Four schools head to Stanford for first shot at Women's Division II National Championship
BOULDER, Colo. – Four teams remain in the quest for the 2014 Women’s Division II National Championship. Cal State Northridge, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, University of Mary Washington and Florida International University will make their way to Stanford, Calif., to play in May 10’s National Round of Four.
Cal State Northridge vs. Indiana (PA) – Saturday May 10 9am PST
Northridge qualified for the West Regional Playoffs after beating UC Santa Cruz, 49-17, in a play-in match. At the Stanford Regional, Northridge disposed of Humboldt State on day one with the help of captain Ciarra Waters-Mullen and her two tries. The Matadors avenged their only loss of the season when they shut out Long Beach State, 12-0, to advance to the USA Rugby National Championship Series. The match was even closer than the score indicated, as Northridge scored a converted try in the final minute after Waters-Mullen’s third try of the weekend got her team on the board first.
After winning the Allegheny Conference Championship, Indiana (PA) competed in one of two Women’s DII Regional tournaments hosted at Penn State University. After taking care of Salisbury, 24-7, the Crimson Hawks shared the pitch with Davenport in the National Quarterfinal. Indiana again only allowed seven points and winger Brittany Lyons dotted down four tries, while fullback Morgan McLaughlin booted a total of eight points leading to a 28-7 win.
Mary Washington vs. Florida International – Saturday May 10 11 am PST
Mary Washington enters the Semifinalist field as a replacement for Appalachian State, which was forced to pull out after several injuries to key players depleted its roster. After winning the Women’s Capitol Collegiate Rugby Conference, Mary Washington earned its eighth trip to the DII Playoffs. In the Northeast Regional’s opening round, Mary Washington hammered Kent State, 131-0. Appalachian State was able to upend Mary Washington, 31-19, in the National Quarterfinals, but the unfortunate streak of injuries to Appalachian State opened the door for Mary Washington. Kooper Carter and Carter Moore are key to Mary Washington’s tight five, while scrumhalf Sophia Therriault, who scored 44 points in the win over Kent State, will be relied on heavily at Stanford.
A Florida Women’s College Conference Championship sent International to Life University’s Southeast Regional, where flyhalf Kimberly Semiglia’s 24 points helped guide the team’s opening round win over North Georgia. On day two, Florida International recovered from a 17-10 second-half deficit by scoring 26 unanswered points to close the game and get past Lee University, 36-17. Semiglia and wing Brittany Wilcox, who scored four tries during the Regional Playoffs, will need to continue their superb offensive production to run with Mary Washington.
The winning teams from the Semifinals will play for the Women’s DII National Championship May 11 at 1:30 P.M. PT. The Championship Final, as well as both Semifinal matches and consolation match (May 11 at 9:45 A.M. PT), will be streamed live and can be viewed on USA Rugby TV.