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Bridesmaids for four-years in the annual USA National Women’s Collegiate championship, Penn State, coached by Peter Steinberg, defeated Radcliffe 22-20 in the Cup finals of the 1997 match. State College, Pennsylvania, Penn State’s home town, hosted the event.
The fifth time proved to be the charm for the Nittany Lions who prevailed on penalty kicks to edge out a plucky Radcliffe fifteen.
Megan Brown of Penn State won the MVP award for her outstanding performance at fly-half. The All-American notched a try and three-penalty kicks, the last one coming within five-minutes of the whistle. That conversion gave Penn State the three-points needed to overcome Radcliffe’s 20-19 lead.
Radcliffe were down 16-8 at the break and staged a come back lead by their two All-Americans, flanker Jen Sikora and center Kay Lee.
The Nittany Lions advanced into the final by beating Air Force 27-10 in the semifinals. Radcliffe defeated Princeton 15-8.
In the newly offered Plate final, Marquette was victorious against Virginia tech 15-12. These teams had beaten Stanford and Florida State respectively to reach the finals.