Cherry Hill, N.J. – The South Jersey Rugby Pitch held day one of the 2013 Women’s Premier League Championship Friday as Twin Cities Amazons and the Berkeley All Blues clinched their spots in the Final with wins against Beantown and the Glendale Raptors, respectively.
Undefeated in the six-match regular season, Twin Cities dominated the first half of the day’s third match. Women’s Eagle Lynelle Kugler opened the scoring just two minutes into the game and Sylvia Braaten, Elizabeth Dusbabek and Andrea Vollmuth added a try each.
Melanie Denham began a comeback for Beantown on the other side of the half with two tries in the first six minutes, but the Amazons never relinquished the lead. Kaelene Lundstrom, Morgan Johnson and Dusbabek rounded out the scoring in the 43-10 win.
The only other undefeated club, Glendale, found it tough against the reigning WPL champion All Blues in the final match of the day. With five Women’s Eagles from the 2013 IRB Nations Cup, the Raptors looked poised to ease into Sunday’s Championship game. Berkeley, however, had a different plan for the challengers. In just the first minute of the match, Blair Pasut opened the scoring. Glendale responded 10 minutes later with Eagle Hannah Stolba’s try and conversion, but fellow Eagle Sarah Walsh gave the All Blues a 12-7 halftime lead.
The game was tightly-contested as both teams searched for the championship berth. Stolba kicked a penalty goal in the 62nd minute to draw the Raptors within two, but two Berkeley tries in the final 10 minutes sealed the 27-10 win.
Atlanta Harlequins’ only win all year came against the San Diego Surfers until Friday. Jessica Peterson put the ‘Quins on the board first in the 13th minute, but a missed conversion allowed New York to take the lead with a Lisa Rosselin try and Mary McCarthy conversion in the 23rd minute.
Atlanta was awarded a penalty try in the opening minutes of the second half. Jessica Wooden converted for a 12-7 lead. Rebecca Brafman scored and converted her own try minutes later to put New York back in front, but the Harlequins reached the try zone twice more before the end of the match to take the 22-14 win.
San Diego advanced to the fifth-place match against the Harlequins thanks to a hat trick of tries from Niua Williams. The Surfers scored the first three tries – two from Williams and one from Lauren Daly – against the DC Furies in the second match of the day.
Trailing 7-20 with 10 minutes remaining in the match, Jaime Albarelli gave the Furies hope with a try in the 73rd minute. An unsuccessful conversion meant DC needed two scoring plays in the final seven minutes to overtake San Diego. With time expired, Amanda Street finished off a great individual run from the Furies’ own half to draw within one point of the Surfers, but the final whistle signaled the Surfers’ 20-19 win.
The Amazons and All Blues will play for the 2013 Women’s Premier League Championship Sunday, Nov. 10, at 3:00 P.M. ET. New York and the DC Furies will kick off the final day of the WPL Championship at 9:00 A.M. ET from the South Jersey Rugby Pitch. Watch all four matches from Cherry Hill on USA Rugby TV.