WPL Round 6 Review
Top Teams Claim Semifinal Berths in Last Round of WPL Regular Season
- DC Furies Fall to All Blues
- Surfers Put Away New York
- Amazons Dominate Cross-town Rivals
- Beantown Edges Past Keystone
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Round 6 of the Women's Premier League produced exciting matches while four teams now move onto semifinal berths to compete for the WPL National Championship.
The first match of the Halloween weekend pitted the undefeated Berkeley All Blues against the winless Washington Furies. The Furies came out in rare form giving the Berkeley defense a fright with the fast attack. The All Blues were caught off guard when the Furies came out firing and put up some quick points to take th elead. At half-time the All Blues found themselves in unfamiliar territory, behind on the score board for the first time in their season.
However, Berkeley came out of the interval strong and confident, putting up 19 unanswered points in the seocnd forty minute period. Kelly Griffin scored many of the All Blues' points, retaining her spot as the WPL's lead point scorer.
Final score: Berkeley All Blues 32, Washington Furies 14.
As the weekend progressed another semifinal berth was up for grabs in the Blue Division and what developed was one of the closest contested matches of the 2011 WPL Season as evenly matched Beantown and Keystone went head to head to fight for a shot at a national championship.
Going into the weekend Keystone was ahead of Beantown in the Blue Division standings by four points, hoping to secure a spot in the semifinals with a win over their east coast rivals. Although both teams had different records and strengths, the match was tightly contested, with both teams fighting hard for possession and territory.
Points were put on the board early by both teams and the match seemed to be going back in forth in terms of momentum. Beantown however, used their momentum best, capitalizing on possession and taking offensive risks inside their own zone. These risks turned out well for them leading them to a victory to finish their regular season in the WPL and give them a shot at the National Championship.
Final score: Beantown 19, Keystone 10.
The first match of the weekend for the Red Division was between the San Diego Surfers and the New York Women RFC. On paper this match was supposed to be a blow out from the kick off, giving the Surfers an easy match before they battled it out for a national title in their inaugural WPL season. What ensued however was a very close first half, fought between a fast and responsive Surfers team and an unfaltering New York side.
The match was contested all through the first forty minutes, with phase upon phase of good attack but better defense. The first points of the game came with ten minutes left in the first half, through the fast ball the Surfers are known for. New York responded immediately and put five points on the board through the hands of fullback Vaneesha McGee. The score was tied at half with fans wondering where this New York side had been all season.
The second half saw the Surfers pull away in usual fashion with fast ball from break downs and elusive counter attacks off of New York mistakes. the Surfers scored tries at will in the second half putting away a tired and unorganized New York defense. The Surfers scored 32 unanswered points in the second forty minutes.
Final score: San Diego Surfers 37, New York Women 5.
The cross city rivalry between the Minnesota Valkyries and the Twin Cities Amazons has been nothing close to a rivalry throughout this whole season. The match between these two northern clubs that took place this last weekend developed an expected result and gave the Amazons a deserved spot in the WPL National Championship semifinals.
While both teams showed up to finish their season on a high note, the Valkyries found themselves early on struggling to claim that elusive victory in the 2011 WPL season. The Amazons dominated form the get go, using the Valkyries poor discipline to rack up the points through penalties and set phases form line outs. half time score: Amazons 24, Valkyries 0.
The second half began as the first started. The Amazons used their hard defesen to secure tunr overs and work the phases into the Valkyries half. Once there, the Amazon attack was relentless in their try scoring putting away winger Desiree Markovich. In a game painted with penalties and stoppages, the Amazons used this as a stepping stone into nationals and will look to keep their momentum into the post-season.
Final score: Twin Cities Amazons 48, Minnesota Valkyries 0.
Beantown vs Twin Cities Amazons
Berkeley All Blues vs San Diego Surfers
For more information on WPL post-season, please visit the WPL page at USARugby.org