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In a must-win game for the United States, the Girls Youth Olympians defeated Tunisia 26-0 to advance as the fourth seed into the semifinals. Team USA is now one win away from a medal in Nanjing. Early in the first half Team USA moved the ball extremely well, eventually finding Michel Navarro, who broke loose to score. Richelle Stephens converted to give USA a 7-0 lead. Minutes later the ball squirted out of a ruck deep in Tunisia’s half. Stephens scooped it up and slid in for the try. The USA dominance continued through the rest of the match.  Kat Ramage spun a beautiful spin pass out to Appau Mailau, who touched down for the United States. Stephens converted to expanded the score to 19-0. Stephens went on to score and convert the final try of the match from a penalty tap-and-go at the Tunisian five-meter line.

The match against Tunisia marks the first victory for any American side at the Youth Olympic Games. “This tournament our teamwork has slowly been improving,” says Mailau. “Since our China game our mindsets have gotten stronger. Winning this game against Tunisia was amazing.” The United States players also credit their pre-match training to their success. “We have been working on looping and supporting in training,” says Navarro. “I think this game we executed that and communicated well.”

This win puts the United States at fourth place in the final points standings. Although they finished tied with Spain with eight points and tied in the head-to-head matchup, they advance ahead on point differential. Consequently, the United States will take on top-seeded Australia at 5AM Eastern Time tonight in the semifinals.

In the other pool matches, China defeated Spain 45-0 and Australia took down Canada by a score of 21-5.

Match Venue: Olympic Sports Park
Game Time: 9:00 AM
Match Score: USA 26 – 0 Tunisia

Starting Lineup:
#2: Kat Ramage
#3: Haley Langan
#6: Appau Mailau 
#4: Tess Feury
#7: Michel Navarro
#10: Richelle Stephens
#12: Tiffany Person

#5: Whitney Wilson
#9: Becca Jane Rosko
#11: Danielle Walko-Siua

#8: Dana Olsen
#1: Emily Prentice