Chula Vista, CA - The Pacific Coast and USA Developmental duked it out in the final of the Women's National All Star 7s Championship. Both teams were undefeated up until kickoff, but it was the Grizzlies who went a perfect 6-0 on the weekend, beating the USA 34-17.
Bex Siebach gave the USA Developmental the early lead, when a high-collar penalty allowed the speedy wing to take the corner for the first of her two tries. But the Pacific Coast battled back, tied it, then took the lead and never let it out of their grasps again. Nathalie Marchino (3), Kelly Griffin, Phoebe Boone and Laura Cabrera's tries all contributed to the win.
"They executed the game plan perfectly," Pacific Coast coach Brandon Sparks said. "We knew they would be aggressive on defense, and we had to stay out of contact situations. We not only did that, but we also poached some of their ball, which I don't think anyone was able to do all weekend. We also had some amazing dynamic running lines. We got the ball wide and worked it."
Nathalie Marchino was the driving force behind the win, and her efforts earned her MVP accolades. The Eagle scored three tries in the final.
"Everyone knows she's a great athlete, a scoring machine," Sparks said. "But if I could say anything about Nathalie, it's that she's a phenomenal leader. She's easy to follow, leads from the front, and is just overall aggressive. I'm not sure we could have done this without her."
The USA put in a late charge, but under Marchino's guidance, the Grizzlies held onto the win with some late scores.
"I was pretty impressed with the college players," Sparks said. "They challenged everything, chased everything, and never gave up. If that's what our future holds, then it's looking good."
But despite the USA's effort and heart, the day belonged to the Pacific Coast. The team peaked at the right time, were focused, and went full force into the final.
"I asked the team to decide what they wanted out of this game," Sparks said," whether it was to be on the USA squad or win a trophy. Then they needed to go out there and get it."
And they did. For many of the Pacific Coast players, they're enjoying their second stand atop podium, the first coming from the All Blues' Club 7s championship earlier this month.