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Vienna Girls Cap Undefeated 7s Season at Cocorico Tournament

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Vienna Girls Cap Undefeated 7s Season at Cocorico Tournament

The Vienna girls celebrate yet another tournament win.

Saturday, July 31 saw the end of the 2020-21 campaign for Vienna Rugby’s High School Girls Rugby team that saw them go through the entire 2021 spring and summer seasons unbeaten.

The Vienna Red Furies took the championship of the Cocorico 7s Tournament.  Vacations and last-minute injuries left Vienna with only nine players available but those nine included bright young rookie Bethany Riddle and guest Kay Conrad from West End.

The Cocorico 7s lasted a grueling seven hours, so every player was needed to get through the day. The day started with Vienna overcoming a strong and well-prepared Raleigh Cobras team, 17-7.  Then Vienna followed up with dominant wins over Fort Hunt 1 33-12, and Fort Hunt 2 29-0.  Coaches Salvatore Florio and Jim Riddle were expecting to meet West Carroll out of Maryland in the final, but the tournament’s points-differential seeding system put Vienna back up against the Raleigh Cobras instead.

The final featured a celebrity referee, as Apisai Naikatini of Fiji and Old Glory DC’s MLR team held the whistle. Vienna started strong with an opening try from inside their own 22, with Sofia Florio making an 80 meter run to dot it down.

Raleigh came roaring back with an excellent run turning the corner on Vienna to tie the match at 5-5. But before the first half was done, Vienna’s Natalie Allen scored to cap a strong team effort started by captain Devon Casey, with the players moving up the pitch using continuous offloads to put Vienna up 12-5 at the half.

The second half was marked by strong defensive play by both teams. The Cobras’ strong defense refused to buckle under Vienna’s continuous pressure in the second half until finally, after a series of pick-and-goes, Vienna’s vice captain Hannah Garfield was able to stretch out and score at the right corner flag to make it 17-5.

Referee Naikatini blew the final whistle within a couple of minutes, and the Vienna girls let the emotions flood out in celebrating the tournament win capping the undefeated season.

The players said goodbye to captain Casey (headed to Virginia Tech in August), and possibly also to Coach Florio and Sofia Florio whose family is headed back to Italy.  Sofia Florio has been the team’s scrumhalf and playmaker for three years, and she was MVP for the tournament with five tries, six conversions, and a very strong defense performance averaging more than 15 tackles per match.

The Vienna squad for Cocorico consisted of Devon Casey (captain), Hannah Garfield (vice captain), Fabiola Rosales, Sofia Florio, Lucy Garfield, Chloe Steele, Natalie Allen, Bethany Riddle, and Kay Conrad. They were coached by Salvatore Florio and Jim Riddle.