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The girls' West Coast Invitational drew more than 100 of the region's top U17 and U19 athletes to Canby, Ore., this past weekend and piqued the interest of USA U20 forwards coach and former Eagle Danielle Miller.
Oregon and Southern California supplied both U17 and U19 squads, while Washington and Northern California furnished U19 teams for the tournament.
"The U17 teams were evenly matched and played at a high level of play, surpassing my expectations," Miller said. "Not only did they play physical matches, but their playing level and rugby knowledge was beyond their age."
The Griffins' U17s rostered several 12- and 13-year-olds, a reflection of the cooperation between SBROs and youth coaches to developing the region's youth players. Having such young athletes on the field excited Miller, who is convinced that national team-caliber players will be cultivated in the years to come.
The U17s split their two games on Saturday, with the first going to Oregon 7-5 and the second to SoCal 17-5. On Sunday, the two teams sought to break the tie, and the Griffins emerged with a 10-7 victory.
As for the U19s, the Washington all-star team ruled the games on Saturday, and outscored opponents 53-7. SoCal gave Washington its toughest match of the day, battling the eventual finalist to a 10-7 loss. The match was a preview of an even more heated battle in the championship match. Northern California was seeded third after narrowly edging Oregon 14-12 for its lone win of the day.
"The U19 girls gave the spectators an enjoyable weekend," Miller said. "There was a great mixture of pace, flat passes, level 3 tackles, and well placed kicks. Sunday proved more of the same from Saturday with hard hits and smart decisions. "
For the placing rounds of Sunday, Washington advanced to the final after another convincing win against Oregon 24-0, and SoCal knocked off state rival NorCal 29-7 for the championship bid. With redemption fueling its play, the Griffins started to find holes in Washington's defense and forced sudden death overtime after a 15-all end to regulation. SoCal scored the winning points first and took home the title with a 20-15 win.
Oregon got its most important win of the weekend in its final game, defeating NorCal 20-0 for third place.
"All of the teams played high level, competitive rugby, giving the USA U20 national selector a great showing of the talent and dedication coming from these programs," Miller concluded.
U19 All-Tournament Team
1. Sara Young (WA)
2. Siu Tufui (OR)
3. Roujan Khorrami (WA)
4. Angela Van Hoomissen (OR)
5. Tiffany Candler (WA)
6. Sammy Pinson (SoCal)
7. Megan Pinson (SoCal)
8. Jessica Davis (NorCal)
9. Megan Johnson (WA)
10. Cassidy Meyers (WA)
11. Alyssa Bishop (OR)
12. Desiree Leaupepe (SoCal)
13. Kelsey Stockert (WA)
14. Hannah Bell (OR)
15. Jamie Garcia (SoCal)
16. Jerilyn Peko (WA)
17. Lauren Bell (SoCal)
18. Devon Viera (WA)
19. Hannah Gorlick (WA)
20. Gabby Yundt (OR)
21. Kalila Patete (NorCal)
22. Siva Aisea (OR)
U17 All-Tournament Team
1. Izzy Manu (SoCal)
2. Sade Young (SoCal)
3. Katherine Murray (Oregon)
4. Candice Mahoney Watson (Oregon)
5. Cynthia Nuno (SoCal)
6. Gabby Yundt (Oregon)
7. Karmin Macedo (SoCal)
8. Taylor Duncan (SoCal)
9. Eva Klein (SoCal)
10. Alyssa Tonihka (Oregon)
11. Annie Finch (Oregon)
12. Mixtly Simon (Oregon)
13. Rachel Edward (SoCal)
14. Kayla Rudman (SoCal)
15. Michel Navarro (SoCal)
16. Jessical Henderson (Oregon)
17. Kayla Postula (Oregon)
18. Alexi Eich (SoCal)
19. Hannah Fallon (Oregon)
20. Alyah Moala (SoCal)
21. Cambria Brandenberger (SoCal)
22. Jesenia Olmedo (Oregon)
U19 Round Robin
Washington 21-0 Oregon
Washington 22-0 Northern California
Washington 10-7 Southern California
Southern California 31-0 Northern California
Southern California 12-5 Oregon
Northern California 14-12 Oregon
Oregon 7-5 Southern California
Southern California 17-5 Oregon
Washington 24-0 Oregon
Southern California 29-7 Northern California
Southern California 20-15 Washington (OT)
Oregon 20-0 Northern California
Southern California 10-7 Oregon