Women's College

Written by Press Release    Monday, 18 July 2011 17:54    PDF Print Write e-mail
USA Rugby Names Women's Collegiate All Americans
Colleges - Women's College

USA Rugby is proud to announce the 2011 Women's Collegiate All-Americans. These student-athletes are recognized as the best collegiate women's rugby players in the country. There are two lists of All-Americans, Division I and Division II. The Touring Squad will be named later this month and will compete in the Can-Am Games from July 28-31 in upstate New York.

Army's Kayla Orvik (Todd Bauders photo)
Virginia's Sharlyn Carter (Marvin Dangerfield photo)
Penn State's Lisa Henneman. (Todd Bauders)

The selection process to the Women's Collegiate All-Americans was a robust and collaborative effort. Selectors included Martha Daines (Women's Collegiate All-Americans Head Coach) as well as coaches from the age-grade to senior national team ranks.

Pete Steinberg (Women's National Team Head Coach), Ric Suggitt (Women's Sevens Team Head Coach), Bryn Chivers (Women's Under-20s Head Coach) and Alex Williams (Women's High Performance Director) contributed to the selections.

The list of Division I All-Americans includes 34 student-athletes from 17 different universities and colleges across the country. The 34 athletes on the DI list and 28 representatives on the DII list were selected from a pool of nearly 12,000 women’s collegiate rugby players.

Selectors used the fall and spring seasons to construct their player pools for All-American selection. The National All-Star Championship at Founders Field in Pittsburgh, Pa., last month and the DI and DII National Championships served as opportunities for selectors to refine the pool to the top players in each division.

  • In addition to having the honor of being named an All-American, many of these student-athletes have earned invitations to a variety of national team assemblies:
  • 20 student-athletes participated in a Women’s High Performance Collegiate Academy Camp in Pittsburgh, Pa. in June
  • 9 are attending the Women’s Sevens Elite Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
  • 9 are competing for the USA in the 2011 Women’s U20 Nations Cup
  • 1 player will compete with the Women’s National Team this August in the Senior Nations Cup
  • 8 athletes on the list have represented the USA on the senior women’s sevens team

Kyle Armstrong (Penn State)
Evelyn Ashenbrucker (University of California - San Diego)
Monica Jackson (BYU)
Nick James (Texas A&M)
Katie Johnson (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Joanna Kitlinski (Grand Valley State)
Megan Liesenfeldt (Army)
Kelsey Mcilonie (University of California - San Diego)
Izraelle McKinnon (Brown)
Dot Mittow (Princeton)
Kayla Orvik (Army)
Jennifer Sandifer (Navy)
Wendy Sherman (Colorado State)
Cassandra Tong (University of California – Los Angeles)
Alycia Washington (University of Connecticut)
Frances Wehrwein (Stanford)
Ela Wolfgramm (BYU)

Sadie Anderson (Penn State)
Sharlyn Carter (Virginia)
Erica Cavenaugh (Virginia)
Lisa Henneman (Penn State)
Brittany Houston (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Kristi Jackson (BYU)
Anne Lee (Army)
Anna (Katie) Lorenz (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
Blaine Martin (Brown)
Tyra McGrady (Indiana University)
Deven Owsiany (Penn State)
Kara Remington (BYU)
Kimber Rozier (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
Jessica Sexauer (Army)
Rebekah Siebach (BYU)
Marie Timm (Army)
Amelia Villines (Stanford)


Candace Barley (Lee)
Hannah Bushey (Norwich University)
Ana Carvajal (Santa Clara)
Aoibheann Cline (Humboldt)
Loryn Fridie (Bowdoin)
Ashley George (Stonehill)
Grace Hovde (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Kendra Klump (Minnesota State University-Mankato)
Mackenzie Lewis (Mesa State)
Rachel Ryan (University of Wyoming)
Molly Walter (University of Mary Washington)
Ginger Whitehead (University of Northern Colorado)
Christina Zier (Central Washington)

