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All-American squads named for Can-Am Series in Ottawa

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – The rosters for USA Rugby’s age-grade National Teams have been selected for the August 1-7 Can-Am Series to be held in Ottawa, Ontario.

Farrah Douglas’ Girls High School All-Americans powered by Atavus (under-18) and Wil Snape’s AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans (under-20) are set to face their Canadian counterparts in two matches apiece on the campus of University of Ottawa. For the GHSAAs, this Series will serve as their first full internationals, having only played provincial sides in XVs beyond an extensive sevens schedule. The WJAAs, in their most recent competition, swept Canada’s under-20s in Bellingham, Wash., in 2015.

“The squad is looking forward to the challenge of playing what will be a strong and equally-talented Canadian side,” Douglas said. “One of our main objectives with the Can-Am Series is to continue to expose our age-grade players to high-level competition as we look a long-term player development within the current pathway.

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“We are seeing a number of former GHSAA players in the under-20 player pool, with our Kayla Canett – capped internationally in sevens and just named to the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 squad – being our most recent success story.”

The Can-Am Series will finish just before the start of the senior World Cup in Ireland, where Canett and 27 teammates will face reigning World Champion England, Italy, and Spain in pool play. University of Ottawa’s Gee-Gees Field is the setting for the four age-grade matches the first week of August, beginning with the GHSAAs’ first international Tuesday, Aug. 1. The under-18s finish their slate Saturday, Aug. 5, between the two under-20 match days Aug. 3 and 7.

More than 70 female athletes attended separate selection camps at Grande Sports Academy in Casa Grande, Ariz., at the end of June in hopes of earning spots on one of the National Teams. More than a handful of those athletes had already worn the U.S. jersey in international play, and helped to set the tone for the training environment in harsh temperatures. Taking the field in the morning and evening to avoid the heat as much as possible, the athletes benefitted from extended unit skill and vide analysis sessions during daylight hours.

“The players showed a great ability to adapt, which bodes really well for the Can-Ams,” Snape said. “The video analysis and indoor unit skills really helped to accelerate learning around game understanding and team play. Players really seized the opportunity to show their talents and created the hardest selection decisions we’ve had to make as a group of coaches.

“The combined Series gives us a great opportunity to build consistency and fluidity in the pathway. Farrah, Pete Steinberg, and I have been in constant communication in discussing players moving up and down the pathway to maximize their development. For the players it means we can continue to push them and help them grow as leaders within the age-grades. The strength of the pathway is proven by the fact we can move players through the system.”

Seventeen of the 25 players named to the WJAAs – including Emily Henrich, who will also be eligible for the GHSAAs should unavailability necessitate it – have represented their country as GHSAAs. Twelve of those 17 currently play collegiately at institutions like College XVs Championship Semifinalists Brigham Young University and Life University, while Central Washington University has five players in the squad.

The GHSAAs hail from 14 states and include returning athletes Tiana and Tiara A’au (Oregon), Cassidy Bargell (Colorado), Jordan Cowan (New Jersey), Alexandra DiMarco (Pennsylvania), Madison Jumper (Washington), Lolohea Makaafi, Leilani Mendoza (California), Julia Riekena (Montana), Salote Tausinga (California), Brianna Vasquez (California), and Elizabeth Wilson (Virginia).

The GHSAAs were busy in 2016, playing in two international sevens competitions – winning Vancouver Rugby Festival and claiming silver at Rugby Europe Women’s U18 Sevens Championship – that bookended an under-16 and under-18 East Tour in Quebec and an under-18 tour in British Columbia. In more than 400 minutes of rugby, the GHSAAs lost just one sevens match.

“The GHSAA staff has been working hard preparing our athletes to play at the most competitive level possible, so there is a lot of excitement among the program in regards to our upcoming series with Canada,” Douglas said. “The team selected includes some key players who made significant contributions to the recent success of the GHSAA program last year, and this experience is sure to put them in a good place as they look to make the leap to the national stage at the under-20 and senior levels.”

Broadcast information for the four matches at University of Ottawa will be announced by Rugby Canada closer to the Series, while admission will be free to the public.

AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans | Can-Am Series

Name Club/School
Suiluana A’au Central Washington University [su_stats cms=”978″ class=”icon”]
Kaino Ah Quin Brigham Young University [su_stats cms=”971″ class=”icon”]
Milla Anderson Dartmouth College [su_stats cms=”1929″ class=”icon”]
Lilly Durbin Fallbrook High School [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Bayleigh Gable U.S. Military Academy at West Point [su_stats cms=”1156″ class=”icon”]
Emily Henrich Orchard Park HS [su_flag state=”ny” class=”icon”]
Hannah Lewandowski Central Washington University [su_stats cms=”978″ class=”icon”]
Taylor Makowski Life University [su_stats cms=”993″ class=”icon”]
Yana Manoa Central Washington University [su_stats cms=”978″ class=”icon”]
Joanna Moreira Central Washington University [su_stats cms=”978″ class=”icon”]
Michel Navarro Central Washington University [su_stats cms=”978″ class=”icon”]
Olivia Ortiz Davenport University [su_stats cms=”1930″ class=”icon”]
Maryjane Pasioles Sacramento PD PAL [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Emily Prentice Harvard University [su_stats cms=”1180″ class=”icon”]
Katherine Ramage Dartmouth College [su_stats cms=”1929″ class=”icon”]
Michelle Reyes Northern Virginia Rugby [su_stats cms=”490″ class=”icon”]
Anne Rolf St Joseph Academy [su_flag state=”oh” class=”icon”]
Becca Rosko Dartmouth College [su_stats cms=”1929″ class=”icon”]
Alexandra Stasser Notre Dame College [su_stats cms=”756″ class=”icon”]
Adi Finau Tamaivena Seattle Saracens [su_stats cms=”946″ class=”icon”]
Kristina Tomelloso Saint Mary’s College [su_stats cms=”2119″ class=”icon”]
Caitlin Weigel Harvard University [su_stats cms=”1180″ class=”icon”]
Emma Workman Brigham Young University [su_stats cms=”971″ class=”icon”]
Erin Wright Catholic Memorial HS [su_flag state=”wi” class=”icon”]
Ilona Zaishliuk Notre Dame College [su_stats cms=”756″ class=”icon”]

AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans | Coaching Staff

Wil Snape – Head Coach

Kitt Ruiz – Assistant Coach

Katie Dowty – Assistant Coach

Annemarie Farrell – Manager

Katherine Henry – Physiotherapist

Kaylee Howard – Manager

Diane Watanabe – Physiotherapist

Terrance Cronin – MD

Craig Wilson – Videoanalyst

Rich Humm – Coach Advisor

AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans | Can-Am Series

v. Canada U20 – Thursday, Aug. 3 @ 11 a.m. ET

v. Canada U20 – Monday, Aug. 7 @ 11 a.m. ET

Girls High School All-Americans powered by Atavus | Can-Am Series

Name Club/School
Tiara A’au Grant High School [su_flag state=”or” class=”icon”]
Tiana A’au Grant High School [su_flag state=”or” class=”icon”]
Leireena Anjolok Land Park HS [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Cassidy Bargell Summit High School [su_flag state=”co” class=”icon”]
Madylyn Becker KC United High School [su_flag state=”mo” class=”icon”]
Malery Billingy New York Rugby Club [su_stats cms=”647″ class=”icon”]
Gracie Cartwright Pleasanton Cavaliers [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Jordan Cowan Morris Rugby [su_flag state=”nj” class=”icon”]
Kateleen Dela Paz Kent Crusaders [su_flag state=”wa” class=”icon”]
Alexandra DiMarco White Horse RC [su_flag state=”pa” class=”icon”]
Morgan Freeman Ft. Lauderdale High School [su_flag state=”fl” class=”icon”]
Haley Harris Valkyrie HS [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Fane Haungatau Sacramento PD PAL [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Emily Henrich Orchard Park HS [su_flag state=”ny” class=”icon”]
Madison Jumper Kent Crusaders [su_flag state=”wa” class=”icon”]
Allison Koenig Catholic Memorial HS [su_flag state=”wi” class=”icon”]
Lolohea Makaafi Kent Crusaders [su_flag state=”wa”]
Sharilyf Mayer Bishop O’Dowd HS [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Leilani Mendoza South Bay HS [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Julia Riekena Missoula Valley RC [su_flag state=”mt” class=”icon”]
Matja Saarenheimo Grandville RC [su_flag state=”mi” class=”icon”]
Marion Sellier Pleasanton Cavaliers [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Samantha Tancredi North Bay RC [su_flag state=”md” class=”icon”]
Salote Tausinga Sacramento PD PAL [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Charity Tenney United RC [su_flag state=”ut” class=”icon”]
Brianna Vasquez South Bay HS [su_flag state=”ca” class=”icon”]
Elizabeth Wilson Springfield HS [su_flag state=”va” class=”icon”]

Girls High School All-Americans powered by Atavus | Can-Am Series

Farrah Douglas – Head Coach

Emilie Bydwell – Assistant Coach

Katherine Henry – Physiotherapist

Annemarie Farrell – Manager

Diane Watanabe – Physiotherapist

Terrance Cronin – MD

Craig Wilson – Videoanalyst

Kaylee Howard – Manager

Rick Humm – Coach Advisor

Girls High School All-Americans powered by Atavus | Can-Am Series

v. Canada U18 – Tuesday, Aug. 1 @ 6 p.m. ET

v. Canada U18 – Saturday, Aug. 5 @ 6 p.m. ET