Kirshe and Matyas serve as co-captains / Photo: Alex Ho (hoiho.net)
CHULA VISTA, CA – USA Rugby has today named 12 players to the 2019 U.S. Pan American Games Women’s Sevens team. The Games will take place from July 26 to August 11 with rugby played from July 26-28.
The roster will feature 10 players who return from a remarkably successful season in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series where the USA qualified for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, reached a historic No. 2 World Ranking and claimed five tournament medals including their first ever gold.
Led by General Manager Emilie Bydwell, the group will use the Pan American Games to build on the consistency of their recent success as a crucial Olympic year approaches. Jordan Gray and Kristi Kirshe will serve as Co-Captains.
Alongside established senior Women’s Sevens players, the playing group will include Ari Ramsey and Emily Henrich of Dartmouth College. Henrich is a capped Eagle in fifteens who will join the sevens squad following the Women’s Rugby Super Series in San Diego. She recently won the annual MA Sorenson Award given to one of the best female collegiate rugby players in the country.
Ramsey joins the group after an impressive performance at USA Rugby’s College Sevens National Championships where she helped Dartmouth win their first ever silver in the competition.
“The Pan American games will be an excellent opportunity for our players to build on the momentum from winning gold in France and finishing their season as No. 2 in the world,” said Bydwell. “It’s exciting to have two of our young Hawk Eye players bringing a fresh dynamic to the mix in Ari Ramsey and Emily Henrich. Pan Ams will allow the group to continue to represent the progress made over last season, fortify our platform for the Olympic season and grow the belief they have in themselves and each other.”
At the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games, the USA women came away with a silver medal. The 2015 event marked the first ever inclusion for Women’s Rugby Sevens with the men debuting in the previous cycle in 2011.
Founded in 1951, the Pan American Games are a multi-sport event featuring teams from North, South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.
The 2019 event will kick off with the Opening Ceremony on July 26 with both women’s and men’s rugby sevens taking place July 26-28. Broadcast details and a full schedule will be confirmed closer to date.
PAN-AM 7s ROSTER
Kayla Canett – USA 7s
Cheta Emba- USA 7s
Abby Gustaitis – USA 7s
Emily Henrich – Dartmouth College
Kristi Kirshe (c) – USA 7s
Ilona Maher – USA 7s
Jordan Matyas (c) – USA 7s
Kasey McCravey – USA 7s
Alena Olsen – USA 7s
Ari Ramsey – Dartmouth College
Stephanie Rovetti – USA 7s
Naya Tapper – USA 7s
*All Pan American Games roster nominations are pending final approval of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.
General Manager & Head Coach | Emilie Bydwell
Assistant Coach/Strength & Conditioning | Matt Long
Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner
Team Leader | Liz Strohecker
Athletic Trainer | Nicole Titmas
Team Physician | Dr. Alexandra Myers