-7
17 (15) Fairfax (Va.) (2-0). Defeated Langley 20-0, Western Loudon 38-12
18 (unr) Karns Blue (Tenn) (3-0). Defeated Maryville 12-5
19 (16) Maryville (Tenn.) (4-1). Lost to Karns Blue 12-5
19 (19) Fox Chapel (Pa.) (4-0). Defeated Rocky Grove twice 39-5, 49-17; and Mon River 105-0, 85-5
20 (17) Fullerton (Calif.) (3-2). Lost to Back Bay 15-5, Fullerton 17-3, won SoCal quarterfinal ORCA 58-5
20 (18) Fairport (NY) (2-0). Defeated Orchard Park 10-7, City Honors 45-5
*Match scores aren't necessarily most recent games, but most indicative of season success.