2018 Penn Mutual CRC Women's Match Recaps - Collegiate Rugby Championship
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8:00AM—Women’s Challenge QF #4: Delaware v. Kutztown (Stadium); ESPN+

Kutztown started day 1 with a strong win over Clemson (26–0) but failed to win another match, comfortably losing both other pool games. Delaware similarly started with an exciting come-from-behind win over Boston (12–10) but was outclassed in the last two matches, including a 51–0 loss to Lindenwood.

Kutztown had the first foray into opposition territory but yielded a scrum to Delaware. The Blue Hens failed to got out of their own half before the Golden Bears were back with ball in hand. Some stiff defense and a penalty soon saw Delaware with possession. At the halfway point of the first half, both teams struggled to gain much territory. That changed when Delaware’s Alexa Craig found space and got in for the opening score of the match. Paige Klein added the conversion  for the 7–0 lead.

As the final minute of the opening half neared a close, Delaware threatened to add another. #7 on score. The pressure paid off with Bradley scoring her second try of the half and Klein again connecting on the conversion, giving Delaware a 14–0 lead at the break.

MeKayla McAdoo’s try two minutes into the second half made Kutztown’s task even harder, with a 19-0 deficit and only 4:15 to go. In the final minute, Kutztown’s hope of claiming a victory were certainly over, but the Golden Bears continued to play hard in trying to resist an attacking Delaware squad. In the end, it was Delaware 19, Kutztown 0.

Scorers:

Delaware: (#1) Alexa Craig T, (#7) Maya Bradley T, (#11) MeKayla McAdoo T, (#12) Paige Klein CC,

KU:


8:20AM—Women’s Cup QF #1: Penn State v. Boston (Stadium); ESPN+

Penn State was runner-up in the first women’s CRC in 2011, losing to Army. In 2013, 2014, and 2015, Penn State won the CRC title. The Nittany Lions have settled for third the last two years. With an astonishing 167 points scored and none surrendered, Penn State broke Life University’s heart with an emphatic (74–0) victory over Clemson to secure the top seed, edging Life by more than a dozen points.

Boston had the toughest path to the quarterfinal, managing to book a place despite a 1–2 record. Penn State, on the other hand, cruised through the competition to the tune of 167 points to none. Penn State continued when Sophie Pyrz crossed for the Nittany Lions first score. Gianna Solomon was next to score for Penn State, to make it 10–0 in Penn State’s favor. Darina Roe almost added another try for Penn State  but was brought down at the five-meter line, with her offload ending up a knock on. Irene Koraplis pushed the advantage to 17–0 following Roe’s conversion.

A stiff arm by Solomon led to Penn State’s first try of the second half, and Solomon’s second of the match. Roe could not connect on the conversion, making it 22–0. With three and a half minutes remaining, Boston threatened to break the shutout. Instead, Penn State stood tall and Pyrz added her second try of the match. Roe added the conversion to make it 27–0 heading into the final two minutes. Penn State extended the lead with a try  by Katie O’Hare to make it 34–0 in the thirteenth minute. Gabby Cantorna off the bench was good for the extra two points, to make it 36–0. Cantorna would claim five more points to close the match: Penn State 41, Boston 0.

Scorers

Penn State: (#4) Sophie Perez TT, (#6) TT, #12 T, #10 T, #1 T,  #11 CC, #1 C


8:40AM—Women’s Cup QF #2: Life v. Navy (Stadium); ESPN+

Life had expected to be the top seed coming off its final match, a 75–0 (that’s the listed score, but scoring list adds up to 74–0, doesn’t change seeding, website says 75–0) win over Drexel. Penn State managed to post 74 unanswered on Clemson to take the top spot.

Life has faced Navy in the knockout round in each of the last two CRCs. In 2016, it was Life winning 19–0 in the semifinals. In 2017, Life beat Navy 38–0 in the quarterfinals. Life is 2–0 all-time against Navy at the CRC.

These two squads met for the third straight year in the knockout round of the CRC. Through the first two year, Life stood undefeated against Navy. Life’s Spiff Sedrick got Life in front early with an almost full-pitch score under the post just forty seconds into the match. Madison Ohmann made short work of the conversion for the 7–0 advantage. Sydnee Cervinski extended the Running Eagles’ lead with a try in the third minute to make it 12–0. The floodgates burst open when Sedrick scampered in for her second score of the half. Kaitlyn Broughton pushed it to 22–0, which became 24–0 when Ohmann hit her second conversion. The half came to a close with Life up 29–0 after Maria Marin sped away for a five-pointer.

It took almost three and a half minutes for Life to get the second-half scoring started but Jocelyn Jones eventually extended her squad’s lead to 34–0 with a try in the left corner. As would be expected of Naval cadets, the women of Navy refused to give up even when the score appeared well out of reach. At the end, Life’s Whitney Wilson could have easily scored against most teams facing a 34–0 deficit. Instead, Navy remained fierce and covered the chip ahead to end the competition.

