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USA Falcon Women Look to Vancouver

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USA Falcon Women Look to Vancouver

Kate Zackary secures a ruck. David Barpal photo.

Former West Point All Americans Andrew Locke, who has been working with the World Class Athlete Program and coaching with the USA Olympic setup, will helm the USA Falcons Women as they compete in the Vancouver Rugby Festival this weel in British Columbia.

The Falcons will be made up of athletes in the Women's Eagles Sevens player pool. The team was defeated in the semis, but got some much-needed experience, and will do so again in Vancouver with pool games against teams from France, Great Britain, and Canada.

Olympic Training Center residents Emily Azevedo and Lauren Doyle have recovered from injuries to make the trip to Canada, while veteran Christy Ringgenberg has also been brought into the team. Hannah Lopez, Amy Naber, and Jane Paar wore ATAVUS All-Star jerseys at last weekend's LVI, and will get another opportunity to impress the national team coaching staff in Vancouver with the Falcons.

Also in BC will be the Stars select side, and Aptoella Angels, both of which featuring some high-level USA players. Stars and Aptoella will be in a pool with Maple Leafs White, while the USA Falcons join Maple Leafs Red, Team GB, and France.

Here is the USA Falcons Roster:
Emily Azevedo - A graduate of UC Davis where she was a sprinter, she took 5th in bobsled in the 2010 Winter Olympics, and was recruited to rugby by former USA Coach Ric Suggitt.

Meya Bizer - Played HS rugby at The Woodlands in the Houston area and then went on to Penn State, where she is still a star player. Capped in 7s and 15s already, Bizer has height nd strength, but also the pace and skill to play as a fullback in 15s. 

Lauren Doyle - Standout for the Eastern Illinois rugby team, she is fast and aggressive, and has done well to learn to use her support more.

Carmen Farmer - Started playing rugby for the Severn Rive club. She is very tall - 6-1 - and lanky and a key weapon in the restarts and lineout.

Irene Gardner - A big part of the Cal rugby program, Gardner is a smart, heady player who can play almost anywhere on the 7s rugby field.

Nicole Heavirland - An All American at West Point last year. Played rugby in High School in Montana but was also accomplished in other sports. Excellent skill set, and a dependable kicker.

Hannah Lopez - A good sidestep and burst of pace, Lopez can handle herself as a back or as a forward.

Amy Naber - Standout at University of Arizona, Naber is a power runner in the middle or a prop in 7s.

Jane Paar - A captain of the US Naval Academy team, Paar is now an officer in the US Marine Corps and an aggressive defender. She is a smart, steadying influence on a team.

Christy Ringgenberg - Quite possibly the best American women's 7s player of the last 15 years, Ringgenberg was an All American at Minnesota and the leading player on the 2009 World Cup team that finished 3rd - a very unlucky 3rd.

Richelle Stephens - The Fallbrook HS product who is now at Lindenwood, Stephens got her first run-out for the USA in the NACRA 7s Olympic Qualifiers. She's a rangy runner with good field vision, and continues to get tougher.

Kate Zackary - Converted from soccer and when you see her play, you can see why - she is a bulldozer of a runner. She is aggressive, strong, and has a nice turn of pace. Not especially tall but can get up in the air, too.

Coaching Staff 
Andrew Locke - Head Coach 
Jared Siegmund - Strength and Conditioning 
Nicole Titmas - Physiotherapist