Alyssa Baccarella (MIT)
Megan Bonny (Washington State)
Xanni Brown (Radcliffe)
Gabrielle Dixon (Longwood University)
April Fogel (Western Washington)
Evan Hoese (Radcliffe)
Kirsten Miller (Mesa State)
Alyssa Mizell (George Washington)
Natalie Monroig (Shippensburg)
Katie O’Malley (Stonehill)
Ashley Okonta (Notre Dame)
Angelina Pascual (Santa Clara)
Kathleen Stanley (Notre Dame)
Becky Stevens (Bowdoin)
Miranda Wakimoto (Boston University)

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Wednesday, 06 July 2011 10:14    PDF Print Write e-mail
RM.com's Women's Collegiate All Americans
Colleges - Women's College

After some deliberation, RugbyMag.com has named its Women's Collegiate All Americans for the 2010-2011 season. It was difficult to narrow down the field and forego well-known names for some up-and-coming talent who impressed national selectors, and an equally impressive "honorable mention" list is necessary to give everyone their due respect.

PSU's Lisa Henneman (L) and Deven Owsiany are repeat All Americans. (Steve Mitchell photo)
Erica Cavanaugh lit up the sidelines all year for UVA. (Steve Mitchell photo)
The tremendous pace of Brown's Shakeela Faulkner earned her a spot on the All American list. (Steve Mitchell photo)

Accolades go to repeat All Americans Sadie Anderson, Kyle Armstrong, Jozy Gessner, Keelia Harker, Lisa Henneman, Joanna Kitlinski, Tyra McGrady, Deven Owsiany and Frances Wehrwein. They all had another impressive year around the pitch and represent some of the country's best collegiate athletes.

Performances at all level of the game were weighed, even non-USA Rugby events like the CRC 7s in early June. Individual praise from national team coaches like Bryn Chivers (USA U20), Ric Suggitt (USA 7s) and Pete Steinberg (USA Women's 15s) also helped identify players who typically wouldn't be on display at national championships.

The most recognizable names are those who played in the DI national championships in May. From title-stealing Army, DI MVP Annie Lee, Jess Sexauer, Kayla Orvik and Sylvia Thomas established themselves as must-adds. Sexauer and Orvik were particularly stunning at the CRC 7s, which the cadets also won in Philadelphia, and familiarized an even larger crowd with the team's stellar team speed.

The DI championship and CRC 7s runner-up, Penn State, also sees a number of players named to the All American list. Anderson was the lone college player who Steinberg invited to the most recent Women's National Team camp in late June. Owsiany also proved herself on the international 7s circuit, accompanying the Eagles to Las Vegas and Hong Kong 7s tournaments. Pound for pound, she's one of the hardest-hitting, hardest working players on the college scene today. Suggitt was also happy to add South Carolina's Ryan Carlyle to the Hong Kong roster, and the speedster did not disappoint.

Some other memorable matches during the DI national championships highlighted some outstanding players. Virginia advanced to the final four with a gripping overtime win over Brown, and intimidating wing Erica Cavanaugh was a major force that propelled her team so far into playoffs. Michigan nearly upset Brown in the opening round of nationals, but with big, aggressive forwards like Kadie Sanford, the near-win shouldn't have been such a surprise.

Navy and Women's Cougar Rugby (WCR) also butted heads in the quarterfinals, with the 7-0 decision falling to the Cougars. Navy was led by Jenn Sandifer and Jane Paar, who was also exciting to watch during the CRC 7s. WCR's Kristi Jackson proved that she's one of the best inside centers in the country, and wins undying praise from coach Tom Waqa.

Chivers was on hand at the national championships and took note of Whitney White, another big wing from New Mexico State, WCR’s Monica Jackson (prop) and Harker (wing), and Notre Dame center Ashley Okonta. The coach was particularly excited to have them at the U20s' most recent camp.

