After a full day of intense rugby play on Saturday followed by a game delay due to lightning and another round of matches on Sunday, Colgate University defeated the three-time returning champions, Wayne State College, to take home the trophy as the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Women’s 7s National Champions with a score 15-12.
|Albright College - Reading, PA||Mount St. Mary's University - Emmitsburgh, MD|
|California University of PA - California, PA||Neumann University - Aston, PA|
|The Claremont Colleges - Claremont, CA||Simpson College - Indianola, IA|
|Colgate University - Hamilton, NY||Saint Mary's College of CA - Moraga, CA|
|College of William & Mary - Williamsburg, VA||University of Findlay - Findlay, OH|
|Colorado College - Colorado Springs, CO||University of Rochester - Rochester, NY|
|Endicott College - Beverly, MA||Wayne State College - Wayne, NE|
|Lee University - Cleveland, TN||York College of Pennsylvania - York, PA|
Teams were divided into four pools with four teams each, with matches played concurrently on two fields. Matches on Field 1 were live-streamed, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Harlequins RFA.
Wayne State College (Nebraska) beat Colorado College by a score of 20-0 to add a third NSCRO Women’s 7’s National Championship title to the ones they won in 2014 and 2015.
Twelve teams competed in the Championship and this was up from eight teams in 2015 and six teams in 2014. The teams were seeded into three pools of four teams with the top eight after pool play moving forward to the knockout rounds.
Wayne State opened up their defense of the title they won in 2014 and 2015 with a convincing 37-5 win against California University of Pennsylvania, and followed this with a 27-5 win over Ursinus. Endicott College finished 7th last year and while they were out to prove that they could do better this year, they struggled a little in their early games with close wins over Ursinus, 19-10, and Cal U, 17-12.
The last games of the day in Pool A pitted Wayne against Endicott for the top seed in the knockout rounds with Wayne coming out on top by a score of 26-10. Ursinus won the final game of the pool 31-22 over California U and that was enough to get them into the knockout rounds.
Mount St. Mary’s were matched up with University of New England in the opening game and ran out 33-5 winners. Colorado College were new to NSCRO this year and they looked good in their 24-7 win over Tiffin in the other opening game of the pool. In the second round of games Mount St Mary’s looked comfortable in a 37-5 win over Tiffin and Colorado College won over UNE by a score of 19-5
By the third round of pool games UNE started to click and they beat Tiffin by a score of 37-7. The high scoring win improved their point differential and booked them a spot in the Championship Quarter Finals. Mount St Mary’s finished third in 2014 and second in 2015, but their hopes of winning the event in 2016 took a severe blow at the hands of Colorado College who ran out to a comfortable 29-5 win in the final game of Pool B.
Simpson College and Lee University both looked good in their opening games in Pool C. Simpson beat Grove City 25-5 and William & Mary 26-10. Lee defeated William & Mary 29-10 and followed that with a win over Grove City 27-12.
Simpson and Lee played for the top spot in Pool C and the game came down to the last play of the game. Lee were clinging to a two point lead when they knocked on deep in their half, Simpson’s Amy Louverin scooped up the ball and went in to score and give Simpson a 20-17 win.
In the last game of the pool play a win for William & Mary or a big win by Grove City would put one of them through to the quarter finals. Unfortunately they battled to a 12-12 tie that eliminated both of them from the championship round.
At the end of pool play it was Wayne, Colorado College, Simpson, Lee, Mount St. Mary’s, Endicott, UNE and Ursinus who progressed to the Championship Quarter Finals with William & Mary, Grove City, Cal U, and Tiffin left to play for the minor places.
Wayne met Ursinus in the first of the quarter final games. The teams had met in pool play and Wayne were again the much stronger team and ran out to a 30-5 win. In a game between two teams who continued to improve as the tournament progressed, it was Colorado who advanced to the semi finals with 20-12 win over UNE.
Lee and Mount St. Mary’s went toe to toe in a battle where the lead changed hands several times in the last couple of minutes. A breakaway try on the last play of the game gave Lee the win by a point, 20-19.
The last game of the day pitted Simpson against Endicott in a game that had it all. Lead changes, three yellow cards, a penalty try, a try on the last play of the game, and a conversion attempt to tie the game. When the dust settled it was Endicott 12 Simpson 10.
Torrential rain overnight left the fields waterlogged with large areas of freestanding water. After a two hour delay the decision was made to reduce the tournament to just the semi finals, consolation game and the Championship Final.
The first of the semi finals saw two teams with contrasting styles both trying to adjust to the poor field conditions. Wayne had progressed by playing an expansive game that utilized their superior passing skills while Lee had looked to play a more direct game through the middle of the field. Both teams struggled early on but Wayne were able to take a half time lead of 12-0 on tries by Sam Warneke and Jasmine Kovacs.
