from The Girl:
The Women’s Division II Championships kicked off in Houston, Texas under sunny skies and warm temperatures. The first match of the day was a close nail biter between Albany and the Maryland Stingers. The score was 0-0 through the first half and late into the second when Albany was finally able to put won in taking the first match 7-0.
Providence downed the #1 seed Miami 31 to 12 with strong running by their #13 who I believe had 4 tries alone in the match. Providence again took command of their second match defeating Minneapolis to win the pool.
Santa Monica made their first appearance at this event with a 12-0 shutout against Maryland. Albany was able to clinch pool C with a win over Santa Monica in their second match of the day.
Across town at the University of Houston, pool A was competing for the final #1 slot. #2 seed, Pittsburgh, proved their ranking with a dominating 51-5 victory over Charleston. Local host and first year participant, Houston (HARC), fell short again Raleigh Venom 0-26. HARC came back strong in their second match defeating Charleston 20-12.
The match of the day paired Pittsburgh and Raleigh in the pool final. After a very tight back and forth fight by both sides, Pittsburgh clinched Pool A with a 17-15 victory thanks to a great penalty kick in the final minutes. Based on the tournament structure, one team would advance to the final four winners bracket, this wildcard spot when to Raleigh.
Day 2 of the event began with cloudy skies and threats of rain showers. Pittsburgh and Albany started the day with an all out battle to the final whistle. Pittsburgh edged out Albany with a 5-3 victory giving them a spot in the championship final.
Providence’s high scoring and dominance pool B in day one proved no concern for Raleigh as they defeated Providence 31-5. It was set; the final would be a rematch of Raleigh Venom and the Pittsburgh Angels.
The crowd gathered for the highly anticipated final. From the kick-off, both teams delivered intense defense and crowd pleasing tackles. A back and forth match with both teams defending their try lines refusing to break down. Raleigh was the first to put points on the board using the speed of the wing nicknamed “Speedy”. Their #15 was able to convert for a 7-0 lead. Pittsburgh didn’t back down and came back with strong forward running by their #5 to put Raleigh on their heels. The quick hands and passing of the Raleigh backline proved to much for Pittsburgh as they were able to put another try on the board. The 80 minute final ended with Raleigh clinching the 2009 title over Pittsburgh 12-0
The remaining teams played for seeding. Charleston ended the weekend with a win over Minneapolis 7-5. Santa Monica and Maryland met again in a rematch with Maryland finishing on top 10-7. #1 seed Miami finished the weekend defeating HARC 31-0. The consolation match was a close match between Albany and Providence. Both teams were tired and bruised but fought to the very end. Albany finished 3rd with a 7-5 win.
Next year, the division II will be part of the USA rugby championships and will be featured with the Division I and Women’s Premier League. Check out YSC for updates on the future structure and competition.