BYU, Fresno State and Dartmouth come away with titles at Spring College Champs

No shortage of tries as the 2019 College XV season comes to an end in North Carolina.

Eckerd Sirens vs Tulane Green Wave– Women’s D2 Spring Third Place Playoff

In a tough 24-hour turnaround, Eckerd Sirens planted their flag in the Spring College Championship ground with a hard-fought win over defending champion Tulane. Notching a hat trick, Eckerd outside center Katherine Scheerer drove her team to a 27-22 win in what proved to be a well-matched pairing in the third-place playoff.

Eckerd would be slow to get going in the first few minutes. Reeling in the opening kickoff, the Sirens held possession in the early going. Driving a few meters at a time, they couldn’t quite reach the try zone before Tulane would eventually collect the ball. Reversly, the Green Wave took immediate advantage with a run-away try from the turnover. Flyhalf Gwen Leifer putting the first points on the board.

Cue Scheerer.

The power runner collected her first of three tries at the 10-minute mark to tie the game, 5-5. Tulane stayed strong at the breakdown through halftime however with tries from Sarah Foster and Emily Monaco before the half.

Similar to day one, Eckard would win the halftime battle coming out of the break strong. Linnea Goodwin added five points from the get-go and Scheerer her second right after. Tulane entered day two shorthanded on reserves, but it didn’t show. Game tied at 22-22, both team’s energy remained high in the Carolina overcast.

Flash back to the semifinal against Salisbury, the Sirens similarly came out flying from halftime but would fall just short. Not on Saturday. Scheerer and Goodwin continued their attack with two final tried amidst a Green Wave yellow card and there you have it. The 2019 Spring College Championship Third Place Playoff goes to the EC Sirens, 27-22.


Dartmouth Big Green vs Chico State Wildcats - Men's D1AA Spring Championship

In 2018, Dartmouth College reached the D1AA National Championship match in Fullerton, California with an impressive win streak – but fell just short of a comeback versus Mary Washington. Last year, was last year.

Big Green barreled into North Carolina this year and ran away with a championship over Chico State, winning 46-5. It was an unmatched start from Dartmouth, tallying four tries and 29 points in the first 24 minutes of the game. Chico State would eventually find their footing and contest but the early furry was too much to surmount.

A chippy match as Championships commonly are, the Badenhausen brothers supported the score with a try from Jack to start the game and a conversion off the bench from Andrew. Captain Struan Coleman and Gyorgy Brevnov added pair but it was Patrick Sheehey with the high mark, tallying 14 points through the try, conversion and penalty kick triple threat.

Refusing to leave Charlotte without a statement, the Wildcats found the pay dirt in the 71st minute in a disappointing, yet hard fought game.


BYU Cougars vs Virginia Tech Hookies - Women's D1 Spring Championship

In another dominant performance, the Women’s D1 final match saw BYU shut out Virginia Tech in a 48-point firework show. Relegating from the D1 Elite bracket where they competed in 2018, the Cougars showed no backtrack in competition over the Hookies. Stars and Stripes alum Emily Briggs took center stage early with the game’s first try. Despite a yellowcard soon after, Briggs would notch another early in the second half, proving to be a jump start threat for BYU.

Picking up 13 points of her own through conversion and a late try, 19-year-old Rachel Strasdas out of Oregon ramped up the score line as well. By final whistle, BYU won 48-0.


Fresno State Bulldogs vs Salisbury Seagulls - Women's D2 Spring Championship

The last match of the weekend proved to be worth the wait as Fresno State beat Salisbury in a lighting delayed Women’s D2 Spring Final. Having earned a spot in this match on Friday with wins over Tulane and Eckerd respectively, the up and down mentality of the last 48 hours only added to the dramatic finish.

Having put up 57 points on Tulane the day prior, Fresno State likely came into this match as favorites and justified early. Day one hat trick holder Meaghan Gallagher picked up right where she left off with a try off the whistle, followed by another from Laura Ellison-Seeger. Seven minutes in saw the Bulldogs in control.

Salisbury however, has Kirby Given. The Gulls were able to spread the field on attack and feed the star inside center for a try in the 18th minute. Add the conversion and Salisbury started to close the gap.

Returning lightning forced another delay as the teams retreated to the locker rooms with 12:50 left in the first half and a 12-7 Fresno State lead. The weather breaks and halftime all provided a reset advantage for each team. Out of the second weather delay Fresno State was able to capitalize with a try from day one hero Chetna Kumar-Naicker, while Salisbury did the same after the halftime break with a rolling try from Maggie Moore. The stop and go play offered opportunity for each team to group and re-strategize.

Salisbury would retain momentum however with a brilliant tap and go try from Captain Elisa Rivera, catching the Bulldogs off guard. Grounding under posts set up Haley Sheldon for the easy conversion and 19-17 lead.

Fresno State needed a momentum shift and got one in the 63rd minute with a powerful counter scrum at midfield. The energy on the Bulldog sideline was noticeable after that and it translated on the field. Salisbury soon after conceded a penalty, allowing Regan Garner a shot at posts and three points, gaining the lead back. Off the restart Fresno State needed to simply hold possession with only five minutes on the clock, but another try was more their style as Megan Oleski slammed the ball to ground on the left flank. A statement try to secure the 25-19 win and Women’s D2 Spring Championship.