The 2004 Eastern Penn Rugby Union Women’s Collegiate Division I Championship went to Princeton University Sunday Nov. 7 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., after defeating the West Chester Golden Rams 25-8. After beating Millersville Saturday 17-0, the Golden Rams advanced to the championship game where they met up with the Princeton Tigers for the second time this season. Their first meeting was Saturday Oct. 2, where the Tigers beat the Golden Rams 54-0.During the game last Sunday, the Tigers came out strong, scoring two trys very early in the first half. It was looking like a repeat of their earlier meeting. However, freshman Whitney Hartshorne of the Golden Rams converted a penalty kick 20 minutes into the game, bringing the score to 10-3, with Princeton only leading by seven. Then 35 minutes into the game, freshman Jodi McDermott scored a try for the Golden Rams, bringing the team within two points of the Tigers. Just as the half was closing, Princeton scored another try to rebuild their seven-point lead on the Golden Rams. Princeton went on to score two more trys in the second half, giving them an overwhelming 17-point lead. The final score of the game was 25-8, and Princeton was the champion. The Golden Rams were not disappointed with their performance in this championship game.
The Golden Rams were only the second team this season to score on the Tigers. The team showed a lot of improvement from their first meeting with the Tigers. This time, the Golden Rams led the time with the ball. The new assistant coach for the Golden Rams was a coach for the Princeton Tigers last season. After the game on Sunday, he was beaming from ear-to-ear with the accomplishment the Golden Rams achieved.
The Golden Rams made history Saturday by becoming the first team in school history to win an NCAA Division II playoff game. They face Shippensburg next Saturday at noon for the Northeast Regional semi-final game.
This championship tournament was also used to determine the seeding for the Mid-Atlantic Rugby football tournament this spring, in which the Golden Rams will take part.
At the end of the season, the Golden Rams finished with an overall record of 6-2, with both losses coming from Princeton. This was the inaugural season for West Chester as a varsity sport. West Chester University is the only Division II school in the nation to host a varsity womenʼs rugby team.