New York Defeats Berkely

10 years would have been an amazing record, not that nine years isn’t pretty damn impressive. New York played hard and was able to upset the reigning champs. Nice work ladies!

From USA Rugby:

BOULDER, Colo. – The Women’s New York Rugby Club won its first National title today at USA Rugby’s Division I Women’s Club Championships in Orlando, Fla., beating the reigning champions, the Berkeley All-Blues, 22-17, and stopping them from winning their 10th-straight championship cup.

“I think the difference in our team this year, compared to the last few years, is that our athletes have finally learned to trust each other and the team set up,” Head Coach Drew Fautley said. “That is something that assistant coach Chris Ryan and I really take pride in – keeping the entire team involved and making sure that all the players really know their worth. We aren’t about winning at all costs; we are focused on making the team better as a whole.

“Since the time that I started with this women’s club nearly 10 years ago, the team has been working towards this moment. And, to win now, against Berkeley, as they were vying for their 10th championship title in a row, is truly outstanding,” he added. “It took two phenomenal matches, against two remarkable opponents, but we finally pulled it off.”

Third-seeded New York faced No. 2 Minnesota Valkyries on Friday in the semifinals, and for the first time since 2002, actually moved on to the finals, beating the Midwest powerhouse by 17. They met Berkeley today in the final match of the Championships and hit the ground running, scoring the first 17 points to go into half leading 17-0.

The All-Blues finally found some offense in the second half, scoring their first try 50 minutes into the match, and again ten minutes later to remind New York that they weren’t going to take this one lying down. NY returned the favor 10 minutes later to put another five points on the board, and the game-ending try by Berkeley brought the score to within one try, but it proved in vain since NY was already celebrating their hard-fought victory.

“This was really such a team effort,” Fautley said. “But I have to mention lock Katie Brethel, captain Annie Collier, our MVP Hedwig Aerts and scrumhalf Lee Knight for all putting forth a memorable effort. As well as our flyhalf Kristin Baja, who played 60 minutes of this match after suffering a shoulder injury against Minnesota.

“I also have to give Berkeley credit,” Fautley added. “They are fierce competitors and kept us on our toes until the very end.”

In the earlier DI Club Championship matches, Minnesota beat Atlanta 34-0 for third place. Beantown battled through a nail biter to beat the Twin City Amazons, 11-10 to take home the plate, while the Washington Furies took it to Keystone, winning 13-3 to secure seventh place.

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