USA Eagles
7 7
New Zealand
33 21
Women's Sevens  @ Infinity Park
October 21, 20185:26 pm MDT
USA Women's Sevens

Women's Sevens claim silver at inaugural HSBC USA Women's Sevens

GLENDALE, CO. - While the United States lost in the championship match of the HSBC USA Women's Sevens to New Zealand, lots of positives can be taken from the weekend, most notably a silver medal in an Olympic qualifying season. The U.S. left everything out on the field but the Black Ferns proved too much, wining the opening tournament 33-7. The US will look to take momentum into the second round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai, November 29-30.

The Eagles started out strong on the attack. Black Fern powerhouse Michaela Blyde took down Ilona Maher just shy of the try line. However, Maher was able to offload the ball to Nicole Heavirland, who opened scoring and gave the early lead to the home team. 

The U.S. was feeling strong until Portia Williams answered with a pair of tries. Then, Sarah Goss was able to find the hole up the middle and break free for one more before the half.

USA Head Coach Chris Brown at halftime: "You can almost slow it down. Get more depth and get clear instructions. Show me that you're committed to each other to work as hard as possible." They were able to do so after the reset and find a stride, but the Black Ferns kept speed in their favor. 

New Zealand urged pressure causing the Eagles have to work harder in keeping possession of the ball. A shift in direction to Williams saw the Black Ferns complete their fourth try and Williams' first of the tournament. Sadly for the Americans, Woodman was able to complete a hat trick of her own and move the match out of US reach. Woodman ended the tournament as the leading try scorer with 10, while Maher finished tied for runner up with seven.

Despite the loss, a few notable takeaways include 18 points to start the new season. Mirroring last year's opener in Dubai. Additionally, three new Women's Eagles made their debut in Alena Olsen, Lauren Thunen and Stephanie Rovetti. Lastly, a packed Infinity Park in Glendale is a testament to how welcomed the HSBC Women's World Rugby Sevens Series has been in it's return to the United States. Moving ahead, the City of Glendale looks forward to broadening the event and  rugby overall.