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At historic Saranac Lake, New York, in 2002, the USA Women Eagles avenged an earlier year loss to rival Canada with a narrow 22-21 victory. Previously in Ottawa, the USA lost convincingly to Canada 24-3, when some Eagle starters were unavailable for the game.

A crowd of 1,800 watched the contest, with vocal supporters for both teams shouting encouragement.

The closeness of the match could be seen in the six lead changes during the game.

Canada scored first after only eight minutes but missed the conversion to go up 5-0. It took the USA’s flanker Becky Metzger but four-minutes to notch a try. Conversion missed, and the score tied at 5-5.

The Eagles scored a try on an interception to make the score 12-5. Undaunted, Canada retaliated with an unconverted try to trail 12-10 at the break.

The second half began with temperatures rising over ninety-degrees. The USA were sinbinned, and with but 14-players, the Eagles ceded a penalty and a try to give Canada an 18-12 lead.

An Eagle penalty reduced the lead to 18-15. Finally, captain Nancy Fitz tapped to second row Myra Sandquist, who scored. Conversion missed, and the USA enjoyed a 19-18 lead with twenty-minutes remaining.

At the 64th minute, Canada scored on a penalty to take the lead 21-19. At the 70th minute, the USA’s Ines Rodriguez kicked a penalty and the USA took the lead 22-21.

USA coach Martin Gallagher praised his team anticipating that the match, and the pending UK tour, would help the Eagles in the Barcelona Rugby World Cup of 2002.