Shippensburg got off to a good start during its Women’s DII National Championship campaign, downing Santa Clara 38-17 for the quarterfinal bertj, where they’ll face Notre Dame who defeated Mesa State 27-20 in its Round of 16 match.
The combination of Natalie Monroig and Luci Renna proved too powerful for the Northern California team, as the two scored two tries apiece in the first half. But Shippensburg didn’t necessarily take a commanding 28-7 lead because they were dominating possession.
“Santa Clara were in our half the entire half,” Shippensburg coach Scott Stratton said. “We just hit them big on their mistakes. In the second half, we had more continuity, were way more relaxed, and stuck to our pattern of play.”
Molly Doyle converted a nice support run at 43rd minute and Lindsay Libengood did well to finish off a break for Shippensburg final try.
“It was a fantastic game from our forwards,” Stratton said. “They won great ball. Also, Averie Brittin, our replacement flyhalf, didn’t skip a beat. And Libengood played well at weakside wing.”
Notre Dame, Shippensburg’s quarterfinal opponent, rallied from a 20-7 halftime deficit, to defeat a big Mesa State. The two will fight for a trip to Pittsburgh, Pa., where they will face the winner of UNC Charlotte, which upset defending national champion Washington State 14-0, versus Stonehill College, which beat Winona State 35-7, in the quarterfinals.