USA Eagles
Women's Sevens  @ The Sevens Stadium
December 1, 20171:28 pm 
Dubai Sevens

Win over Russia leads Women's Sevens to Cup Final in Dubai

DUBAI, UNITED EMIRATES - Let's go to the FINAL! The Women's Sevens momentum continues to build in Dubai as they take down opposing semifinalist, Russia, opening the gate for a tournament win against Australia, LIVE on The Rugby Channel

The Eagles continued to set pace with the initial points scored, this time at the strong hands and feet of Alev Kelter. With Russian focus fixated on containing Naya Tapper, Kelter was able to find opportunities twice in the first half. Both tries coming via powerful run through tackles, and ensuing conversions. By halftime, Kelter had tallied all 14 United States points herself. 

Game play was completely in the United States control when the halftime whistle blew. Russia seemed disorganized, struggling to find a rhythm, with the American pressure and physical play contributing. During the mid-way huddle, Head Coach Richie Walker recognized the dynamic and urged his team to "work with each other and keep possession..." With only seven minutes between them and a Cup final appearance, Walker knew that keeping composure would be crucial. 

The Women's Sevens would struggle to do so however, allowing a quick breakaway from Elena Zdrokova into the try zone, and subsequently another from Baizat Khamidova after two costly penalties near mid-field. The US found a little comfort, again, as Alena Mikhaltsova missed her second conversion, keeping the score at 14-12.

Determined to put insurance points on the board, Naya Tapper collected a pass inside and motioned straight through the Russian defense. Breaking a few low tackles, Tapper fell short of the line, and seemed to come up slow while grabbing her right shin. Play would continue to a US scrum and Tapper did in fact make her way to her feet, just in time to see Captain Nicole Heavirland break out wide from the scrum and dot down for 5 points. The crucial moment came next as Kelter followed with a difficult conversion as time expired. Meaning even a converted try from Russia would still come up short of the American lead. The final whistle blew on a 21-12 victory, and the United States were officially on their way to the Final.

Australia awaits the Women's Eagles, after a comfortable win over Canada. Each team have yet to play each other in Dubai, so fans are in for an exciting match up. Catch the final LIVE, at 8:15AMET on The Rugby Channel.

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS ROSTER | Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens

1. Jordan Gray
2. Ryan Carlyle
3. Sara Parsons
4. Nicole Heavirland (C)
5. Tia Blythe
6. Alev Kelter
7. Naya Tapper
8. Abby Gustaitis
9. Kelsi Stockert
10. Sarah Buonopane 
11. Kiki Morgan
12. Megan Foster

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF | Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens

Head Coach - Richie Walker 
Athletic Trainer - Sarah Leslie 
Physical Preparation - Ian Gibbons 
Team Manager - Leanna Corpus 
Analyst - Dave Gardner


Thu, Nov. 30, 2017 
vs. France - L 19-17
vs. South Africa - W 19-15
vs. New Zealand - L 45-14

Fri, Dec. 1, 2017
Cup QF vs New Zealand - W 14-12
Cup SF vs Russia - W 21-12