Written by RUGBYMag Staff
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:14
| Women’s DI College Top 25 – October 5, 2011
Women DI College
The first iteration of the women’s DI college rankings is conservative. All of the teams that advanced to the national championships last year are listed and only one team that didn’t attend cracked the top 16.
Had the rankings been published last week, Army would have held the #1 spot, as the reigning national champion should. But last Saturday, Penn State ground out a 14-5 win in West Point, and even though it was a friendly, it’s still a win.
The PSU game was the first of several matches that Army has scheduled in order to beef up its DI league season. Brown, Dartmouth and Yale (and potentially DII champion Radcliffe, which may have been promoted into NERFU’s DI) left NERFU’s DI for the Ivy League. The Cadets will have a relatively uncontested run to the NERFU title.
In other east coast news, Navy is the team to beat early on, having downed Brown 21-7 and Virginia 10-3 earlier in the season. We’ll be able to compare the relative strength of Navy, Brown and Army when Canadian collegiate champ St. Xavier Francis tours this weekend.
We’re also keeping an eye on North Carolina, which graduated 15 players and will be without Kimber Rozier and Katie Lorenz come matrix season. The Tar Heels are also waiting for starting scrumhalf Hannah Samad and star wing Holly Zoeller to heal up.
“On the upside, we're currently rostering almost 50 players every weekend,” UNC coach Johnathan Atkeison said. “We've got the best recruiting class we've had since I've been here, and they're really learning the game and our system quickly. The level of athleticism among the new players is really amazing, and I think that as the season goes one, we're going to be able to open the game plan up very quickly to take advantage of their speed and power.”
There should also be a nice little race between Dartmouth, Princeton and Radcliffe in the Ivy League. Only two of the aforementioned will have the opportunity to advance along with Brown to the Northeast Championship, and we’ve already seen Princeton make an early bid with a 26-14 win over Radcliffe.
The Midwest kicked off it season last weekend, and a thrilling game between Michigan and Notre Dame ensued. Michigan graduated the best team it had ever fielded last year, and they were certainly tested in their 24-20 win over last year’s DII finalist. Northern Iowa is looking as strong as usual, and has racked up 97 points while allowing 15 over two league games.
The only difference between the former Eastern Rockies region and the new Pacific Mountain conference is that Women’s Cougar Rugby has joined Colorado, Colorado State, New Mexico and Air Force. It’s a boon for WCR, which is no longer the lone DI team in a union, but also means the former ERRFU teams will experience some blowout scores against last year’s semifinalist.
Colorado has shown promise early on, defeating Colorado State 29-10 in league. Same thing happened last year, and CSU responded with a bigger point differential in the rematch. The teams will only play each other once during regular season, as opposed to home-and-away like years past.
The west coast will stay generally quiet, with the exception of the Stanford 10s and Scrum By the Sea tournaments. An interesting evolution has occurred in that California is pushing women’s collegiate 7s tournaments this fall, which will mimic future qualifiers for the national collegiate 7s championship.
“The fall season has always been about getting rookies on board, seeing what we’ve got between new players and veterans, and slowly putting 15s together,” Cal coach Ellen Owens said. “For the vets, it can feel repetitive; they’re not doing anything new. So they’re excited to do something different, and for those who enjoy 7s, they get to play the part of the game they really like.”
It’ll take some time to realize whether a 15s/7s hybrid season will help or hinder Cal’s performance, but the Golden Bears are right on the cusp of the top 25.
Stanford, UC Davis, UCSD, UCLA, Chico State – they’ll all be idle for a while, with several of the teams hosting their first practice yesterday. It’ll be difficult to move them around too much, but they’ll have a few common tournaments that will gauge their relative strength.
