November 16, 2015
Glendale Raptors Win Women’s Premier League Title
Photo: Travis Prior
The Women’s Premier League Championships were held November 13th and 15th at Infinity park in Glendale, Colorado.
The Glendale Raptors captured the championship with a 26-17 win against the Berkeley All-Blues. This was their second consecutive title.
It was enjoyable to view high quality women’s club rugby, as it was streamed by USA Rugby TV. Women’s rugby deserves greater attention to grow the sport. It is hoped that there will be greater promotion in the future by all.
November 13th Semi-Final Matches
In the 5th-8th semi-finals, the San Diego Surfers won against the Atlanta Harlequins 54-22 and the Oregon Sports Union beat the DC Furies 51-13. In the Cup semi-finals, Berkeley All-Blues won a trilling contest with Twin Cities Amazons 29-23 and the Glendale Raptors beat New York Rugby Club 44-20.
Atlanta Harlequins – San Diego Surfers
The Surfers raced to a 20-o lead with 2 tries by Liz Trujillo and one by Liz Henry that was converted by Hayley Barclay. Barclay also made a penalty kick. Atlanta’s Ali Prince then pierced the defense for a Harlequin try. San Diego would add two more tries by Barclay and Tia Blythe, the last one converted and a penalty kick during the first half. Liz Snodgrass added a try for Atlanta and at halftime the score was San Diego 35-10.
Roasalind Chou would narrow the gap early in the second half to 35-15, but the Surfers would add 3 more tries, by Mollie Martin, Hayley Barclay (hat trick) and Kelly Dean. (2 converted) Atlanta’s Lauren Hart added one try by the Harlequins that was converted by Snodgrass. The final score was San Diego 54-22 Atlanta.
I was impressed by the runs and offloads by Jennie Chow. Her leadership was evident in this match. San Diego attacked often, while Atlanta took advantage of their moments.
Oregon Sports Union – DC Furies
ORSU jumped out to a 27-0 lead, scoring 5 tries with the last one converted by Jessica Shipley. The try scorers included Molly Luft with a hat trick for the odd number tries, while Adriene Acosta and San Juanita Moreno scored in-between. The Furies managed a Kimber Rozier try prior to the half. ORSU lead 27-3 at halftime.
During the second half, the Furies would narrow the gap with a Marjorie Olney try and Rozier conversion. Score 27-10. ORSU snatched any momentum with a San Juanita Moreno try and added another try by Acosta shortly later. The lead was now 39-10. Rozier followed with another penalty kick. ORSU 39-13 Furies.
Royce Beckett hard work and love of the game was rewarded with 2 tries to close the match. The first one was converted by Shipley. The final score was ORSU 51-13 DC Furies.
Berkeley All-Blues – Twin Cities Amazons
This match would prove to be a real battle. Both attacked each other early with the Zons striking first with a Jacie Vonada penalty kick. The All-Blues won the restart and capitalized with a Amelia Villines try. Berkeley 5-3 Twin Cities.
The Amazons would regain the lead from a Jamie Zarembinski try from a lineout that started 15 meters out. The combination of Maria Bowker and Jacie Vonada would then thrill the crowd with a long run. A saving tackle by Ardia Kelker denied the try.
Shortly later a yellow card was received by Frances Wehrwein. Despite the advantage to the Zons, Berkely’s Phoebe Boone was able to attack from a lineout fro a try. Berkeley lead 10-8. Another try by Frieda Fetu’u increased the lead to 15-8 at halftime.
The second half opened with a try by Kaelene Lundstrom that was converted to tie the match. Jacie Vonada was able to take the lead a short time later with a penalty kick.
A Lisa Dombroski try stole back the momentum for the All-Blues briefly before a Vonada try reclaimed the lead for the Zons. Twin Cities 23-22 Berkeley.
A split second later Lisa Dombroski scored another try that was converted at the All-Blues once again had a 29-23 lead. With the time dwindling, Twin Cities’ Lundstrom took the ball weak off a scrum and lunched for the corner of in-goal. This last ditch effort was denies by a saving tackle into touch by Berkeley fly half Ruth Bryson. The Berkeley All-Blues were able to celebrate a 27-23 win against the Zons and advance to the Finals.
