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USA U18 Girls Picked to Play in World School 7s

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USA U18 Girls Picked to Play in World School 7s

Bella Vogel for Nightmare Rugby. Alex Goff photo.

USA Rugby will be sending a U18 girls team to the World School 7s in Auckland, New Zealand December 15-17.

That team has been selected.

Martha Daines and the USA Women’s High Performance Pathways staff have selected a traveling team and non-traveling reserves for their inaugural tournament, scouting coast-to-coast through U18 East and West regional camps and tournaments over the summer. Held at Mt. Saint Mary’s University in Maryland (East) and Utah State University in Utah (West), 79 prospective athletes were introduced to a high performance skills academy on the field and evaluated for potential selection to the New Zealand touring team. The traveling squad will also assemble in Chula Vista this November in preparation for Global School 7s. Thanks to key donors, recurring supporter members and the Golden Eagles, little to no financial barrier will be a factor for the selected players to participate in New Zealand.

Daines said on the upcoming opportunity, “This team is full of exceptional athletes who we think could contribute to our success in the 2028 Olympics and beyond. Participating in this tournament will give them the opportunity to see what the international standard of play is for their age group, and to experience the challenge of performing while traveling in a different country. I look forward to seeing the growth that results.”

2023 will be the first time the USA Women’s U18s will participate in the Global School 7s, sparking an opportunity for young sevens prospects to train alongside the senior national team and immerse themselves in an international sevens tournament. USA Eagle Alum, Irene Gardner will lead the team as Head Coach with Kelly Griffin and Lauren Barber slated to support and mentor preparations in November.

Head Coach Irene Gardner added, “November camp will mimic a high performance environment with training sessions on and off the pitch, including introductions to performance nutrition and mental skills. The players will get familiar with each other as they become attuned to the pace and style of play we are looking to achieve. Our staff is incredibly proud to support our U18 academy players in this upcoming experience. The opportunity to play in an international tournament will undoubtedly enhance the confidence, leadership, and future journeys of these talented athletes.”

Name School/Club
Paola Arredondo Almeida Dartmouth College
Rebecca Balladares West Carroll
Chloe de Leon Carmel Rugby Club
Kiyanah Edwards Columbia Central HS
Kori Fields Long Island University
Anneliese Henrich Orchard Park HS
Lilian Harmoni Hopoate Majestics Rugby Club
Madison Jersey Lindenwood University
Marley Larkin Majestics Rugby Club
Lionala Mayorga Davenport University
Vasiti Turagavou Provo Steelers
Lola Unga Wolverines Rugby Club
Annabella Vogel Knightmares Rugby Club
Emerson Callegari* Texas Nuclear Thunder
Samantha Levine* San Diego
Ellie Mahe* United Rugby