The DI-A field narrowed to four semifinalists on May 5th, as the West and Pacific conferences split evenly, while the Mid-South wiped the Rugby East out of the playoff picture.
(West Point, NY) Arkansas State (#2 Mid-South) claimed their second straight DI-A semifinal berth with a decisive 36-20 win over Army (#1 East.) Despite a heroic effort from flyhalf Will Holder (who totaled 15 points), the Black Knights were unable to contain the Red Wolves's backline, as freshman wing Josh Chomieszewski landed two tries in his first collegiate start.
(Marietta, GA) An aggressive Life (#1 Mid-South) XV trounced Penn State (#2 East) 75-3. Early physicality resulted in a penalty kick awarded to PSU, slotted by no. 10 Joe Baker for first blood. But the Running Eagles proved too dominant - the score was 45-3 at the break, and Life kept piling on the points for a convincing victory at home.
(Provo, UT) BYU routed visiting UCLA 103-24 before a capacity crowd, extending a undefeated record on South Field dating to 2009. Scrumhalf Shaun Davies went off for 26 points in the first half, and the Bruins' 29th minute try was soon followed by 25 unanswered points for a 51-7 scoreline at the whistle. Second-half errors allowed a few more UCLA scores, but the Cougars still doubled their lead for an eighth consecutive appearance in the semifinals.
(Moraga, CA) Two players down, St. Mary's (#1 Pacific) staved off a resurgent Utah (#2 West) in the final minutes for a close 24-15 win. The Gaels had a clean lead of 17-3 at halftime, but lost prop Jordan Bouey to a red card. Utah's pack bruised through for two second-half tries, but St. Mary's tenacious defense was enough to hold back the Utes from the playoffs.
Life will host BYU down south for the May 12th semifinal, while Arkansas State travels out west to challenge St. Mary's. Next weekend's matchups will determine the finalists in the May 19th championship match, to be held in Rio Tinto, UT.