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The 1999 Women’s Collegiate Championship provided one of the most exciting matches in USA rugby history when Stanford defeated Princeton 42-31 in double overtime. Tied at 31-31, the teams continued to play two, ten-minute halves until the Cardinal triumphed, scoring two tries and one conversion in the second period.
Stanford stormed out to a 21-point lead before Princeton tallied 28 unanswered points, eventually, leading 28-24 with ten-minutes remaining. It looked then that the Tigers, Women’s champions in 1995 and 1996, were on track for a third collegiate title.
Princeton went ahead 31-24 with a penalty in injury time, increasing their lead from four to seven-points with time ticking down.
Stanford would have one, final opportunity after the restart kick off. With the Princeton defense keying on Stanford’s high scoring fullback, Melody Peterson (Tournament MVP), Cardinal center Brittney Blunt took a pass from her inside center to sprint for the try. The score stood 31-29 when Biasha Mitchell converted to tie the game.
No team scored in the first overtime period. In the second one, Peterson tallied her third try of the final with Mitchell converting. Score 38-31. The Cardinal added four safety points from a Laurie Kates try. Final: 43-31.
In the consolation game, Navy beat Marquette 24-3. In 1999, Navy would finish third in the Women’s and Men’s collegiate finals.
From 1999 on, Stanford Women’s program would remain in the top echelon. Princeton’s national ascendancy would continue with Final Four appearances in 2000, 2001, 2004, and 2005 before giving way to reinvigorated Brown and Dartmouth programs, that, with new coaches would replace the Tigers as top of the Ivy League.