Women’s Falcons win Championship at Las Vegas Invitational

LAS VEGAS, NV. - The USA Women's Falcons have defeated Scion Rugby 36-0 to win the Championship Title in the Women's Elite Sevens Division of the Las Vegas Invitational 2019. 

The Falcons side was first to draw blood and followed up their opening score with a swift offload from Jordan Matyas to Alev Kelter for an early 14-0 lead. 

Scion Rugby had a few opportunities to attack but was held back by a Falcons defense who relentlessly managed space. Scion didn't make it easy on the Falcons over the next several phases, however, stopping a run by Eti Haungatau and pushing Alena Olsen into touch right after. 

Following a few set piece plays, the Falcons got the ball back on their side, made it inside the 22 and tossed to Kiki Morgan who identified space and ran around to score left side of the posts, 19-0. 

Eti Haungatau was next to cross the tryline as she curved around defenders to dot down in the middle and up the lead 26-0. 

With less than three minutes to go, Scion was awarded a scrum but a penalty gave the set piece right back to the Falcons side.

The Falcons added two more tries by way of Stephanie Rovetti and Jazmine Gray who created a 36-0 lead as time expired. 

Though the development focused U.S. team delivered a shutout to win the Women's Elite Sevens Division title, the many developing players with Scion Rugby applied pressure in key areas to keep the USA side working hard. 

Throughout the tournament, USA players shined in Jazmine Gray, Eti Haungatau and Kiki Morgan -- to name a few. Morgan hasn't appeared in a senior tournament since early last season while Haungatau and Gray have yet to make their national team debut. 

Overall, the Las Vegas Invitational was a crucial opportunity for players within the Women's Eagles Sevens Residency program to get competitive playing time in the breaks between World Series stops. 

With the next HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament taking place in late April, senior players who represented the Falcons this weekend were benefited significantly by the increase in playing time. 

Title in hand, the Women's Falcons will now return to their daily training environments in preparation for selection to the senior HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens taking place this April.

Women's Falcons Roster

PlayerPositionClub or Program
1. Hope RogersPropWomen's Sevens Residency Program
2. Jazmine GrayWingRaleigh Rugby Venom
3. Meya BizerProp/HookerWomen's Sevens Residency Program
4. Eti HaungatauProp/FlyHalfWomen's Sevens Residency Program
5. Alev KelterFlyhalf / CenterWomen's Sevens Residency Program
6. Jordan MatyasPropWomen's Sevens Residency Program
7. Jennine DuncanProp/WingSeattle Saracens
8. Nikki KenyonScrum Half/ Fly HalfWomen's Sevens Residency Program
9. Stephanie RovettiScrum Half/Fly HalfWomen's Sevens Residency Program
10. Alena OlsenScrum Half / FlyhalfWomen's Sevens Residency Program
11. Kristi KirsheCenter/PropWomen's Sevens Residency Program
12. Kiki MorganFly Half/ CenterWomen's Sevens Residency Program

Women's Falcons Staff

Head Coach | Chris Brown
Strength & Conditioning / Coach | Matt Long
Head Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner
Athletic Trainer | Dani Allen
Team Manager | Liz Strohecker

Las Vegas Invitational Results 

vs STARS | 28-7 (W) 
vs Berkeley | 50-0 (W) 
vs Air Force | 55-0 (W)

Cup Quarterfinals
vs ARPTC | 49-7 (W)

Cup Semifinals
vs CCIG | 33-0 (W)

Cup Final
vs Scion | 36-0 (W)

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About the USA Falcons

USA Falcons are the developmental teams for the senior men's and women's sevens programs who compete in domestic and international tournaments outside the main HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The teams serve as a support to the senior Women's and Men's Eagles Sevens by building depth in the player pools for both programs and exposing new waves of athletes to international competition. Falcons competitions also provide more playing time for current national team players; streamlining the transition of new players to the senior programs with interaction between various experience levels. The USA Falcons are equivalent in competition level to the USA Selects in 15s.

About the Las Vegas Invitational

The Las Vegas Invitational (LVI) is the largest rugby tournament in North America that takes place annually alongside the HSBC USA Sevens international rugby tournament held in Las Vegas. The LVI is considered the premier amateur rugby event in the United States, featuring athletes and match-ups across a wide-range of rugby divisions and age groups. The tournament features club teams, select sides and National teams from around the world with more than 275 competing teams in 2018. The 2019 LVI will see an expansion of teams in multiple competitive divisions for men, women and youth.

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