Army Women Win NIRA 7s
Army Women Win NIRA 7s
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army West Point women's rugby team won the 2016 National Intercollegiate Rugby Association 7s championship with a 15-12 victory over AIC on Saturday at Anderson Rugby Complex at West Point.
"Being on our home turf definitely helped, but I think it dawned upon the firsties that this was going to be their last match in an Army uniform," said head coach Bill LeClerc. "It meant a lot to them to finish on a strong note against an AIC side that has beaten us the last three weeks in a row. They're a very good, physical team."
This NIRA competition is a series of tournaments for varsity women's programs. The first group of tournaments served to seed the teams for the finals. Quinnipiac won two of those tournaments, AIC one, and Army one (last week at Bowdoin). Army, which finished lower down the pecking order early on, continued to improve.
The day started with a 36-5 victory over Dartmouth with Kirsten Redmon and Chioma Odochaleading the way with two tries each. Zye Crittington and Becca Stipp also contributed tries, while Lindy Clark added four points from two conversions. Kaeleigh Warfield scored two points with a conversion.
The Black Knights then blanked their service academy rival, Navy, 31-0. Clark led the scoring effort in game two with 11 points, while Odocha contributed 10. Mackenzie Garner and Taylor Jessop also contributed a try in the match. Army ended pool play with a 17-10 victory over Harvard. Clark scored a game-high seven points, while Redmon and Mariah Caid-Loos each scored a try. Army faced Brown in the semifinals, taking a 32-10 decision. Redmon was the team's leading scorer in the match with 10 points with four other Cadets scoring tries.
The championship match pitted the Black Knights against AIC who had beaten Army in the previous three meetings. Army jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead with a try from Odocha. The Yellow Jackets responded with a try and conversion of their own to take a 7-5 lead before Redmon dotted down to retake the lead, 10-7. AIC would respond once more in the back-and-forth match between the two heavyweights to take a 12-10 advantage.
With time winding down, Odocha managed to slip past the defense and score the game-winning try to clinch the championship victory.
Odocha and Redmon both scored a team-high 30 points on the day, with Clark following closely behind with 27. Garner and Stipp each added two tries, while Tranelle Patterson, Jessop, Crittington and Caid-Loos each dotted down once. Warfield added contributed four points on two conversions.
Army posted a record of 16-6-1 throughout the spring 7s season with the senior Clark leading the way with 90 points. Odocha and Redmon tied for second on the team with 70 points each.