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Club Update: Who’s Still Playoff-ing

  • 18 Apr 2019
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Photo: Greg Smookler

Last weekend was an important one in terms of shaping senior club playoffs, from Division I through Division III. There are still regular-season games to contest, but the majority of teams heading into the post-season have already clinched those berths. The entire DI and DII national fields will be known by Sunday, May 5.

EAST

Division I: NOVA defeated Charlotte 53-0, thus ending the first regular season of the new DI East. No team went through the split season without a loss, but NOVA banked a crucial bonus point in its 25-20 loss to Raleigh in October. That extra standings point put NOVA atop Philadelphia, also 4-1.

Based on the final standings, #1 NOVA will play #4 Boston, and #2 Philadelphia will play #3 Raleigh in the May 4 semifinals in Raleigh. Both victors will advance to the national quarterfinals, and Sunday will determine seed.

As an aside, the two East finalists will face the top-two Midwest teams – #1 Detroit and #2 Metropolis Valkyries – in the USA Rugby DI Club Eastern Regional Championship (aka, national quarterfinals).

EMPIRE GU

Division II: Monmouth was never really out of the game, but Morris was able to keep pushing out the point differential in the 27-10 semifinal win. Wing Hannah Septoff, outside center Tess Feury and inside center Emily Laura scored for the Lions in the first half and Feury added a conversion. Monmouth got on the board through flyhalf Rebecca Musumeci and 17-5 halftime.

Flyhalf Wytnee Riley kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty kick for Morris, and then Monmouth wing Leah Berry’s try made it interesting: 20-10 with 15 minutes to go. In the waning minutes, reserve Caitlin Mancuso scored for the Lions and a late yellow card for Monmouth halted any chance of a comeback.

Brooklyn only led Uticuse 19-7 at the half, thanks to two tries from No. 8 Lily Wissinger, one from prop Juliet Wade and conversions from Desirae Schneider. But the second 40 saw Brooklyn pile on four tries from wing Margaret Ewen (2) and Schneider (2), resulting in a 41-7 win.

Brooklyn will now travel to Morris on April 27 for the Empire final and berth to the Atlantic North final against New England champion Providence on May 4.

FRONTIER

Division I: The Utah Vipers clinched the top seed in the Rocky Mountain after its 49-36 win over Glendale. It was a thrilling game with lead changes and rapidly closing point differentials, but two tries from Kali Hooker and Eta Mailau in the final 10 minutes of the game put it away for the Vipers.

Utah will wrap up against Black Ice this weekend, and then take the direct route to the final. Black Ice and Glendale will play each other for a third time, and the winner will also advance to the final.

MID-AMERICA

Division II: Two more weeks of regular season before the final four weekend. Current standings.

MID-ATLANTIC

Division II: Phoenixville’s surprise 44-34 win over Harrisburg put the team in front of Doylestown in the standings. Now White Horse (North #2) is joining the Harlots (North #1) in the MAC semifinals. The South has two more weeks of league games, but Severn River (South #1) and Norfolk (South #2) have already clinched the semifinal berths. The MAC championship weekend is May 4-5.

Division III: North #1 South Jersey (6-0) will play South #2 Rappahannock (5-2 with one more game to play), and South #1 Maryland Stingers (7-1) will play North #2 Philadelphia (4-2) in the MAC semifinals.

MIDWEST

Division I: #1 Detroit, #2 Metropolis Valkyries (both teams advance to eastern regional championships, aka national quarterfinals, against the top-two East teams)

Division II: Buffalo

PACIFIC NORTH

Division II: Sacramento dominated Berkeley in the NorCal final (read more) and Emerald City beat Tacoma and Bend for the Pacific Northwest title (read more). The two Geographic Union champions will now meet in Boise, Idaho, on May 4 for the Competitive Region championship and duel for the berth to nationals.

PACIFIC SOUTH

Division I: No team went unscathed during the regular season, but Santa Monica (4-1) finished at the top and Belmont Shore (3-2) just two standings points behind. Long Beach, Calif., serves as SoCal Championship host, and the two teams will face each other in one of three senior women’s club finals on April 27.

Division II: Pasadena, as the #3 seed, traveled to #2 Old Pueblo for the Pacific South play-in match last weekend, while #1 Las Vegas enjoyed the bye to the final. It took nearly 30 minutes, but the home side went up 7-0 after flanker Jacqueline Rodriguez dotted down and Alex Rath converted. Score-wise, that’s where the half ended, but Rath was yellow-carded two minutes before the break. With the player advantage, Pasadena sent flanker Celine Deneuve in for five points.

Back to full strength, Old Pueblo quickly extended its lead through prop Ciara Gill-Thorne, 14-5 with Rath’s conversion, but again, a yellow card hampered the Lightning’s flow. Deneuve again made good use of the advantage with a second try, 14-12 with Kristine Nakada’s conversion.

There were still 15 minutes to play, and at minute 73, outside center Sonya Livingston gave Pasadena its first lead of the game with a try, 17-14. The Royals dug in for the remainder of the match and held onto the three-point win. Pasadena will now play Las Vegas in the April 27 final (Long Beach, Calif.), and the victor will advance to DII nationals.

Division III: In the first year of this division’s existence, Fullerton (4-2) finished atop the standings. Ventura and Santa Barbara both went 3-3, and the Outlaws are featured second in the standings with 17 points, but the Mermaids are advancing to the April 27 final against Fullerton.

RED RIVER

Division I isn’t contesting a final since the three teams have already played each other three times apiece. Thus, 5-1 Houston Athletic will represent the league at nationals. • Division II has two more weeks of league season before its final four. Current standings.

SOUTH

Division II: Knoxville won the True South championship and on Friday TRB will speak with the Minx’s Katie Erb for insight into the team and its South championship hopes. • Tampa Bay Krewe and Fort Miami are 1-1 against each other, and Saturday’s match will not only snap the tie but name a Florida champion and rep to Souths. • Carolinas/Georgia will names its reps to the CR championship via standings; there’s one more round to go on April 27. Current standings.

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