Women's Sevens
28 21
26 12
Women's Sevens  @ Westhills Stadium
April 13, 201810:04 am PDT
Canada Sevens
  Joy Neville

USA Advances With Thrilling Victory Over Rival-Canada

LANGFORD, B.C. - It was an absolute thriller. Back-and-forth scoring and non-stop  action characterized the Women's Eagles Sevens' 28-26 Cup Quarterfinal victory over long-time rival and home team Canada. Both teams raced against the clock through the game to answer every score made by the other in a match where the final conversion determined it all. Now moving on to the Cup Semifinals against New Zealand at 4:32 PM ET, the United States is primed for their next battle. 

Within moments, a bobbled pass left the Canadians tangled in a ruck with USA inches away from the tryzone. Eagle Jordan Gray, owning a keen sense for the opportunity, picked the ball from the pile and reached it over the tryline as quick as any two hands can allow. Almost immediately after, Canada tried to answer back with a run along the blind side until Alev Kelter made a massive tackle and recovered the ball for a score, 14-0. 

A vicious attack allowed Ghislane Landry to put one on for Canada with an outside ball that trucked towards the tryzone with pace, 14-7. But, the restart had USA back on top again, as a pass from Abby Gustaitis to Alev Kelter landed an unstoppable score, 21-7. 

Without missing a beat, Canada's Charity Williams refused to let the match get away. With the electric sounds of a home crowd cheering and the accountability that came with playing on her own pitch, Williams took the ball more than 70 meters down the stretch for the try, 21-12. 

The second half gave Canada much of what the first half gave USA. A United States knock on allowed Canadian Bianca Farella an opportunity to put her side up, 21-19. Only two points down with plenty of time to go, this was the moment for the home team to make a show. 

Penalties kept the ball moving back and forth between both teams until the Canadian side employed tactful handling to let Farella more than bridge the two point gap, 21-26. 

Now with Canada owning the lead and the entirety of the second half, the United States had to make a decision. One last possession was their final hope of advancing in the tournament, overcoming their rivals and proving their competitive position in the Series. 

And then, Naya Tapper got it done. 

With her trademark movement on the left flank, Tapper squeezed past every Canadian defender in sight to cross the tryline and tie it up, 26-26. Pressure was building with one final conversion to determine it all, and then Alev Kelter sent the ball right through the posts for an incredible 28-26 U.S. victory. 

Now, a meeting with the New Zealand Black Ferns Sevens is all that stands in USA's way of making their second Cup Final appearance of the season. Knowing a rigorous battle lies ahead, the squad will rest up, polish their game plan and be back on the pitch for the Canada Sevens Cup Semifinal at 4:32 PM ET, LIVE on The Rugby Channel. 

WOMEN'S SEVENS STAFF | 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens

Head Coach - Richie Walker
Athletic Trainer - Kevin Ng
Head of Physical Preparation - Jon Hood
Analyst - Dave Gardner
Team Manager - Liz Strohecker


v. Russia | 14-35 (W)
v. France | 22-19 (L)
v. Japan |  28-7 (W)

Cup Quarterfinals
v. Canada | 28-26 (W)

Cup Semifinal
v. New Zealand | Sun, May 13 - 4:32 PM ET