Women's Eagles Sevens finish Series with Amsterdam Plate victory

Women's Eagles Sevens finish Series with Amsterdam Plate victory

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – The Women’s Eagles Sevens finished the 2013-14 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in seventh place after a convincing Plate Final victory against Russia at Amsterdam Women’s Sevens Saturday.

In just her first appearance on the circuit for the Eagles, Hannah Lopez added three tries to her tournament tally on day two to bring her total to seven, good for joint-third with New Zealand’s Carla Hohepa. New Zealand’s Kayla McAlister and Australia’s Emilee Cherry tied for first with nine tries in Amsterdam.

The Eagles advanced to the Cup Quarterfinal with a second-place finish in their pool on day one, but failed to reach the Semifinal with a 28-19 loss to Canada. Kelly Griffin gave the Eagles the lead less than 30 seconds into the match, but Canada scored three tries before the end of the first half to keep the Eagles out of reach. Jillion Potter and Alev Kelter added tries in the second half, but there was not enough time to find two more tries.

The Eagles got back to winning ways against Brazil in the Plate Semifinal, keeping their perfect record against the 2016 Olympic Summer Games host at 4-0. Lopez and Victoria Folayan each scored two tries in the 34-0 win. Potter and Lauren Doyle rounded out the scoring, while Amelia Villines kicked two conversions.

Fourth-place Russia awaited the Eagles in the Plate Final. Leading try-scorer Ekaterina Kasakova scored five tries for the Bears in their run-up to the Final, including two in their 20-5 victory against South Africa in pool play. Russia fell to France, Australia, and New Zealand before figuring out a way to beat France in the Plate Semifinal.

Lopez and Folayan combined on an early Eagles attack in the first minute to set up Villines for the match’s first try. Lopez then scored her seventh try of the tournament in the fourth minute after a penalty against the Bears allowed her space on the wing.

Down 10-0, Kasakova willed Russia into the match with a 60-meter, individual try from the restart. The try was converted, bringing Russia within three points at 10-7. Doyle gave the Eagles some breathing room in the final minute of the opening frame after Folayan broke through a few tackles to near the try line. Villines converted the try.

Alena Bogacheva found the try zone before the first-half whistle to cut the deficit again to 17-12.

The second half was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams hindered by penalties. Griffin and Potter broke the scoreless streak in the 13th minute and Doyle added the insurance marker not long after for the 27-12 victory.

The Eagles replicated their finish in the inaugural Women’s Sevens World Series event in Amsterdam, in which they won the Plate against Spain last year. The 2012-13 Eagles finished fourth overall in the Series standings compared to this year’s seventh-place finish, however.

Younger players and crossover athletes in the squad gained valuable experience over the course of the season, which will benefit the team as it prepares to qualify for Rio 2016 during next year’s Series.

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Comments (7)

  • Guest - Rugbyhead

    Its look like Elana Meyers Taylor has the best defense? She should play cricket and everyone for SIX! She should get a starting spot at prop or centre!

  • Guest - Awesome!

    Congratulations to Rick Suggit and U.S.A womens 7s. It was ONLY 2/3 unforced errors that lost the game against Canada. Another year of gametime and U.S.A will probably push New Zealand and Australia!

  • Guest - Albritton

    I've heard that Ida Bernstein is back from bobsled and playing 7s. A couple of trips with Atlantis showed she can still finish. Add her speed and size to the mix and the US might be a consistent semi finalist. If Folayan can keep the form she showed this past weekend, placing her at center and Bernstein at wing would give the US great size and speed at crucial strike positions.

  • Guest - RUGBYHEAD

    Lets hope that some of U.S.A.s elite athlete strengths stay playing 7s and that some 7s stars don't take on the challenge of 15s rugby as 15s more or less takes 3 or 4 years off your playing career, 7s doesn't as it is less harse on your body. Now that 7s is professional hopefully the smaller nations and underdogs stay put until competitiveness out RUNS them!

  • Guest - Albritton

    I'll have to disagree with Rugbyhead's statement that 7s isn't as harsh on the body as 15s. I played both for 30 plus years & the abrupt stop and start nature of 7s and the increased amount of training that needs to be done to be successful put a LOT more strain on my body than 15s ever did. The contact in 7s tends to be made at a higher speed than in 15s as well. Rugbyhead may be correct if speaking of 15s forwards who get a lot more contact than the backs, but the majority of 7s players are backs and loose forwards. Having said that, I agree with Rugbyhead in hoping the 7s players stick with 7s, but I can see why, in a World Cup year, why players would want to play both. Rugby players want to play Rugby, weather it's 7s or 15s.

  • Guest - Calirugby

    In reply to: Guest - Albritton

    If the top tier teams like England, New Zealand, France and dare I say Canada have their contracted players in the 15's World Cup Squads, then what do they know that we don't? Perhaps they know that high level rugby competition benefits the players and their overall performance in rugby, Sevens and Fifteens. I am concerned that we are once again being left behind, even though we have an athletic advantage in the Women's game because we have so many great women athletes and rugby players.

  • Guest - RUGBYHEAD

    OK Abritton, I'm wrong about the wear and tear thing, just don't understand why 7s rugby is second rate to 15s. I think their enough athletes in America to conjour up enough combinations to beat all teams maybe within the starting 7 if most can be forwards or in the backs. BUT they have five players on bench to, if the womens or mens 7s team CAN'T qualify for the Olympics as a top 4 irb circuit winner next year, will they be MEDAL contenders or pretenders?