April 23, 2024

CRC Preview: Women’s Small College

Defending champion Endicott is among the favorites to win the 16-team Women’s Small College bracket. The Gulls went undefeated to claim a national championship in Maryland last year, and they’re 8-5 this spring, with most of their losses coming against opponents from higher divisions. First-year Colleen Mitchell led the Gulls to their third-straight Colonial Coast title April 14, scoring six tries in the conference tournament. 

Niagara University won an early qualifier under the tutelage of first-year head coach Dave Chapman and behind the leadership of senior Meegan White, a three-time conference all-star and captain who will be commissioning into the Army as a Field Artillery Officer upon graduation this spring.

South Dakota has also qualified under a new head coach in Trixie Jo Shetler, a former Small College All Star. The Coyotes are led on the field by Small College All-Star All-Tournament selection Marina Street. 

Siena, champions of the Tri-State, and Western Oregon, who won their first qualifier in program history, are both making their CRC debuts. So is Christopher Newport, which recently started as a program in 2021 and is led by senior flyhalf Erin Sample. 

Missouri Science & Technology is making its second-straight CRC appearance, having won an increasingly competitive Mid-America Conference. Only two Miners came to the team with prior rugby experience; the rest have been taught the game in Rolla, MO by coach Dan Boyd. All but two are from the state of Missouri. 

The two opening rounds of the Women’s Small College bracket will be played Saturday and streamed live on National Collegiate Rugby’s YouTube, with the semifinals (11:40 and 12:00 EST) and finals (3:51 EST) set for Sunday live on The Rugby Network.  

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