April 28, 2024

Yale Claims Small College National Title

Yale defeated Gannon 31-7 Sunday in the Women’s Small College final to win the first national title in program history. Lael Joseph was named the tournament MVP, leading the Bulldogs with 32 points on the weekend. 

Yale’s Jaden Lohr dotted down less than 20 seconds into the final, and Gannon standout Lexie Hulick was sent to the bin early for an unsafe tackle resulting in a penalty try, allowing Yale to take a 12-7 lead into the half. Joseph put her final five points on the board in the second half, helping secure the title.

The Bulldogs entered the tournament as a four seed, upsetting top-seeded Endicott in the quarterfinal and three-seed Colby in the semis. The Bulldogs and Mules went point-for-point and card-for-card, with Joseph converting her own try to make the final.

Gannon came in as a fifth seed, but won their first two games big, beating Loyola (MD) 41-0 in the opening round and Missouri Science & Technology 26-5 in the quarterfinal. The semifinal was a battle, as the Golden Knights squeaked past three-seeded Niagara, 12-7 thanks to a pair of tries from Hulick. 

East Stroudsburg shutout Siena 22-0 to win the Plate, finishing fifth. Ohio Wesleyan claimed ninth place, defeating UW Platteville, 20-12, and Baldwin Wallace shutout Western Oregon to claim the Shield and finish 13th. 

All Tournament Team

Lexi Hulick - Gannon

Madison Cofer- OW

Morgan Mattia - ESU

Lucy Barest - Colby

Meegan White - Niagara 

Lael Joseph - Yale

Alexandria Risley - Platteville

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