Women’s DI College Top 25 – October 5, 2011
1 Penn State (4-0). Defeated Army 14-5
2 Army (2-0) (2-1). Lost to Penn State 14-5
3 Women's Cougar Rugby (2-0). Defeated Utah Valley, Utah State
4 Navy (4-1). Defeated Brown 21-7, UVA 10-3
5 Virginia (8-1). Won Rucktoberfest, lost 10-3 to Navy
6 Stanford (n/a). idle
7 Brown (2-0) (2-1). Defeated Yale 85-0, lost to Navy 21-7
8 Michigan (1-0) (1-2). Defeated Notre Dame 24-20
9 UNC (1-1-1). don't know 10.1 outcome, 3 games
10 UC San Diego (n/a). idle
11 Colorado (1-0) (5-1-1). Defeated Colorado State 29-10
12 UCLA (n/a). idle
13 Colorado State (0-1). Lost to Colorado 29-10
14 Northern Iowa (2-0) (3-0). Defeated Iowa State and Illinois 97-15
15 New Mexico (2-0). Defeated NMSU and Texas Tech
16 Dartmouth (1-1) (3-1). Lost to Brown 41-12, defeated Columbia 59-7
17 UC Davis (n/a). idle
18 Texas A&M (0-1). lost 39-0 to austin; missing round robin on 9.9
19 West Chester (3-0). Defeated Maryland, Delaware & James Madison 180-7
20 Princeton (2-0). Beat Radcliffe 26-14 in Ivies
21 East Carolina (0-1). Lost to PSU 74-15
22 Chico State (n/a). idle
23 Radcliffe (1-1) (5-1). Lost to Princeton 26-14
24 Notre Dame (0-1) (2-2). Lost to Michigan 24-20
25 SUNY Buffalo (3-0). Defeated Syracuse 17-15
Written by RUGBYMag Staff
Monday, 04 April 2011 11:45
| Women DI Top 25 April 4 2011
Women DI College
In two weeks time, we'll know which DI women's colleges will be heading to the round of 16. But after last weekend's playoffs, we already have a pretty good idea of who will move on.
Since the Northeast and Midwest named their champions last November, we've had to wait until late March before the brackets would start to fill out again. The West was the first to pencil in some more teams, having contested its territorial playoffs two weekends ago. All of the matches were thrilling, beginning with Colorado State's 12-10 win over rival Colorado, followed by New Mexico's 15-10 victory over Texas A&M during the semifinals. CSU had beaten UNM twice in regular season, and remained undefeated against the Lobos with a 7-0 win. The ramifications of those mere seven points are huge: New Mexico will see Army in the first round, while CSU will see the Mid-Atlantic's #3 team.
Not that MARFU's #3 team will be a treat. The Mid-Atlantic narrowed its potential national representatives down to four this weekend, with the local union leaders (Penn State, Navy and Virginia) winning their games easily (read more). Maryland knocked off West Chester with a 15-12 win in the fourth quarterfinal, and thus assumed the Golden Rams' spot on the Top 25. Maryland's been nipping at the heels of the rankings the last couple of weekends, especially after its 29-27 loss to Virginia. The Terps led until the final 30 seconds of the match, until UVA winger extraordinaire, Erica Cavanaugh, scored the go-ahead try. That near-loss could've hurt Virginia had the team not rallied with a 27-17 win last Tuesday against visiting Brown. Even though Brown was in the middle of spring break tour - playing a tough lineup against senior women's clubs - a loss is a loss, even if it's a friendly.
This weekend's semifinals will see Penn State take on Navy, and Virginia and Maryland in a rematch. For the first time since 2006, the Nittany Lions and midshipmen won't be playing each other for the MARFU title.
The South contested its playin round robin on Saturday, with North Carolina taking the bid to South semifinals after wins against Georgia and Florida (read more). The Tarheels started slowly in its first game against Georgia, winning only 10-0 and struggling with an unstable scrum. But the pieces came together in its second match against Florida, which UNC won 37-5, thanks in large part to wing Holly Zoeller's three-try performance. The South only sends one team to nationals, and it could likely come down to UNC and East Carolina, a newcomer to DI that has beaten the reigning South champions twice. UNC will play Clemson in its semifinal, and ECU will take on Central Florida.
The Pacific Coast concluded its playin round on Saturday, with BYU taking top honors after a 67-21 win over California, then a 39-10 victory over Chico State in the final (read more). The opposition's forwards posed some problems for BYU, and Friday's points-allowed against Cal is a product of that pressure. BYU coach Tom Waqa indicated that it wasn't the small technical issues he was worried about fixing; it was sustaining mental composure for a full 80 minutes that he'll be focusing on as the team prepares for UC Davis in two weeks. Chico State advances to the Pacific Coast semifinals as well, and has the arduous task of taking on Stanford, which tuned up with a game against Women's Premier club Berkeley two weekends ago, a match that yielded a 19-15 loss. The Pacific Coast sends three teams to nationals.
