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ATAVUS Makes Girls U18 Final, BC Prevails

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ATAVUS Makes Girls U18 Final, BC Prevails

Photo courtesy of David Barpal

British Columbia Elite 7s defeated the ATAVUS Selects 19-7 Saturday in Sam Boyd Stadium to win the Girls Elite bracket at the Las Vegas Invitational.

It was an impressive run for the ATAVUS squad, which beat Utah, tied Auckland Marist, and beat Rhino Rugby Academy to make the semis. There they beat the Minnesota Tundra 25-7 to book a spot in the stadium.

ATAVUS prepared for Minnesota's physicality, knowing that Tundra would focus on attacking ATAVUS' defense down the middle.

"We talked about maintaining our defense shape and not allowing ourselves to be condensed around the breakdown," ATAVUS coach Emilie Bydwell said.

Bydwell set a specific goal for each player to fulfill on the pitch. Sticking to their roles and playing as a unit strengthened their defense further, allowing Alaina Valenciano, Alyssa Henneberg, Baleigh Gable, Emily Prentice, Hannah Savin, Kayla Canett, Lindsey Baron, Mata Hingano, Michel Navarro, Tatum Johnson, and Zoe Duffield to take control of game play.


Photo courtesy of David Barpal


"I have to praise Zoe Duffield for her performance in that game," Bydwell said. "I’ve worked with Zoe for two years whenever we go to Boston, and she is developing into an exciting young player.  She took the opportunity to start in the semi final and was devastating around the base.  I am so happy for her."

ATAVUS' defensive game was strong, but their offensive play will be better if the players know in which ways to communicate and how to use their space effectively. Overall, Bydwell was extremely pleased with the way the day's events played out.

"The athletes are finding each other so well on attack and are making great decisions on when to pass and unleash the outside attack," Bydwell said. "There was one defensive series at the end of the first half that I need to note. Mireille chased down a ball carrier, made a tackle, then did it again. Tundra was on the front foot but the girls kept chasing back. The amount of effort they put on the goal was amazing."

Yet, it was a little too much to ask in the final, as the BC elite program prevailed. Still, it was an impressive weekend for ATAVUS.

The Tundra beat Utah Rugby Academy 17-14 for 3rd. 

Atavus v BC Barpal

Photo courtesy of David Barpal