College Updates

• Via my e-mail alerts, the Bowdoin College Women earned a bid to the Elite Eight next spring …

Bowdoin women’s rugby earns National trip
BATAVIA, N.Y. — Despite losing to Norwich in the Northeast Regional Final on Sunday 20-10, the Bowdoin College women’s rugby team has earned a bid to the National Championship Tournament in Florida next April.

The Polar Bears (8-2) advanced on point differential and edged Siena for the final berth in the tournament.

In what was a hard-fought game played in extremely sloppy conditions in western New York, the Cadets avenged last weekend’s loss to Bowdoin in the NERFU Semifinals. Norwich jumped out to a large lead, putting Bowdoin in points-differential jeopardy for the National Tournament. The Cadets went up 5-0 on an early try before a Margaret Munford penalty kick cut into the advantage, 5-3. Late in the half, a long sideline run by Norwich made it 10-3 at the break.

The Cadets scored another try early in the second period to increase their lead to 15-3, but Bowdoin bounced back behind the strong play of Emily Skinner. Erica Camarena collected a ball from 15 meters out and powered through a scrum to down the ball for a try and make it 15-10. Norwich added a late score to make it a 20-10 final.

The National Championship Tournament is an eight-team competition held in Sanford, Fla., on April 21-22. The trip to the ‘Elite Eight’ will be the first-ever for Bowdoin, which won the New England Championship in both 1994 and 1995, but before the institution of the National Tournament.

On Saturday, Bowdoin shut out Rutgers to advance to the Northeast Regional Championship game with a 36-0 victory.

The Polar Bears got on the scoreboard midway through the opening frame when Krystal Barker intercepted a pass and returned it unscathed for a tally that was converted by Munford. Ten minutes later, a long run by Skinner resulted in another converted try by Munford to up the lead to 14-0. Late scores in the opening period by Barker and Alivia Moore made it 24-0 at intermission.

In the second period, Bowdoin continued to control the pace of play. A short run by Jeni Kennedy resulted in another score, while Moore added her second of the day on a long sprint down the sideline to make it a 36-0 final.

Outstanding defensive play — particularly by Catherine Jager — sealed the shutout for the Polar Bears.

• Elsewhere out east, Vassar missed out on a trip to Nationals by a one-point differential in the standings calculations.

Women’s Rugby Loses Out To NRU Point System
By Tony Brown, Head Coach

BATAVIA, NY (November 12, 2006) — Vassar’s Women Rugby Team dominated Cornell and won convincingly scoring 6 tries on a heavy field. They finishing 30-7 victors, but alas it was not enough to earn them a place at nationals.

The NRU only considers the points scored against the champion team and this despite the fact that both Vassar and Brown had another common opponent, Cornell.
Brown lost 22-5 to Army having beaten Cornell 24-3.
Vassar lost to Army 19-0 and beat Cornell 30-7.

So Army Women advance with a 2-0 record and Brown University (1-1) advance over Vassar (1-1) because their points difference was -18 while Vassar’s was -19.

Had total points difference been used Vassar finishes with +4 and Brown + 4.

Pick your poison!

There’s probably not much to choose between Brown and Vassar but it sure would be nice to have them play each other to find out who should represent the Northeast at Nationals, especially since Vassar defeated them last Spring and have better results against common New England opposition.

Vassar College Women 30 v Cornell University Women 7
Tries: Chrissy Lewis (1), Ashley Lorentzen (1), Marlo Messer (2), Danielle Goodman-Levy (2).

Intent on proving that they could better Brown’s score against the New York State Conference Champions, Vassar set about destroying Cornell. Both teams had played the day before and were obviously sore, but Vassar hit the rucks right from the start and dominated possession. It was a day tailor made for the rucking style Vassar prefers, the only real problem was that the Cornell tacklers would not roll away so Vassar scrumhalf Marlo Messer had to contend with bodies on the ground as she tried to pick the ball up or pass. This allowed the Cornell defense to get up quickly to tackle the fringe runners. But the Vassar forwards made sure that they hit the ball at pace and managed to force their way over the gain line.

Good team rucking followed and that meant more ball and another hit up. Flanker Chrissy Lewis ran well and was rewarded with a try when she burst through and broke a couple of tackles.

All the Vassar team now knew that they could win this match if they worked hard to secure the ball. The rucking was first rate throughout the game and it proved the difference. It was something of a shock that Cornell took the lead 7-5 when Vassar’s Elise Okusami threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted. But she showed her usual cool and did not let it phase her. She played a wonderful match catching everything that came her way and mixing up cutting back inside or setting her backs away. Bridget Meade and Danika Oriol-Morway also did well and the former made big yards when given the opportunity.

Ashley Lorentzen hooked well taking a number of strikes against the head, and she got the next score to make it 10-7 and with it the lead that Vassar would never relinquish.

One of the high points of the season has been the play of converted wing, now scrumhalf, Marlo Messer. She scored a try in each half and has been quite simply exceptional. She ran and distributed with confidence and poise and even when tackled by the big Cornell forwards was always a handful. At the half it was 15-7 to Vassar but Cornell had never threatened to score except when gifted the interception.

Danielle Goodman-Levy had a number of her signature runs weaving and bumping her way through traffic. She twice found the line for scores and her successes owed much to the good rucking of her fellow forwards.

The Brewers may not be going to Nationals in the spring but their only losses this season have been to the top 2 ranked teams in the country – Army and Penn State.

