Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mid Season Summaries: Women's Senior

The temperature is starting to drop, the leaves are starting to change and the smell of pumpkin spice is thick in the air. This means that fall is coming and - more importantly - rugby season is in full swing. From the college kids up to the senior divisions, the majority of teams are in the meat their seasons.

Division I

The Senior leagues for the women are a lot less densely populated with Ohio teams than the men's divisions. The women only have two divisions  - DI and DII - in which to compete; and there are no teams in the upper division. The DI women's teams seem to be congregated on the western part of the Midwest, with the closest team being in Detroit, Michigan. This is unfortunate, because it leaves a dearth of high-level competition in Ohio. This means that the talent coming out of local colleges and high schools have to leave in order to get the highest competition possible - but that's a topic for another time. Let's look in on the teams the state does have.

Division II

East I
There are two Ohio teams competing in the East I region of Division II for the women. While both are established clubs, they seem to be having down seasons. The Cleveland Iron Maidens and Akron Rugby are currently at the bottom of the league, sporting similar records and only a handful of league points.

The Cleveland Iron Maidens currently sit at fourth place in the five-team league, with a 1-3-1 record and seven league points. Early on in the season, the Iron Maidens had success and got a convincing win over South Buffalo. After that initial win, fortunes changed for the worse and the losses began to pile up. The Iron Maidens do have a chance to turn their season around due to the fact that the team's next match is against South Buffalo and after the break the Maidens play Akron again. Though Akron beat Cleveland earlier int he season, it was an eight-point margin and a strong winter of prep can easily overcome that deficit and move the ladies up a notch or two in the league.

Akron is currently at the bottom of the league table with a 1-3 record and five league points. Akron has had a tough go of things this season and needs to ride out the last two weeks before the winter intermission. Like Cleveland, a strong winter training season can help Akron turn performance around. With enough preparation over the colder months, it is certainly possible for Akron to make the two spring matches wins.

East II
The East II region has more Ohio teams among its ranks, and they have had more success than their counterparts in East I. The Cincinnati Kelts and Scioto Valley occupy the top two spaces on the league, while Dayton is a bit lower in the standings.

The Cincinnati Kelts currently hold a 4-1 record  in first place. The Kelts have amassed 21 league points to this point, but are not heads and shoulders above the next team. The Kelts have put together one commanding performance after another this season. Scores north of 70 points aren't unusual this season. Combine that with the fact that the ladies have only let up a total of 47 points and it is obvious why the team is at the top of the table. It is important for the Kelts to keep getting decisive victories and amass bonus points to secure its first place spot.

Scioto Valley has the same record as the Kelts, but are two bonus points behind on the league table. The team's record reads similarly to the Kelts', with a number of winning scores above the 70-point mark. More importantly, Scioto Valley recently beat Cincinnati to avenge the early loss and draw even in the head-to-head. Looking ahead, Scioto Valley will face Louisville before the break and end the season against Dayton. Both of these are easily winnable matches. If Scioto wins out, they could, mathematically, jump into first place before the end of the season.

Dayton is another team having a rough year in the women's division. After five matches, Dayton has notched a single win. The remainder of the season is going to be a tough go for Dayton. Its two spring matches will be against Scioto Valley and Cincinnati, respectively. The only upside is that Dayton has Indianapolis before the break.

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