The Collegiate All Star Championships also did well to acknowledge some players who didn't share in the national playoff limelight. Title-winning Midwest was jam-packed with familiar names, and they didn't disappoint on game day. No. 8 Joanna Kitlinski (Grand Valley State) and scrumhalf Brittany Houston (UW Milwaukee) propelled the Thunderbirds past the USA U20s in the final – a difficult task considering the junior Eagles boasted players like McGrady and Alycia Washington. Julia Fortkort (Texas), Hannah Lockwood (Oregon State) and Jen Sever (California) scored several tries for their respective all-star squads, and earned their way onto the AA list.


RugbyMag.com’s 2010-11 Women’s Collegiate All Americans


Katie Andrews (Navy)

Kyle Armstrong (Penn State)

Kayla Ellingson (Women's Cougar Rugby)

Julia Fortkort (Texas)

Jozy Gessner (Colorado State)

Monica Jackson (Women's Cougar Rugby)

Katie Johnson (UW Milwaukee)

Joanna Kitlinski (Grand Valley State)

Kelsey McIlione (UC San Diego)

Kayla Orvik (Army)

Lauren Poole (Penn State)

Christian Pheil (Penn State)

Jenn Sandifer (Navy)

Kadie Sanford (Michigan)

Jen Sever (California)

Alycia Washington (Connecticut)

Frances Wehrein (Stanford)



Sadie Anderson (Penn State)

Akalaini Baravilala (At Large)

Ryan Carlyle (South Carolina)

Erica Cavanaugh (Virginia)

Delaney Chapman (UCLA)

Keelia Harker (Women's Cougar Rugby)

Shakeela Faulkner (Brown)

Chelsea Garber (Brown)

Lisa Henneman (Penn State)

Brittany Houston (UW Milwaukee)

Kristi Jackson (Women's Cougar Rugby)

Annie Lee (Army)

Hannah Lockwood (Oregon State)

Tyra McGrady (Indiana University)

Ashley Okonta (Notre Dame)

Deven Owsiany (Penn State)

Jane Paar (Navy)

Kimber Rozier (North Carolina)

Jessica Sexauer (Army)

Sylvia Thomas (Army)

Whitney White (New Mexico State)

Written by Jackie Finlan    Wednesday, 22 June 2011 15:59    PDF Print Write e-mail
Women's Pacific Mt Conference Official
Colleges - Women's College

USA Rugby announced the formation of the first women’s DI college conference, following in the footsteps of its male counterparts. Within the Pacific Mountain Rugby Conference, the 16 teams are divided into three divisions and represent seven of last year’s DI national championship participants.

DI quarterfinalist Stanford (red) eager for the expanded playing schedule.

The North Division groups former Nor Cal (Stanford, UC Davis, Chico State, Cal) and Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Oregon State) teams into a league. Oregon and Oregon State benefit greatly from the expanded competition, considering their former league consisted of a home-and-away series to determine which team moved onto regional playoffs. But even big dogs like Stanford are enthusiastic about the expansion.

“We are excited about joining the North Division for next season,” Stanford assistant coach Heather Smith said. “It offers us a more competitive league schedule. In addition, this league allows us to play our traditional rugby rivals in Chico State and UC Davis, as well as battle our Pac-12 rivals in Cal, Oregon, and Oregon State ... and eventually Arizona State, Colorado and UCLA through cross-division play.”

Each division is responsible for its own schedule. The East division (Air Force, Women’s Cougar Rugby, Colorado, Colorado State, New Mexico) will play in the fall, while the North and South (Arizona State, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, Claremont) divisions will play in the winter. Currently, crossover games aren’t mandated, and the playoff structure has yet to be determined.

“How we address crossover games and our league playoff structure will be greatly influenced by the decisions made in the coming weeks by the Women’s Competitions Committee,” Smith said. “If the committee makes the round of 16/8 regional, like D1 Men, then a combination of automatic seeds and one playoff weekend for at-large bids would make sense. This is a union of 16 teams from five LAUs and three territories. We represent seven seeds from 2011 Nationals. Hopefully the committee will honor that.”

