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RPI, Vassar Leads into Tri-State Playoffs

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RPI, Vassar Leads into Tri-State Playoffs

RPI defeated SUNY New Paltz 41-0 to complete an undefeated run in the Tri-State Women's DII Conference, setting up a rematch with New Paltz on Saturday in the first round of the conference playoffs.

Six other teams are in the first round of the playoffs, while the top four from the North - Vassar, Albany, Marist, and Stony Brook - get a bye to the next round.

Vassar capped off an undefeated run in the North with a 56-7 defeat of Stony Brook. Nathalie Freeman scored three tries while Rachel Elson and Sarah Mawhinney scored two. Vassar has been playing superbly through the season, playing at pace and with physicality, with a very solid effort from the forwards.

"The challenge for the Vassar Women was to play error-free rugby," said Vassar Head Coach Tony Brown. "That they did not do so was not for lack of effort and for significant periods they were error free. They put together multiple phases and adopted different patterns and can be quite pleased with their efforts. The team was without [several] usual starters ... so kudos to those who stepped up."

For RPI, this season has seen the culmination of some hard work by a group of dedicated rugby women, including former HS All American and Summit HS star Katy Peoples. Peoples passed up the opportunity to play at some higher-profile college teams to study Biomedical Engineering at RPI, and she has helped recruit players (see their excellent Because of Rugby photo series here).

The addition of coach Andrew Jensen brought a new energy to the squad, and Peoples said that has helped spark the numbers.

"We got some girls who were on varsity sports but were looking for something different," said Peoples. "And everyone is making the effort - working through the challenges to make practice and learn the game."

Among the leading players is Peoples at flanker (and sometimes hooker), No. 8 Tierney Morton, junior center Jackie Walton, and junior flyhalf Grace Rabinowitz, who has led the attack smartly. 

This weekend, RPI is favored to move on, but then the Tri-State North teams, who are more established and therefore get a bye, join the playoffs. Peoples said the South teams understand the format, and hope to use this week's games as preparation for the challenge ahead.

"We're just going to approach this game and then just try to go as far as we can," said Peoples.

Final Regular-Season Standings

Tri-State North W L T PF PA PD BP Pts
Vassar College 5 0 0 279 29 250 5 25
University at Albany 4 1 0 174 60 114 4 20
Marist College 2 2 1 107 97 10 2 12
Stony Brook University 2 3 0 72 153 -81 1 9
Siena College 1 3 1 80 167 -87 7 7
Hofstra University 0 5 0 15 221 -206 0 0
Tri-State South W L T PF PA PD BP Pts
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 5 0 0 152 17 135 4 24
Fairfield University 4 1 0 122 39 83 4 20
SUNY-Binghamton 2 2 0 87 77 10 2 10
SUNY-New Paltz 2 3 0 78 97 -19 2 10
Fordham University 1 4 0 50 147 -97 1 5
Montclair State Uni. 0 4 0 0 112 -112 0 0


Saturday October 15, 2016
SUNY-New Paltz at Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst.  

Sunday October 16, 2016

SUNY-Binghamton at Fairfield University 

Montclair State University at Siena College 

Fordham University at Hofstra University 


First round byes: Vassar College Women, U. at Albany Women, Marist College Women, and Stony Brook University Women.