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Six Collegiate Champions Crowned Over the Weekend

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Six Collegiate Champions Crowned Over the Weekend

BYU dominated Photo USA Rugby.

Six college 15s champions were crowned over the weekend; here's a quick look at them all.

Men's D1A

Army rode a stifling defense and some significant fan support to a 20-8 victory over Saint Mary's in Houston. West Point is the first team ever to win D1A after playing its entire conference schedule in the fall. Army Head Coach matt Sherman took his side on a tough tour of pre-playoff games that prepared them, and along the way they beat Life and Lindenwood to make the championship match. 

Army Does it, Beats Saint Mary's to Win D1A

This is also the first 15s national championship for the West Point men. 

Women D1 Elite

In a defensive battle that shook Aveva Stadium, Lindenwood won 21-0 over Life. Details here: Lindenwood Wins Women's D1 Elite Final in Clash of Titans

Men's D1AA Spring

Played in Dallas, this ACR final saw Fresno State weather a long period of pressure from Kansas early on. The Bulldogs came out of that still with a 0-0 game, and then a breakaway turned the tables and put Fresno State up 7-0. With Isaia Kruse pulling the strings nicely Fresno State started to find some space and a counter off a kick put wing Joshua Jacobson in a position to beat a couple of defenders and score. Fresno State up 14-0. 

Kansas came back with a more tight, phase-oriented attack and they found some dividends by keeping it in the forwards. Flyhalf Chandler Owens attempted a long kick at goal which missed, but Kansas chased well, and eventually punched it over the line. Owens made the tough conversion for a 14-7 halftime lead.

Fresno State scored a try off a chargedown that saw the ball bounce very strangely—much to the Bulldogs' delight. Kruse added a penalty and it was 22-10 midway through the second half when Kansas camped out in the Fresno 22, forced a knock-on, and scored off an eightman pick through Trevor Lister. Owens converted and it was 22-17.

Kansas held off Fresno State again and then used the boot of Owens to flip the field. Fresno got out of it but Kansas got a penalty and kicked to the corner. They lost the lineout and were eventually penalized—it was that sort of game. Kansas had a couple more chances but just couldn't break through and Fresno State was able to kick the ball dead after tapping on a penalty to win a very tightly-contested match.

Women D1 Spring

BYU beat a plucky but overmatched Virginia Tech side 80-7. the Cougars got several brilliant performances. Freshman prop Kambria Hartrick had two startling tries on big runs. Center Delaney Rakuita scored two tries also, and fullback Nicole Dimond kicked 10 out of 12 conversions and scored a try for 25 points. All of this was directed by the brilliant playmaking of flyhalf Matalasi Morrissette.


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Women D2 Spring

Both Claremont Colleges and San Diego State won big in their semifinals on Friday but their final in Houston on Saturday didn't see a try until the 38th minute. Claremont Colleges got that try and held on desperately. Flanker Caroline Bullock was impressive for Claremont and SDSU flyhalf Angelina Sanchez-Fisak was always a threat. But the game was probably won and lost thanks to the hands and decision-making of center Robyn Collins, who set up Claremont's best attacking moments and led the defense as Claremont Colleges took the title.

 Men D2 Spring

The ACR D2 final saw the high-flying Norco College offense fly just as high as usual, beating University of Dallas 59-26 behind an MVP performance from center Jesse Hamilton. Hamilton scored a tyr but was really the guy setting things up. His midfield partner Ryan Hudson scored three tries, wing Jason Tafua got two, and Jacob Juvera, Hunter Hudspeth, and Mangisi Moala all touched down once. Scrumhalf Dominic Valentine scored two tries for Dallas.

Men D3 Spring

The ACR D3 final saw New Mexico Tech come back from a 31-24 deficit to win 38-31 over University of Denver. Speedster Milaan van Wyk, who impressed in the fall as well, was named MVP. Captain Elijah Naranjo led the NMT squad admirably. New Mexico Tech also played in NCR's small-college playoffs in the fall, losing to Christendom 34-29 in the final.