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DSHA Repeats as Girls U19 Champions

Sunday May 17, 2009 in Women Youth

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May 17, 2009, Pittsburgh, Pa. – Milwaukee ’s Divine Savior Holy Angels held off a late second half comeback from Ohio-based opponent Lakewood to win the 2009 USA Rugby National Guard Girls’ Under-19 Championship title Sunday.

This was the second-straight USA Rugby title for DSHA, and sixth straight if you count the unofficial NIT held since 2000.

Both Midwest sides came out with their eyes locked firmly on the prize and executed strong defense. DSHA’s Sarah Chmielewski had the only points for either side in the first half, with a third-phase try inside the 19th minute to give the Wisconsin team a slight 7-0 edge heading into the second half.

After the break, Lakewood climbed back into the game, with a try from No. 8 Kourtney McNulty inside minute 45. The accurate conversion from Danielle Foster tied it up, 7-7. However, Lakewood hadn’t seen the last of DSHA fullback Chmielewski, who dotted down her second try of the day at 55 minutes. Less than five minutes later, Elise Miller crossed into the try zone to grow DSHA’s lead to 19-7.

Lakewood made a late surge when No. 8 McNulty notched her second try of the game to pull her team within five points as time wound down. However, Divine Savior Holy Angels cut short Lakewood ’s persistence toward the try zone and held on to win their second consecutive USA Rugby U-19 title in a 19-14 final tally.

“Lakewood showed a lot of heart and came out strong; they made it very difficult for us for 80 minutes, but we came out and played our game,” Divine Savior Coach John Klein said after the victory. “Our team played for each other today. We will be losing about 10 seniors this year, but the team definitely showed that we have a lot of strong leadership within our underclassmen.”

DSHA’s Sarah Chmielewski, who was awarded the National Guard Girls’ Under-19 Championship MVP trophy following the match, was proud of the way her team managed the game versus Lakewood , despite the absence of team leader Kathryn Junius due to injury sustained in the earlier rounds: “Our team really stepped up after losing one of our captains. We took it to them today, got the ball out and used our wings on the outside.”

In the day’s earlier matches, West Carroll (Md.) held off Rutland (Vt.), 10-7, to take home 7th place and Summit High School (Colo.) claimed 5th in its match against Fullerton. The Sacramento Amazons powered past Maryville ( Tenn. ) and sailed on to a 56-0 victory in the battle for third place.

A highlight show featuring the hard-hitting action from the full weekend of High School and Under-19 competition will be shown on ESPNU on June 8, at 7 PM (ET).

Day 3 Results
7th/8th – West Carroll 10, Rutland 7
5th/ 6th – Summit 3, Fullerton Youth Rugby 0
3rd/ 4th - Sacramento Amazons 56, Maryville 0
Championship - Divine Savior Holy Angels 19, Lakewood 14


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