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WJAA Can-Am Series Names Pool

  • 28 Jun 2017
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Michel Navarro returns to the WJAAs. /// Photos: Atavus Rugby 

 

 

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Thirty-six athletes eligible for the AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans have been invited to the Can-Am Selection Camp at Casa Grande Academy June 30 – July 3 in preparation for the under-19 National Team’s two-game Can-Am Series with Rugby Canada’s U20s Aug. 3-7.

 

 

Head Coach Wil Snape will welcome back four athletes that were members of the team that swept Canada in the two-game series held at Central Washington University in 2015. The age-grade program has not played competitive rugby against international competition since, though players in the pool have convened at the National All-Star Competitions (NASCs) and have represented the U.S. at the under-18 and under-23 levels in the time between WJAA competition years.

 

“Our goals, as always, are to put the players in a position to improve every day and understand what it takes to become an Eagle,” Snape said. “It’s a longer Can-Am Series, so the players will have to adjust to tournament-style conditions and variable training loads. As a squad we will need to come together quickly and create an environment and team ethic that will lead us to success. We just can’t wait to get out there and challenge Canada again!”

 

Sheila Decker (Norwich University), Michel Navarro (Central Washington), Emily Prentice (Harvard University), and Katherine Ramage (Dartmouth College) were all active WJAAs in 2015 as high school student-athletes. This year, Snape has included four athletes in high school in the selection camp: Natalie Gray (Colo.), Maryjane Pasioles (Calif.), Anne Rolf (Ohio), and Erin Wright (Wisc.).

 

 

Ten student-athletes competed in USA Rugby College National Championship Finals in the spring for Davenport University, Kennesaw State University, Lindenwood University and Notre Dame College. Playoff schools Brigham Young University, Life University, Tulane University, and University of Central Florida are also represented, while each of the returning athletes come from varsity programs.

 

“Selections for camp were made through a combination of players that have come through the High School All-American pool, players that attended the NASC in December, and our scouting network throughout the collegiate seasons,” Snape said. “I was particularly impressed by the standard of play at the National Championship event at Life University this year, and there were a few people added directly from that weekend.”

 

Nine WJAA alumni played against a senior developmental side from Canada as AIG Women’s Collegiate All-Americans last year in warmups to the senior Women’s Rugby Super Series. The National Team connection goes further than team selection, with coaches between the age-grade and senior teams communicating training plans and game-play styles to better facilitate movement through the pathway.

 

“Both on attack and defense we want the players to play without fear and with relentless energy,” Snape said. “On attack we’ll be focusing on creating momentum and providing framework that empowers the players to play what is in front of them and create opportunities. This means we want players that are confident with the ball in hand, are committed to keeping the ball alive, and using the full width of the field. In defense, we want high work rate and line speed to prevent the ball getting outside us.”

 

The Can-Am Series will feature four matches between U.S. and Canadian age-grade teams in Ottawa. The GHSAAs will play Aug. 1 and 5, with the WJAA matches scheduled for Aug. 3 and 7.

WJAA CAN-AM SELECTION POOL

Kaino Ah Quin – Brigham Young Univ

Milla Anderson – Dartmouth College

Mireille Codjia – Lindenwood Univ

Adriana Davids – Life Univ

McKenna Davis – Lindenwood Univ

Sheila Decker – Norwich Univ

Jade Garcia – Life Univ

Natalie Gray – Summit High School (CO)

Akilah Guzman – Kennesaw State Univ

Atumata Hingano – Life West

Camille Johnson – Dartmouth College

Hannah Lewandowski – Central Washington Univ

Teigan MacDonald – Univ California, San Diego

Lolohea Makaafi – Seattle Saracens

Taylor Makowski – Life Univ

Isabel Manu – Lindenwood Univ

Joanna Moreira – Central Washington Univ

Michel Navarro – Central Washington Univ

Christina Norman – Univ Central Florida

Olivia Ortiz – Davenport Univ

Maryjane Pasioles – Sacramento PD PAL (CA)

Emily Prentice – Harvard Univ

Katherine Ramage – Dartmouth College

Glorida Reyes – NOVA

Anne Rolf – Saint Joseph Academy (OH)

Becca Rosko – Dartmouth College

Alexandria Sedrick – Life Univ

Madison Slaught – Colorado State Univ

Alexandra Strasser – Notre Dame College

Clare Sullivan – Tulane Univ

Adi Finau Tamaivena – Seattle Saracens

Kristina Tomelloso – Saint Mary’s College

Caitlin Weigel – Harvard Univ

Emma Workman – Brigham Young Univ

Erin Wright – Catholic Memorial HS (WI)

Ilona Zaishliuk – Notre Dame College

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