Even though the three Women’s DI club teams with 4-0 records haven’t solidified their playoff berths entirely, in all likelihood, ORSU, Glendale and Atlanta will be taking the top seeds out of their respective regions. Teams fighting for second and third place will need to bank those ever-important bonus points this weekend if they hope to put some distance between their competitors.
Nowhere is this more important than in CR3, which only has two seeds heading to the Elite 8. Atlanta should repeat as the #1 CR3 seed and #2 seed at nationals. NOVA (2-1, 10 pts) are the favorite to take the other seed, having played the Harlequins to their closest match thus far (23-5 to Atlanta), but Albany (2-1, 10 pts) and Providence (3-1, 14 pts) are hanging in there. All three teams are favored in their matches this weekend as they take on the bottom-ranked teams: NOVA vs Village Lions, Albany vs Boston, Providence vs Philadelphia. Looking at the rest of the league schedule, this weekend is the best chance for all three teams to bank a bonus point.
In CR2, Glendale has all but locked up the #1 seed and #3 seed at the Round of 8. The Raptors take on the winless Denver Black Ice and should bump up their record to 5-0 with the bonus point win. The Austin Valkyries (2-1, 10 pts), Chicago (2-2, 9 pts) and Detroit (2-1 9 pts) are next in line, but the season is certainly not over for Chicago North Shore (1-2, 5 pts). If last year’s third-place finisher can keep the momentum of last week’s 86-0 win over Black Ice going, then they could be heading to Austin in late October.
In order to do that, North Shore has to beat Detroit this weekend. Detroit suffered a big 71-12 loss to Glendale last weekend and will be looking for some redemption. Odds are on the Tradesmen’s side since Detroit will be playing at home.
Austin should hold onto second place with a bonus-point win over St. Louis Saturday, that is if the Sabres actually make it to Texas (St. Louis forfeited its game in Glendale). Chicago has a bye weekend and will use the extra time to prepare for Glendale on Oct. 8.
ORSU took first place in CR1 after last weekend’s two wins over Nor Cal TT and San Francisco. The former Women’s Premier League team was the heavy favorite coming into the DI season and will likely exit the league season with the #1 seed in CR1 and at nationals overall. ORSU will have a nice buildup toward nationals as they play the Mudhens this weekend, then Belmont Shore on Oct. 15, and they should finish with an undefeated record.
CR1 has three seeds total, and Seattle (2-1, 10 pts), Mudhens (2-1, 10 pts) and Belmont Shore (2-0, 8 pts) are all in position to challenge for one of them. Seattle and Mudhens are the favorites to finish second and third respectively, especially since Belmont Shore have yet to play their double-header against the #1 and #2 teams, on the road no less. Belmont should however beat San Francisco this Saturday, and that win would bump the team into third place ahead of the Mudhens, who likely won’t defeat ORSU this weekend.
Seattle finished fourth in the nation last year, and it looked as if they’d have CR1 top honors in 2011, when DI champion San Diego moved to the WPL this season. But ORSU took the Surfers’ spot and so the Breakers must content themselves with second once again. They’ve proven their worth, however, and battled ORSU to a 24-10 loss earlier in the season. They should have an easy go of it this Saturday against the winless Tempe and earn a bonus point in the process.
Saturday, Oct. 1
Belmont Shore v San Francisco
Mudhens v ORSU
Seattle v Tempe
Chicago North Shore v Detroit
Black Ice v Glendale
St. Louis v Austin
Boston v Albany
NOVA v Village Lions
Philadelphia v Providence