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7s Leaders Return to CRC

  • 31 May 2016
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Is there a Life vs. Penn State match in our future? /// Photo: KJ Feury

 

The Women’s CRC 7s occurs this Friday-Sunday in Chester, Pa., and for five of the 16 participants, the event marks the second three-day tournament in fewer than two weeks. USA Rugby held its DI and DII national 7s championships in Cary, N.C., last weekend, and the action lent some insight into what lies in store for this weekend.

 

CRC returners Life University and Lindenwood contested the DI title, and the Running Eagles triumphed 10-0. The Georgia squad is fast, confident and led by Women’s Collegiate All American 7s player Nicole Strasko. Championship MVP Kaitlyn Broughton is an entertaining ballcarrier, but the squad as a whole is solid and has matured greatly since its previous appearance in Chester, Pa.

 

Lindenwood had a really tough path to the DI final and knocked off 2015 championship finalists Central Washington and Penn State, the current CRC titleholder, in the process. Neariah Persinger had a great tournament and fellow freshman McKenzie Hawkins did an excellent job setting up her teammates. The St. Charles, Mo., advanced to last year’s CRC final against Penn State and will be looking to take that final step atop the podium.

 

Penn State finished third in North Carolina, rebounding from a 19-12 loss to Lindenwood in the Cup semifinals before beating Stanford 10-5. But the Nittany Lions are always title contenders and are backed by the expert leadership of players like Gabby Cantorna, Elizabeth Cairns and Tess Feury, to name a few. Elaine Santiago had a good showing as well, and Doylestown product Sophia Pyrz proved a punishing defender.

 

Rutgers and Bloomsburg competed in the first USA Rugby DII national championship, and the latter advanced to the final against Davenport, which won 24-14. Bloomsburg’s Nikki Snyder is the one to watch. She’s got great power and finishing ability, leading her squad in tries scored. Megan Reilly was maniacal on defense and is the definition of work rate.

The rest of the field is filled with CRC veterans like Arizona – one of two teams from west of the Mississippi – and hometown favorites Kutztown, Temple and Delaware. The Big 10 is well represented, sending three teams – Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame – in addition to Penn State. Expectations remain high for Ivy 7s champion Princeton and contrast with that of the NSCRO Selects, which plays its first tournament and sources players from as far as Wayne State College. NSCRO Women’s Commissioner Bryn Chivers, a former USA age-grade head coach, leads the all-star team, so the team’s in good hands.

 

Pool play kicks off Friday, June 3 on the fields adjacent to Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, a suburb of Philadelphia. Visit www.usasevenscrc.com for more information.

 

POOLS

A: Delaware, NSCRO Select, Penn State, Rutgers

B: Life, Michigan, Notre Dame, Temple

C: Bloomsburg, Boston, Navy, Princeton

D: Arizona, Kutztown, Lindenwood, Ohio State

 

SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, JUNE 3 – POOL PLAY

Pools A & C play on Academy Field 1

Pools B & D play on Academy Field 2

 

10:40 a.m. Penn State vs. NSCRO Select (A)

11:00 a.m. Rutgers vs. Delaware (A)

11:20 a.m. Navy vs. Princeton (C)

11:20 a.m. Life vs. Michigan (B)

11:40 a.m. Temple vs. Notre Dame (B)

11:40 a.m. Boston vs. Bloomsburg (C)

12:00 p.m. Lindenwood vs. Ohio State (D)

12:20 p.m. Kutztown vs. Arizona (D)

 

12:40 p.m. Penn State vs. Rutgers (A)

1:00 p.m. NSCRO Select vs. Delaware (A)

1:20 p.m. Navy vs. Boston (C)

1:20 p.m. Life vs. Temple (B)

1:40 p.m. Michigan vs. Notre Dame (B)

1:40 p.m. Princeton vs. Bloomsburg (C)

2:00 p.m. Lindenwood vs. Kutztown (D)

2:20 p.m. Ohio State vs. Arizona (D)

 

2:40 p.m. Penn State vs. Delaware (A)

3:00 p.m. NSCRO Select vs. Rutgers (A)

3:20 p.m. Navy vs. Bloomsburg (C)

3:20 p.m. Life vs. Notre Dame (B)

3:40 p.m. Michigan vs. Temple (B)

3:40 p.m. Princeton vs. Boston (C)

4:00 p.m. Lindenwood vs. Arizona (D)

4:20 p.m. Ohio State vs. Kutztown (D)

 

The top two teams from each pool move onto the Cup quarterfinals, and the bottom two teams from each pool move onto the Challenge quarterfinals (three occur in the stadium) Saturday. Final placement occurs on Sunday, with the Cup semifinals and final in the stadium. For full schedule, visit www.usasevenscrc.com.

 

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