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Just when everyone thought the young, USA Women XV would possibly not win a match in the five-nation Super Series in San Diego, the team beat Canada 20-18. The USA had lost to the Black Ferns and the Red Roses without appearing as competitive as the top ranked fifteens.
Of note is that two of the USA Women's sevens stars, Kelter and Thomas, scored a try a piece. The versatile Kelter notched a penalty and a conversion to tally ten points.
Playing Kelter at fullback instead of center capitalized on her talented improvisational skills, allowing her to roam freely, following the action.
In the first half, the Canadian side, playing in their fourth and final game of the tournament, surged ahead 18-8 at the break. The Canadians had lost narrowly 19-17 to England, an undefeated team with a 3-0 record.
In that first period, the USA scored a Kelter penalty kick and a try from Emily Henrich.
In the second half, the Eagles stopped Canadian scores on three occasions with stout defense, causing turnovers. Still, with less than 20-minutes left in the match, the USA had not put any points on the board.
At the 61st minute, the opportunistic Kelter jinked over the try line from 10-meters out to touch down under the posts. She converted and the score stood 18-15.
Eleven-minutes later, the USA backs started a move, which cumulated with a smart kick into the try zone that the speedy Thomas touched for a try. The Eagles went ahead 20-18 and fought off last minute Canadian forays to secure the victory. Heinrich was named Player of the Match.
It was the Eagles first win against Canada since 2015.
The USA will meet France July 14 (Bastille Day) in the final game of the event. The game is streamed live on FloRugby. England meet New Zealand to determine the 2019 Super Series champion on the same date.
New Zealand 2-1
General Manager | Emilie Bydwell
Head Coach | Rob Cain
Assistant Coach | Jamie Burke
Assistant Coach | Kate Daley
Assistant Coach Rich Ashfield
Coach/Team Manager | Jenny Lui
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach | Ian Jones
Head Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner
Team Doctor | Terence Cronin
Head Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry
Athletic Trainer | Danielle Allen