Scorers

Life: #11 TT, #4 T, #1 T, #12 T, #5 T  #2 CC


9:05AM—Women’s Cup QF #4: NSCRO v. Notre Dame (Stadium); ESPN2

This is a rematch of yesterday’s first match for both teams in pool play.  NSCRO took a 5–0 lead into halftime. ND took the lead in the second half (7–5) before two late unconverted tries saw NSCRO come away 15–7 victor. All day, NSCRO struggled horribly with conversions. Half a dozen clanked off the crossbar with several others failing to get elevation. Of 18 tries, many under the post, NSCRO slotted only two conversions.

In a rematch of both team’s first match of pool play, NSCRO took on Notre Dame. Yesterday, NSCRO came out with the 15–7 win, despite the Irish taking a second-half lead (7–5). Notre Dame was looking to do what they were unable to do yesterday. But Cecilia Hammond for NSCRO had other plans, getting her squad on the board first with a great run from inside her own territory. Notably, despite struggles in the kicking game yesterday, Kelcey Stutzman drove home the conversion for the crucial 7–0 lead.

Things got tougher for Notre Dame when playmaker Wenyi Tan was sent to the bin with a yellow card. Notre Dame held strong despite being a player down for longer than could be expected against a good team. But the talent and speed of Hammond was too much for the Irish. Stutzman’s conversion made it 14–0 as Tan returned to the pitch.  Anna Elder looked like she might extend the NSCRO lead to close the half, but was caught six meters out from the Irish line, leading to a 14–0 score at intermission.

A minute into the second half, a rapidly gelling NSCRO squad threatened again to score. An ill-advised offload at the Irish tryline squandered the immediate attack, but NSCRo soon forced a turnover, and Elder got the try she narrowly missed out on to close the first half, making it 19–0 in the ninth minute. When Hailey Thompson blew past the defense for a try under the post, it became clear that NSCRO was going to win this contest. Stutzman continued her massively improved game from the boot, making it 26–0 with under three minutes to play. With the final sixty seconds of play starting, Thompson made it a brace of tries. Kelly DeGrood connected on the conversion to make it 33–0.

An error on the restart gave Notre Dame a chance to avoid a shutout. The Irish had a chance with an overload on the right wing, but the pass from the ruck was knocked on to end the match NSCRO 33, Notre Dame 0.

Scorers

NSCRO: #7 TT, #8 T, #13 TT, #4 CCC, #12 C

ND:

Yellow Card: ND #9


9:27AM—Women’s Cup QF #3: Lindenwood v. Va. Tech (Stadium); ESPN2

Lindenwood is looking to overcome the runner-up curse. The Lions have reached the final every year (2015, 2016, 2017) but have lost each. In 2015, it was 24–7 to Penn State. In 2016, it was 19–10 to Life. In 2017, a rematch with Life was another loss (17–12).

With Lindenwood and Life finishing second and third through qualifying, one thing is certain, they will not face each other in a third consecutive final, since they are set to meet in the semis if each can advance out of the quarters.

With the other three semifinalists decided, Lindenwood and Virginia Tech took the pitch. Lindenwood has reached the final every year the team has competed at the CRC, but stands at 0–3 in those contests. Virginia Tech, on the other hand, is in its first CRC.

Lindenwood struck first with a five-pointer through McKenzie Hawkins. Annakaren Pedraza was unable to connect on the conversion, keeping the Hokies within striking distance. It took most of the rest of the half, but Lindenwood extended the lead with just thirty seconds left in the half. Again, the score came from Hawkins. This time, Pedraza was able to connect on the conversion to make it 12–0. And Hawkins made it a hat trick to close the half. Pedraza was again good on the conversion.

A pass into touch by Lindenwood gave Virginia Tech an attacking lineout at the Lions twenty-two.  Lindenwood soon got the ba back but saw Ariana Lewis go down to a lower body injury in the process. Oddly, Lindenwood opted to substitute one of the other six women while Lewis fought valiantly to be an asset to her team despite showing continued limitations in her mobility. A knock on at the midway point of the half, finally led to a sub for Lewis. The next phase of play saw Kodi Barlow in for the five pointer. Right after the restart, Hawkins dotted down in the right corner for her fourth try.

At 29 nill and sixty seconds to play, Lindenwood had clearly booked a date with Life in the semifinal. For Virginia Tech, a strong showing over Day 1 and Day 2 has the Hokies in real contention for fifth place, which would be a remarkable result for a first time out in this tough competition. At full time, Lindenwood 29, Virginia Tech 0.

Scorers:

Lindenwood: #8 TTTT, #1 T,  #2CC

VT:

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