After this weekend's matches, the field for the three women's club championships have been set.
The Blue Conference of the Women's Premier League was decided two weekends ago. The Twin Cities Amazons went undefeated and capped off the league with a 85-0 victory over the D.C. Furies (1-5). Center Lynelle Kugler topped her season record for tries scored, dotting down seven times and finishing with a league-leading 25 tries. That's an average of four tries per match.
The Zons take the top seed out of the Blue Conference, while Beantown takes the second, finishing 4-2 on the season. Beantown came from behind to defeat Keystone (1-5) 29-17 during yesterday's match. As the conference's second seed, they'll take on the Red Conference's top finisher, Glendale.
Glendale put in a great performance against Berkeley this weekend, edging the reigning champs 17-14 on Saturday, and achieving some recompense for their 32-27 loss earlier in the season. That loss accounted for Glendale's only defeat on the season, while the All Blues finished 4-2 after also losing 25-5 to New York on the road.
That sets up two great matches for the championship semifinal: Glendale v Beantown, and Berkeley v Twin Cities. Each final four team has some degree of familiarity with one another. The All Blues and Zons faced off in last year's WPL final, and the Raptors took center stage during last year's DI championship.
Chicago North Shore shared the main field with Glendale last year, but won't be defending their title in 2012. The reigning champs fell to Philly in overtime during the quarterfinals, and a new pair - Atlanta and ORSU - will be vying for this year's title.
The Harlequins dominated their competition, eliminating Chicago 58-0 in the quarters and Detroit 39-0 in the semis. Wing Sue Uchneat had a superb weekend, scoring four tries, but the Harlequins really spread the points around, with 10 players dotting down. Flyhalf Heather Hale led the scoring with 34 points on a try, 10 conversions and three penalties.
ORSU had their work cut out for themselves Saturday, holding off NOVA to a 17-15 victory in the quarters. Sunday, ORSU's forwards stepped it up against a very good Philly pack, using their depth effectively for a 32-0 win and berth to the final.
The most extensive championship occurs on the DII level, with three days of consecutive competition. Taking the #1 seed is Severn River, which deserves the slot considering they dethroned reigning champ Raleigh 22-10 in the MARFU semis Saturday. They went on to defeat Norfolk 22-17 in the final. Severn River will face Southern California's Las Vegas in the first round. The Slots qualified in the spring.
Due to Raleigh's performance, MARFU received two seeds to nationals, and Norfolk heads to Florida. But they'll have the pleasure of taking on last year's finalist, Pittsburgh. The Angels repeated as Midwest champs after just escaping Wisconsin 15-12 in the semis and then eliminating host Milwaukee Scylla 42-12.
Beantown II won the New England/Empire championship this weekend, downing Morris 40-7 and Monmouth 34-12. The D2 side will join their WPL counterparts in Florida and continue their playoff experience against the West's Atomic Sisters. The Albuquerque team played in a home-and-away season, splitting games with the Boulder Babes but winning on point differential. They then played Kansas City Jazz for a winner-take-all berth to nationals. The Atomic Sisters have attended the previous two championships; however, their build-up to the post-season was not ideal.
Also attending their first championship is Pacific Coast representative Portland. The Pacific Northwest side defeated Nor Cal's Sacramento Amazons 50-15 in the Pac Coast championship. Portland will open its post-season against Ft. Miami, the South's champ, which has attended three of the last four championships.
Women's Premier League
Glendale v Beantown
Twin Cities v Berkeley
San Diego v Keystone
DC Furies v New York
ORSU v Atlanta
Severn River v Las Vegas
Atomic Sisters v Beantown
Pittsburgh v Norfolk
Portland v Ft. Miami