The USA Women’s Sevens team will compete in their third tournament of the 2019-2020 HSBC Sevens Series in Cape Town from December 13-15 on NBC Sports Gold.
The team is currently tied with New Zealand in first-place after winning gold in Glendale and bronze in Dubai. It was their sixth straight medal and an eighth straight semifinal appearance since last season.
Head Coach Chris Brown has made one change to the roster with Kasey McCravey on the squad and Kayla Canett moving to an injury reserve.
Kristi Kirshe was selected to the Dream Team at Dubai and Alev Kelter also shined both offensively and defensively. Kelter broke numerous tackles in scoring or assisting with tries and created turnovers at the breakdowns. She is first in overall points scored. Kirshe outpaced defenders and is third in tries scored.
Cheta Emba also had an impressive performance in Dubai and her physicality was a factor in the team’s success. Eti Haungatau also scored her first two HSBC Series tries.
The full roster owns 185 cumulative tournaments.
The Eagles Sevens will face Ireland, England and Australia in Pool C with ninth-place Ireland on Day One, tenth place England next on Day Two with third-place Australia rounding out Day Two.
“We recognized that we missed a good opportunity when we had the chance to take control in that Dubai semifinal against New Zealand.
“Ultimately, some of the simple errors we saw through the Brazil and Russia games — which didn’t hurt us at the time — were present in the New Zealand game. A side of that caliber will certainly take their opportunities on every error we present them.
“We are in great spirits to experience the culture and energy in Cape Town. The team has loved this city and has been able to connect with the community in several meaningful ways including an inspirational visit with young children alongside Be the Difference Foundation.
“We look forward to building on that inspiration for all those we touched and the larger rugby community who adore our players this weekend.”
USA Women’s Squad
1. Cheta Emba
2. Ilona Maher
3. Abby Gustaitis (Co-Captain)
4. Nicole Heavirland
Hooker / Scrumhalf
5. Alev Kelter
6. Lauren Doyle
7. Naya Tapper
8. Jordan Matyas
9. Fane Haungatau
10. Kasey McCravey
Hooker / Flyhalf
11. Kris Thomas (Co-Captain)
12. Kristi Kirshe
13. Kayla Canett
Scrumhalf / Flyhalf
Head Coach Chris Brown
Assistant Coach Warren Abrahams
Strength & Conditioning Matt Long
Athletic Trainer Nicole Titmas
Team Manager Liz Strohecker