South Independent Rugby Conference
It’s playoff time in the SIRC Women’s division. This division has been as divisive as ever. We have seen some serious battles being played out on the field that leave us wondering who will come out of this unscathed.
D1 SIRC Playoffs
Life University vs. Florida State
Life University is the undisputed #1 seed in this conference. There is no doubt that they have shown what it means to really grow a program in a short period of time. Lead by coach Rosalind Chou, they have found some of the best women Rugby players around the country, and it has been a resounding success this year. Life University carries four of the top ten leading scorers in the conference in Kaitlyn Broughton, Madison Ohmann, Deshel Ferguson, and Samantha Elmore. Life University has utterly pillaged the conference land, salted it, and left it in its pummeled wake. Life University has just been utterly dominate out scoring team 381-3.
Florida State University has been the surprise addition of the league. Though Florida State was placed into the playoff due to Georgia Tech pulling out due to roster issues, they have earned respect in the league. They have surprised the conference with a win over last years second place finisher, Georgia Tech. Florida State is lead team leading scorers Rachel Forrest and Rachel Dietrich.
Florida State is no doubt going to be putting out their best effort in this match up, but Life University will ultimately take the win in this first round.
University of Central Florida vs. University of Florida
University of Central Florida has found their way back into the SIRC Women’s Championships with the second overall seed. They are the current incumbents in the conference and are clearly looking to defend their title. This season they started the season a little slower than they had the years prior, with the loss of seniors Shannon Steele and Cassidy Davis, among other players. UCF has has been up and down this season they have had big wins over University of Florida and losses against Life University.
University of Florida has been dominate all season, but they found themselves faltering towards the tail end of the season with losses against UCF and Life. University of Florida has been known for the amount of athleticism that the team has and have been lead by scoring leaders Abby Solaun and Lindsey Koren.
These two teams have a great rivalry against each other and have seen each other already once this season. UCF is definitely going to be working hard to maintain their second seed and meet Life University in the championship round. Despite that, I expect Florida to bring their top game on Saturday and will get the revenge match against UCF to take them into the championship round. Florida with the win.
SIRC Playoff Championship
Life University over University of Florida
D2 SIRC Playoffs
Emory vs. University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga has taken the top seed in the SIRC D2 North. This has been a scrappy team this year. They were able to come out of a top heavy division that included University of Georgia and Lee University. They have outscored teams by a moderate 103-44, helped by lead scorers Dianne Pamplona, Rachel McGrail and Monica Brown.
Emory has been moderate this season. They have been able to show their ability against some tough teams, such as Kennesaw State. They have been about as equal to UTC in scoring offense and defense (108-31). Emory is helped offensively by lead scorers Rebecca Han and Jae Hyun. This team has shown to be very balanced with their approach to games.
Both these teams have shown the ability to out last teams. The only difference that I will give to these teams is that UTC has probably played a tougher schedule than Emory. While Emory will have the advantage of homefield as they host these playoffs, but I expect UTC to use the struggle they have had over the season to be their advantage. I expect UT-Chattanooga to take this match.
University of Georgia vs. University of Alabama
University of Alabama has been one of the most effective teams in SIRC Division 2. They are looking to close their matrix season on a perfect note, and have not swayed from that goal. The one characteristic that Alabama has shown this season has been the ability to close games strong. They have not dominated teams, but they have truly outlasted them. Their most dangerous weapons in Savannah Harper and Erika James has helped Alabama dominate the interior and the edge for this team.
University of Georgia has also been a gritty team this season. Their one loss has come against UTC. They have shown the ability to grind out wins and even dominate one with a win over Lee University. University of Georgia has been able to take advantage of lead scorer, Aleia Bellcross. University of Georgia is the second leading total offensive scoring in the SIRC division 2. They are probably considered the most dark horse team of the SIRC playoffs.
Both these teams carry very similar characteristics. They play in very similar ways. While I want to lean in with the #1 seed in this, and they have shown a lot of grind through out the season and in friendlies. But the tougher schedule and quality wins and have to give this win to University of Georgia in an upset.
SIRC Division II Championships
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga over University of Georgia