In other news, Michigan has been busy playing senior women's clubs this pre-season, defeating Chicago 84-15, and dropping games to Chicago North Shore (35-0) and Detroit (22-5). Michigan was missing a few starters in last weekend's match against Detroit, but coach Herb Reich was grateful for the experience that his players are reaping. Michigan continues its buildup toward nationals with a game against Scioto Valley Saturday.
Dartmouth knocked the snow of their boots the past couple of weekends, jumping into a spring break tour that took them to Delaware, women's DI club Philadelphia, and North Carolina. The Big Green downed Delaware 31-15, lost a mixed-side developmental game against Philly, then just lost to UNC 31-26.
Here is how the national Round of 16 looks so far:
#1 MARFU 1 v #16 Northern Iowa (Midwest 2)
#9 Dartmouth (Northeast 3) v #8 Pacific 2
#5 MARFU 2 v #12 Pacific 3
#13 Michigan (Midwest 1) v #4 Brown (Northeast 2)
#3 Army (Northeast 1) v #14 New Mexico (West 2)
#11 South 1 v UC #6 San Diego (So Cal 1)
#7 MARFU 3 v #10 Colorado State (West 1)
#15 UCLA (So Cal 2) v #2 Pacific 1
The quarterfinals will pit the two victors from each pool against each other.
Women DI College Top 25 - April 4, 2011
1 (1) Penn State (6-0) (12-3). Defeated Virginia Tech 75-3
2 (2) Army (8-0) (12-2). Defeated Navy 24-22
3 (5) Stanford (5-0) (8-5). Lost to Women's Premier club Berkeley 19-15
4 (4) BYU (2-0) (16-0). Defeated California 67-21, Chico State 39-10
5 (6) Virginia (5-0) (23-2). Defeated Princeton 32-5
6 (3) Brown (6-2) (12-5). Went 3-2 on spring break tour: 2-1 at Four Leaf 15s in Women’s Club division; Lost to UVA 27-17, defeated DI club NOVA 21-5
7 (7) Navy (2-0) (9-5). Lost 24-22 to Army, defeated James Madison 64-0
8 (8) UC San Diego (4-1) (8-3). Idle
9 (9) UCLA (4-1) (8-3). Idle
10 (10) UC Davis (3-1-1) (7-2-1). Idle
11 (12) Colorado State (6-2) (8-2). Defeated Colorado 12-10, New Mexico 7-0
12 (13) Chico State (3-2-2) (6-7-2). Defeated Oregon 62-5, lost to BYU 39-10
13 (14) Colorado (5-3) (10-4). Lost to Colorado State 12-10, defeated Texas A&M 25-12
14 (15) New Mexico (4-4) (5-4). Defeated Texas A&M 15-10, lost 7-0 to Colorado State
15 (16) East Carolina (4-0) (12-1). Idle
16 (17) North Carolina (5-1) (11-2). Defeated Georgia 10-0, Florida 37-5
17 (18) Michigan (7-1) (9-5-1). Lost to women's DI club Detroit 22-5
18 (11) Texas A&M (2-3) (12-4). Lost to UNM 15-10 in west semis; lost to CU 25-12 in 3rd
19 (19) California (2-3-1) (5-6-1). Lost to BYU 67-21 in Pac Coast playin semifinals, beat Oregon 85-0 for 3rd
20 (20) Northern Iowa (6-2) (11-4-1). Won March Madness tournament, lost to WPL Amazons 62-0, defeated Iowa State 42-0.
21 (21) Eastern Illinois (9-1). Idle
22 (22) Texas Tech (1-2) (4-4). Idle
23 (unr) Maryland (1-1) (7-7-1). Defeated West Chester 15-12, lost to UVA 29-27
24 (24) Grand Valley State (6-2) (8-2). Defeated Calvin College 85-0
25 (25) Dartmouth (5-3) (7-7). Defeated Delaware 31-15, lost to DI women's club Philadelphia and UNC 31-26
Written by RUGBYMag Staff
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 11:49
| Women DI Top 25 March 9 2011
Women DI College
In the last two weeks, some interesting outcomes have shifted the women's DI college rankings. The West Coast's league seasons are winding to an end, with Northern California and Eastern Rockies producing exciting lead shifts.
Well, sort of exciting. The battle for top honors in their LAUs is played with the knowledge that all of the top teams are heading toward territorial playoffs. NorCal gets two automatic byes and another two seeds to playins; and ERRFU sends three of its four teams to West playoffs.