In addition to the Oregon schools, Women’s Cougar Rugby stands to benefit greatly from the restructure. Instead of playing local DII and U19 squads during its buildup to nationals, WCR will face the ultra-competitive teams from the Eastern Rockies union. The South division’s Claremont Colleges has bumped up from Southern California’s DII, while former DI Nor Cal teams UC Santa Cruz and Sacramento have opted to return to DII play.

“Having the top teams in the west connected in this way is important since we are so geographically spread out,” Smith said. “It definitely will help to grow the game on this coast to have our schools, coaches and players connected. It should also allow Ellen Owens, as West Women's Rep, to set a foundation and help other teams move up to D1 level in terms of organization and level of competition. Hopefully we'll see schools from Washington State in our league at some point.”

Pacific Mountain Rugby Conference
North Division: California, Chico, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UC Davis
South Division: Arizona State, Claremont Colleges, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara
East Division: Air Force, BYU, Colorado, Colorado State, New Mexico

Written by Pat Clifton    Sunday, 15 May 2011 00:37    PDF Print Write e-mail
Army Dotted I's, Crossed T's Penn State Didn't
Colleges - Women's College

The difference between Army, 33-29 winners, and Penn State in the DI Women’s National Championship game Saturday? Army capitalized on nearly every scoring opportunity it had, while Penn State squandered exponentially more.  

The Nittany Lions owned possession and territory at the start of the game, end of the game and the majority of time between, but four times they were held up in goal, and several more times they were turned away by a tremendous Black Knight goal line defense.

Penn State scored first, when prop Lauren Poole plunged into the try zone, but not until after two five-meter scrums and one Poole attempt at points that was held up. Fullback Sadie Anderson hit the conversion. The Lions scored second, when Army’s struggles to tackle Poole continued, leading to a Hanna Gregor try.

Up to this point, the game had been all Penn State. The much larger Nittany Lion pack was obliterating Army’s diminutive forwards, preventing Army from meaningful possession. The only thing stopping Penn State was Penn State. But Army’s pack, pride hurt from conceding the second try, would rise to the occasion.

“When they were pounding on our forwards a little bit, it just pumped us up more, really, and our forwards just came back out and gave it to them,” Army fullback Jess Sexauer said.

“We don't really get scored against that much, so after that second try we just had to kick it in,” added Army No. 8 Kayla Orvik, who sized up unfavorably to even Penn State’s smallest backs. “We realized we had to make a turnover and make a turn somewhere in the game, and it had to come from us.”

Lee going in for one of 5 tries. A common PSU view Saturday. Dobson Images

After already losing three set pieces to Penn State, Army won a lineout after a Penn State penalty, and Sexauer inserted herself into the midfield, sucking in multiple defenders, before distributing to the speedy Lee, who raced in Army’s first score.

Seconds later, Sexauer made another line break off the restart and crisply flung a long pass to Lee, who wouldn’t be caught. This time, she centered the try, making her conversion attempt easier. She nailed it, and in a matter of less than three minutes, Army had pulled even with Penn State.

Penn State pounded the ball back into Army’s try zone, but was again held up. The Lions swung it wide off the scrum, where Sexauer intercepted an errant midfield pass and darted across midfield. With Anderson bearing down on her, the fullback deferred to Lee, who took it in for her, and the game’s, third try in a row. With the conversion, Army led 19-12.

Orvik fielded the ensuing deep kickoff, and attempted a no-look pass, which Penn State wing Lauren Barber cleanly picked off and carried a short distance for the tying score.

Army, after being awarded a scrum via a Penn State knock, went back on the offensive. Wing Ashley Miller made the line break this time, and before being torn down, she found Lee, who again simply ran faster than the Penn State defense, which featured a pair of 7s Eagles, for a try. Lee again converted, giving herself and Army 26 points.