Team: 15 Alex Milne 14 Juanita Aguirre 13 Danika Oriol-Morway 12 Bridget Meade 11 Laura Redden 10 Elise Okusami 9 Marlo Messer 1 Andrea Listenberger 2 Ashley Lorentzen 3 Kelsey Smith 4 Anna Markowski 5 Meredith Kendall 6 Danielle Goodman-Levy 7 Chrissy Lewis 8 Trish Stanley. Subs: Ele Watts for Andrea Listenberger, Hannah Kullberg for Ashley Lorentzen, Meg Bergan for Trish Stanley, Darcy Bennett for Kelsey Smith, Alex Thom for Juanita Aguirre, Sarah Hubbell-Engler for Marlo Messer, Marquise Hopson for Laura Redden.

• Here in the Midwest, scores from the Women’s D-II Collegiate Tournament …

COLLEGIATE WOMEN: Division II Championship Tournament
Iowa State University – 60 vs. Indiana University – 0

3rd Place:
University of Minnesota – 52 vs. Purdue University – 39

Indiana University – 29 vs. University of Minnesota – 22
Iowa State University – 68 vs. Purdue University – 10

• Via K-Train

2006 EPRU Women’s U23 Team Finalized!
24 Ruggers named to 2006 EPRU Women’s U23 Team

The top women ruggers in the EPRU competed this past weekend for 24 spots on the 2006 EPRU U23 roster. The selected team will travel to Baltimore, MD on Nov 18 and 19 to compete against the Potomac and Virginia Rugby Union U23 sides.

To all those who tried out, everyone did a great job and it was tough to pick only 24!

Congratulations to the team members!

Listed in alphabetical order, the 2006 EPRU U23 Team:
Allison Myers, Scrum Half – Philadelphia Women
Ashley Keen, 2nd Row – Drexel University
Brittany Robison, Prop – Kutztown University
Christia Billias, Center – East Stroudsburg University
Christin Alejnikov, 8 man – Drexel University
Courtney Ayling, Wing – Kutztown University
Danielle Dincher, Fullback – Shippensburg University
Elizabeth Walsh, Wing – University of Delaware
Emily Tunney, 8 man – Philadelphia Women
Heather van der Hoop, Flyhalf – Princeton University
Julia Brown, Flanker – University of Delaware
Julia Dambaugh, Center – University of Delaware
Kate Deem, Wing – East Stroudsburg University
Kate Voorhees, 2nd Row – University of Delaware
Kerilee Shuey, Center – Shippensburg University
Kerryn Winiesky, Scrum Half – Kutztown University
Lindsay Wick, Flanker – Brandywine Women
Lisa Hrunka, Prop – Shippensburg University
Lori Kenuk, Prop – University of Delaware
Rachel Dayton, Flanker – Kutztown University
Rachel Rosa, Fullback – Widener University
Sandra Carretero, 2nd Row – Kutztown University
Stefanie Hallman, Hooker – Drexel University
Christina Ambs, Flanker – La Salle University

• An e-mail update from Lisa in Philadelphia for MARFU Women’s Collegiate Play –

Upsets all over in MARFU Women’s Collegiate DII (Nov 4-5)
With a Saturday loss to Shippensburg, Temple’s season ended last weekend.

“Bravo to Ship for a well played match. Though we dominated every scrum, Ship made more efficient use of their possesion and seized every single opportunity. Their centers were big and powerful, and their scrumhalf, Michelle Sweeny, played a very, very clever game. Our discipline at the breakdown just wasn’t what the referee had asked for, and it cost us big. We’ll learn from this experience and regroup for next year.”

Kutztown bested TCNJ Saturday by 5 tries, setting up a the Sunday Kutztown/Shippensburg final. Lead by MARFU U-23 players Kerryn Winiesky (10) and Mary Merlo (8), Kutztown took control at the first kick off and never gave it up. “Clinical” is the best way to describe the game. Kerryn showed tremendous maturity for a player her age, and executed a game plan that blended patience around the breakdown with top notch support. Every time Ship made a mistake, Kutztown pounced, and every time Kutztown erred, they tied up the ball until a whistle came. With a dominant performance from the scrum, Kutztown was able to minimize the impact of any handling errors.

If I had to pick a tournament MVP from this weekends EPRU events, it probablly would have been Winniesky. Katie Black of Westchester was a huge force in the victory over Princeton, but watching Kerryn play was like watching a surgeon operate. I was completely impressed.

Kutztown goes into MARFU D11 championship as the EPRU’s #1 Seed, and Shippensburg as #2.

The biggest upset occured in the Potomoc Rugby Union, where historically dominant UMD was toppled by a young and surprizing Georgetown University. Georgetown is lead by MARFU U23 youngster Katie Welter. “No one expected this from us – and it feels amazing!” said Katie. The last time the two met, UMD won 57-0. This time it will be Georgetown that goes into MARFUS at the top of the PRU. St Mary’s won the Sunday match to take the PRU#2 seed, while UMD take the Potomoc’s third.

In the VRU, things went as expected, as long-time favorite Mary Washington takes first place over a tough University of Richmond Side. William and Mary round out the VRU posse with their third place finish.

So the MARFU Women’s D2 quarterfinal matchups are:
Mary Wasington (VRU1) hosts Maryland (PRU3)
St. Mary’s (PRU2) hosts Shippensburg (EPRU2)
Georgetown (PRU1) hosts William & Mary (VRU3)
Kutztown (EPRU1) hosts University of Richmond (VRU2)

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