Saint Mary’s College now leads West Coast / Photo: Jackie Finlan
Results in the West Coast conference drew the most interest last weekend and, combined with another round of cancellations and idle weeks, saw bigger shifts in round six of the USA Rugby DII College Ranking.
Attention centered around the Saint Mary’s College (SMC) vs. Fresno State match and UN Reno’s doubleheader on the road. The Gaels and Bulldogs entered halftime tied 12-all, and then Averi Peterson’s try in the fourth quarter and Regan Garner’s second conversion put Fresno State up 19-12. In the final 15 minutes, SMC rallied with back-to-back scores from Erin Walsh and Andrea Zaragoza, and Katherine Whiting’s second conversion sealed a 24-19 win.
UN Reno traveled with a full roster and started the weekend with a 19-19 draw against San Jose State and then followed with a 34-24 win against Santa Clara, which had also played a 10s game against University of San Francisco the day prior. The decisions gave the Wolfpack some much needed lift in the standings, and insinuate that, at this point in the season, there is no large gap among the top-five teams.
The Pacific Desert wrapped up its season with a one-round post-season. Top-rated Claremont beat winless UC Riverside 49-5, and welcomed back some key injuries to the pitch in the outing. Long Beach State put in a convincing 76-7 win over UC Irvine, and flyhalf Mikaela Solorzano led 26 points on two tries and eight conversions. Flanker Sydney Moreno and wing Jamie Conlon dotted down three tries apiece as well. The Foxes will take the conference’s top seed to the spring playoffs, and Long Beach the second berth.
Eckerd locked up the Florida seed to regionals and put in a nice performance against DI Florida State, winning 32-15. NSCRO All-Star Kat Scheerer led with four tries. The rest of the field had either scheduled bye week or had a game cancelled.