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Hannah Lopez with ball. Cody Schmelter photo

The United States Women’s National Team defeated Mexico, 88-0, to win the NACRA 7s Championship and qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The lopsided nature of the win was fitting for an American side that conceded just one try over the two-day event. 

The USA asserted its dominance in the first minute. Mexico was called for a breakdown penalty a couple of seconds after the opening kickoff, and the Eagles swung the ball wide to Kristen Thomas. She ran through one arm tackle attempt and blew past the Mexican sweeper for the game’s first score.

Mexico fielded the next kickoff and managed to hold onto possession for a little bit, but the defensive pressure from the bigger, stronger, faster Eagles proved too much. A turnover deep in the Mexican end saw Joanne Fa’avesi power over the line. 

Defensive pressure continued to pay dividends for the USA. Mexico never got the ball in the attacking end, and when the Eagles turned over possession, it was easy going for Kate Zackary over here opposite on the wing for the score.

Seconds later the USA had won the ball back on the kickoff, and Kelly Griffin found herself on the outside. She juked inside and out before slicing easily through the defense for a score.

Fa’avesi and Zackary ran in two more directly following restarts to extend the merciless onslaught. They fielded back-to-back kickoffs and ran in unchallenged both times. Lauren Doyle tacked on another, but at least Mexico got to possess the ball following that kickoff.

In total, the Americans scored seven tries in the first half en route to a 45-0 lead going into the break.

Griffin opened the second half scoring less than a minute in with a try under the posts following a big run from Doyle and a probe by Fa’avesi. Doyle would score herself after reserve Carmen Farmer forced a turnover after the ensuing kickoff.

Farmer won the next restart out of the air, and Doyle would score not much later. Before she did, Alev Kelter threw a massive stiff-arm, de-cleating a Mexican defender.

Bench emptied, the Eagles would pour in four more tries. Reserve Hannah Lopez gassed past Mexico for a try on her first touch. The restart was won by the USA, and Lopez scored on her second touch and added a conversion.

Megan Fowler found enough space on the wing to spurt past the Mexican defense and push the lead to 81-0. The clock couldn’t run out of time soon enough for Mexico, which committed a penalty to give Griffin another try. Kelter converted, and the USA closed out a staggering 88-0 win.