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All Americans Open NASC With Win

Friday May 29, 2009 in Women All-Stars

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(Mel Smit helps lead All Americans to victory. Alex Goff photo.)

May 29, 2009 - The women’s collegiate All Americans started off the 2009 women’s National All-Star Championships ith a convincing 52-12 win over Southern California Friday morning in Little Rock, Ark.

The All Americans, playing as a team for the first time, ran away from the Griffins 52-12 to move on to the Tier II final.

“We played well in moments,” said co-head coach Pete Steinberg. “The motivation for this team is to demonstrate that college players can play with the best club players and I think we did that today.”

The All Americans were challenged in the scrum early against a larger SoCal pack, but made adjustments and held their own as the game progressed.

“We were pretty happy with matching the physicality and once we did that we were able to move the ball to space quickly,” said Steinberg.

Interior backs Mel Smit (Stanford), Danny Cicuto (Navy) and Lauren Rosso (Penn State) defended superbly, putting the Griffins under plenty of pressure. And Steinberg noted that locks Lauren Daley (Colorado) and Tiffany Gjestvang (Minesota-Duluth) “were outstanding in the loose.”

This is the opening foray for the All American program as a team that actually players games. Many women’s college rugby advocates have complained that the upper echelon has, with a few exceptions, not given enough credit to the abilities of college players.

- Alex Goff © www.erugbynews.com

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