GHSAAs start strong, lack flow to finish

“We played a lot of defense so it was difficult to develop a good flow on attack,” said GHSAA Captain and Summit High School’s Cassidy Bargell. “We created a lot of opportunities which is exciting because now we just need to focus on execution.”

OTTAWA - The Girls High School All-Americans, Powered by Atavus, got a proper taste of international competition with their first Can-Ams match versus Canada's U-18 program today. In the end, USA was dealt a 58-12 loss at the University of Ottawa but moments of quality rugby were played by the All-Americans and inspired hope for the second match.

"We played a lot of defense so it was difficult to develop a good flow on attack," said GHSAA Captain and Summit High School's Cassidy Bargell. "We created a lot of opportunities which is exciting because now we just need to focus on execution."

Canada drew first blood after a USA forward pass in the first 10 minutes of the match. Canada's ability to maintain possession in the rucks caused issues for the All-Americans all match long, but the times USA had the ball did not go unnoticed. Physicality by centers Lolohea Makaafi and Salote Tausinga opened up some opportunities for the All-Americans to attack. The GHSAA's two tries came from Springfield High School's Elizabeth Wilson and Sacramento's Fane "Eti" Haungatau, who capitalized on offense in the first half. Flyhalf Alexandra DiMarco went one-for-two on conversions for the day and ensured quick ball movement through the middle of the field. Grant High School twins Tiana and Tiara A'au also ensured that Canada stayed honest on defense with strong running and ruck contests of their own.

Marginal errors kept the All-Americans out of the try zone in the second half, even after several attempts to touch down. Canada managed to seize the turnover opportunities presented, allowing them to pull ahead as the clock winded down.

Douglas' All-Americans will get another chance to make a statement versus Canada in their second match of the 2017 Can-Am Series. Kick off will be at 6:00 p.m. ET at the University of Ottawa's Gee Gee's Field Saturday, August 5. The match will be once again be streamed live on Rugby Canada's Facebook page.

GHSAA | v. Canada
1. Fane Haungatau
2. Jordan Cowan
3. Tiara A'au
4. Gracie Cartwright
5. Tiana A'au
6. Madylyn Becker
7. Elizabeth Wilson
8. Julia Riekena
9. Morgan Freeman
10. Alexandra DiMarco
11. Brianna Vasquez
12. Lolohea Makaafi
13. Salote Tausinga
14. Marion Sellier
15. Cassidy Bargell (C)

GHSAA Reserves | v. Canada
16. Kateleen Dela Paz
17. Shariyf Mayer
18. Madison Jumper
20. Leilani Mendoza
21. Allison Koeing
22. Malery Billingy
23. Matja Saarenheimo-Vanderhorst
24. Haley Harris

Canada | v. GHSAA
1. Holly Phillips
2. Erika Barton
3. Valerie Wideski
4. Alyson Macdougall
5. Rori Wood
6. Courtney Holtkamp
7. Shaye Tudor (C)
8. Celia Martensson
9. Berlyn Seselja
10. Taylor Black
11. Bridget Peros
12. Lily Stewart
13. Emma Frey
14. Kyra Maybee
15. Hunter Czeppel
16. Lauren Melanson
17. Tanika Bonneville
18 Idia Ihensekhien
19 Vyktoria Brochu
20. Alayna Scramstad
21. Brogan Mior
22. Sarah Hoerig

USA | 12
Tries: Wilson, Haungatau
Conversions: DiMarco

Canada | 58
Tries: Wideski, Holtkamp, Peros, Black, Czeppel, Wood, Seselja, Stewart
Conversions: Seselja (6)
Penalties: Seselja (2)
Discipline: Brochu (Yellow)