Some interesting match-ups lie in store this weekend, as the country's best DI women's colleges continue toward conference dominance.
Four games going on (see schedule), but the one to watch is Notre Dame vs. Indiana. A really wonderful competition for number two exists in this league, and we've gained some perspective between Ohio State, Michigan and Indiana. But we’re not entirely sure what the Fighting Irish are bringing just yet. Notre Dame bullied Illinois 85-5 last weekend and posted an expected 63-10 loss to Penn State (point differential similar to OSU’s loss to the Nittany Lions). But their game against the Red Storm should not only be entertaining but also helpful in sorting out the #2 contenders.
Ivy League (schedule)
A shocker evolved last weekend as Dartmouth bettered Harvard 10-5 to improve to 2-0. Harvard captain Xanni Brown put the Crimson up 5-0 at the 12-minute mark, and there the score stood for the next 60 minutes. In between, Harvard was brutally penalized for repeat infringements at the tackle, while the Big Green could not convert their double-digit opportunities inside Harvard’s 22 into points.
Admirably, Dartmouth stayed positive, and Pallavi Kuppa-Apte and Kerry Anne Conlin ran in a pair of tries for the win.
Dartmouth will have to work even harder against Princeton tomorrow, which dropped a tough 34-22 game to Brown last weekend. Kathy Flores’ squad will see Sue Parker’s in a battle of former Women’s National Team coaches.
The conference is quiet in terms of league matches, with only Temple and James Madison going at it. JMU already has a 46-12 victory over Maryland to its credit, while the Owls had its first match against West Chester postponed due to weather. Temple’s warmed up with a few friendlies, but the league is eager to see how the former DII powerhouse fares against better competition.
Still too early to tell, but this weekend’s results will certainly lend perspective. Miami University and Kent State are similar in strength, as are Central Michigan and Bowling Green (Ball State appears to be the weakest).
Notre Dame College – and independent DII team – sheds some light, however, having beat Central Michigan 115-0 last weekend and Kent State 24-0.
This conference is good competition for the teams within them, but they’re playing more at a DII level.
Midwest Thunderbird (schedule)
The North and South divisions are in full swing this weekend, but both see their respective best teams with a bye. The North’s Northern Iowa is currently 2-0, having outscored opponents 188-3 (read more about their pre-season). Lindenwood won the former Illinois union berth to DII nationals last year, but the team got a good game out of Northern Illinois last weekend, just barely holding onto a 24-21 win. Still, the varsity team is 2-0 and will pick up with Illinois State in two weekends.
We did a full preview of the Northeast’s games this weekend (read more) but the games to watch are Army vs. Quinnipiac and Norwich vs. AIC.
Pacific Mountain East (schedule)
Another shocker surfaced when New Mexico defeated Women’s Cougar Rugby (BYU) 29-17 last weekend. New age limits for Mormon students’ mission will forever affect the Cougar squad, but they just have a new challenge ahead of them. Meanwhile, UNM will look to improve to 2-0 against Colorado University.
There was another PMC East game scheduled for this weekend – Air Force vs. Colorado State – but the government shutdown has prevented that match from occurring.
View the DI college standings here.