Emirates Airline USA Rugby 2011 Men's and Women's DI College Championships and Semifinals
Penn State v. Univ. of Virginia
The University of Virginia put in a valiant and impressive effort against the reigning champions, Penn State University, but Penn State prevailed and were able to maintain pressure on Virginia's defense late in the game to close out the semifinal encounter.
Virginia opened the scoring in the match after a loose ball was kicked by Virginia down field and eventually gathered by UVA's fleet footed winger to score in the corner. Penn State started to take control of the game towards the end of the first half and powered through the second to ensure they will be playing tomorrow.
Head Coach Pete Steinberg touted his backline and their ability on the counter attack and was pleased that his front row reserves came on and made a positive impact on the game.
Penn State had '1999' on their minds, remembering the last time that PSU didn't make the playoffs at the hands of Virginia.
With a final score of 34 -15, PSU will make it to yet another National Championship game where they will face Army.
Army v. Cougar Women's Rugby | 12 p.m. PT |
In an absolute nail-biter, the women from West Point defeated Cougar Women's Rugby to advance to the DI College Championships tomorrow against Penn State.
Both teams came out firing and exchanged tries and lead changes often throughout the game. Army's defense held up and weathered the Cougar onslaught late in the second half.
The Army loose forward made an absolute mess of the breakdown for the Cougar's Women, slowing down the ball and poaching. However, they became brazen and got pinged several times late in the first and allowed their opponents into the try zone.
Army showed some slick movement early in the second half and executed a textbook draw-and-pass to the wing to take the lead. Cougars answered and the scored remained at 24-20 in Army's favor for the last 20 minutes. The Cougars did their best to break Army's line and did several times, but West Point covered well and denied the Cougars another point in the game.
Things broke loose in the final minute as Army turned the ball over from some poor decision making by the Cougars. Army's fullback closed it out for her side and scored right by the posts and put it out of reach for the Cougars with only a few seconds of injury time remaining after the restart.
Bowling Green State v. UC - Santa Barbara | 2 p.m. PT
After a tight first half and a few talking-to's by the refs, the University of California - Santa Barbara kicked into overdrive to eliminate Bowling Green State in the semifinals. Both teams took a while to get warmed up and start clicking, but BGSU looked a bit sharper early, but couldn't find their way to the try line until late in the first.
A turnover near halway resulted in a nice break and movement by UCSB who were able to finish the move with a five-pointer. Scores were close at halftime, with the Gauchos with a slight lead. Some dangerous play started to creep in the the ref had to settle things down at the half.
UCSB was able to get it going in the second and their scrumhalf ignited their attack. The Bowling Green centers were running hard all day and were by far the most dangerous looking backs for BGSU. However, without much go-forward and often receiving passes that lagged in the air, were not able to be very effectual.
UCSB finished the game by weathering an all-out BGSU attack with the intent of finishing with some pride, but it went excatly the other way after some sloppy handling resulted in a nice break by the Gauchos, finished off by the hardworking #11 for UCSB.
Santa Barbara will face Davenport tomorrow in the Championship game. The final score was 30-3.
Davenport v. Harvard | 4 p.m. PT
Harvard and Davenport were the last game in the semifinal rounds of the 2011 DI College Semifinals and put on quite the show for their band of supporters who traveled from Michigan. With a final score of 62-21, the DU fans had plenty to cheer about.
The wiley and very elusive halfback combonation of Tim Hugo and Jean Eloff (brother of former Eagle center, Phillip Eloff) were devastating. They showed their prowess early and Harvard couldn't come up with an answer. Before they knew it, Davenport had tallied 27 unanswered points to end the first half.
Eloff accounted for 22 of the first half points and 30 overall. He was deadly with the boot and with ball in hand.
Harvard got their rolling maul going in the game and was their best weapon for advancing the ball, however Davenport's defense was able to withstand much of the backline attack. Harvard certainly didn't roll over and rallied to score 21 second-half points, but having not scored any in the first 50 minutes of the game, they had two opponents in the clock and a very good Davenport Panthers team.
Harvard's flyhalf, did all he could with the boot to help bail his team out of the sizable hole Davenport put them in throughout the first half.
Davenport will play UCSB in the Championship Game tomorrow.