Just after the interval a try by Nicole Jones made the score Wayne 12 Lee 5. The remainder of the game saw Lee dominate both possession and territory only to have Wayne score on their only trip outside of their own half. The ball was moved quickly out to Sam Warneke who had a clear run to the line. Final Score: Wayne 17, Lee 5.
The second semi final pitted two teams who moved to NSCRO from D2 this year. Colorado College drew first blood with a long breakaway from Naya Herman and a conversion by Rachel Fitch. Just before the half Colorado got a second try as Emilia Delgado was able to dot the ball down in the left hand corner. Half time, Colorado College 12, Endicott 0.
Most of the second half was played in the middle of the field with both teams having problems in the wet conditions. With two minutes to go Endicott drove into the Colorado half and Sierra Kenkel scored from close range. In the last minute Endicott piled on the pressure looking for the tying score. Colorado looked to be in trouble on their own goal line when Nora Holmes broke to the outside and went end to end for the try that sealed Colorado’s place in the final by a score of 17-5.
3rd/4th Place Game
Lee University and Endicott College met in an incredibly exciting 3rd/4th game. Endicott opened the scoring with a try by Magie Birge only to have Lee’s Nadia Steele score a breakaway try from the restart. After an exchange of possession Lee got to the Endicott 5m line only to give away a penalty at the breakdown. Katie Page took the tap penalty gave it to Maggie Birge who gave it back to Page who went the length of the field for a second Endicott try. Birge’s conversion hit the upright and the crossbar before bouncing over for the extra points. Half time score Lee 5, Endicott 12.
Shortly after the break, Lee stole a scrum 5m from the Endicott line and Ashley King was able to get over despite a tackle that resulted in a yellow card for Maggie Birge of Endicott. Nicole Jones made the conversion to tie the game 12-12. Lee struck again almost immediately when Haley Thompson made a break through the middle of the field for a try. Birge returned to take Endicott back to full strength and this allowed them to begin to attack again. They were able to move the ball wide and Sami Hontes out ran the cover defense to score. With the score tied at the end of regulation the game went into overtime.
The overtime period lasted a minute before Haley Thompson made a break to the outside to score the winning try for Lee. Final Score Lee 22, Endicott 17
Wayne State were in their third consecutive final and this time it was Colorado College looking to knock them off the top spot. Wayne had made it to the final on their attacking play but it was their defense that was on show in the final. Colorado were not allowed to settle into any pattern as the Wayne players hounded the ball carriers and shut down all of their options. Tries by Alexa Feeley and Jasmine Kovacs gave Wayne a 10-0 lead at the half.
Wayne scored a third try early in the second half. A Wayne line out close to the Colorado goal line saw the ball spun out to the backs and Leanna Rosberg scored under the posts. The conversion attempt hit the upright and bounced out. A combination of a wet ball and player fatigue resulted in the both sides having good quality passages of play end in a ball spilled forward. Wayne were able to get a fourth try late in the half when Jasmine Kovacs drew in the Colorado defense to put Alexa Feeley away for her second try. With the outcome inevitable both teams emptied their bench, and a minute later the ref blew for full time and Wayne State had won their third NSCRO Women’s 7’s National Championship.
Final score: Wayne State College 20, Colorado College 0.
Most Valuable Player
Jasmine Kovacs, Wayne State College, won the Tournament MVP award.
All Tournament Team
Seven players were selected for the 2016 NSCRO Women’s 7’s National Championship All Tournament Team.
|Chip Bell||Tiffin University|
|Reagan Cerci||Endicott College|
|Nicole Ciccarelli||Mount St. Mary's University|
|Nora Holmes||Colorado College|
|Jasmine Kovacs||Wayne State College|
|Hailey Thompson||Lee University|
|Sam Warneke||Wayne State College|
All matches on the Championship Field were made available to the public by free live streaming via Youtube. Live streaming was provided by Damon Welch of MOWO.
Saturday - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3YJizA4Vr8
Wayne State College 37, California University of Pennsylvania 5
Endicott College 19, Ursinus College 10
Wayne State College 27, Ursinus College 5
Endicott College 17, California University of Pennsylvania 12
Wayne State College 26, Endicott College 10
Ursinus College 31, California University of Pennsylvania 22
Colorado College 24, Tiffin University 7
Mount St Mary's University 33, University of New England 5
Colorado College 19, University of New England 5
Mount St Mary’s University 37, Tiffin University 5
Colorado College 29 Mount St Mary's 5
Tiffin University 7, University of New England 37
Simpson College 25, Grove City College 5
Lee University 29, College of William and Mary 12
Simpson College 26, College of William and Mary 0
Lee University 27, Grove City College 12
Simpson College 20, Lee University 17
College of William and Mary 12, Grove City College 12
Wayne State College 30, Ursinus College 7
Colorado College 20, University of New England 12
Simpson College 10, Endicott College 12
Lee University 20, Mount St Mary's University 19
Wayne State College 17, Lee University 5
Colorado College 17, Endicott College 5
Lee University 22, Endicott College 17
Wayne State College 20, Colorado College 0