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Fall Rankings: DII College Notes

  • 11 Sep 2018
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Photo courtesy Vassar College Athletics

A solid selection of DII college conferences contested opening weekend on Sept. 8-9, but more leagues will enter regular season this Saturday and Sunday. So rather than start with a 10-team list and then expand to 20, the following previews the teams that will likely feature on next week’s rankings and their season-opening results.

Keep in mind, these rankings will involve those conferences that are vying for the DII College Fall Championship, which occurs Dec. 1-2 at a TBD location. Even though Capital, Carolinas and Mid-America will contest league games in the fall, they play toward the spring championship and will feature in those rankings in the new year.

Three of last year’s fall semifinalists were active last weekend, although reigning champion Winona State took the pitch at the All-Minnesota tournament. The Black Katts shut out Northern Lights opposition Mankato 64-0, UM Duluth 45-0 and North Dakota 36-0, and dropped the final 20-17 to DI Midwest champion Minnesota.

2017 runner-up Vassar College defeated New Paltz 117-0 during Tri-State’s opening weekend, sending 13 players across for 21 tries. Molly Lynch (4), Jennie To (3) and Catherine Gladstone (3) led on the scoreboard. The Brewers’ B side also shut out Bard 56-0 on the day. And watch for teams like Marist, which bested Siena 56-5 and made the most of an at-large berth to playoffs last year.

Cincinnati finished fourth overall last fall and its ranks have ballooned with approximately 50 players, nearly split between returners and newcomers. Although Ball State technically forfeited to UC for the teams’ Ohio Valley opener, the teams did still play and Cincinnati won 52-17. Jess Sang led all point-scorers with 11 on a try and three conversions, while Maddy Conklin and Abby Lowman scored two tries apiece.

Colorado Mines did well to showcase Rocky Mountain during last year’s playoffs, but last weekend saw Colorado Mesa make a statement with a 68-7 win over the Golden, Colo., team. No. 8 Audrey Kachin led all scorers with 18 on two tries and four conversions. Lock Jessica Coxon, scrumhalf Maegan Lyons, flyhalf Tyneesha Houkamau and inside center Delrena Garcia scored two tries apiece.

Mid-Atlantic’s traditionally two strongest teams – Bloomsburg and Kutztown – got to good starts last weekend. The Huskies bested York College 45-5 and saw Selena Fernandez, Christiana Deo and Sarah Van Cise score two tries apiece, while Sydney Main dotted down the final try of the match. The Bears beat East Stroudsburg 83-5, sending Tamlyn Cowan (5), Aysia Grondahl (3) and Selena Garrett (2) in for multiple tries, while Taylor Carr, Taya Jackson and Sarah Masters scored one apiece. Nikki Dudkewic also kicked eight conversions.

There are many moving parts in Upstate New York, which includes two DII/NSCRO hybrid pools among its competitions. Cortland posted a 49-10 win over Ithaca College, and Fredonia shut out RIT 80-0. The four other games paired DII and NSCRO teams against each and proved that “small school” does not mean “less talented.”

This weekend, Allegheny, Great Lakes, Great Water, Illinois, Ivy, Lonestar, New England Wide and Rugby Northeast will play games and thus enter teams into rankings consideration.

#FallRanking

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