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Vermont/Capital Victors at Northeast RCT

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Vermont/Capital Victors at Northeast RCT

Vermont/Capital District bag another Northeast all-star championship.

The girls Northeast Regional Cup Tournament was a modest affair with only three teams in attendance, but all of the games between Vermont/Capital District, Massachusetts, and Connecticut were tough, hotly contested matches. And some up-and-coming talent didn’t go unnoticed.

Vermont/Capital District ended the weekend with the all-star trophy, going 3-1 and avenging an earlier-round lost to Connecticut to seal the championship. Saturday started with a 22-5 victory over Massachusetts, followed by the team’s lone loss, 12-7 to Connecticut. In the Sunday rematches, the Joya Clark-coached squad defeated Connecticut 19-10 and Massachusetts 20-7.

“Overall, the girls played like a team, not individuals, and that's why they were successful throughout the weekend,” Clark reported. “The entire Sunday's tries were team tries; we worked our way down the field and many hands led up to us scoring numerous times.”

But some hands were a little more influential. In particular, No. 8 Sheila Decker helped direct the team to victory, as one might expect from a Women’s Junior All American. Decker was a part of the Can-Am series last summer against the Canada U20s.

“Sheila Decker was a force throughout the weekend,” Clark confirmed. “She kept breaking the line, quick picks, diving over for tries. And her kicks to touch and incredible conversion kicks – her height and power of kicks are stronger than most collegiate women. Her overall knowledge and intelligence of the game is very high.”

The halfback combination of scrumhalf Nicole McCardle, daughter to assistant coach Nick McCardle, and flyhalf Avery McGillivray was also key to the team’s success.

“Avery MacGillivray constantly broke the line and sucked in 3-4 defenders,” Clark lauded the Vermont state championship MVP. “She made hard-hitting tackles in all aspects of the field, and tracked back open-field breakaways. She controlled the game with Nicole McCardle, who kept the game moving up-field swiftly and accurately, attacking the strong sides of the field.”

Justina Hewitt also put in a courageous performance at fullback, and her defense kept opponents’ fastest, most elusive players running out of bounds.

“She single-handedly kept us in the first game [against Connecticut] with her tracking skills, and helped us win the second – all with a dislocated finger for nearly the entire weekend,” Clark commended.

All of the aforementioned players, as well as Holly Dahlgren, are on USA Rugby scout Ken Pape’s radar, and hopes for a Stars & Stripes invite are high. The top 50 players will attend a five-day camp (June 21-25) at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where players will be exposed to elite player development and competition. Stay tuned as USA Rugby scouts compare notes and start tabbing talent.

Vermont/Capital District
Coaches: Joya Clark, Nick McCardle
McKenzie Apjohn (Rutland)
Kate Babson (Saratoga)
Doireann Chesbrough (South Burlington)
Anna Corliss (Adirondack)
Holly Dahlgren (Essex)
Scotti Day (Essex)
Sheila Decker (Adirondack)
Natalie Hall (South Burlington)
Justina Hewitt (Adirondack)
Alex Hill (Adirondack)
Raichle Johnson (Rutland)
Aimee Kasongo (South Burlington)
Kasey Kosier (Rensselear)
Shania Lincoln (Adirondack)
Alyssa Lindeman (Rensselear)
Avery MacGillivray (Essex)
Nicole McCardle (Rutland)
Hollie Parks (Essex)
Shannon Poulin (Essex)
Allycia Woodruff (Adirondack)


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