April 29, 2023

Women Shine on Championship Saturday

April 29 - Four Women’s National Champions were crowned Saturday in front of a boisterous crowd. Despite inches of rain falling Friday, the sun showed its face Saturday, painting the stadium in the perfect light for championship sevens.

In a rematch of the fall 15s national championship, Endicott defeated Lee to claim the Small College crown in the first final of the day, the Gulls having defeated York 24-7 in one semifinal and Lee taking down St. Bonaventure 22-10 in the other. Deadlocked at 10-10 after exchanging a pair of unconverted tries, neither kicker seemed to be at the top of their game, and near the end the score was tied 10-10 before Endicott dotted down the game winner.

The Gulls weren’t the only one to add yet another cup to the cupboard, as Roger Williams repeated as Division II champions with a 10-5 defeat of Colorado School of Mines in the final. The Hawks were dominant all weekend, only conceding two tries.

In Division I, it was a pair of teams who finished second in their respective pools to advance to the final, Clemson and UMass. The Tigers squeaked past pool A champion Baylor, 10-5, in one semifinal, while the Minutewomen needed two sudden-death overtimes to get past Boise State in the other. Led by MVP Grace Mowery, Clemson proved too much, winning 29-17.

The Women’s Premier Cup final was an instant classic, with Brown winning its first-ever national title, 21-19, over Army by a conversion kick. Julia Murray was outstanding with a deft boot all day, converting nearly all of Brown's tries. The Bears beat another military academy in the semifinal in Navy, 19-0, while the Black Knights bested Penn State, 17-5 in the other semifinal. The championship marked coach Ros Chou’s third, having led Life to two. 

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