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Photo: COURTESY USA RUGBY

The 2014 Women’s Premier League season is approaching it’s conclusion as the National Championship heads to Atlanta, Georgia Friday, November 7  to Sunday, November 9, 2014.  The Atlanta Harlequins will host this event at the Life University Rugby Complex.  

All eight WPL teams will compete, representing both the Blue and Red Conferences. However only the top four will contend for the title currently held by the Twin City Amazons.   Coming off of the heels of the 2014 Women’s World Cup in Paris (won by England), this is bound to be an exhibition of exciting, fast paced rugby.

Championship Contenders and Players to Watch

The Twin City Amazons (6-0) finished with a perfect season and they will certainly have to maintain that consistency as they take on the Berkeley All Blues (3-3), formerly, 15-time national champions. The hometown team, the Atlanta Harlequins (3-3), will have to play their best game of the season to overcome the tenacious Glendale Raptors (4-2) in another semi -finals match.   The winners of these two games s will contend for the 2014 WPL National Championship on Sunday.  The losers will compete for 3rd and 4th place.   

USA Eagles Sylvia Braaten, Kaelen Lundstrum, and Lynelle Kugler of the Amazons are the key players to watch his weekend.  For the Atlanta Harlequins, Maggey Olney, Allison Price, Jess Woolen and former Eagle Heather Hale have demonstrated winning success during this season.  Can they perform their best in front of the hometown crowd? 

The Glendale Raptors are inspired by inspirational teammate Jillion Potter. In addition, Eagles Hannah Stolba, Kitt Wagner and Stacey Bridges along with Jeanna Beard and Joanna Kitlinski, want to take the title back west. The All Blues’ Phoebe Boone, Ruth Bryson, and Katie Chou come from a long line of champions and, it would be folly to underestimate their competiveness.

Consolation Contenders and Players to Watch

With their sights ultimately set on 5th place, the bottom four teams to compete on Friday include the DC Furies (3-3) v. the San Diego Surfers (2-4) and New York (0-6) v. Oregon (3-3).  The winners of these Friday’s matches will face each other in the consolation bracket final on Sunday.  The losers will play for 7th and 8th place.

The consistent play of DC’s Lauren Rhode and Sam Pankey will be a driving force for their squad.   Kara Mathews, Alyssa Barker, and Kijana Gaines have shown that they the consistency to lead the Surfers. ORSU features former Eagles San Juanita Moreno and Beckett Royce who will both will play a huge role in the team’s run for fifth place.   Although New York Rugby Club have struggled to post a win this season, they have the potential to upset under the leadership of Mary McCarthy and Nicole Humphrey.

Streaming

All final games on Sunday will stream live on the USA Rugby YouTube Channel. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Life University Field

9:00am EST        Loser Match 1             v.        Loser Match 2

11:00am EST     Winner Match 1          v.        Winner Match 2

1:00pm EST       Loser Match 3              v.        Loser Match 4

3:00pm EST       Winner Match 3          v.         Winne