In thirty minutes and counting … GO EAGLES!!!
And of course, I have been so busy I haven’t had time to prepare the blog as I had wanted to … but the game will go on.
Here’s some quick links to everything you need to know …
• WomenEagles.com for scores and recaps
• USA Rugby for the “official” recap
• Women’s Rugby World Cup for all game recaps/updates and the web broadcast
• Also, Vincent in the UK sent me this link to a England Rugby article that discusses how the English women are gearing up to play the “powerful US Eagles”.
• And if you haven’t checked it out in a while, Jen Doan’s smugmug galleries of candid shots of the players has been updated. This is just really cool.
Here’s a release from USA Rugby and also posted at WomenEagles with both our lineup and England’s lineup …
Crouse Leads US in World Cup Opener
8.30.06 – from USA Rugby.org
EDMONTON, Alberta – Jen Crouse (Oakland, Calif.) leads the USA for the seventh time, while Patty Jervey (Atlanta, Ga.) makes the squad in her record fifth World Cup as USA women’s national team head coach Kathy Flores names her lineup, today, for the World Cup opener against England.
The team is a mix of youth and experience, with 25-cap veteran Meredith Ottens (Austin, Texas) anchoring a front row that is big and strong, but includes two players with only nine caps between them.
“We have some big girls up there,” said Flores. “They don’t have a lot of caps but we knew that was what was going to happen. Meredith is our lynchpin and we expect the rest to bring a little something.”
Crouse earns her 22nd cap at second row, partnering with Erin Carter (San Francisco, Calif.) who only made the USA team this year.
In the back row, Flores said she would adjust the lineup based on who the opponents are, and she has chosen ball-poaching specialist Kristin Zdanczewicz (St. Louis Park, Minn.) at openside, and the physical, hard-charging Phaidra Knight (Riverdale, N.Y.) at blindside. At No. 8 is Tina Nesburg (San Francisco, Calif.), who emerged as the team’s first-choice at that position this year.
Claudia Braymer (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and Heather Hale (Atlanta, Ga.) man the halfback spots, Braymer, who plays for the Albany Sirens, is another who took control of a position up for grabs this season.
Pam Kosanke (Chicago, Ill.) starts at inside center and is the likely goal-kicker, while vice captain Keenya Warner (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.) brings a steady head and powerful attacking style to outside center. The wings are Ellie Karvoski (Little Rock, Ark.) and Laura Cabrera (Oakland, Calif.), the two most consistently dangerous offensive players in the USA arsenal.
California resident Ashley English, the 2005 USA Rugby women’s Player of the Year, is at fullback. Among those waiting in the wings will be Jervey, who has played in all four previous World Cups and leads the USA all-time list by a country mile in caps (37), points (178) and tries (38). It’s a sign of Jervey’s longevity that seven of her USA tries were worth four points.
The Eagles are coming off a successful assembly in Blaine, Minn. where they scrimmaged a Minnesota Select Side. Now it’s about teamwork and playing aggressively, said Flores.
“There’s no one in our group that we will look past,” said the Coach Flores. “We stand a chance as much as anyone else to try to open our game up a little bit. That’s what all our preparation has been about.”
“We’re not going to look past anybody, and of course England is going to be probably our most challenging game,” added Crouse. “We don’t have the luxury of an easy match to begin with like we have in the past. We need to be mentally prepared for that. We’re excited for another opportunity to prove to ourselves and the rest of the world, what we’re capable of.”
The USA takes on England at 5 p.m. local time Thursday at Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton. Along with New Zealand versus Canada match up, it is the biggest game on the schedule for Thursday.
The two teams last played in June of 2003, with England winning 15-8. Before that they met in 2000, when England won 31-7, and before that in the 1994 World Cup final, when England won 38-23. Most recently, the U.S. beat England in the 1991 World Cup final, where they took the match 19-6. Flores and Jervey both played in that match.
USA Starting Lineup
1. Jamie Burke
2. Mari Wallace
3. Meredith Ottens
4. Erin Carter
5. Jen Crouse (Captain)
6. Phaidra Knight
7. Kristin Zdanczewicz
8. Tina Nesberg
9. Claudia Braymer
10. Heather Hale
11. Ellie Karvoski
12. Pam Kosanke
13. Keenya Warner (Vice Captain)
14. Laura Cabrera
15. Ashley English
16. Danielle Miller
17. Annie Collier
18. Kate Pope
19. Kelly McMahon
20. Lee Knight
21. Kristin Baja
22. Patty Jervey
England Starting Lineup
1. Rochelle Clark
2. Amy Garnett
3. Venessa Gray
4. Jenny Sutton
5. Tamara Taylor
6. Georgia Stevens
7. Maggie Alphonsi
8. Cath Spencer
9. Jo Yapp (Captain)
10. Karen Andrew
11. Kim Shaylor
12. Kim Oliver
13. Sue Day
14. Nicky Crawford
15. Charlotte Barras
16. Selena Rudge
17. Katy Storie
18. Jenny Lyne
19. Helen Clayton
20. Amy Turner
21. Shelley Rae
22. Michaela Staniford
So be sure and watch the game, send happy, winning thoughts to our team in Canada and enjoy the thrill of rugby.
My team has practice during the game and then we’ve been working all week to organize getting the web broadcasts of the game from my laptop hooked up at Wilson’s, our team bar/clubhouse, on their televisions. Plus it’s karoake night too! If you’re in Madison, stop by after 7:30.
That said, look for recaps tomorrow on the blog, not tonight. 🙂 And leave your thoughts on the game in the comments!