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Two Major Matchups Headline Women's College Weekend

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Two Major Matchups Headline Women's College Weekend

Harvard looks to tackle another big opponent. Gil Talbot photo.

Two games headline the women's slate of college games this weekend.

Unbeaten Harvard hosts unbeaten Brown University in NIRA DI. (Brown's league opener against Army did in fact go into overtime, with Army scoring the game-winner, however the league doesn't play overtime games except in the playoffs, so the game is listed as a tie.) For Brown, this is a huge chance to vault into the top-two conversation 

Harvard vs Brown is on ESPN+

Led by the try-scoring acumen of Mahdia Parker and Zy Thomas, who both have scored six tries in three games for the Bears, Brown has shown it can score and it can shut down opponents on when on defense. But, they haven't played the major contenders (except for Army). This game will be a jump up for them.

For Harvard, their veterans have led well but it's been the influx of newer players that has sparked the Crimson back to the level they enjoyed in 2019 when they won the league. But they, too, haven't been especially challenged, which was why Head Coach Mel Denham said last week's clash with Quinnipiac was crucial. That game demanded a strong defensive effort from Harvard and they showed they can do it.

Harvard Builds on Strong Start in NIRA

 The other big game is Air Force vs BYU at altitude in Grand Junction, Colo. This is a non-league game but it's a meeting between a team that basically plays a D1 schedule but is a D1 Elite-level team, in BYU, and a team that won the fall D1 championship in 2016, 2018, and 2019. So, yes, this is early days, but this is a massive game in terms of judging where these teams are.  

Both teams are young and especially young when it comes to collegiate rugby experience. With many BYU players going on LDS mission before they enroll, it's reasonable to assume that freshmen, sophomores, and even juniors are just now playing their first college rugby games. BYU's roster has only seven seniors out of 36. Air Force is in a similar position, but they really lost only the fall of 2020 in 15s, so they might be a little more seasoned.  

Check back for scores

10/8 Air Force B at Colorado College RMC E D1/2
10/9 Northeastern 36-0 UConn Northeast
10/9 University of New Haven at University of New England NIRA Dev
10/9 New England College 5-14
Castleton University NIRA Dev
10/9 Brown University 8-60 Harvard University NIRA DI
10/9 Mount St. Mary's 0-70 Dartmouth College NIRA DI
10/9 Colby-Sawyer College 5-31 Norwich University NIRA DIII
10/9 Air Force  87-0 BYU Crossover
10/9 Colorado Mesa at Utah Valley RMC W D1/2
10/9 Utah Valley at Utah State RMC W D1
10/9 Michigan State 7-46 Davenport Big Ten
10/10 Colorado State at New Mexico RMC E D1
10/10 Colorado at School of Mines RMC E D1/2
10/10 Wyoming at Montana State RMC D1