2016 Women's Penn Mutual CRC Day 1 Recap - Collegiate Rugby Championship
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By: Cutler Klein and Connor McCollum

The first day of Women’s Collegiate Rugby Championship action in the shadows of Talen Energy Stadium was full of hard hits, some familiar dominant teams and some surprisingly skilled teams.

The defending champions Penn State got the day started with a 32-5 defeat of the NSCRO Select side. Amanda Berta got the Nittany Lions on the board in an instant,, scoring the first two tries en route to the victory. Berta did the same thing again in their second match against Rutgers, notching the first two tries and starting a scoring onslaught that ended in a 49-0 rout. Penn State finished the day with a 38-0 victory over Delaware, outscoring their opponents 119 to 5 in total.


Another strong team that got their game going early was Life, winners of the 2015 Challenge Cup. Life hit their stride early in their opening match versus Michigan. The Running Eagles scored early and often as they opened the scoring a minute into the match after a few nifty steps and some swift play down the wing. Michigan were constantly on the defensive as Life continued to press down the pitch. Life held a comfortable 21-0 lead at the half and cruised in the second half, winning it 38-7. They followed that up with a 43-0 win over Temple and a 40-0 win over Notre Dame. Look out for the Running Eagles to take a shot at the title.

Both Lindenwood and Navy had strong days as well, despite not having the completely lopsided point differentials of Penn State and Life. Each went 3-0 in their pools, and played phenomenal rugby, handily winning each of their games. Navy only found a slight challenge from Princeton in their opening match, but they won that one 14-5. It took a couple matches for Lindenwood to hit their stride, but they finished the day strong, defeating Arizona 32-0.

Most of the close, intense matchups were between teams that will be participating in the Women’s Challenge on Saturday. The closest match was in Pool C between Boston University and Bloomsburg. Bloomsburg held a five-point lead going into the final moments of the match, but after time had expired, Paige Stathopoulos scampered over the try line, and Grace Conley added the clutch conversion to win it for BU.

A team that came out and surprised the crowd was the Ohio State Buckeyes. Their only loss came against pool winner Lindenwood, but they dominated their other matches, winning 12-5 over Arizona and beating Kutztown 29-12. Kutztown had another disappointing run in pool play, finishing third in their pool and once again competing in the Challenge over the weekend instead of for the Cup.

Now, the top eight teams set their sights on the Cup knockout rounds. Based on tiebreakers, Life claimed the top seed and a date with Michigan in the Women’s Cup Quarterfinals. Penn State got the second seed and will play Ohio State. The Nittany Lions will be the obvious favorites, but the if the Buckeyes can get on a roll, it could be an interesting match. Lindenwood had a strong finish to the first day, and so did NSCRO Selects, so their matchup will be one to watch as well. Finally, Navy taking on Princeton will pit two Pool C foes against each other. Navy took their first meeting, but don’t expect Princeton to keel over easily in this one.

The Women’s Challenge Quarterfinals will get underway at 9 AM inside Talen Energy Stadium, and continue at 11:20 on Academy Field Two,  while the Quarterfinals will be played on Field Two at 11:40 and 2:20 on Field One.

1Penn State Women330011951149
2NSCRO All-Stars32016842267
3University of Delaware Women31022467-435
4Rutgers Women300310107-973
1Life Women330012171149
2U. of Michigan Women32013353-207
3Notre Dame Women31024157-165
4Temple Women30031088-783
1Navy Women33006410549
2Princeton Women32014519267
3Boston U31022463-395
4Bloomsburg Women30031253-413
1Lindenwood Women33007812669
2Ohio State Women3201484177
3Kutztown Women31024151-105
4Arizona Women3003568-633
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