In NorCal, Chico can consider itself the most heartbroken. After playing Stanford to an impressive 17-5 loss - the closest outcome compared to its competitors' games against the DI national finalist - CSU let a 24-5 third-quarter lead evaporate into a 24-all tie against California. A flurry of yellow cards in the last 20 minutes allowed Cal to run in three tries from Carla Banks and Laci Patiga, and Jen Seder's conversions sealed the tie. For Chico, that means finishing third in Nor Cal (assuming a win against UC Santa Cruz this weekend) behind Davis, which CSU tied earlier in the season. The difference between second and third is an additional trip to Utah for playins, where Chico and Cal will be joined by BYU and Oregon.
In the Eastern Rockies, Colorado State looked to have a grasp on the #1 spot after holding onto the 20-17 win against a much improved New Mexico. But the team faltered a week later when it played then-winless Air Force and lost 10-5. CSU was missing U20 captain Jozy Gessner, who was attending the nationals camp in Florida, and was handicapped by inexperience in the forwards as well as lackluster backline movement. The loss opened up opportunity for UNM and Colorado, who are both 3-2 in league, with a final game against each other this Sunday in UNM's football stadium.
On the East Coast, UVA held its annual Virgnia Women's Invitational, which drew 10 quality DI sides - and DII Pittsburgh, which upset Indiana and Ohio State - from as far as the Midwest, to local powerhouses Navy and North Carolina. Virginia hadn't won its own tournament since 2003, but that all ended with a final victory over UNC, 41-0. UVA didn't allow a single point-against during the two-day tournament.
But the game of most interest occured during the VWIT semifinals, when UNC upset Navy 10-0. The midshipmen have welcomed back Sue Parker as head coach, and the former USA Women's 7s coach is implementing new game strategies that the team is rushing to master. Kimber Rozier, who later left the final with an ankle injury, accounted for both UNC's converted try and penalty, and led a team that simply wanted the win more.
A few friendlies highlighted the NRU/MARFU region, with Army crushing Beantown 43-7 and West Chester bettering DII's Temple 63-0, but like their Midwest counterparts, many teams are waiting another week before launching into their seasons.
Women DI College Top 25 - March 9, 2011
1 (1) Penn State (5-0) (8-2). On tour in Italy, 0-2
2 (2) Army (8-0) (9-0). Defeated Beantown 43-7
3 (3) Brown (6-2) (7-3). Idle
4 (4) BYU (12-0). Defeated Weber State 27-7
5 (5) Stanford (5-0) (8-4). Defeated Chico State 17-5
6 (7) Virginia (4-0) (15-2). Defeated Norfolk Women 20-8; won VWIT (4-0) over UNC 41-0 in final
7 (6) Navy (1-0) (6-4). 2-1 at VWIT; lost to UNC 10-0 in semis
8 (9) UC San Diego (4-1) (8-3). Defeated Arizona State 42-10, Won Champagne Classic v Utah State
9 (10) UCLA (4-1) (8-3). Defeated UC Santa Barbara 31-7
10 (11) UC Davis (3-1-1) (7-2-1). Defeated Santa Cruz 61-5
11 (12) Texas A&M (2-1) (12-2). Defeated Tech 22-12
12 (8) Colorado State (4-2) (6-2). Defeated UNM 20-17, lost to Air Force 10-5
13 (13) Chico State (1-1-2) (4-6-2). Tied Cal 24-24
14 (15) Colorado (3-2) (8-3). Defeated Air Force 27-3
15 (14) New Mexico (3-2) (4-1). Lost to Colorado State 20-17
16 (16) East Carolina (4-0) (12-1). Defeated NC State 63-7
17 (18) North Carolina (3-1) (7-2). Defeated South Carolina 71-0; Went 3-1 at VWIT, lost UVA 41-0 in final
18 (17) Michigan (7-1) (8-1-3). Idle
19 (19) California (2-2-1) (4-5-1). Tied Chico State 24-24
20 (20) Northern Iowa (6-2) (7-3-1). Idle
21 (21) Eastern Illinois (9-1). Idle
22 (22) Texas Tech (1-2) (4-4). Lost to Texas A&M 22-12
23 (24) West Chester (3-2) (5-3). Defeated Temple 63-0
24 (23) Grand Valley State (6-2) (8-2). Idle
25 (25) Dartmouth (6-5) (6-6). Idle
Written by RUGBYMag Staff
Thursday, 03 February 2011 15:49
| Women DI College Top 25 - Feb 3 2011
Women DI College
The Pacific Coast, South and Southern California are playing league matches now, and the West will gear up in the next couple of weeks. As the rest of the country waits for its pitches to thaw, the rankings will alter to reflect the traditional strengths and finishes of the aforementioned unions.
