PITTSBURGH – Mid-Atlantic (MARFU) defended its 2007 Under-23 title and the Northeast snapped the Midwest’s Senior division winning streak as the USA Rugby National Guard Under-23 and Senior Women’s All-Star Championships wrapped up today at Founders Field.
In the Under-23 Women’s championship match, the reigning champion MARFU team took control of its meeting with the Midwest early on, scoring three unanswered tries in the first half to go up 19-0 before the break. After switching sides, the Midwest still struggled to finish offensively and by the final blow MARFU had surged ahead to a final score of 29-0.
“We feel good about defending our title. We changed our plan from our Pac (Pacific Coast) game,” Mid-Atlantic Head Coach Lisa Rosen said. “We knew that Midwest would have a steep backline so we switched up our defense and played an aggressive game.”
Kate Daley, who led the scoring charge for the MARFU Sharks with three tries in the final match, was named the National Guard Under-23 All-Star Championships MVP by Women’s National Team selectors.
Pacific Coast steamrolled past the Southern California U-23 team in the third place match, easily shutting out the Griffins with a final score of 56-0. Pac Coast fullback Kristen Demaria proved troublesome for SoCal, scoring – 21 points in her team’s big win. Following the loss, SoCal now moves down to Tier B for next year’s competition.
Meanwhile, the Northeast Under-23s easily put down the West in the battle for fifth place to earn a promotion to Tier A for next year’s competition. Although the West was first to get on the board with an early penalty kick from Erin Wood, the NRU took over from there, scoring seven tries for a final score of 41-3. Tess Kohanski led the way for the Northeast with five tries.
In the contest for seventh place, the South Under-23s dealt the TU developmental squad a convincing 63-7 victory. The developmental team scored its only points late in the first half off a try by Monique McQueen and conversion from Christie Taylor, while the South was propelled by fullback Suzanne Uchneat, who had 31 points in her team’s victory.
Over in the Senior Women’s Championship, the two-time defending champions from the Midwest proved no match for the powerful pack and swift footing of the Northeast. In a true team effort, the NRU side spread the ball around to go up 19-0 before the break and continued to grow its lead in the second half.
After switching sides, the Northeast would score three more unanswered tries before the end. Christina Hobson and Kelly McMahon contributed one a piece before speedster Jenna Flateman broke free and blazed down the side for her team’s last try to bring the final tally to 34-0 – NRU’s return to the top for the first time since 2005.
In recognition of an outstanding combined showing, the Northeast pack was recognized by Women’s National Team Head Coach Kathy Flores as the MVP of the Senior Women’s competition.
“I think we played really in our match against Pac on Friday, but we knew we had things to work on. In practice yesterday we spent an hour in the scrum machine fine-tuning and the results certainly showed through on the field today – both Christina Hobson and Phaidra Knight gave standout performances,” said Northeast Head Coach Drew Fautley. “Although our forwards received the MVP award, I definitely don’t want to take anything away from the backs. This was 100 percent a team effort.”
The remainder of the Senior Women’s division was also marked by other shutout victories, including the third place meeting between the Pacific Coast and SoCal, which saw the Pac Coast get out to 22-0 lead by the end of the first half, before sealing the deal in a 32-0 final. Following the loss, SoCal will be relegated to Tier B.
The MARFU Senior side overpowered its developmental counterpart in the 5th/6th place match, with a 31-0 final tally. Vanesha McGee led the way for the Sharks with a pair of tries, while fullback Elizabeth Black converted three of the six tries in the win, which earned MARFU I a promotion to Tier A for next year’s all-stars competition.
In the Tier B consolation match , the lower seeded West team defeated the No. 5 seed South team 13-0. The Mustang’s Deanna McGillivray started things off for the West with a drop goal, while Bethany Zick and Megan Knight added a try each.
For more information on the USA Rugby National Guard Under-23 and Senior Women’s All-Star Championships, visit Ashley Voss.or contact
Day 2 Schedule – Founders Field
7/8th place – South 63, TU Developmental 7
5/6th place – Northeast 41, West 3
3/4th place – Pacific Coast 56, Southern California 0
Championship – MARFU 29, Midwest 0
7/8th place – West 13, South 0
5/6th place – MARFU 31, MARFU Developmental 0
3/4th place – Pacific Coast 32, Southern California 0
Championship – Midwest 34, Northeast 0
Day 1 Results
Northeast 43, South 0
West 80, TU Developmental 0
MARFU 15, Pacific Coast 10
Midwest 25, So Cal 7
MARFU 50, West 8
MARFU Devel 12, South 8
Midwest 20, So Cal 8
Northeast 19, Pacific Coast 10
Links to Day 1 NASC – West U23s, Day 2 NASC – West U23s, Day 3 NASC – West U23s and Seniors, 2008 NASC Day 4 – West U23s & Seniors, 2008 NASC Day 5 – West U23s & Seniors, 2008 NASC Day 6 – West U23s & Seniors and the 2008 NASC Full Results.