from USA Rugby:
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Women’s teams from Army and Stanford University earned their way to the USA Rugby Collegiate National Championships following the final day of Division I playoffs at the University of California – Santa Barbara on Sunday.
The USA Rugby College National Championships are set for April 30-May 1 at Stanford University and will feature the top four teams from each college division as they play for the chance to take home that Championship title.
Following a 43-5 victory over Virginia, the No. 2 seeded Stanford University Women make their way back home with just two weeks to finish preparations before they host this annual event for the eighth year in a row.
“We have two more weeks to get the kinks out,” Stanford Coach Jonathan Griffin said. “We played well in the first half (against #7 Virginia). In fact those first 40 minutes were everything we had hoped to accomplish, but the last 40 minutes left something to be desired.
“We didn’t step it up like we had wanted to,” he added. “However, I’m pleased with the overall performance of our team. “They have set tough targets for themselves and they continue to work hard to achieve them.”
Stanford’s standout wing Jessica Watkins attributed to 25 of the 43 points in their win over Virginia, while play maker and outside center Amelia Villines added nine points and was responsible for at least three assists to Watkins on the weak side. The duo looked nearly unstoppable and will continue to be a huge piece of the Stanford offense as it looks to meet Brown in the semifinals on their home field.
In the final match of the day, Army also looked exceptional as it cruised to a 52-0 win over UCLA and secured their place at the Championships in two week’s time.
Winger Anne Lee and fullback Jessica Sexauer had two tries each in their victory and will no doubt lead their team as they look to face Penn State in the semifinals. Although the Army Women’s Team outscored their opponents 118-8 over the last two days, the team knows they have a huge test ahead when they meet the top-ranked Women’s DI opponent in just two weeks time.
“Penn State is a whole other animal,” Army Coach Will Riddle said. “The girls know that we still have some work to do. Today we seemed a bit sloppy around the breakdown and we’ll have to work on cleaning that up. Penn State has a very similar style to us, and it’s going to be a very tough match. I’m excited to be involved.”
In the earlier DI Women’s consolation matches, Texas A&M was able to walk away with a 25-14 win over the University of Northern Iowa, while UC-Davis handled Delaware 19-3.
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