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Last week, the NSCRO/Penn Mutual Women’s 7’s Select Side competed in their first Las Vegas Invitational (LVI) tournament. The team assembled on the evening of 28 February 2017, had two practices together on Wednesday, and competed on Thursday and Friday.
Sixteen collegiate women’s 7s teams competed at the LVI with the NSCRO/Penn Mutual team seeded second in their pool and fifth overall.
The first game against Quebec’s Nation’s Sports Academy (NSA), a top-seeded select side team in their pool. NSCRO/Penn Mutual came out strong, scoring a try within the first two minutes of the game. Nation’s Sports hit back two back-to-back tries within a minute of each other to take a 5-10 lead but a turnover gave NSCRO/Penn Mutual an opportunity to tie the score at the half, 10-10. NSCRO/Penn Mutual once again opened the second half with points on the board and finished the game with a final score NSCRO/Penn Mutual 29, Nation’s Sports Academy 10. (Tries by Erica Long, Anna Elder, Kelcey Stutzman (2) and Shae Ferguson; conversion by Kelcey Stutzman (2))\
The second game of the day was against Utah State 2, the second of two teams representing the school. Again, the NSCRO/Penn Mutual team dominated the game with tries at the opening of each half then finishing the match with a score of 44-0. (Tries by Shae Ferguson (2), Nikki Ciccarelli, Kelcey Stutzman, Erica Long (2), Emily Clinton, Val Driscoll; conversions by Kelcey Stutzman, Ciara Pettinos.
The NSCRO/Penn Mutual team finished their pool by shutting out New Mexico State University with a final score of 53-0. (Tries by Shae Ferguson, Hailey Thompson, Nikki Ciccarelli (3), Ciara Pettinos, Emily Clinton, Kiara Long, Mary Kate McNulty; conversions by Kelcey Stutzman (4))
The team finished 3-0 in Pool D with 126 points for and 10 points against.
The quarterfinal game matched NSCRO/Penn Mutual against Utah State 1. While the first half was played entirely in the Utah State half they made a strong defensive stand and challenged NSCRO in all of the scrums. Ciara Pettinos was able to poach a ball at the breakdown and raced in for the only score of the first half. The momentum continued into the second half, ending with shutout NSCRO/Penn Mutual 20, Utah State 0. (Tries by Ciara Pettinos, Nikki Ciccarelli, Kelcey Stutzman (2))
The semifinal game was against the University of British Columbia who had outscored opponents by 130-17 in pool play and looked very impressive in their 36-0 win over Dixie State in their quarterfinal.
NSCRO/Penn Mutual had most of the early possession and were rewarded with a try to put the first points on the board. However, UBC was able to take advantage of the NSCRO/Penn Mutual team’s failure to mark the line out making the score NSCRO/Penn Mutual 5, UBC 7 at the half.
The second half started with UBC scoring from a weak side run by the scrum half followed by another try when NSCRO failed to retain possession from the restart (NSCRO 5, UBC 19). Undaunted, NSCRO hit back with their best try of the tournament to narrow the score to 19-10. Any hope of a comeback ended when UBC took advantage of some missed tackles to score a last try. Final score NSCRO 10, UBC 26. (Tries by Anna Elder (2))
The University of British Columbia progressed on to beat Notre Dame College 19-7 in the tournament final. The NSCRO/Penn Mutual team went 4-1 for the tournament and scored 156 points while conceding 36.
The squad was comprised of five players on the squad who competed in the 2016 CRC and seven new players selected through the player recommendation process.
Emily Clinton, York College of PA - York, PA
Nikki Ciccarellil. Mount St. Mary's University - Emmitsburg, MD
Valerie Driscoll, SUNY Potsdam - Potsdam, NY
Anna Elder, LeTourneau University - Longview, TX
Shae FergusonLee University - Cleveland, TN
Erica Long, California University of PA - California, PA
Kiara Long, Regis University - Denver, CO
Mary Kate McNulty (Captain), Denison University - Granville, OH
Ciara Pettinos, Colgate University - Hamilton, NY
Leanna Rosberg, Wayne State College - Wayne, NE
Kelcey Stutzman, Wayne State College - Wayne, NE
Hailey Thompson, Lee University - Cleveland, TN
Bryn Chivers, Coach
Jeff Noe, Coach
Randi Linninger, Athletic Trainer