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Tough games Hone Medina for Girls Ohio 7s Championship

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Tough games Hone Medina for Girls Ohio 7s Championship

Hannah Trsek sees a chance for Medina. Alex Goff photo.

The Medina Bees worked their way through a very difficult Rugby Ohio girls 7s championships to take the state title.

On a wet day that got wetter and muddier by the game, Medina was paced by the elusive Hannah Trsek and the powerful Libby Kelly and Rachel Coleman. 

The tournament itself featured six teams in two pools of three. The top two from each pool went into the semis, while the other two teams played off for 5th.

In one pool St. Joseph’s Academy looked dominant. Sparked by the field vision and running of Megan Chura, with Maddie Hubbell, Nicole Gothier, and Ruby Kormos also working hard and playing good defense, the Jaguars shut out both Mentor and Highland to go 2-0. Highland also won via shutout over Mentor and had their moments, paced by the explosive Maya Weber and hard-running Ruth Musser.

In the other pool the games were much closer. Brunswick barely got by Walnut Hills, needing some late-game heroics from Sierra Baranyai, who burst through some tacklers to score a late try for a 10-5 win. Against Medina it was equally close, only this time Medina won 12-5. Medina also beat Walnut Hills 22-0.

So with the semifinals coming up the question was whether the tougher games would get teams ready for the playoffs, or whether SJA would keep rolling. Well the answer came when Brunswick’s powerful defense and decision to key on the Jaguars’ danger women saw the Valkyries through 17-7. Offensively Sarah King and Tayanna Watson worked hard to make breaks and work in support, along with Baranyai, to put the game away. Meanwhile, Medina also had to work for it, just beating Highland 17-12. Trsek was crucial in this game as she was able to navigate the glue-like mud and still slide out of trouble.

So that set up the final games. Mentor beat Walnut Hills 19-0 to take 5th. The third-fourth game wasn’t played and it was just as well as the field was stressed as it was.

In the final Medina opened the scoring with a break from Trsk. She was caught but the Bees swarmed in to re-win the ball and Alissa Pisano powered over. With neither team able to get much constructed Kelly managed to shrug off a tackler and break through for a try seemingly out of nothing. Conversion good and Medina led 14-0. 

After spending much of the game trying to get out of their half, the Valkyries did just that and booted the ball down the field. A smart soccer kick ahead and then another had Medina in all sorts of trouble, but the final kick rolled the ball into touch, and that’s how the first half ended.

In the second half, Medina was putting a series of probes together but a loose pass went behind some of the Bees players. As often happens in rugby, the defense can sometimes pursue this in a ragged way. That’s what Brunswick did and Trsek was able to scoop up the ball, see a gap, and zigzag her way through from 50 meters to make it 19-0.

As time wound down King cut through for a well-taken try, but it wasn’t enough. Medina held on 19-5. The victory was based on a ton of hard work on defense and the decision to embrace hard tackling even when Brunswick unleashed their strong runners.

Several players stood out in the weekend but Trsek’s tenacity and ability to make tacklers miss was massive for Medina as they take home a well-deserved state championship.