Glendale Raptors – New York Rugby Club
Glendale’s Sarah Chobot opened the scoring 18 minutes into the match with a try. A few minutes later a Lauren Rhode penalty kick narrow the gap for New York. (Glendale 5-3 NY) The game changed with a yellow card to Cynthia Wright 30 minutes into the match. Glendale was able to add a penalty kick by Hannah Stolba and 2 tries. The first by Jeanna Beard was converted by Stolba. The second was dotted down by Stolba. Halftime Glendale 20-3 New York.
In the second half, Glendale increased their lead after Rachel Ryan, Joanna Kitlinski, Jeanna Beard and Kandis Ruiz tries. Glendale led at hat point 44-3 with 20 minutes remaining.
From the 50 minute mark through 70 minutes both teams began their substitutions. It was during the last 17 minutes that New York mounted a come back.
Lauren Rhode slotted a second penalty kick at the 63 minutes mark. More scoring followed with 9 minutes left as Angela Yue added a try for New York that was converted by Rhode. Two minutes later Yue added another try and once again Rhode converted. That would end the scoring and Glendale would advance to the Final with a 44-20 win.
November 15th Matches
Atlanta Harlequins – DC Furies
In Sunday’s action, the Atlanta Harlequins won a tough 7th/8th place match against the DC Furies 18-5. Megan Foster scored first for the Furies early in the match, their only score of the day. Alison Price touched down for the Harlequins just prior to the half. Price added another try early in the second half. Laoise O’Driscoll made a penalty kick (60′) and Patty Jervey, an Eagle of renown, attacked deep for a Lauren Hart try.
San Diego Surfers – Oregon Sports Union
In the 5th/6th place match the San Diego Surfers prevailed 29-22 over the Oregon Sports Union.
The first score went to ORSU’s Beckett Royce, who presence was felt during the entire tournament. San Junita Moreno increased the lead to 10-0. The Surfers fought back while short handed, as Chun Chow was in the bin. As they regained full strength, a Kyla Roth try narrowed the gap before the half. ORSU had a 10-5 lead at halftime.
Early in the second half, Chun Chow dotted down to even the score. This changed the momentum of the match as Haylee Maree Barclay and Devon Owsiany would score tries, both converted by Barclay. San Diego lead 24-10.
Zoe Wilson narrowed the gap with an ORSU try (63′), but the match was sealed when Skpe Howard fielded a kick and raced in for a try. The lead was now 29-15. Moreno would add one last try for ORSU, her second of the day. It was converted again by Barclay to cap the scoring. The final was a Surfers 29-22 win over ORSU.
Twin Cities Amazons – New York
In the 3rd/4th place match, the Twin Cities Amazons secured a 24-12 win over New York Rugby Club.
Twin Cities struck quickly with a Rachel Maas try and Jacie Vonada conversion. New York added a Ashley Nesby try, converted by Lauren Rhode,to level the score at 7. Ashley Kastendick re-claimed the lead for the Amazons with a try that was once again converted by Vonada. New York was not finished though, as Cynthia Wright would score in the corner prior to the half. Halftime Twin Cities 14-12 New York.
The Zons took advantage of a penalty against New York and added a penalty kick by Vonada. (50′) Another subsequent penalty against New York’s Cynthia Wright resulted in a trip to the bin. This opened the defense to concede unconverted tries by Ashley Kastendick and Sylvia Braaten. Although the yellow cards would continue with New York’s Lauren Rhode and Amazon’s Ashley Kastendick both being the recipients, it did not factor into further scoring. The Twin Cities Amazons clinched third.
Glendale Raptors – Berkeley All-Blues
The Championship match featured the Glendale Raptors and the Berkeley All-Blues. The All Blues attacked first with Frances Wehrwein entering Raptors’ territory and Amelia Villines reaching the 10 before a crunching tackle from Glendale. That was short lived though, as Lisa Dombrowski dotted down a try.
Hannah Stolba narrowed the gap shortly later with a penalty kick. However a Wehrwein yellow on Stolba resulted in a penalty try to Glendale. Hannah Stolba converted for a 10-5 Raptors lead.
Prior to the half, Christen Suda touched down in the corner and Glendale increased their lead to 15-5.
Early in the second half, Berkeley’s Ardia Kelker scored a long try and narrowed the gap to 15-10. Glendale would seal the match soon after with two penalty kicks by Hannah Stolba and a try by Kandis Ruiz for a 26-10 lead. The All-Blues would score again with a Ruth Bryson try, but that only narrowed the deficit.
The final score was Glendale 26-17 Berkeley in front of the home crowd.