Of the nine women’s DI club games occurring this weekend, a couple are certainly worth noting. Four undefeated teams attempt to break one another’s records, as Glendale and Detroit face off in CR2, and Atlanta and Providence play for CR3 dominance.
Glendale currently leads the standings in CR2 with a 3-0 record (Austin 37-12, Chicago North Shore 29-8, St. Louis forfeit win).
“After Austin and North Shore, it made sense to target Chicago,” Glendale coach Lisa Rosen commented on her earlier prediction that Chicago would be the Raptors’ toughest match. “We dropped a playoff match to them in 2010, and when they bested North Shore earlier in the season, they got our attention.”
But last week, it was Detroit that triumphed in their match against Chicago, winning the contest 14-0.
“Detroit however is now undefeated, so that must be our first priority, and we aren’t looking past them,” Rosen said. “We've spent a good amount of time working on our defensive pattern and building chemistry on offense. Tomorrow we’ll find out if we've worked hard enough and focused on the right things.”
Detroit is currently 2-0, with the team’s other win coming in the form of a 48-5 victory over Denver Black Ice. Head coach Shawn Nelson has moved some players around, used some new talent wisely, and has seen the team gel more consistently as the weeks move on.
“In order to beat Glendale, as is the case for every other game on the schedule, we have to do all of our fundamentals,” Nelson said. “We have always been a good tackling team, but we have improved the way we put ourselves in the position to make the tackle. We have increased the work rate and added new responsibilities to the forward pack offensively and especially defensively. Our backs coach has worked within the overall game plan to improve support-run angles, and we have both improved our ball handling and cut down on unforced errors.”
Nelson has also added a professional strength and conditioning specialist who run separate training sessions. The result has been impressive, and Detroit has put itself in the position to contest for the top seed in the region.
In CR3, Atlanta and Providence attempt to break each other’s 3-0 record. The Harlequins lead by one bonus point with 15 and have a little more success on the scoreboard than Providence. Atlanta is playing at home and is favored to win this match.
“Our squad is a bit fitter due to the implementation of a more structured 7s program this summer thanks to coach Jason Payne and Ros Chou,” Atlanta inside center Patty Jervey said. “We lost about 10 players from last year's 15s squad, mostly due to work pursuits outside of Atlanta, but we have had an influx of new athletes with some game as well who are making a huge difference – Micaela O'Connor, Alana Padilla, Maddy Wilbanks and Steph Jarem to name a few. All have played with good squads prior to making the move to Atlanta so we are pretty fortunate their journeys have brought them here. We are all training hard to nail down timing issues and combinations, so having a full-on matrix schedule is huge for us.”
Coach Payne and players is not taking Providence lightly, especially since CR3 is only allotted two seeds to nationals this year, despite having three teams finish in the top eight (CR2 only had two teams finish in the top 8 last year, but the region has three seeds to nationals in 2011). The fight for the top two seeds will be a close one, with NOVA (2-1) and Albany (1-1) looking good early on as well.
In CR1, ORSU doubles up with games against Nor Cal Triple Threat and San Francisco. Neither match should be an issue for the recently relegated WPL team, despite the quick turnaround. The Emerald City Mudhens head to Tempe, and if the Oregon team travels well, it should beat the Arizona team with a bonus point.
Here’s the weekend’s full schedule:
Saturday, September 24
Mudhens v Tempe
ORSU v Nor Cal
Chicago North Shore v Denver Black Ice
Glendale v Detroit
Chicago v St. Louis
Philadelphia v Boston
Village Lions v Albany
Providence v Atlanta
Sunday, September 25
ORSU v San Francisco