Thursday, October 23, 2014

State Final Preview

The 2014 WGR State Championship Tournament takes place Sunday at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex at 60th and Ryan Rd. in Franklin.

There will be a $2 admission at the gate, in addition to T-Shirt sales.  Along with the annual WGR Bake Sale, all proceeds help off set the cost of running the event and support the development of girls youth rugby.

Championship  7pm      Catholic Memorial   v DSHA
3rd Place          530pm   Brookfield                 v DSHA jv
5th Place          4pm       Fond Du Lac             v Vernon
7th Place          230pm   Kettle Moraine          v Oak Creek
9th Place          130pm   Muskego                    v Appleton

The Championship Match:  7pm
Catholic Memorial High School v Divine Savior Holy Angels High School

Another chapter will be added to the Dashers-Crusader's rivalry. 

For the Dashers:  This is one of the most experienced sides they've ever fielded.  Couple that with a wonderful team spirit, leadership, strong playing numbers, and a great coaching staff, and it's clear why they continue to find success.  They appear deep as well, as the commitment to coaching a second competitive side in the league continues to help them develop players.  Recruiting 57 players from a school of 600 is remarkable.

For the Crusaders:  This is a team of warriors.  About 19 strong, everyone appears to contribute and they have the advantage of having a core of players who have played virtually every minute of every match.  Likewise, their success at a school with a little over 300 girls in it is also remarkable.

The 3rd Place Match: 5:30pm
Brookfield Bruisers v Divine Savior Holy Angels jv

For the Bruisers:   Their defensive organization continues to improve and they have strength and speed throughout the middle of the field.   With good playing numbers, the Bruiser's have a chance to win medals for the first time in years.  Their coaching staff has done well to provide playing opportunities to girls at schools new to WGR, places like Whitnal High School and beyond. 

For the young Dashers:   A team filled with athleticism and skill, they can play with anybody.  They were susceptible in the breakdown early in the year, but have improved dramatically there over the last month.  The only question of them in this match is whether any key starters will be held out for the varsity match, and consequently how will even younger players respond to the challenge/opportunity of stepping up.

The 5th Place Match / Challenger Bracket Finals   4pm
Fond Du Lac v Vernon

For the Sirens: Bursting with athleticism, Fond Du Lac has shown they can score some points and have played exciting rugby all fall.  How will they do against a very organized and physical defense?

For the Harlequins:  They've had a nice season and are finishing strong, adding several wins in a row after a challenging early schedule.  Certainly watch their hard running 10 and 12 combination and a physical forward pack.

The 7th Place Match / Challenger Bracket Consolation Final  230pm
Kettle Moraine v Oak Creek

For the Knightmares:  They are a very athletic bunch.  While their seniors form the core of the team, it should be worth seeing the mix of new talents as well,  like center Morgan Saenz and loosey Sommer Arndt.

For the Knights:  We could say the same of the young Oak Creek Knights, an athletic bunch with some new talents emerging to go along with "young veteran" Megan Bird.  They might be the youngest team in the conference.

The 9th Place Match 1:30pm
Muskego v Appleton

for the Warriors:  After a bye week to mend, prepare, and finish strong, watch for the strong tackling of Jolyssa Kotarak and company. 

for the Dragons:  The Appleton ladies will be looking to end their season with a victory.  Jacquelyn Helmied continues to impress opponents with her defense.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Higgins Scholarship Winner Returns to Coach Girls Rugby

2009 Kevin Higgins Scholarship award winner Amanda Pohle is a leader.  She helped start a high school team as a player.  She was a captain and president of her college rugby team at Marquette University.  Now she's returned to WGR to be a head coach, in her first full year of teaching nonetheless, for the Fond Du Lac Sirens.  She started with about seven players last spring.  In her first season the Sirens played in the finals of the Division 2 State 7's Championship.  Now she has about twenty players as they face off against one of the older teams in the State, Vernon, for the challenger's bracket finals.

Here's her bio, published by the US Rugby Foundation, when she was awarded the Higgins Award and Scholarship five years ago:

WGR continues to provide opportunities for young women to play the game because of the efforts of leaders like Pohle.  Whether its WGR and DSHA alumni like Shannon King, who serve on our board, or coaches like Pohle, and Lyndsey Fickau, a Vernon alumn, none of our players would have these opportunities without your efforts.

