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EIRA Names Girls’ U18 Team for Spain Tour

  • 27 Jun 2024
EIRA rugby

The Eagle Impact Rugby Academy (EIRA) has two summer tours planned for its girls’ programs, and 26 players have been named to the U18 tour to Spain. It’s the first time the girls have traveled to Spain, and they will play three 15s fixtures from July 3-14. Kelsie McDowell will serve as head coach. Then both a U16 team and U18 team will head to Ireland afterward (rosters pending). [lead photo: Pat Moroney]

“Our top-tier team is heading to Spain,” McDowell said. “We have quite a few returners, although we did lose a lot of alums to the [USA Junior National Team] tour to Wales. We have our top-tier team heading to Spain, so there were a couple of girls who could have played with the U16s in Ireland in more of a leadership role, or they could play up with the U18s.”

Six players heading to Spain have represented EIRA on both the 2022 and 2023 tours to Ireland. Another nine are returning from last year’s tours. Out of that veteran, watch for players like Tahna Wilfley to serve as key leaders. The 17-year-old is a current high schooler and doubling up with the Women’s Premier League’s Colorado Gray Wolves.

“She’s one of the best leaders I’ve ever seen on the field,” McDowell said. “She captained our U16 team in Ireland last year, so I’ll be looking to her a link between the coaches and captains.”

McDowell also called out key returners like Kiernan Myles, who comes from a rugby dynasty and plays ball with the Knightmares in Pennsylvania; and Morris, N.J.’s Caitlin Moroney, a powerful front row who’s heading to DI Brown University in the fall. The head coach was also excited to work with Pasefika halfback Osooso Sulunga again.

“Raven Robinson is a powerful prop coming in, and I’ll be interested to see how she does,” McDowell said of top players who came out of the 2023 winter camp in Arizona. “And Mallory Weronko is returning from ACL injury and back on tour. She’s from Sparta-Rock.”

On July 7, the team plays Catalunya U19s, followed by Cau Valencia on July 9. On day 10 of tour, July 13, the EIRA U18s play UE Santboiana. Immediately afterward, the U16s assemble in Ireland, and a portion of the coaching staff will head directly to the Emerald Isle for tour number two.


Teagan Barth — Summit HS, Colo., wing
Taylor Cohen — San Mateo Wolverines, Calif., lock/flanker
Katija Crawford — Pasefika, Hawaii, lock/flanker *
Erin Croke — Regis Jesuit, Colo., flanker ^
Esme Gates — Hammers RC, Colo., center
Soryah Hart — Westside Revenge, Ind., flanker
Margaret Kennedy — Aspetuck, Conn., scrumhalf ^
Rachel Kissinger — Celina, Texas, prop *
Giselle Long — Westside Revenge, Ind., fullback
Amber Makowski — Aspetuck, Conn., flanker
Carolina Martinez — Sparta-Rockford, Mich., wing *
Caitlin Moroney — Morris, N.J., hooker ^
Kiernan Myles — Knightmare, Pa., center *
Carys Phillips — Woodlands, Texas, center *
Hazel Pron — Regis Jesuit, Colo., scrumhalf ^
VeVe Rice — Mira Costa, Calif., flyhalf
Raven Robinson — Marin Highlanders, Calif., prop
Cecelia Rose — Green Bay Banshees, Wis., scrumhalf ^
Mia Sather — Minnetonka, Minn., prop
Jordynn Shannonhouse — Regis Jesuit, Colo., hooker ^
Reese Smith — Aspetuck, Conn., lock
Osooso Sulunga — Pasefika, Hawaii, flyhalf *
Lucy Walker — East HS, Colo., center ^
Mallory Weronko — Sparta Rock, Mich., hooker
Tahna Wilfley — Colorado Gray Wolves, scrumhalf ^
Sara Zavieh — Atlanta Valkyries, Ga., center ^

* competed on 2022 & 2023 Ireland tour
^ traveled on 2023 Ireland tour

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