The close matches that were supposed to ensue this weekend didn’t. Women’s DI clubs Glendale and Atlanta took on fellow undefeated teams this Saturday but were hardly challenged in their wins.
The Raptors (3-0) had expected a tough showing from Detroit (2-1) but won their game easily 71-12. Tyra McGrady got comfortable on the wing and devastated Detroit out wide, scoring four tries. Katie Janus began the try-scoring in the fourth minute, followed by back-to-back tries from McGrady. Sara Edwards’ conversion made it 17-0 after 18 minutes.
Eagles Kitt Wagner and Jill Potter joined the point scorers with converted tries in the 26th and 31st minutes for the 31-0 lead at half.
The Raptors picked up where they left off and saw Gabe Fidelman and McGrady dot down, while Hannah Stolba converted both. Up 45-0, Detroit put seven points on the board in the 52nd minute after Glendale was penalized for not releasing inside the 22. The Raptors repeated this error 15 minutes later and Detroit was able to run in another try.
They were pennies in a bucket, as Glendale sandwiched Detroit’s tries with five-pointers from McGrady, Stolba, Janus and Bethany Humphrey. Stolba converted all four.
It was a big win for Glendale, but it didn’t come without its consequences. A late hit on Potter, and injuries to Edwards and Wagner necessitated their substitutions, so hopefully they’ll be in top form shortly. They’ll have a weekend to rest if necessary, as winless Denver Black Ice awaits the team next Saturday.
In CR3, Atlanta and Providence aimed to snap each other’s perfect records, but it was the Harlequins that emerged out the other side 4-0 after a 52-7 win.
Atlanta coach Jason Payne took it easy on his team during Tuesday training and allowed the players to shake off some fatigue. The players reviewed film, played short games, and then were refreshed for a focused Thursday session.
Providence only traveled with 15 players, and although the squad finished the game, several players went down during the course of the match.
“They were a well structured team when they had the ball and their 15 has some great running lines, one of which let to their try on an inside insert off the 12,” Payne commended. “They also had good defensive structure and re-alignment. We had to work hard to get through or around them.”
Atlanta helped its cause by attacking the set piece better than last week and maintained the majority of possession early on. Payne credited new forwards coach Jamie Hugh for the improvement, as well as the players for responding to the instruction.
“At times we still tried to force the pass with mixed results, but overall there were improvements in a lot of areas,” Payne said. “We got to use all of the reserves, and the new players to the squad are really starting to play a part in the shape of this year’s team.”
Payne noted recent UGA graduate Kate Daniels, who was solid in defense in the centers, and 20-year-old Maddy Wilbanks, who continues to impress in the loose.
“There is much more to do, but the bye week will be a welcome break for the players and give us two weeks to keep building before facing Albany at home,” Payne added.
Providence narrowly beat Albany earlier in the season, but Payne insisted that his team is take every game seriously.
“ With two games to go and only two teams advancing to play-offs there is still not a lot of separation at the top of the points table,” Payne said, “so every game counts and the players are aware of that. The travel schedule is certainly a strain on all of the teams this season, but the level of competition has been great for us. I’m sure Albany will bring another challenge, as they also had a solid win this past weekend and are more than holding their own in their first season of D1.”