The Pacific Coast teams will receive the most attention, and their drive up the rankings forced Midwest teams Michigan and Northern Iowa south. Stanford is the obvious leader on the west coast, but we're hesitant to move them up until they start putting together some convincing wins. The Cardinal went 3-3 at their own tournament in mid-January and recently lost to Fresno State 25-20 in a friendly. They have a nice build-up to their season, however, beginning with easier teams UC Santa Cruz and Sacramento State, which are new to DI, then ramping up toward playoffs with matches against Cal, Davis and Chico.
The latter two tied 17-all in their league opener, then Davis beat Cal 30-10 and Chico defeated Sac State 54-12 last Saturday. We gave the edge to the previously unranked Chico, which rejoined league play after a year's hiatus, since the team beat Davis at the Stanford Invitational.
Colorado broke the top eight after winning the Stanford Invitational, but coach Jim Stebbins was quick to acknowledge the performance gap, considering CU was playing league matches all fall. In fact, the team ended the season on a low note, losing to Colorado State in its last game last year. However, once the Pac Coast teams get a few more games under their boots, expect the Colorado teams to slip a few slots.
In SoCal, UCLA began its season with a runner-up performance at the Stanford Invitational, followed by wins over UC Santa Barbara and Arizona State. The early weeks showcased a young, inexperienced backline, but the return of some key veterans have re-established the wide-open, exciting running game for which the Bruins are recognized. This Saturday evening, they take on UC San Diego, which is also undefeated thus far.
In the South, top contenders East Carolina and North Carolina Chapel Hill initiated their seasons with wins. ECU, which beat UNC in the fall, outscored opponents 140-0 in two matrix matches, and UNC put up 104 points and allowed 22 during games against NC State and UNC Wilmington. The highly anticipated match-up occurs this weekend.
The revivification of these unions means teams like the Midwest's Michigan and Northern Iowa will also start to slip in the rankings. During last year's nationals, the Midwest won one of four games played, and that came against the Northeast's third seed. Through no fault of its own, Grand Valley falls to #25, since West Chester and Dartmouth will be attending Nationals.
Women DI College Top 25 - Feb 3, 2011
1 (1) Penn State (5-0) (7-0). idle
2 (2) Army (8-0). idle
3 (3) Brown (6-2) (7-3). idle
4 (4) Navy (1-0) (4-3). idle
5 (5) BYU (4-0). idle
6 (6) Stanford (4-4). 3-3 at Stanford Invitational; lost 25-20 to Fresno State (friendly)
7 (7) Virginia (4-0) (13-2). idle
8 (13) Colorado State (3-1) (4-1). idle
9 (16) Colorado (2-2) (5-1). Won Stanford Invitational
10 (18) UCLA (2-0) (6-2). Defeated UCSB 18-13, ASU 43-5
11 (unr) Chico State (1-0-1) (3-4-1). Tied Davis 17-17, defeated Sac State 54-12
12 (19) UC Davis (1-0-1) (5-1-1). Tied Chico 17-17, defeated Cal 30-10
13 (12) Texas Tech (1-0) (4-1). idle
14 (22) East Carolina (2-0). Defeated Appalachian State 80-0 and Southern Carolina 60-0
15 (24) North Carolina (1-0) (2-0). Defeated NC State 64-12 and UNC Wilmington 40-10
16 (8) Michigan (7-1) (8-3-1). idle
17 (9) Northern Iowa (6-2) (7-3-1). idle
18 (11) Eastern Illinois (9-1). idle
19 (14) New Mexico (3-1). idle
20 (15) Texas A&M (0-1) (10-2). idle
21 (20) California (1-1) (3-4). Defeated UC Santa Cruz 60-0, lost to UC Davis 30-10
22 (17) UC San Diego (2-0). Defeated ASU 43-17 and UCSB 24-0
23 (10) Grand Valley State (6-2) (8-2). idle
24 (25) West Chester (3-2) (5-3). idle
25 (25) Dartmouth (6-5) (6-6). idle