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All Americans Hang Tough, Lose to Maple Leafs

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All Americans Hang Tough, Lose to Maple Leafs

The WCAA squad after receiving their jerseys Monday night.

The Canada Maple Leafs defeated the USA Women's Collegiate All Americans Tuesday in Salt Lake City in a game that was very much of two halves.

The Maple Leafs, which is essentially a Canada 'A' side made up of players college age and older, started much the stronger, challenging the WCAA defense around the fringes and 

The All Americans struggled to connect on several promising movements in the first half. Passes went behind support - a sure sign of players who don't know each other well - and some impatience crept into their play as well. The Americans did take an early lead, with a long period of pressure looking to set up a try, but instead they had to settle for a Tess Feury (Penn State) penalty goal.

Down 3-0 at 19 minutes, the Maple Leafs opened their game a little bit, but their own mistakes saw them defending a great deal. That's where the Canadians were very good, hitting with ferocity and forcing mistakes and penalties by the American collegiate team.

A mistake forced by the Maple Leafs defense got the Canadians moving forward, and against a somewhat fractured All American defense, they flooded the outside and scored in the corner through Julia Goss. Turnover ball led to a second try for the Maple Leafs - a poach in the breakdown by Sara Svoboda set up an offload to wing Elysa Sandron and a 10-3 lead. And then, on the stroke of halftime, a nice break through a gap off good scrum ball and t nicely-executed odd-player rush saw the Maples Leafs in for a third try - fulback Alanna Fittes finishing off the movement to make it 15-3. 

The All Americans were a bit unlucky not to have more points, but also a little fortunate that the Maple Leafs' goalkicking wasn't more accurate. 

In the second half, both teams ran on the subs, with the Maple Leafs making more changes early. The tenor of the game changed somewhat, too. The All Americans were much more organized and physical on defense, and started to kick more - playing a bit more of a territorial game.

The Canadian team could not break through, but the Maple Leafs defense was good, too.

The territorial game did pay off for the USA at one point. Flyhalf Gabby Cantorna (Penn State) saw some space out wide and popped a kick that the Maple Leafs deep through couldn't handle. Taylah Pipkin (Penn State) swooped in and picked the ball up, and, more importantly, immediately looked for a faster player to pass to. She had two options - Cantorna on her inside and Kaitlyn Broughton (Life) on her outside. She picked Broughton, who raced in untouched. Feury hit the extras to make it 15-10. 

The Maple Leafs held on, but it was much closer in the second half.

For the All Americans, No. 8 Ilona Maher of Quinnipiac was a handful, and there were moments from Cantorna, Dani Ordway (Davenport), and several others. But if you wanted to go forward, make a play, a tackle, or anything positive, you'd do well to pick Feury to do it. The longtime USA age-grade star was brilliant, and certainly a nice security blanket for her team at fullback.

Canada Maple Leafs
1. Colleen Irowa (McMaster University) Innisifil, ON 2. Kathleen Keller (Castaway Wanderers) Quebec, QC 3. Chelsey Minter (Velox Valkyries) Sydney, NS 4. Emma Taylor (HRFC) Halifax, NS 5. Camile Provençal-Aube (Abénakis et CRQ), Sherbrooke, QC 6. Katie Svoboda (Belleville Bulldogs) Belleville, ON 7. Sara Svoboda (Belleville Bulldogs RFC) Belleville, ON 8. Daria Keane (Guelph Redcoats) Sarnia, ON 9. Lori Josephson, captain (Aurora Barbarians) Beaverton, ON 10. Mackenzie Higgs (Aurora Barbarians) Aurora, ON 11. Elysa Sandron (Winnipeg Saracens RFC) Winnipeg, MB 12. Julia Goss (Leprechaun Tigers) Edmonton, AB 13. Amanda Williams (Calgary Hornets) Souris, MB 14. Natasha Smith (Barrhaven Scottish) Ottawa, ON 15. Alanna Fittes (Leprechaun Tigers) Rimbey, AB

16. Simone Savory 17. Megan Copeland 18. Brittany Kassil (Guelph Redcoats) Guelph, ON 19. Gillian Boag (Calgary, AB; Capilano/UBC) 20. Ngalula Fuamba (TMR) Notre-Dame-de-l'Île-Perrot, QC 21. Gabrielle Senft (UVic/Castaway Wanderers) Regina, SK 22. Justine Pelletier (Club de Rugby de Quebec) Quebec, QC 23. Jess Neilson (UVic/Castaway Wanderers) Vancouver, BC 24. Lisa Gauthier (St-Anne de Bellevue), St-Bernardino, ON 25. Petra Woods (Toronto Saracens) Brampton, ON 26. Gillian Allen (Kirin) Saskatoon, SK


Women's Collegiate All-Americans
1. Rebekah Hebdon (BYU) 2. Bridget Kahele (AIC) 3. Azniv Nalbandian (Penn State) 4. Haley Schafer (CWU) 5. Jennifer Johnson (C) (CWU) 6. Yeja Dunn (Dartmouth) 7. Frieda Fetu'u (Berkeley All Blues) 8. Ilona Maher (Quinnipiac) 9. Kat Ramage (Dartmouth) 10. Gabby Cantorna (Penn State); 11. Francesca Sands (Dartmouth) 12. McKenzie Hawkins (Lindenwood) 13. Sarah Buonpane (Beantown Club) 14. Uzo Okoro (Brown) 15. Tess Feury (Penn State)

16. Nicole Benedetti (Brandwine Club) 17. Danielle Ordway (Davenport) 18. Kaityln Broughton (Life) 19. Megan Rom (Life) 20. Jessica Lewis (California 21. Bailey Johnson (Minnesota Valkyries) 22. Taylah Pipkin (Penn State) 23. Lanoira Duhart (Winona State) 24. Katie Loughran (Univ. Notre Dame) 25. Elizabeth Rose (Penn State) 26. Ally Day (Norwich)


Canada Maple Leafs 15

Tries: Goss, Sandron, Fittes


USA Collegiate All-Americans 10

Tries: Broughton

Convs: Feury

Pens: Feury