USA Squad for Women's U20 Nations Cup Announced
USA Women's Under-20 (U20) National Team Coach, Bryn Chivers, has officially announced the squad for the 2011 U20 Nations Cup to be held in Santa Barbara, Calif. from July 14-23 at the University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB). The team will take on South Africa, Canada and England in that tournament.
The squad is comprised of 26 players from 26 different high school, college and club programs from all corners of the United States.
"This is a very different team for us," said Chivers. "With only nine returning players from last year, this will be the least experienced squad we've had since the 2007 tour to England."
While the squad may be a little green, they have already had success together. At the recent Collegiate National All-Star Championships in Pittsburgh, Pa., they beat the defending champions, the Northeast All-Stars, 24-5 in their opening game. The U20s staged a massive second half comeback in the final of that tournament, but narrowly lost to the Midwest with a final score 25-26.
"Holding the U20 Camp in conjunction with the [All-Star Championship] gave us a great opportunity to work through combinations in practice and then challenge the players in high level competition," said Chivers.
With so many new players, Chivers had some concerns about going into the All-Star event.
"We had some very good returning players like Katie Johnson (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Alycia Washington (University of Connecticut) and Akalaini Baravilala (At Large), but we were a little worried about having so many new players at camp.
It was clear after the first practice that the new players blended in seamlessly and the team chemistry improved with every practice."
Chivers pointed out that some exciting new players factored into the team's success like Jennifer Sandifer (Navy), Grace Hovde (University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh), and Meya Bizer (Woodlands H.S., Texas).
The U20 Nations Cup mirrors the Women's Nations Cup which will be held from August 2 - 13 in Oakville, Ontario. The senior women's national teams from England, Canada, South Africa and the United States will take part in that tournament.
USA Women's U20 | 2011 Women's U20s Nations Cup
Colleen Carey (University of Colorado), Chloe Harper (University of North Georgia), Grace Hovde (University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh), Katie Humphreys (Central Washington University), Monica Jackson (Cougar Women's Rugby), Katie Johnson (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Kim La Mons (Fallbrook H.S., Calif.), Brittany Larson (Kent, Wash.), Mackenzie Lewis (Mesa State College), Dorothy Mittow (Princeton), Kiana Saluni (Oregon State), Jennifer Sandifer (Navy), Amee Svatos (Rugby Oregon), Alycia Washington (University of Connecticut)
Haley Anderson (Summit County), Akalaini Baravilala (At Large), Amelia Bizer (Woodlands H.S., Texas), Xanni Brown (Radcliffe), Allyson Day (Portland H.S., Maine), Joanne Fa'avesi (Sacramento Amazons), Kyandrea McKnight (University of Central Florida), Amy Naber (University of Arizona), Ashley Okonta (Notre Dame), Kayla Vlachos (Jupiter Rugby), Jacie Vonada (South Dakota State), Miranda Wakimoto (Boston University)
Alternates in case of injury
Lauren Barber (Penn State), BrieAnna Barto (Penn State), Ann Marie Bowlus (University of California - Santa Cruz), Tara Burke (Fallbrook H.S., Calif.), Mariah Edmond (Arizona State), Laurel Oldershaw (Brown University), Jerilyn Peko (Kent, Wash.), Hannah Price (Summit County), Adrianne Rubiaco (Sacramento Amazons), Junelle Steward (University of Central Florida)
Considered but Unavailable Due to Injury
Holly Zoeller (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill)
USA WOMEN'S UNDER 20s NATIONS CUP | UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - SANTA BARBARA
July 14: USA v. South Africa (Storke Field, UCSB)
July 17: USA v. England (Storke Field, UCSB)
July 20: USA v. Canada (Harder Stadium, UCSB)
July 23: U20 Women's Nations Cup (Harder Stadium, UCSB)