LAS FLORES, Calif. - The Northeast has been promoted into Tier A of the Girls U-19 All Star Championship, with wins over Southern California (24-0) and South (24-12). It was quite a feat considering teammates had a day to acquaint themselves with each other, but they benefitted from the guidance of coaches Austin Hall (Norwich) and Will Riddle (Army), whose collegiate teams won their respective divisions at the Northeast Championship
Captains Anne Lee (Army) and Corinne McElroy (Norwich) had the extraordinary task of gelling the team on the field, which was made more difficult in the cold, miserable rain. NRU played the majority of the first half in SoCal's half, but the first 40 minutes only produced one try, thanks to lock Jessica Davis (American International College), who used sheer grit to barrel over the try line and dot down.
Into the second half, the Nessies found its feet and saw Norwich wing Joya Clark and center Rose Berheim cross for five-pointers, as did Army number eight Emily Taylor. Lee converted on two of four conversion attempts for the 24-0 win.
"It was good to see us come together as a regional select side," said Norwich head coach Austin Hall after the SoCal victory. "We just met last night and it didn't take long for us to begin working as a team. We've got our work cut out for us tomorrow and we'll continue to fight for promotion back to Tier A."
In the Tier B final, the South put up a stiffer fight. The teams entered the half tied 12-all, but NRU was able to hold the Panthers scoreless in the second 40. Tries came from Lee, Clark, Victoria Weitgenant (Syracuse) and Triada Cross (USMA). Lee was once again 2-for-4 on conversions.
“Good showing from the team,” said Hall, who combined forces with coach Will Riddle (USMA) for the weekend. “With limited time to pull this team together, we successfully earned promotion back to Tier 1. Moving forward, we will need to expand our player selection pool and get some practices in prior to competition if we plan to be successful.”
As college-dense as the Northeast is, 16 players originated from Norwich or Army, a fact that likely helped the team with consistency. The win guarantees NRU's participation in next year's Tier A final.
Baylee Annis (Norwich/Adirondack Rugby)
Emily Baugus (Norwich)
Rose Bernheim (Norwich)
Heather Carr (Marist/Algonquin Rugby)
Bridget Christie (Marist)
Liza Cioffi (Rhode Island/Rutland Rugby)
Joya Clark (Norwich/Saratoga Rugby)
Triada Cross (USMA)
Jessica Davis (AIC)
Oriana Ellis (USMA)
Katie Gingras (Norwich)
Jessica Jordan (USMA)
Liz Olcese (USMA)
Chelsea Weeden (Norwich/Colchester Rugby)
Morgan Segale (Stonehill)
Corinne McElroy (Norwich/Upper Valley)
Rae Phelps (USMA)
Emily Taylor (USMA)
Victoria Weitgenant (Syracuse)
Clare Moser (USMA)
Kierstin Schwagerl (USMA)
Kelley Sullivan (Marist)
Anne Lee (USMA)
Point Scorers: Lee 13 (T, 4C), Clark 10 (2T), Bernheim 5 (T), Cross 5 (T), Davis 5 (T), Taylor 5 (T), Weitgenant 5 (T).