March 3, 2017
USA Women’s 7s Finish Second in Pool at USA7s
The USA Women’s Sevens completed pool play at the USA Sevens in second place and advance to the Cup quarterfinals tomorrow. The Eagles 7s began the day with a 24-12 loss to Ireland and then beat Spain 22-7 and Fiji 14-7. Based on point differential, Fiji was the pool at +21 with the Eagles at +19.
USA v Ireland
The USA Women’s Eagles 7s took the lead two minutes into the match as Alev Kelter went in for a try and then converted for a 7-0 lead. Ireland stormed back after winning a lineout inside the USA 22 meters and Stacey Flood went in for a try. Lucy Mulhall then converted to tie the match at 7 all.
Ireland’s Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe then split two USA tacklers and went in for a unconverted try for a 12-7 lead at halftime.
The second half restart was knocked on by Ireland and the USA moved the ball out to Naya Tapper after a scrum and she was off to the races to center the ball under the posts. Kelter converted for a 14-12 lead. Ireland once again knocked on the restart and after a scrum that was won by the Eagles, the ball was swung wide and Kelter scored in the corner. Nicole Heavirland converted for a 21-12 lead with four minutes remaining.
Four minutes was enough for Ireland to edge the USA, as Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe wnet in for her second try and Mulhall converted to narrow the score to 21-19 Stacey Flood then scored in the right corner to win the match 24-21 for Ireland. Missed tackles were a factor for these last two tries.
USA v Spain
The Eagles took advantage of the opening restart, as Kate Zackary went in for a try in the corner and a 5-0 lead. At the five minute mark, Maria Losada broke a tackle and then beat Zackary for a try. Patricia Garcia converted and Spain took a 7-5 lead.
Just prior to halftime, Joanne Fa’avesi held off three defenders and Alev Kelter picked from the breakdown and went in for the try. At halftime the Eagles had a 12-7 lead.
In the second half Tapper stripped the ball as Spain was within 5 meters from the try line. Tapper then found a gap and raced 95 meters for a try to increase the lead to 19-12 after Heavirland’s conversion. Kate Zackary then added another try to end the match with a 24-7 win.
The match saw the debut of Sam Pankey, Kelsi Stockert and Nikki Snyder in the front row.
USA v Fiji
This was a physical match between the USA and Fiji. Although the USA won 14-7, they came in second place despite identical 2-1 records as Fiji had a better point differential.
Fiji took the early lead when Ana Maria Roqica scored a try, which was converted by Lavenia Tinai. The Eagles came right back as Kelter offloaded the ball to Fa’avesi and back to Kelter for a try. Heavirland converted and the score was 7 all at halftime.
The USA scored another try after Fa’avesi split defenders getting to the Fiji 40 meters. Nicole Heavirland then found Naya Tapper who went in for a try. Heavirland converted for a 14-7 lead.
A key play in the match found Tapper tracking back and tackling a Fiji player in what appeared to be a certain try.
The USA is on to the quarterfinals tomorrow, as the second seed from Pool B. Upon the conclusion of pool play shortly it quarterfinal seeding will be known.
Women’s Eagles Sevens: 1. Cheta Emba 2. Kelly Griffin 3. Kate Zackary 4. Nicole Heavirland 5. Ryan Carlyle 6. Alev Kelter (C) 7. Naya Tapper 8. Kelsi Stockert 9. Joanne Fa’avesi 10. Bulou Mataitoga 11. Kristen Thomas 12. Nicole Snyder