Army’s was really starting to come into its own, competing diligently at each and every breakdown. That hard work resulted in a turnover, a Miller line break, and guess what, another Lee try and conversion, putting Army up 33-19, which is how the half would end.

After intermission, Penn State went back to what was working in the first half, pick and drives from the base of the ruck, and they gained precious territory with hard-earned yards by Poole, No. 7 Christiane Pheil and others. However, like in the first half, they struggled when close to the try line.

On one possession inside Army’s five-meter, the Nittany Lions suffered two knocks, one held-up try and a scrum penalty before Army was able to clear its lines. As much blame should be levied towards Penn State, credit to Army’s goal line defense is also due.

“They do have some big girls. That was pretty nerve-racking,” said Sexauer of Penn State’s forwards and Army’s multiple goal line stands. “That was a real team effort, actually. I tried to throw in my two cents, but our forwards can hold their own.”

“We got a little scared when their forwards came at us, but Army rugby's all about our pack, so we just locked it down, post-monster, and went from there,” Orvik added.

Five-try scorer Lee credits Army’s tight bond for those stretches of resilience.

“We're a really close team. We all play together, and it's almost like a family; we're all sisters. When you train together and you serve together it's this bond that can't be compared to anywhere else,” she said. “We know that the people to the left and right have our back, and we have to have theirs as well.”

Penn State would break Army’s defensive line twice more, once when Pheil slammed down a try after multiple attempts off a scrum and once near full time as Barber notched her second score. But it was too little, too late. The uncapitalized on opportunities, especially the four tries held-up in goal, proved terminal.

“We actually think we scored a couple of them, but that's what National Championship games should be,” said Penn State coach Pete Steinberg. “We had a couple of lineouts near their line that we didn't connect on. We played really well in the second half, we were able to get down there, we just weren't able to score.”

Lee, who scored all 33 points for Army, collected the finals MVP honors. She was almost nauseatingly humble when asked about the award.

"There were 33 other players who had to do their job really well for me to score," she said. "I guess (MVP) just meant I did my job as well as they did. I'm supposed to score, and I did."

Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Saturday, 14 May 2011 18:04    PDF Print Write e-mail
Lee Sparks Army Women Victory
Colleges - Women's College

Army women celebrate. Dobson ImagesThe United States Military Academy women's team finally broke through the Penn State/Stanford stranglehold on women's college rugby as the Black Knights held off Penn State 33-29 Saturday in Palo Alto behind a sensational scoring performance from wing Anne Lee.

Army held an impressive 33-19 lead with time winding down and survived a furious Nittany Lions comeback, that featured several balls held up in-goal. However, Penn State did manage to score two late tries to make it interesting.

Penn State's pack exerted control early on and stuffed Army back toward their line. The consistent pressure rewarded Penn State with a try from outstanding prop Lauren Poole. Sadie Anderson converted for a 7-0 lead.

Pool provided all sorts of trouble for Army, and the attention they needed to give her set up a chance for Hannah Gregor, whose try gave Penn State a 12-0 lead.

But then Jess Sexauer and Anne Lee took over. The Army fullback was sensational. She set up Anne Lee's first try, and then set off from her goal line and broke through before sending a long pass for Lee's second.

The combination proved deadly to Penn State, as Sexauer then intercepted a pass five meters from her line and took off, finally handing off to Lee once more as the defense bore down. 19-12 Army led.

Penn State got one back to tie it, but in the second half, Lee scored two more breakaways, converting both, to put her side ahead 33-19.

This is the first time Army has won the national women's collegiate title, although they have frequently been visitors to the final four.

This is the first year since 2003 that a team other than Penn State or Stanford has won the DI title. And that year was also the last time a service academy, in this case Air Force, won.

Army 33
Tries: Lee 5
Convs: Lee 4

Penn State 29
Tries: Poole, Gregor, Barber 2, Pheil
Convs: Anderson 2


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