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Women DII College Playoffs: Who Gets Through

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Women DII College Playoffs: Who Gets Through

An astounding 27 teams started the Women's DII College playoffs last week, and now that number is down to 16 after 11 1st round games and five teams getting byes.

Now it gets serious. In the 1st bracket in Columbia, Mo., still-undefeated Cincinnati did well to defeat Kutztown to get here, but will have its hands full against one of the toughest outs in the Midwest in Illinois. IUP has been excellent, and while, yes, they lost earlier this fall to Bloomsburg, Bloomsburg is strong, too, and it was by just a point. 

As it was, IUP beat Miami 57-10 to make the Round of 16, and will take on Colorado School of Mines, which had a bye.

Mines rolled through the Rocky Mountain, and maybe the biggest caveat to that is how many of those wins were forfeits—two. The other four games were against Colorado College and Colorado Mesa, and Mines won all of those handily. No. 8 Mary Oglesby scored nine tries in those four games, and scrumhalf Morgan Walls accounted for six. They are at the center of the Mines effort.

Rankings are provided by Jackie Finlan at The Rugby Breakdown, reproduced with her permission. These are the rankings she produced, updated with this past weekend's results:

Cincinnati (#4) vs Illinois (#19)

IUP (#6) vs Colorado School of Mines (#7)

This is a very tight group. Any of them could go through, but the chances are that Cincinnati's opening game will be a little smoother than the other game. So whichever team faces the bearcats on Sunday will be tired.

In the 2nd bracket in Columbia, defending finalists Winona State look to get back there. They got a bye, while Minnesota-Mankato had to get by UW-Eau-Claire, and did so 39-5. 

Wisconsin-Oshkosh got a bye, and so did Grand Valley State, so those teams will get their first taste of playoff rugby against each other.

Winona State (#2) vs UM-Mankato (#13)

UW-Oshkosh (#17) vs GVSU (#14)

It's hard to imagine Winona State not getting through this group.


In the 1st Poughkeepsie bracket, defending national champs Vassar bring their unique brand of small-lady rugby. Emma Manzella scored four tries in the Brewers' 79-5 dismissal of Veront. Now they take on a Colby team that needed everything to get by RIT 18-12.

Cortland crushed Youngstown State and Bryant were pretty good, too, in beating Delaware. Combined score 138-22.

Vassar (#1) vs Colby (#9)

SUNY-Cortland (#10) vs Bryant (#8)

The Rugby Breakdown's rankings say Cortland vs Bryant is a tossup. We'll go with that. Vassar? They should get through.

In the 2nd Poughkeepsie bracket, Bloomsburg rolled through Syracuse while Hartford had to battle to upset #5 Marist 21-19.

Sarah VanCise, Tori Schafte, and Christiana Deo lead a potent Bloomsburg offensive effort and they appear to be a team that is more well-rounded than in their last run to the title.

Coast Guard looked strong in beating Fairfield 47-17, bumping them up from #8 in The Rugby Breakdown's Top 20 to #5.

Meanwhile, Temple was the big surprise, taking down Roger Williams 37-14 and jumping in the The Rugby Breakdown's Top 20.

After going 2-1-2 in league play, Temple has saved its best for last. But this may be the end of the run. Bloomsburg beat Temple 84-3 in the MARC final, so you wonder whether Coast Guard will be a ship to many. 

Bloomsburg (#3) vs Hartford (#11)

Temple (#18) vs Coast Guard (#5)

Who do we like here? Well we're going with Coast Guard over Bloomsburg in a close one. So that would make out final four: Cincinnati (maybe Mines), Winona State, Vassar, and US Coast Guard Academy (maybe Bloomsburg). 

Check out The Rugby Breakdown's rankings and coverage.