Chula Vista, CA - A highly anticipated match awaits the Women's National All Star 7s Championship, as the Pacific Coast and USA Developmental squads prepare for the cup final. The two teams downed their respective semifinal opponents by a combined score of 39-7.
The Grizzlies took on the Northeast, which had advanced to the Cup semifinals after eliminating MARFU 21-5 in the quarterfinals.
"It was a see-saw affair," Pacific Coast coach Brandon Sparks said of his team's 15-0 win. "They're two highly skills squads with their share of Rugby World Cup players. They matched up well."
The Northeast wanted to play a physical game, and during the first half the Pacific Coast got sucked into contact.
"The Northeast wanted a toughman competition, and we were a little undisciplined in the beginning, which allowed the game to be too close," Sparks said. "At the half, we really didn't change anything, but moved the ball away from contact."
Once the Pacific Coast recommitted to their game plan, they found more success on offense. Elaine Gardner, Nathalie Marchino and Phoebe Boone crossed for tries.
The Pacific Coast has phenomenal offensive power, but the players' defense deserves a lot of credit. The team has only surrendered 15 points against over two days.
"Our defense is always solid," Sparks said. "They're really disciplined and patient. It comes down to the fact that they're well drilled and mature."
Marchino in particular laid some big hits on the Northeast, and Gardner managed to track down Emilie Bydwell, who is twice her size, 10 meters from the tryline to keep the shutout intact.
The Pacific Coast will have to rely on the discipline they've been exhibiting all weekend if they want to down the also undefeated USA Developmental squad in the Cup final. The junior Eagles bumped off the West 24-7, a scoreline that mimicked the teams' matchup yesterday.
Katie Lorenz and Kaelene Lundstrum each scored two tries, and Kimber Rozier tacked on a couple of conversions. Hannah Stolba converted her own try for the West's lone score.
"It's going to be a helluva match," Sparks looked toward the final. "Those kids are ferocious. They just go go go. We need to play smart, play more of a phase game, and stay away from contact. Once players hit the ground, they're on you quickly, always looking for the poach."
7th Place: South v Midwest
Plate Final: MARFU v Southern Cal
3rd Place: Northeast v West
Cup Final: Pacific Coast v USA Developmental