The Mid-Atlantic conference has an interesting playoff scheme. For women’s DII colleges, the post-season begins with play-in matches this Saturday, and the victors play the respective Northern and Southern division winners in Sunday’s semifinals.
Half of the play-in matches were already determined before last weekend’s season-enders. The University of Delaware (South #2) and East Stroudsburg (North #3) will compete against each other in the crossover phase. The outcomes of last Saturday’s matches didn’t affect their standings, but UD defeated LaSalle 62-0, and ESU topped Lafayette 68-0.
The other side of the playoffs was all question marks. With Drexel's 50-10 loss to Shippensburg earlier in the day, the victor of the St. Joseph's and York College game would take the South #3 seed. A fantastic battle ensued, but St. Joe’s was able to slot one extra conversion for the 14-12 victory.
St. Joseph’s had to wait for the Lock Haven vs. Kutztown game to shake out before knowing its crossover opponent. The two heavyweights were undefeated heading into this decisionmaker.
“This match was everything it was billed to be,” Kutztown coach Sean Cobb said. “For the first 20 minutes, neither team could get going. Both defenses stood firm and didn’t allow their opponent to go anywhere.”
But that stalemate only lasted the first quarter, and Kutztown flyhalf Mary Cate Matta broke through the line for the game’s first try. Matta added two penalties to her tally before the half, giving Kutztown an 11-0 lead into the break.
The reigning Mid-Atlantic champion was too good to be subdued in the second half, and at the 50th minute, Lock Haven sent its inside center in for the try, 11-5. The teams traded blows for the next 10 minutes, and then Kutztown got the break they were looking for.
Lock Haven was yellow carded for dangerous play at the breakdown, and that one-man advantage was all Kutztown needed to add two more tries during those 10 minutes (21-5). KU tacked on a final try at the 76th minute for good measure. Cobb tipped his hat to senior All-American scrumhalf Sharyn Beodeker and sophomore lock Faith Hughes for leading the team to an important victory.
The drama’s only beginning; here are the playoff matchups for this weekend:
MARC Quarterfinals (Saturday, Nov. 2)
Game 1: East Stroudsburg (North #3) @ Delaware (South #2)
Game 2: St. Joseph’s (South #3) @ Lock Haven (North #2)
Semifinals (Sunday, Nov. 3)
Game 3: Game 1 winner @ Kutztown (North #1)
Game 4: Game 2 winner @ Shippensburg (South #1)
The final will be played Saturday, Nov. 9