GRR on X  GRR on Facebook GRR in Instagram GRR Vimeo Library GRR on YouTube RuggaMatrix America Podcasts Support GRR on Patreon

Catholic Memorial Girls Win Lakefront

irish rugby tours

Catholic Memorial Girls Win Lakefront

The Catholic Memorial High School girls rugby team out of Wisconsin won their third straight Lakefront 7s championship this weekend, third consecutive LF 7's title.

Head Coach John Waliszewski took a development side of younger players mixed with some key leaders.

Some of the Catholic Memorial players who have been playing a lot did not make the trip, and that included top college recruits Julie Else (Norwich), Maggie Wesolowski (Quinnipiac), and Rebecca Haight (Quinnipiac).

Prior to kickoff of the first game of the day, longtime Atlanta Harlequins and USA player Pat Neder, a Catholic Memorial alum, gave the players a short talk. Neder was inducted into the CMH Hall of Fame on June 9. She did not play rugby at CMH because they had not started a team at that time, but she recalled her memories of the school and wished the current players luck.

Captained by senior Alexa Jaeger, who is headed to MIT in the fall, Catholic Memorial was in good leadership hands. And meanwhile senior Liz Bellis, who will play for the Wisconsin Badgers in the fall, proved difficult for opposition tacklers to contain. She was powerful in contact as well.

Catholic opened against Wisconsin Division II 7s state champions, the Appleton Dragons.  A nice break from Dragons senior standout and Wisconsin all-star, Aleah Loll, got Appleton on the board, but Memorial's experience led to them controlling possession.  Several strong runs and offloads from freshman back Niina Sjogren led to tries.

Senior flyhalf, Molly Langhenry, headed to play at Northern Iowa, sparked a comeback in the second match as Indiana’s Penn High School (with some Warsaw players added in) scored first in the most competitive and best-played match of the day. Penn played CMH in the Lakefront final in 2013, and the rivalry is still strong.

Penn Coach Adrian Sharkey had his team dominating possession early and playing some strong, organized defense. Penn scored within the first minute, but Catholic Memorial’s patient defense allowed them to absorb Penn attacks, turn the ball over, and score. Langhenry scored two tries this way.

Perhaps the best score of the day came from sophomore forward Meaghan Schmitt, who played her best game to date, Causing problems for opposition lineouts all day long with her height, Meaghan scored the final try of the match. After a turnover, she broke one tackle, stiff-armed another defender, and barreled into in-goal to finish the match.

In the third match of the day, Memorial started everyone who had not yet started a match. Muskego, playing with some Oak Creek and Brookfield girls as well, were led in scoring by junior Reina Anderson (Wauwatosa East High School and Brookfield Rugby). A track standout, Anderson raced her way to four tries. Memorial junior Lizzy Jacobson, subbing in at halftime for the injured Schmitt, was an impact sub as she made some big tackles and challenged the Muskego defense. On one such run she broke through for a try right at the end of regulation, and hit the conversion to tie the game.

The result left Catholic Memorial with an unbeaten 2-0-1 record. Since Muskego had already lost to Penn, Catholic Memorial were guaranteed the Lakefront trophy regardless of the score of the last game.

Catholic Memorial scores at the Lakefront 7s:
CMH 22 Appleton 5
CMH 25  Penn HS 5
CMH 22 Muskego 22