USA Women’s Eagles Selections for Can-Am Series in Chula Vista

March 23, 2017

USA Women’s Eagles Selections for Can-Am Series in Chula Vista


Doug Coil

The USA Women’s Eagles have begun arriving at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center on Thursday, March 23rd for two Can-Am Series matches against Canada, the third ranked international side.

Thirty-four athletes were selected for the Tuesday, March 28 and Saturday, April 1 matches, with several others attending but unavailable for selection due to injury. The first international test for the Eagles in 2017 will be streamed live via USA Rugby’s Facebook page Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET. Tickets are still available for the Saturday match – the final test ahead of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 – which will be broadcast live on The Rugby Channel to subscribers at 6 p.m. ET

Head Coach Pete Steinberg said to USA Rugby that “We are excited to host our northern neighbors, and hope that the San Diego rugby community will be able to support the Women’s Eagles and come out and watch the team play one of the top teams in the world. This is the first chance we have had this cycle to bring all the players together, and I think we have the opportunity to do something special in Ireland.”

In 2016, the Women Eagles played five matches. Twenty one of the athletes either played at the Women’s Rugby Super Series in Salt Lake City or in France on the November tour. Eight additional athletes could debut at the Can-Am Series next week.

Stacey Bridges is the the most-capped Eagle in the squad with 27 appearances. Prop Sarah Chobot was a U.S. captain at the 2015 Super Series. She will arrive following the first match to replace forward Baylee Annis. Hope Rogers, captain on the November Tour, as well as Cheta Emba and Kate Zackary are unavailable due to injury, but will be in attendance at camp to provide team’s continuity.

#WRWC2017 Player Pool

Eleven athletes are training full time at Chula Vista, They include USA Women’s Sevens captain Alev Kelter, Joanne Fa’avesi, Kayla Canett, Hunter Griendling, Kelly Griffin, Bulou Mataitoga, Ashley Perry, Kristine Sommer, and Kristen Thomas.

Both Hope Rogers and Sam Pankey are part of the new XVs residency program at the Training Center and have seen Eagles sevens squad action in the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series legs. Sevens Head Coach Richie Walker is an assistant to Pete Steinberg’s coaching staff, so this strengthens the cooperation between the coaching staff. Walker has helped to identify and develop athletes for the senior level in both forms of the game, and brings an extra attacking perspective to the XVs Eagles. Seattle Saracens’ forwards coach, Liz Kirk, has also been added to the staff.

The Tuesday match will not be available to the public, but Saturday’s event will be. Tickets start at $10 if purchased online and can be acquired for $15 at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. The match will be held at the venue’s South Field and is set to be broadcast live on The Rugby Channel.

USA Women’s Eagles | Can-Am Series
Baylee Annis – Seattle Saracens
Kathryn Augustyn – Berkeley All Blues
Catherine Benson – Life West
Sylvia Braaten – Twin Cities Amazons
Stacey Bridges – Twin Cities Amazons
Kayla Canett*Pennsylvania State University
Ryan Carlyle – Women’s Eagles Sevens
Sarah Chobot – Glendale Raptors
Joanne Fa’avesi – Women’s Eagles Sevens
Tiffany Faaee – New York Rugby Club
Tess Feury – Pennsylvania State University
Megan Foster – Life West
Jordan Gray – Life West
Hunter Griendling*San Diego Surfers
Kelly Griffin*Unattached
Nicole Heavirland – Women’s Eagles Sevens
Alev Kelter – Women’s Eagles Sevens
Molly Kinsella – San Diego Surfers
Joanna Kitlinski – Glendale Raptors
Bulou Mataitoga*Women’s Eagles Sevens
Samantha Pankey – San Diego Surfers
Sara Parsons – Northern Virginia Rugby
Annakaren Pedraza*Lindenwood University
Ashley Perry*American Rugby Pro Training Center
Christiane Pheil – Chicago North Shore
Naima Reddick – Seattle Saracens
Jamila Reinhardt – San Diego Surfers
Kristine Sommer*Seattle Saracens
Kelsi Stockert – Women’s Eagles Sevens
Nicole Strasko – Women’s Eagles Sevens
Naya Tapper – Women’s Eagles Sevens
Kristen Thomas*Women’s Eagles Sevens
Alycia Washington – New York Rugby Club
Jess Wooden – Aylesford Rugby Club
*Indicates player uncapped at international test level

USA Women’s Eagles – Non-Traveling Reserves
Abby Gustaitis – Northern Virginia Rugby
Rebekah Hebdon – Brigham Young University
Phaidra Knight – New York Rugby Club
Nicole Snyder – Bloomsburg University

USA Women’s Eagles – Unavailable/Injured
Kate Daley – New York Rugby Club
Cheta Emba*Women’s Eagles Sevens
Hope Rogers*San Diego Surfers
Kimber Rozier – Scion Sirens
Kate Zackary*San Diego Surfers
*Will be in attendance but unavailable for selection

USA Women’s Eagles – Coaching Staff
Pete Steinberg – Head Coach
Richie Walker – Assistant Coach
Liz Kirk – Assistant Coach
Adam Russell – HP Director
Sarah Leslie – Physiotherapist
Bri Arsenault – Physiotherapist
Michelle Look – Physician
Ian Gibbons – Strength and Conditioning
Caitlin Singletary – Video Analyst
Jake Reed – Analyst
Amie Kern – Assistant Manager & Massage Therapist
Roshna Wunderlich – Manager

USA Women’s Eagles – Can-Am Series
v. Canada – Tuesday, March 28 @ 7 p.m. ET
v. Canada – Saturday, April 1 @ 6 p.m. ET

v. Canada – Saturday, April 1 @ 6 p.m. ET

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant