San Diego Break Seattle in Women's Final
After two days of competition, the San Diego Surfers have been named the 2012 Women's Club 7s Champions. A second-half surge saw San Diego not only erase a halftime deficit, but pile on 26 unanswered points against the Seattle Breakers. Emilie Bydwell was named MVP, and deservedly so, contributing two tries in the final to cap a fantastic tournament.
It was no easy road to the final, as the Surfers suffered a pool play loss to the DC Furies on day one. The team couldn't have responded any better and initiated their playoff campaign with a 10-5 sudden-death overtime win over defending champion Berkeley. San Diego's youngest player, 20-year-old Hannah Lopes, ran in both five-pointers.
Then came the Youngbloodz, whose hard-hitting pair of Sylvia Braaten and Stacey Bridges re-dedicated San Diego to a wide-open game. Ryan Carlyle, Cara Nocera and Bydwell helped produce a 19-5 win a berth to the final.
Meanwhile, Seattle outlasted the Emerald City Mudhens 17-12 in the Cup quarterfinals, then eliminated NOVA 1 12-5 for the title shot. The Breakers took a 12-7 lead into half, as powerful ballcarriers like Megan Sanders, Carrie White and Parisa Asgharzadeh needed multiple defenders to bring them down, thereby opening lanes to the tryline.
But San Diego did well to keep their heads up and come back in the second half, getting two quick tries from Bydwell and Katie Lorenz.
"All season we've been really good about getting up after we've been scored upon," Bydwell said. "That try that put us up two points really turned it around for us. We hadn't seen them at all; we didn't know what to expect. We needed a little bit of time to figure them out, get into, and once we had our lead, we were set."
Bydwell and Mollie Martin padded the lead for their first title.
"It just felt like this was the year," Bydwell said. "It just feels really right. All the people who are relatively new - me, Katie, Ryan - we feel really lucky to be here."
The Youngbloodz celebrated their inaugural year with a third place finish, defeating NOVA 17-0. Katie Johnson and Christy Ringgenberg were particularly impressive on the day. Both are such dynamic playmakers, and routinely set up their teammates for success, when of course they weren't scoring on their own.
After bowing out of the Cup bracket prematurely, Berkeley rebounded with the Plate Championship, topping the DC Furies 24-10. Lucy Croy was the star of the All Blues' final match, logging a hat trick and delivering monstrous hits on a NOVA side that struggled to finish on their opportunities. Emerald City finished their day on a win, taking 7th place with a 22-7 victory over Chicago North Shore.
In the Bowl competition, the Belles did exactly what they needed to do to erase a disappointing day one. Last year's finalist went 1-2 in pool play, but responded with three victories on day two and a Bowl championship. The only points scored on the Belles occurred during the final, as NOVA II's Kathryn Hemlock dotted down in the 33-7 decision.
Berkeley II finished in 11th after a 33-7 victory over the Falcons; Philadelphia won the Shield over Belmont Shore, 17-12; and Morris took 15th with a forfeit win over Sacramento.
San Diego 33-12 Seattle
Youngbloodz 17-0 NOVA
Seattle 12-5 NOVA
San Diego 19-5 Youngbloodz
Seattle 17-12 Emerald City
NOVA 7-0 DC Furies
San Diego 10-5 Berkeley (OT)
Youngbloodz 14-0 Chicago North Shore
Berkeley 24-10 DC Furies
Emerald City 22-5 Chicago North Shore
Berkeley 29-7 Chicago North Shore
DC Furies 24-5 Emerald City
Boston Belles 33-7 NOVA II
Berkeley II 33-7 Falcons
Boston Belles 22-0 Falcons
NOVA II 22-7 Berkeley II
NOVA II 24-0 Philadelphia
Berkeley II 26-7 Morris
Falcons 38-5 Belmont Shore
Boston Belles 28-0 Sacramento Amazons (fft)
Philadelphia 17-12 Belmont Shore
Morris 28-0 Sacramento Amazons (fft)