By weekend’s end, we’ll know who’s heading to the Women’s DII National Championship, and so an updated ranking is order. In some cases, teams didn’t necessarily deserve a demotion, but post-season results forced a drop in the rankings as teams proved their worth.
For big drops, like St. Michael's from #12 to #24, consider that the last time the colleges were ranked, it was just before the fall season's end. The Rugby Northeast team lost big to American International College in the final, but has started to rally back with some wins against local teams.
MARFU named its champion, Shippensburg, last Sunday after a tough 12-3 win over Temple, which also jumped up in the rankings. Shippensburg might not be the second-best team in the nation at the end of nationals, but we’ll have a better idea how strong the Pacific Coast leaders – Washington State and Western Washington – are progressing after this weekend’s PCRFU championship.
The South also named its two seeds. Reigning champ Lee University walked away with another title, but Appalachian State gave them an excellent run in the title match, losing only 12-5 and earning a spot on the rankings.
There was a little controversy in the West DII playoffs, as Texas A&M was deemed an ineligible DII team. The union had been operating under the belief that the Texas Cup Match winner (University of Texas) would be the region’s DI representative, and the second-place team would be its DII rep. That scenario didn’t work out in the end, and the Eastern Rockies received a second seed (Mesa State) to the West semis instead. The two ERRFU teams met in the final and Wyoming walked away with the 18-0 victory.
And the Southern California season came to an end as well. Cal State Northridge emerged from the pack with a 7-1 record, and its lone loss came at the hands of Arizona early in the season. In the rematch, Northridge defeated the Wildcats 22-17. It's an incredible achievement for the first-year team.
Around the rest of the region, Pittsburgh has been very active in its friendly season. The team competed against DI team at VWIT, and won the Cherry Blossom and Coopers Lake tournaments. Northeast champion Norwich has been lining up the difficult opponents in preparation to nationals, and played to an impressive 35-30 loss to DI finalist Penn State. Rugby Northeast champ American International College is going to play DI’s Brown and UConn this weekend, and we’re eager to see how the varsity program matches up against the next tier of play.
Stay tuned for results from this weekend’s playoffs and some more moves on the rankings.
Women DII College Top 25 - April 4, 2012
1 (1) Norwich (8-0) (8-1). #1 in Northeast; won first USA Rugby College 7s Championship; played Penn State to 35-30 loss.
2 (3) Shippensburg (12-0). Won MARFU after playoff wins against Catholic University 45-0, Mary Washington 27-10 and Temple 12-3 in the final.
3 (4) Washington State (6-0) (9-0). Won Pacific Northwest; top seed at Pac Coast playoffs
4 (5) Western Washington (5-1). 2nd Pacific Northwest, lost to Washington State 17-12.
5 (unr) Winona (10-1). Won Midwest Championship after defeating Grand Valley 32-26 in semis then Pittsburgh 31-10 in final; won Fools Fest after 20-15 win v DI's Minnesota in final.
6 (2) Grand Valley (10-1) (11-1). Lost to Midwest champion Winona 32-26 in Midwest semis; defeated UW La Crosse for third. Defeated Notre Dame 68-7 in preseason friendly.
7 (15) Temple (6-2). Finished 2nd in MARFU after defeating William & Mary 42-5, George Washington 22-19, and losing to Shippensburg 12-3 in final
8 (unr) Vassar (6-3) (9-3). 2nd in Northeast; defeated DI's Boston College 56-0 and Yale 102-5
9 (10) Pittsburgh (17-1). 2nd in Midwest; recently won Cherry Blossom and Coopers Lake tournaments
10 (9) AIC (6-0-1). Won Rugby Northeast
11 (7) Rutgers (8-1) (8-2). 3rd in NRU; lost to DI's West Chester 26-12
12 (6) George Washington (7-1). Finished 3rd in MARFU, defeating Delaware 34-17, losing to Temple 22-19, and defeating Mary Washington 27-13
13 (19) Lee University (6-0). Won South Championship after wins against Eckerd (60-7) and Appalachian State (12-5)
14 (22) Humboldt (4-0). #1 seed out of Northern California
15 (unr) Texas A&M (2-2). Finished 2nd in Texas; defeated Texas 32-29 and Texas Tech 39-0 in last two rounds. Excluded from West DII Championship.
16 (17) Mary Washington (6-3) (8-6). Finished 4th in MARFU. Defeated St. Mary's 29-5, lost to Shippensburg 27-10 and George Washington 27-13
17 (unr) Appalachian State (5-1). Finished 2nd in South after defeating College of Charleston 48-10 and losing 12-5 to Lee
18 (14) Delaware (6-3). Lost to George Washington 34-17 in MARFU Quarterfinal.
19 (unr) Wyoming (6-0). Won West Championship with a 57-0 semifinal win over Truman State and 18-0 win v Mesa State in final.
20 (18) Bowdoin (7-3).Finished fourth in NRU
21 (8) UW La Crosse (7-2). Finished fourth in Midwest, losing to Pittsburgh and Grand Valley State
22 (unr) Cal State Northridge (7-1). Won Southern California. Dropped lone match to Arizona early in season.
23 (25) Arizona (6-2). Finished season 2nd in SoCal; split games with CSU Northridge (43-24, 22-17)
24 (12) St. Michael's (5-2) (10-2). Lost to AIC 47-0 in RNE final; defeated Vermont Law 10-0, Siena 17-12 and Wellesley 31-19
25 (20) Stonehill (4-2) (4-3). 3rd in RNE; lost to DI's Rhode Island 17-12