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Air Force, Northeastern, UConn, Mass Leads CRAA 7s

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Air Force, Northeastern, UConn, Mass Leads CRAA 7s

Air Force vs Mass. Alex Goff photo.

Four teams are left for the College Rugby Association of America Women's D1 championship after Day One of the competition in Dallas.

Pool A

Rivals Northeastern and UConn looked set to collide once more and they certainly did. The Huskies produced a very balanced approach, hit hard, and produced a very good forward effort, including a big shove off a scrum to set up a try.

Northeastern were led by scrumhalf and playmaker Hannah Wilker, with constant danger-women Torry Isza and Ray Dailuby, Northeast also brought plenty of talent off the bench, including freshman Emily Minkler, who produced some finishing of her own.

Northeastern 24 Wyoming 0
UConn 27 Wyoming 5
Northeastern 29 UConn 5

Pool B

This pool provided some surprises. Air Force was probably yhe favorite in the pool, but maybe not a prohibitive favorite. Still, with a cohesive defensive front and good unity on attack they were able to battle through.

The result was a win over a talented UMass side 17-12, and then a well-taken 22-5 victory over Boston University.

To cap off pool play they had some trouble with a tenacious Virginia Tech side. A late Air Force try tied the game 12-12, but the conversion was astray, leaving Air Force at 2-0-1. 

UMass, meanwhile, were paced by the power of Sofia Murphy-Genao and the speed and field awareness of Erin Bergeron. Bergeron ... remember the name, she has significant potential.

Rebounding from the early loss, the Minutemen beat Virginia Tech but despite some impressive work from Bergeron were pipped by Boston University.

BU was somewhat like Air Force in that they played team rugby and were unified, especially in that final game with UMass. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, are perhaps the most experienced in high-level games and slammed BU early before being edged by UMass and tying Air Force.

It was a somewhat wild pool, with no teams really getting ahead of anyone else.

Air Force 17 UMass 12
Virginia Tech 34 Boston University 0
UMass 17 Virginia Tech 10
Air Force 22 Boston University 5
Boston University 22 UMass 12
Air Force 12 Virginia Tech 12

Air Force led the pool with a 2-0-1 record, with Virginia Tech following up at 1-1-1. UMass and BU both ended up 1-2, with BU taking 3rd on head-to-head.

Knockout Rounds

Because of the lopsided pools (Pool A had three teams, Pool B four), the playoffs had a bit of a wrinkle to them. The top team from Pool A (Air Force) received a bye to the semifinals. This allowed for a six-team playoff on Day One with the three winners going on to the semis, two of the losing teams playing off in a Bowl Semifinal, and the top-seeded losing quarterfinalist getting a bye to the Bowl Final.

The fourth game proved perhaps a bridge too far for some of the teams. UConn held off BU while both Northeastern and UMass won in shutouts.

Northeastern 26 Virginia Tech 0
UConn 29 BU 12
UMass 36 Wyoming 0

So this is how Sunday shakes out:

Cup Semifinal
Air Force vs UMass
Northeastern vs UConn

Bowl SF
Boston University vs Wyoming
Bye to Final: Virginia Tech