Women’s Rugby Dominates College 7’s National Championship
The Women’s Rugby team made the trip to Denver, Colorado this past weekend for the College 7’s National Championship and returned to Happy Valley with the program’s first-ever 7’s title. The Lions are well-known for their 15’s program (where there are 15 players per side, playing two 40-minute halves), but finally broke through in the quicker game (seven per side, two seven-minute halves). The team proved it was the nation’s best not only because it won, but because of how it won.
16 teams played in the tournament and were divided into four pools. The Nittany Lions casually swept their way through the pool stage, kicking off the tournament with a 42-7 win over everyone’s favorite program, Rutgers. After a 39-0 dismantling of Montana State and a 24-7 win over UC Davis, Penn State emerged from Pool A with a 3-0 record to enter the official bracket.
Stanford went 2-1 in Pool B and played a decent game with the heavily-favored Lions, scoring the match’s first 12 points before being overwhelmed in the second half. Penn State ended up doubling-up the Cardinal and punched its ticket to the semifinals with a 24-12 win.
Princeton came out of Pool C with a 2-1 record, beat Lindenwood 19-15 in the quarterfinals, then took the field with Penn State. An early lead for Penn State proved to be too much for the Tigers, and a 26-7 win sent the Lions to the finals to take on the Central Washington Wildcats.
Central Washington was one of two teams in the tournament with two shutouts under its belt and also entered the Championship game undefeated. Penn State went on a massive scoring streak in the middle of the game that stole all potential momentum from Central Washington, and a few last-minute scores from the Wildcats weren’t enough to dent Penn State’s lead. The Nittany Lions won 47-26 and won their first-ever 7’s trophy.
To put the win in perspective, Penn State played three matches on Saturday and three on Sunday. It scored 202 points and allowed 59 — a point differential of +143. The 39-0 win over Montana State was the tournament’s biggest blowout, and the closest match Penn State played in was a 12-point win.
School’s officially out, but Penn State Athletics are still racking up the accolades. Way to go, ladies!
Photo: Penn State Athletics
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