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USA Women Qualify for Olympics

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USA Women Qualify for Olympics

Lorrie Clifford (Photo courtesy USA Rugby/Suzie Wolf/KLC fotos)

The USA Women have qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics, winning the NACRA 7s in convincing fashion. In advance of the championship, the Eagles defeated the Bahamas 59-0 in the Cup quarterfinals and Jamaica 53-5 in the semifinals. In the final, the 10-minute halves allowed the Eagles to post their biggest score of the weekend - 88-0 - over Mexico. All told the USA outscored its six opponents 369-5.

The final looked much like run-up: The Eagles handled the majority of possession - fighting at the breakdown, pressuring knock-ons, and frustrating the opposition into bad decisions that handed over the ball. The USA transitioned to offense quickly, moving the ball the width of the field with speed, and sending teammates across the tryline with regularity.

Captain Kelly Griffin and center Lauren Doyle had hat tricks against Mexico, while Kate Zachary, Hannah Lopez, and Joanne Fa'avesi scored a brace of tries. Melissa Fowler added a five-pointer, while Alev Kelter slotted the majority of conversions.

The Eagles were never really challenged throughout the NACRA 7s tournament, and the only hiccup was the one try-against that Jamaica scored in the Cup Semifinals.