WJAA captain Sui A’au / Photo: Marc Lafleur (see more)
The Canadian women’s age grade teams dominated the Can-Am Series, held Aug. 1-7 in Ottawa, Canada. The Canada U18s defeated the Girls’ High School All-Americans (GHSAAs) 83-17 across two matches, and the Canada U20s defeated the Women’s Junior All-Americans (WJAAs) 95-36 in two games.
The GHSAAs, Powered by Atavus, kicked off the series on August 1 (read more), and while the team enjoyed surges of momentum, the Canada U18s were consistently relentless. The result was a 58-12 win for the home side and many teachable moments for the visitors. Liz Wilson (West End, Va.) and Eti Haungatau (Sacramento, Calif.) scored the Americans’ tries, and Alex DiMarco (White Horse, Pa.) added the conversion.
GHSAA A’au, sister to WJAA Sui / Photo: Marc Lafleur (view more)
Rugby Canada and the University of Ottawa did a great job making all four Can-Am matches available to the viewing public live. Below is the first high school match of the series:
AUG 1: GHSAA v CANADA U18
1. Fane Haungatau, 2. Jordan Cowan, 3. Tiara A’au, 4. Gracie Cartwright, 5. Tiana A’au, 6. Madylyn Becker, 7. Elizabeth Wilson, 8. Julia Riekena, 9. Morgan Freeman, 10. Alexandra DiMarco, 11. Brianna Vasquez, 12. Lolo Makaafi, 13. Salote Tausinga, 14. Marion Sellier, 15. Cassidy Bargell (C).
16. Kateleen Dela Paz, 17. Shariyf Mayer, 18. Madison Jumper, 20. Leilani Mendoza, 21. Allison Koenig, 22. Malery Billingy, 23. Matja Saarenheimo-Vanderhorst, 24. Haley Harris.
Riekena scoring / Photo: Marc Lafleur (view full album)
A nice contest evolved during the rematch on Aug. 5, and the GHSAAs only trailed 10-5 heading into the break. No. 8 Julia Riekena (Missoula, Mont.) finished off an attacking series at Canada’s try line, picking from the base of the ruck and barreling over for the score. (first-half video below)
The Canadians regrouped in the second half, however, and pulled away for a 25-5 victory. While the Americans made some ground in the second contest, the Canada U18s won the series 83-17. (second-half video of game two below)
AUG. 5: GHSAA v CANADA U18
1. Fane Haungatau, 2. Jordan Cowan, 3. Tiara A’au, 4. Sam Tancredi, 5. Gracie Cartwright, 6. Shariyf Mayer, 7. Elizabeth Wilson, 8. Julia Riekena, 9. Morgan Freeman, 10. Alexandra DiMarco, 11. Cassidy Bargell (C), 12. Lolo Makaafi, 13. Tiana A’au, 14. Malery Billingy, 15. Allison Koenig.
16. Kateleen Dela Paz, 17. Madison Jumper, 18. Madylyn Becker, 19. Haley Harris, 20. Leilani Mendoza, 21. Matja Saarenheimo-Vanderhorst, 22. Salote Tausinga, 23. Brianna Vasquez.
WJAA flanker Michel Navarro / Photo: Marc Lafleur (view more)
The Canada U20s enjoyed similar successes and opened up their Can-Am Series with a 45-24 win over the WJAAs on Aug. 3 (read more). The Americans were in contention into the third quarter, only trailing 26-19, but again the hosts displayed lasting power. Seven players scored Canada’s eight tries, and the USA got its points from Adi Finau Tamaivena (Seattle), Emily Henrich (Orchard Park HS, N.Y.), Lilly Durbin (Fallbrook HS, Calif.) and Kaino Ah Quin (BYU, Utah). Bayleigh Gable (USMA, N.Y.) kicked the two conversions. (full-game video below)
AUG 3: WJAA v CANADA U20
1. Kristina Tomelloso, 2. Kat Ramage, 3. Hannah Lewandowski, 4. Milla Anderson (VC), 5. Taylor Makowski, 6. Edna Manoa, 7. Michel Navarro, 8. Adi Finau Tamaivena, 9. Mary-Jane Pasioles, 10. Bayleigh Gable, 11. Alexandra Strasser, 12. Sui A’au (C), 13. Emily Henrich, 14. Kainoawaianuhea Ah Quin, 15. Lilly Durbin
16. Jade Garcia, 17. Michele Reyes, 18. Annie Rolf, 19. Joanna Moreira, 20. Caitlin Weigel, 21. Olivia Ortiz, 22. Becca Jane Rosko, 23. Natalie Gray
WJAA flyhalf Gable / Photo: Marc Lafleur (view more)
Unfortunately for the WJAAs, the team couldn’t close the gap on the Canada U20s during the Aug. 7 rematch and lost 50-12. The Americans were in striking distance into the third quarter, as tries from Tamaivena and captain Sui A’au, and a Gable conversion, saw the WJAAs trail 26-12. But good defensive pressure and an insatiable attack from Canada, plus some ball-handling issues from the U.S., aided the second-half pull-away for the hosts. (full-game video below)
AUG 7: WJAA v CANADA U20
1. Kristina Tomelloso, 2. Hannah Lewandowski, 3. Annie Rolf, 4. Milla Anderson (VC), 5. Taylor Makowski, 6. Edna Manoa, 7. Michel Navarro, 8. Adi Finau Tamaivena, 9. Kat Ramage, 10. Bayleigh Gable, 11. Kainoawaianuhea Ah Quin, 12. Sui A’au (C), 13. Emily Henrich, 14. Becca Jane Rosko, 15. Lilly Durbin.
16. Jade Garcia, 17. Michele Reyes, 18. Natalie Gray, 19. Joanna Moreira, 20. Maryjane Pasioles, 21. Olivia Ortiz, 22. Caitlin Weigel, 23. Alexandra Strasser
Stay tuned for follow-ups with the WJAA and GHSAA coaches and players.