Some exciting games on both the league and friendly fronts will take place in the women’s DI college realm this weekend. A handful will give insight into how the top teams are progressing through pre-season, while league games will farther narrow down who still has a shot at playoffs.
The Pacific Mountain North Conference produces excellent games every weekend, and tomorrow and Sunday won’t disappoint. California wants to solidify its position as the conference’s second-best team to Stanford, and will attempt to improve to 2-1 against Chico during the Golden Bears’ homecoming weekend. Chico will have to recover quickly, as the team prepares for Oregon State on Sunday.
Davis (2-1) is currently holding the #2 spot in the conference, and will likely end up 2-2 after its game against leader Stanford. The Cardinal are coming off a 22-point win over Cal, a team that defeated Davis 31-10 earlier in the season.
In the PM South Conference, UCLA and UC San Diego will go to toe to toe for their first match. This has typically been the most exciting game of the league season, and still has the potential to be, but UCSD has shown some inconsistency early in the season, dropping games to Arizona State and UC Santa Barbara. Nevertheless, the two have a well-worn rivalry that should heighten competition this Saturday.
In the South, Central Florida has locked up the Sunshine Conference’s seed to the territorial championship, while second place and the spot at play-ins will come down to Florida and Florida State. UCF will likely beat FSU this weekend, and it was suspected that South Florida would forfeit to UF, as it has during the last two weeks. Should the aforementioned occur, UF will lead in the standing 3-2 with 15 points, and FSU will be 2-3 with likely 10 points. The two second-place contenders will end the season against each other on March 17, and the only way FSU will advance will be with a bonus-point win over UF (Florida won the teams’ first league game 29-12).
North Carolina is 4-0 in the Cardinal conference and will attempt another win against East Carolina, a team that the Tar Heels shut out 47-0 early this season. North Carolina State will take on the winless South Carolina and likely propel into second place ahead of ECU.
The South’s Wren Conference has played the fewest games in the South, due to weather cancellations and forfeits, but the league looks forward to the Georgia v Tennessee game. UGA tied Clemson, which forfeited to Tennessee for UT’s lone league points of the season. This game will help sort out the top three teams.
There are just as many interesting friendlies peppered throughout the country as well. The always busy Virginia Women’s Rugby (UVA) will play Navy, a game that marks UVA’s third game of the season. Navy tied West Chester 15-all last weekend, while UVA beat up Virginia Tech 63-0.
Michigan is making a trip east, even though the team is out of national contention due to its third place finish at Midwests. Michigan will play Maryland and Georgetown during their spring break, and finish with the Virginia Women’s Invitational Tournament the following weekend.
Finally, Women’s Cougar Rugby (BYU) will work its depth and try out some new player combinations in its match against Utah Valley University. The Cougars should win as they continue their buildup toward nationals.