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In 2001, the Women’s College title went to fourth ranked Chico State, which beat tenth ranked Penn State 35-24 in a game played in Rockford. Illinois. Ivy League Princeton defeated Virginia 18-0 for third. Penn State were the defending champion.
The two top seeds in the tournament – Princeton at #1, and Navy at #2 – were upset earlier in the rounds as was #3 Marquette, which lost 12-11 to Virginia in the second round.
The championship battle between the “States” began fortuitously for Chico State when U-23 Tiffany Capdeville sprinted 70-meters from the opening kickoff for a try. The crowd cheered, “Chico, Chico,” from the sidelines.
Penn State rallied when prop Rachel Hammond scored under the posts and the Nittany Lions led 12-10.
Chico came back with Capdeville unloading to teammate Michelle Cederborg for a centered try, and Chico led 20-12. Chico added 15 more points to 35-19, and Penn State managed a last try.
Al Kemp refereed.
The win was a testimonial to Chico RFC co-founders Alex Triantayfyllou and Mary Riess who started the rugby program only four-years earlier in 1997.