DI COLLEGE MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TEAMS NAILED DOWN FOR SEMIS
BOULDER, Colo. – Four men’s and women’s Division I college rugby teams rose above the rest to advance to the Emirates Airline USA Rugby Men’s and Women’s Division I College Semifinals to be held in Stueber Rugby Stadium in Stanford, Calif. on May 13. The National Championship games will be played on May 14 in Stanford.
The four women’s teams in the semifinals are Penn State, Army, University of Virginia and Cougar Women’s Rugby. On the men’s side Harvard University, University of California – Santa Barbara (UCSB), Bowling Green State University, and Davenport University will compete for a spot in the title game.
All the teams that will make a semifinal appearance qualified for the playoffs by winning their conference and then won their games in the national playoffs, facing teams from around the country based on their national seeding. The Round of 16 was the first round of the playoffs and the winning teams from that round advanced to the Round of 8, the last round before the semifinals.
Penn State, the reigning national champions, cruised through the first two playoff rounds collecting the scalps of the University of Northern Iowa and Stanford. In the semifinal they will seek to do the same to the women from the University of Virginia who upset their way to a semifinal berth defeating highly-favored Brown by one point in the Round of 8. UC-Davis was Virginia’s first playoff victim in the Round of 16.
The other women’s semifinal will see Cougar Women’s Rugby face Army. Cougar Women’s Rugby clawed their way through opponents in the Rounds of 8 and 16, defeating UCLA and Navy. Another service academy will stand in the Cougar Women's path to a national championship in Stanford. Army crushed the University of New Mexico and UNC-Chapel Hill in the playoffs to advance to the semis.
Bowling Green State University narrowly beat a strong University of Florida side on Saturday to earn a spot in the semis. Bowling Green will face a firm challenge when they take the field in California in two weeks as they face the University of California – Santa Barbara who knocked out Stanford and Oregon State in the Round of 8 and Round of 16 respectively.
Harvard University willed their way through the Rounds of 8 and 16 to punch their ticket to Stanford, eliminating fellow-Bostonians Northeastern and the University at Buffalo in the playoffs. The men of Harvard will square off with a very good Davenport University team in Stanford for the semifinals.
The championship games will be webcast live on USA Rugby’s webcast channel: www.ustream.tv/usarugby.