As the WGR season comes to a close, stop by and thank them at the state tournament.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

State Tournament Schedule WGR 2014

Milw. Cnty Sports Complex, Sunday Oct 26th

1st Place: 7:00 pm Catholic Memorial v DSHA

3rd Place: 5:30pm  Brookfield v DSHA jv

5th Place:  4:00pm  Fond Du Lac  v Vernon

7th Place:  2:30pm  Kettle Moraine v Oak Creek

9th Place:  1:30pm  Muskego v Appleton

Saturday, October 18, 2014

WGR Playoff Results 2014

Championship Semifinals

Catholic Memorial 42. Brookfield 7

     In a solid team effort, the Crusader's controlled the majority of possession in the second half en route to the victory over a physical and improved Bruisers side.  Brookfield played well and kept the ball alive when they had it.  Impressive Memorial freshman Allison Koenig outpaced the Bruiser's backline to score five tries.  Memorial tighthead prop Kelsey Gustafson might have been the Crusader's other player of the match, as she tacked on a bunch of hard charging runs and strong defense.  Memorial senior Lizzy Jacobson added a try, but her defense was the more impressive part of her game as the Bruiser's finisher, senior Reina Anderson, was limited to one linebreak and score in the second half. Juniors Meaghan Schmitt and Lizzy Walicki also scored tries for Memorial.
     Bruiser's senior flyhalf Morgan Pinzer made several key first quarter tackles.  Strong Brookfield forward play was also seen from flanker Miranda Bradford and junior Raquel Galarza, who had several courageous runs close to the Memorial line, only to be held up by the defense.
   Coach Grintjes said after the match, "we didn't play to our potential today.  We did a lot of things well on the field and I was happy to add another Founders Cup match to my belt.  This team is still very young and will remember the important history behind it, which will make next year's rematch even more exciting."

DSHA over DS jv

According to DSHA facebook page, :"the game was anticlimactic, and turned into a controlled scimmage / practice to avoid injuries."   DSHA will look ahead to another state championship match next Sunday.

Fond Du Lac 36. V. Kettle Moraine 24
Knightmare senior fullback Courtney Crouse scored two tries, as did Emily Becker.   Rookie center Morgan Saenz chipped in two conversion kicks for KM

For the Sirens, tries by Erica Powell (3), Emma Conrad, Alaina Passarella and Adrianna Ramirez helped them advance.  Three conversions by Maggie Kelly and great support play by Erin Driscoll made for a well-rounded team effort.

Vernon 40 v Oak Creek 10
Vernon booked match against Fond Du Lac next week with a convincing victory.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Return of the Founder's Cup

On the same weekend as New Zealand contests the Bledisloe Cup down in the southern hemisphere,  Brookfield and Memorial renew their equally epic and fiercely contested FOUNDER'S CUP competition.  

  A brief history of the cup is reprinted below.  Suffice it to say,  a glooming peace has loomed over the Founder's Cup for a few seasons now.

  On the eve of Saturday's FC match, Crusader's supporters have unearthed the ancient chalice from its well-guarded vault deep inside Gringott's new Waukesha branch.  It has been some time since both houses contested the ornate, and slightly dented talisman of honor.   Followers will not soon forget that Gringott's managers refused to sign off on its release last spring.  The International Rugby Board even  intervened on the eve of the 2014 State 7's Championships to declare that the original treatise agreement of 2009 only applied to 15's matches.  Ever since a noteable violation of the Irishfest Accords in 2010,  when Memorial caretakers allegedly damaged the Cup in a "fall", officials have guarded its integrity closely.   Conspiracy theorists continue to accuse Memorial of intentionally damaging the Cup in anticipation of having to turn it over on the eve of their first FC Loss back in 2010, although no proof has ever been proffered in the case.

For the historical record:
A more recent record of events:;postID=4594132962458484496;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=1;src=postname

An ancient scroll:;postID=8735809663838252978;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=517;src=postname

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Friday Night Rugby Lights

Friday night the Catholic Memorial girls rugby team plays an exhibition 7's match at halftime of the Crusaders v Waukesha West varsity football match.  The rugby match is being held at Waukesha NORTH high school against Kettle Moraine.

North's new turf field was just completed this summer and promises to be a wonderful multiuse facility.

Memorial Parents, coaches, and players will be there to answer questions about rugby, the Wisc. girls rugby league, the Crusader team, and their summer gradeschool touch rugby camp.  Just visit the table for a free ball drawing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WGR State Championship Tournament Oct 26th, 2014

The 2014 WGR State Tournament takes place Sunday Oct 26th at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex located in Franklin at 60th and Ryan Rd.
All matches will be played in the stadium.  The venue has hosted several top tier events in its history, including notable events such as the high school girls National Championship Tournament, Midwest Collegiate Men's Playoffs, USA Rugby 7's Championships, and Milwaukee Barbarians, Division One Collegiate matches, along with many other matches.
Matchups will be determined by the results of Saturday's semifinal matches.
9th Place: 1:30 pm           Muskego vs Appleton
7th Place: 2:30 pm           Fond Du Lac or KM vs  Vernon or OC
5th Place: 4:00 pm           Fond Du Lac or KM vs  Vernon or OC
3rd Place: 5:30 pm (under the lights)   DS or DS jv  vs  Catholic Memorial or Brookfield
1st Place: 7:00 pm (under the lights)   DS or DS jv   vs  Catholic Memorial or Brookfield