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Colleges & Clubs Unite in Midwest U23 Squad

  • 06 Jun 2022
Midwest Rugby

The Midwest Thunderbirds has named its travel roster for the USA Rugby U23 All-Star 15s Competition, which begins with divisional playoffs on June 11-12 in East and West locations. The Thunderbirds travel to Clinton, N.J., alongside Saturday opponent Northeast Academy, as well as South U23 Harlequins and Mid-Atlantic Young Glory. Saturday’s victors advance to the national championship in Lemont, Ill., and Sunday’s games will seed teams into that June 25-26 event.

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The Midwest by far developed the farthest-reaching and transparent selection pathway for the Thunderbirds. LAU U23 tournaments have roots in the region and they provided the structure for state all-star teams to compete and for their players to be seen. Xane Gerasimo and Meghan Flanigan were crucial to this movement, scouting the East and West playoffs and inviting players to a Midwest Top 100 camp in mid-May.

Twenty-six players were selected (two are unable to travel to New Jersey) and they hail from 13 colleges and six senior clubs. If the team wins its Saturday match against the Northeast Academy, then it’ll play the winner of South vs. Mid-Atlantic on Sunday at 12 p.m. The Midwest would then be the “home” team at nationals in Chicago.

Hailey Andreason – Metropolis Valkyries
Megan Bird – Davenport Univ.
Hailey Bray – Univ. Wisconsin LaCrosse
Grace Bryson – Univ. Minnesota
Aubrey Buresh – Univ. Northern Iowa
Maggie Burns – Univ. Northern Iowa
Alyssa Cunningham – Sacred Heart Univ.
Siusan Dawson – Univ. Wisconsin Eau Claire
Madie Dunn – Iowa State
* Tori Gettys – Fort Wayne
Isabell Gibbon – Cincinnati Kelts
Loren Henrich – Univ. Illinois Chicago
* Kaylyn Hornbeak – Kent State
Abbey Jacobs – Univ. Wisconsin Eau Claire
Lauren Kuffel – Univ. Michigan
Embar Larson – Univ. Michigan
Alivia Leatherman – Notre Dame College
Amaryah McGowen – Univ. Iowa
Geneva Nunes – Fox Valley Chaos
Ryley Rand – Marquette Univ.
Tatyana Reed – Univ. Northern Iowa
Areliz Rivera – Milwaukee Scylla
Danielle Sheppard – Des Moines
Courtney Smith-Hernandez – Iowa State
Ciara Stanerson-Edwards – Univ. Northern Iowa
Jayla Twitty – Cincinnati Kelts

*Unable to travel to New Jersey

Coaches: Sue Whitwell, Meghan Flanigan, Xane Gerasimo
Team manager: Jade Koenigs

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