Ten weeks has flown by and we now know the top teams going into the 2017 WPL Championships. San Diego joins Glendale, New York and Beantown in the hunt for a National Championship.
The biggest matchup of the week was San Diego vs Berkeley as the winner would take the last semi-final spot. Berkeley won their first matchup in on Sep 30 and they drew blood first with a try from Courtney Hendrickson. San Diego answered with a penalty kick by Megan Foster and wing Kelsi Stockert also crossed the line for seven points. Flanker Sam Pankey added another converted try for San Diego and they led 17-5 at the half.
The second half was a defensive battle with the only scores coming from Berkeley’s Bulou Mataitoga, Surfer’s Tia Blythe and a Megan Foster penalty. Final score 25-10.
Glendale is already into the WPL Championship semi-finals but faced a formidable opponent in ORSU this week. ORSU’s Te Awhina Ho Chee scored first at the fourth minute but Glendale’s winger Andrea Prusinski answered back to make it 5-5. The teams had a bit of drought when it came to scoring until the twentieth minute when Glendale’s Flanker Amandine Chatelier touched down and Fullback Colleen Cribbs added the extras. A yellow card for Glendale proved critical as ORSU was able to score twice before the half bringing the score to 15-12 to Glendale.
The second half continued in ORSU’s favor as they scored twice taking the lead 22-12. Another yellow card to a Glendale player caused continued issues for the visitors. Finally Glendale got on the board with reserve Juliann Tordonato scoring. At the 72nd minute Glendale was awarded a penalty try and ORSU’s Anna Symonds was ushered off with a yellow card. At the 86th minute Glendale’s Charlotte Thompson scored a try and Cribbs added the conversion for the win, 31-27.
“I’m very happy with our performance. Our offense was finally clicking and we were attacking with urgency and purpose. It gives us good momentum going into nationals,” ORSU coach Beckett Royce noted. “There were a lot of positives to take away from that game even though the final score didn’t go our way.”
In a fascinating matchup, New York faced the Twin Cities Amazons for a second time. The first matchup was a high scoring affair with New York coming out on top 53-14. The Amazons took an early lead and it remained tight through the first forty with New York leading 15-10.
New York’s Kristen Siano, Jennifer Salomon and Shelby Lin all scored in the second half for a 32-10 lead. Kaelene Lundstrum scored for the Amazons but time ran out. Final score 32-15.
The D.C. Furies hosted Atlanta this weekend and it was a stalemate of glorious defensive play for twenty minutes. Finally the dam broke as Atlanta wing Sherri Kelly got across the white line. Atlanta scored two more tries going into the half 15-0.
DC came out hot as Rian Van Nordheim scored an uncoverted try in the corner. Two additional scores from Atlanta flankers Madeline Vara and Carolyn Mackey put the game away. Final score: 25-5.
The 2017 WPL Championships kick off Friday, Nov. 10 in Tucson, Ariz., and concludes Sunday, more details: http://scrumhalfconnection.com/2017/11/06/2017-usa-rugby-wpl-national-championships-nov-10-12/
San Diego Surfers 25 Berkeley All Blues 10
ORSU 27 Glendale Merlins 31
DC Furies 5 Atlanta Harlequins 25
New York 32 Twin Cities Amazons 15
For all scores and results from the 2017 WPL go here: http://scrumhalfconnection.com/2017/08/21/2017-womens-premier-league-schedules-results/.