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U23 All-Stars - NRU Happy, Pac Coast Frustrated

Saturday Jun 13, 2009 in Women All-Stars

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Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Northeast U23 women’s all-star team looks forward to the U23 final Sunday at Founder’s Field.

They will do it hoping to repeat their ball-control performance over the Mid-Atlantic.

“We didn’t have a lot of ball in the first half,” said NRU assistant coach Tony Brown, who is on Richard Ashfield’s staff. “But we did a good job of kicking to the corner and putting pressure on them.”

Christina Killourhy scored two tries and Melissa Moylan, Jess Peterson and Frankie Male all added scores, while the Northeast also were awarded a penalty try. Early penalties killed MARFU, as Ashley Snyder (previously of Air Force but now at MIT) added two early penalty goals and three conversions.

"It was tough on them in the second half because they couldn't get their possession going from the scrum," said Brown. "The referee was, thankfully, insisting on a put-in straight down the middle and our hooker was doing a great job fighting for the ball."

This all set up Sunday's final.

“We are really looking forward to Sunday, because the Midwest are a very good side and will be very tough,” said Brown.

Notes: The Midwest team stayed in a hotel in central Pittsburgh, just a couple of blocks from the central celebration area for fans of the Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins. Head coach Steve Murra, who had planned to give his players a night off, later issued some ground rules to make sure the players stayed out of mischief. Several top college programs do not have players at the U23 NASC. With the All Americans playing in the women’s senior NASC, and a USA camp in Arkansas as well, many players had to make a choice, and opted to forgo the U23 tournament. As a result, several other players have had a chance to show their ability. Most of the teams are lacking some of their region’s top players.

Certainly that could be said of the Pacific Coast, which lost to the Midwest in Friday’s semi.

“Needless to say the match didn't go the way we envisioned,” said Pacific Coast coach Mari Therrien. “Our practices leading up to today's match went well and everyone was feeling good, but the Midwest was a very formidable opponent with hard running forwards and some speed out wide.  We have a lot of young players this year.”

Tackle execution let the Grizzlies down at key moments, and it didn’t help that a mistake led to a Midwest try in the opening minute.

Pacific Coast takes on a Mid-Atlantic lacking major Penn State, Navy and Virginia players Sunday to avoid relegation.


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