The playoff berths shook out as expected. On Oct. 27-28, seven women's DI clubs will join host Atlanta for the quarterfinals, and the weekend will produce two finalists who will contest the championship in Ft. Myers, Fla., on Nov. 11.
A fantastic battle for the eighth seed ensued this weekend, as Philadelphia and Boston looked to take the third seed out of CR3. The two teams were tied with 16 points heading into their final league match against each other, so it was winner-take-all. Throughout the season, both sides demonstrated that they were most dynamic in the forwards – Boston emblematized by hard-running, aggressive lock Stacy Powell, and Philly working off the ever-physical Kristin Aliberto at No. 8. The teams didn’t disappoint but the home side, Philly, ended the day with a 19-12 victory and playoff berth.
It was a nice rebound for Philly, which had finished 1-5 last year, but they’re in a difficult position nonetheless. Not only did the team have to wait until this weekend’s result before buying a plane ticket to Atlanta in fewer than two weeks, but Philly will also play defending national champion Chicago North Shore in the opening round.
North Shore clinched the top seed overall after defeating crosstown rival Chicago this weekend. Heading into Saturday, Detroit and North Shore were tied on points in the standings, but Detroit had finished their regular season the previous weekend. All North Shore needed to do was bank the win and four points, and they did just that with the 19-7 victory.
Chicago, too, did what they needed to do to put themselves in the best possible position for advancement. Although they had a comfortable lead in points and point-differential over fourth-place Austin, they couldn’t afford to surrender a massive loss to North Shore. Austin was finishing up their regular season against the winless Minnesota Valkyries, who have given up some massive scores this fall. But the blowout that Austin was hoping for didn’t evolve, and the Texans stayed in fourth place after their 12-7 victory.
Much like Philadelphia, Chicago’s “reward” is a difficult one. They, too, had to sit on plane tickets until after this weekend, and the Illinois team will inaugurate their post-season against host Atlanta.
The Harlequins ran out to a 63-5 victory over visiting Village Lions on Saturday to clinch the top CR3 seed. Flanker Liz Snodgrass and fullback/replacement flyhalf Jess Wooden each banked hat tricks, and led a very potent offense.
It was a change of speed from Atlanta’s last game the weekend prior against NOVA (CR3 #2). Heading into the 70th minute, NOVA only trailed Atlanta 6-5 before the Harlequins ran in two late tries for the 20-5 win. It was a crucial test for Atlanta, which ended the season outscoring opponents 318-25.
NOVA has played several close matches this season, the most recent of which was a 36-20 win over Providence to secure the second CR2 seed and fourth overall. They’ll see ORSU – which nabbed the #1 seed out of CR1 – in the first round. ORSU played Nor Cal Triple Threat last weekend, but the game was perfunctory in terms of standings. ORSU and Seattle had clinched their berths to playoffs the weekend prior.
Women DI Club Seeds
1 - CR2 #1 – Chicago North Shore
2 - CR2 #2 - Detroit
3 - CR3 #1 - Atlanta
4 - CR3 #2 - NOVA
5 - CR1 #1 - ORSU
6 - CR2 #3 - Chicago
7 - CR1 #2 - Seattle
8 - CR3 #3 – Philadelphia