The oldest and largest 7s tournament in the country – New York 7s – unfolded this past weekend, with 133 teams booting up in bone-chilling weather. Ten champions were named, and yet only four trophies were handed to USA sides. The Boston-based Falcons took home the Women’s Collegiate title, and at the center of the team’s success was Izzy Cerullo, RugbyMag.com’s Rhino Rugby Women’s Player of the Week.
Hailing from Columbia University during 15s season, Cerullo aligned herself with the 7s-only team during the summer, and helped the all-star side to the national club 7s championship. It was difficult weekend for the college-aged side, but Cerullo was resolute in her role as a sound tackler – a lasting impression considering the team’s time spent on defense.
Come fall, Cerullo used that exposure to elite, senior-level rugby to lead Columbia from flyhalf. Small and crafty, she was one of, if not the most, dynamic player on the Ivy League squad, and brought that tenacity to Randall’s Island’s pitches this Saturday.
Fast, sure and the consummate playmaker, Cerullo helped the Falcons to a perfect 4-0 day, defeating Hofstra 33-5, York University 29-5, Ithaca 48-0, and then Molloy 50-0 in the final. One of her greatest contributions was her consistency. The chilling wind that crossed the island made for some sloppy, whistle-heavy games, but Cerullo sent crisp passes, tackled effortlessly and kept the game moving forward by aggressively attacking half-gaps and pulling away during breakaways.
The Falcons were by far the class of the collegiate division, and Cerullo was a prime example of such.