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Davenport, Winona to Women's DII Final

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Davenport, Winona to Women's DII Final

Davenport will take on Winona State for the women’s DII fall college championship after both won semifinals Saturday at Furman University.

Davenport, which had entered the semis averaging over 100 points per game in playoff games, had to overcome some serious difficulty against Bloomsburg. And in that game, difficulty, they name is Nicole Snyder. The Bloomsburg center was a revelation, powering through tacklers, making tackles, poaching balls, and generally causing Davenport problems.

Snyder was a thundering try machine in the first half, while Davenport ran into problems by committing a series of penalties in the rucks, and not using their physical superiority. As a result, Bloomsburg was able to work the backline attack, and Snyder ran in for three tries, while No. 8 Emily Eshleman added a try for a 26-5 halftime lead.

“We needed to adjust to the rucks,” said Davenport Coach Greg Teliczan. “We were coming way too high, and we definitely cleaned it up.

The second half was a different story. Davenport was far stronger in the scrum and started to punish Bloomsburg’s pack, stealing several put-ins in the second half. With that platform, they were able to exert pressure in other ways - defensive pressure forced knocks-ons, and even if those knock-ons were by Davenport, they could win the scrum.

From a five-meter scrum the Panthers shoves Bloomsburg back and No. 8 Hunter Moreland picked and scored. Then center Daniel Ordway, who was the lone try-scorer for Davenport in the first half, capped off a nifty backline move to go over from long range. Moreland picked from midfield and ran 35 meters untouched before she fed flyhalf Ashlee Byrge who tossed to Ordway for another.

With 22 minutes to go it was now a 26-24 game, Ordway made it four tries for her with the go-ahead try moments later, and by then it was Davenport’s game. Prop Caren Brown, and then Ordway once more, capped off the scoring.

Davenport won, though, because their big, strong forwards finally wore down the Bloomsburg team. 

“We just needed to stick to our system,” said Teliczan. “We developed our attack, used our forwards to break the line, and were patient.”


Winona State took an early control, using their impressive midfield of Megan Wolff and Lachen Esters, and prop Ianoira Duhart to power through the line. Lock Lindsay Bucki scored in support of the backs, and Kourtney Kavjecz added a try.

And while Vassar, led by props Darienne Jones and Mariah Ghant, and lock Lauren Workman, was able to construct some tries, they did not do well in securing the ball in contact.

Winona’s power up front and their midfield continued to test the Brewers, and it seemed only proper that Esters capped off the scoring in a 45-26 victory.