On Saturday, the Navy women’s rugby team competed in the West Chester 7s tournament held in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The team had a successful day, finishing with a combined record of 5-2-1.

Navy’s No. 1 team finished with a 1-2-1 record, ultimately placing third in the group A bracket. The team defeated Princeton (10-5) in the third-place match for its lone victory of the tournament. However, the squad lost to the No. 1 West Chester team (26-7) and Princeton (19-14) earlier in the tournament. Additionally, the Mids tied the No. 1 Mount St. Mary’s team, 17-17.

Credit: U.S. Naval Academy

Navy’s Nos. 2 and 3 teams both had a great day, going 2-0 in the group B bracket and placing first and second, respectively. The No. 2 team defeated the Mount St. Mary’s No. 2 team (10-5) and the West Chester No. 2 team (32-0). The No. 3 unit defeated the No. 2 West Chester team (5-0) and the No. 2 Mount St. Mary’s team (10-7). The two teams decided to not compete against each other in the group B first-place bout.

The Navy No. 1 team began the day with a 17-17 tie to the Mount St. Mary’s No. 1 team. Siena Hall opened the scoring with a try just 50 seconds into the match, and Abby Hershner made the conversion kick following the try to give Navy a 7-0 lead. The Mountaineers cut Navy’s lead to two with a try in the third minute. Lilliana Gemma ended the first half with Navy’s second try of the match to give the Mids a 12-5 cushion at intermission. Mount St. Mary’s scored back-to-back tries in the ninth and 11th minutes and added a conversion kick to take a 17-12 lead. Before the Mountaineers could end the contest, Megan Leitz scored a try at the 14:54 mark to tie the match, 17-17.

In the match against West Chester, Charlotte d’Halluin gave Navy an early lead with a try in the second minute, and Abby Hershner nailed the ensuing conversion kick to give Navy a 7-0 lead. The Golden Rams answered with a try in the fifth minute to get back within two points. West Chester did all the scoring in the second half with tries in the eighth, 13th, and 15 minutes. The Golden Rams also made all three conversion kicks on their second-half scores to win the match, 26-7.

Navy’s match against Princeton began with the Tigers jumping out to a 12-point lead by the 5:54 mark of the first half on two tries and a conversion kick. Hall turned the match around with a try to end the first half. The junior ran over 80 meters to score her second try of the tournament. Hershner made the conversion kick after Hall’s score to get Navy within five heading into the second half. The Tigers struck for a try in the ninth minute to retake a two-score lead. Gemma responded with a try in the 10th minute, and Hershner made another conversion kick to make it a one-score game again. Navy was unable to find another score in the final minutes of the contest and fell to the Tigers, 19-14.

In the third-place match against Princeton, the Tigers scored a try 1:49 into the match to take a 5-0 lead. Navy didn’t score until the ninth minute when Gemma found the try zone to even the score, 5-5. Hall gave the Mids their first lead of the match with a try in the 11th minute to take a 10-5 lead. Navy’s defense held strong for the remainder of the contest to earn its first victory of the day and place third in the group A bracket.

Navy’s No. 2 squad provided the first score of the day against the Mount St. Mary’s No. 2 team, with Morgan McPeak scoring a try in the third minute to put the Mids ahead, 5-0. Orieona Howard stretched Navy’s lead to ten points on a try to end the first half. Navy’s defense held the Mountaineers scoreless until the 14th minute when they scored their only try of the contest. However, the score ended the match and secured a 10-5 win for the Mids.

The No. 2 squad kept the shutout intact in their match against West Chester, winning by a score of 32-0. Howard put Navy on the board with a try 1:48 into the match. Dina Giles followed up with another in the fourth minute to give the Mids a two-score lead. Sadie Eiting scored the third try of the contest to end the first half and give Navy a 15-0 lead at intermission. Elizabeth Dunne extended Navy’s lead to 20 with a try in the eighth minute. McPeak added another two points on the conversion kick to give the Mids a 22-0 advantage. Giles scored her second try in the 11th minute to put Navy ahead, 27-0. Anna Hoang ended the match with a try in the 16th minute to secure the shutout win.

Navy’s No. 3 squad also played great defense in its two matches, starting the tournament with a 5-0 defeat over West Chester’s No. 2 team. Izabella Marchi-Setyan scored the only try of the contest in the 13th minute to win Navy the match. In the match against Mount St. Mary’s No. 2 team, the Mountaineers scored a try just 25 seconds into the match and made the ensuing conversion kick to take a 7-0 lead. The Mids responded with a pair of quick tries in the third and fifth minutes. Kimberly Van scored a try to get Navy back within two points. Lindy Gostage gave Navy the lead with its second try a few minutes later. The defense held strong for the remainder of the contest to secure a 10-7 victory.

Navy will continue 7s play next Saturday when it competes in the Emperor 7s in Princeton, New Jersey. The tournament is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Overall, Navy’s women’s rugby team showed a strong performance in the West Chester 7s tournament, with the No. 2 and No. 3 teams winning all of their matches and the No. 1 team finishing in third place in its bracket. The team looks poised for continued success in the upcoming tournament.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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