Saturday, August 21, 2010

U20 WNT Drop NACRA Final 3-6

The U20 WNT lost a fiercely contested NACRA final to the Canada U20's by a score of 3-6. It was a great game and both sides had good chances to score throughout the game.

The first half saw play go back and forth with both sides having opportunity to take the lead. Both defenses came out aggressively and It was clear early on that the Canada centers were going to have to move the ball quickly to avoid the big hitting Bui Baravilala. Canada had a chance to open the scoring on the 9th minute when they were awarded a penalty on the USA 22 but the kick sailed wide. The U20‘s had two first half shots at the post but the first of Bui Baravilala’s kicks went slightly wide and the second came back into play off the inside of the post. The USA also had the best try scoring opportunities as the speed of Bex Seibach caused problems for the Canada backs and only a last ditch Canadian tackle saved a certain try.

The second half looked the same as the first with both teams playing aggressive defense and making the most of the offensive opportunities. The USA took the lead 3-0 on a penalty by Chelsea Garber after a long passage of possession.

Canada countered with an attack that looked to have finally broken the USA defense as they created the only overload of the afternoon. Faced with a two on one situation Holly Zoeller put in a fine tackle that forced the final pass to be forward in the contact and the USA escaped with a scrum at the twenty two.

Canada tied the game with a penalty but the momentum seemed to be with the USA U20’s. Sloppy play resulted in a turnover in the Canada half and a series of penalties pushed the U20’s back towards their own twenty - two. Another misdemeanor gave the Canadians a shot at the posts, the kick was good and the score stood at 3-6 with nine minutes to play.

The USA finished the stronger and in the dying minutes drove into the Canadian 22 forcing Canada into giving up a penalty. Unfortunately Chelsea Garber's kick slid wide of the far post and the ref blew the whistle for the end of the game.

Head Coach Bryn Chivers was disappointed with the result “We lost another close one that we deserved to win and it seems we have a problem closing these games out. We’ve played Canada twice this year and lost by a total of four points.”. Asked about positives from the trip Chivers pointed to the overall development of the U20 program “The upside is that gone are the days when we would enter these games as the clear underdog. The development of the SBRO’s is producing players with the same amount of experience as their Canadian counterparts and if you look at the players that stood out at this event several of them came through the youth rugby programs”. Asked to name individual players that stood out Chivers pointed to players like Hawaii’s Bui Baravilala, Summit’s Haley Anderson, BYU’s Bex Siebach and the long time starting back row of Jozy Gessner, Katie Johnson and Candace Barley.

Jozy Gessner was awarded the USA MVP trophy.

USA U20 WNT 3 Canada U20’s 6
Pen: Garber

U20 WNT v Canada U20's
1 Wendy Sherman Colorado State
2 Rachel Ryan U of Wyoming
3 Brittany Rose Unattached (Replaced by Hathaway)
4 Katie Humphreys Kent, WA
5 Alycia Washington U Conn
6 Katie Johnson Hopkins, MN
7 Jozy Gessner Colorado State
8 Candace Barley Lee University (Replaced by Lewis)
9 Hailey Anderson Summit, CO
10 Hannah Lockwood Oregon State
11 Rebecca Siebach Women’s Cougar Rugby
12 Bui Baravilala Aliamanu Blues
13 Star Bollinger Women’s Cougar Rugby
14 Holly Zoeller U of North Carolina (Replaced by McKnight)
15 Chelsea Garber Brown

Reserves From:
16 Mileka Grager Western Washington
17 Andee Samborski Livingstone, MI
18 Katie Hathaway Norwich
19 Kiki McKnight U of Centaral Florida
20 McKenzie Lewis Mesa State
21 Amee Svatos Canby, OR
22 Kelly Sager Penn State
23 Anne Marie Bowlus U of California - Santa Cruz
24 Brittany O’Brien U of Rhode Island

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