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Women DI College Top 20 - Sept. 11, 2014

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Women DI College Top 20 - Sept. 11, 2014

A few important moves have occurred since Goff Rugby Report’s previous Women’s DI College rankings – the most noticeable being the Quinnipiac and Army swap.

It took about 15 minutes for the runaway to get moving, but once it did, the Bobcats piled on 50 points to the Cadets’ 17. Natalie Kosko was the star once again with a hat trick, but an impressive group of underclassmen – including Hailey Wyatt, Megan Johnson and Madison Gegeckas – added tries as well.

The road for Army doesn’t get any easier, as it prepares for Norwich on Saturday, but its tough lineup of games against the Cadets and AIC will help the West Pointers develop quickly.

Although AIC strung together three nice wins at the Beantown Collegiate Tournament, the Yellow Jackets dipped a spot once it was discovered that four important, highly scouted players followed former head coach Mel Denham to Central Washington. That said, AIC still has heavy hitters in Jess Davis and Gio Cruz, among others, but those vacancies are hard to replace immediately.

As for CWU, the new varsity squad is on the shortlist for teams to watch. The PMC North doesn’t get started until late fall, and the highlight of that league will be the Washington State v CWU game on November 15. We're keeping an eye on Lindenwood, too (read more).

Jumping from the shortlist onto the rankings itself are Virginia and Life University. UVA shut out George Washington, while the Running Eagles played respectably against Quinnipiac before running it up against Middle Tennessee. Yes, both GW and MTSU are DII teams, but the victors looked steady and eager early in the season, and that helped confirm a suspicion that both teams will be good this year.

Consequently, James Madison and Dartmouth fell off the Top 20. JMU dropped a 10-point contest to unranked Virginia Tech, and the Big Green suffered too big a loss (74-10) to Norwich.

As the season unfolds, some interesting developments have surfaced – none of which have affected the rankings but could be influential in the future.

The former PMC East division has formed its own conference, Mountain West, and contains the same teams: Air Force, BYU, Colorado, Colorado State and New Mexico. Although the conference hasn’t been officially approved yet, the goal is to still compete within USA Rugby, although member teams can participate in ACRA as they see fit (Air Force won at at-large bid to ACRA's playoffs last year). [9.12 Update: The Mountain West Rugby Conference has been approved, i.e., is no longer competing in the Pacific Mountain Rugby Conference. BYU coach Tom Waqa is the new commissioner.]

Cal has seen its coaching staff turn over again, and a solid group of local players have stepped in. Sevens Eagle Irene Gardner is leading the fall 7s season, and Lucy Croy is assisting. Margaret Sharp is the 15s coach, and Heather Lockwood has come on as S&C coach.

“We are really excited about our new coaching staff,” Director of Rugby Ellen Owens said. “They are all accomplished players or coaches in their respective areas and are women of upstanding character and enthusiasm. Three of them are alumna of our program, and all four have played with the [Berkeley] All Blues. So they have experience working together and with a team that plays both 7s and 15s. In addition I've coached all of them with Cal or with the U23 Grizzlies, so we all know each other.”

There are some good match-ups this weekend that could jostle the rankings further. Navy gets into action against Maryland for its first match of the fall, and the best of the Ivy League – Harvard and Brown – open up their competitive seasons against each another. Stay tune.

Women DI College Top 20 - September 11, 2014                                              
Rank (old rank) Team (league record) (cumulative record).

1 (1) Penn State (0-0) (1-0). Defeated Norwich 43-27 in friendly

2 (2) Norwich (0-0) (1-1). Lost to Norwich 43-27; defeated Dartmouth 74-10

3 (3) Stanford. Idle

4 (4) BYU. Idle until Sept. 20

5 (11) Quinnipiac (2-0). Defeated Life 34-19 and Army 50-17

6 (5) AIC (0-0) (3-0). Undefeated at Beantown Collegiate Tournament: 24-5 v Northeastern, 22-7 v UConn, 19-0 v Harvard

7 (7) West Chester. Idle until Sept. 20

8 (8) Indiana (0-0) (1-0). Defeated DII Denison 86-0

9 (9) Northern Iowa. Idle until Sept. 20

10 (10) Navy. Idle until Saturday (vs Maryland)(6) Army (0-1). Lost 50-17 to Quinnipiac

11 (6) Army. Lost 50-17 to Quinnipiac

12 (12) New Mexico. Idle

13 (13) Cal. Idle.

14 (14) Harvard (0-0) (1-1). 19-0 loss to AIC, 22-5 win v UConn at Beantown Collegiate Tournament

15 (15) North Carolina. Idle until Oct. 5

16 (16) Central Florida. Idle

17 (17) Brown Idle. Plays Harvard Saturday

18 (unr) UVA (0-0) (1-0). Beat DII George Washington 47-0

19 (unr) Life (0-0) (1-1). Lost 34-19 to Quinnipiac; defeated Middle Tennessee 71-7

20 (20) Washington State. Idle Until Sept. 20