Quite the Tour for our U-23s

More information on the final roster and tour for the Women’s Under-23 USA Eagles to New Zealand …

USA Women’s National U-23 Team Prepare for 2007 New Zealand Tour
BOULDER, Colo. – The USA Women’s National U-23 Team announced the squad for a two week long New Zealand Tour, which they will be departing for in late July. The tour will consist of three games in cities on both the country’s South and North Islands.

The team will begin the tour with a match against Burnside Rugby Football Club Women’s Team in Christchurch on Wednesday, July 25. The second match will be in Palmerston North against the Manawatu Club on Saturday, July 28. The New Zealand tour will conclude with a final game in Auckland on August 4.

“It’s important for us to take these kinds of trips, because the standard of play we’re aiming for is not set by domestic US competitions. It is set in places like New Zealand and England right now, so we have to go,” said Head Coach Barbara Fugate. “These players will meet a new level of physical intensity and skill, and we hope that each of them will bring some of that back. This kind of tour can be a career-changing experience if the players take full advantage of it.”

In addition to playing against world class competition, the members of the U-23 squad will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend an evening with Farah Palmer, who captained the New Zealand Black Ferns at the last two Women’s Rugby World Cups. Also on the itinerary for their two weeks abroad is the New Zealand Domestic Women’s Club Championship in Auckland on Saturday, August 4, which the U-23 women will be attending.

“We are very excited about this group of 28 players,” Fugate added. “This is a young and extremely athletic team. It is a little bit seasoned in spite of the youth, because it includes many former USA U-19 players who already have some overseas tour experience.”

The U-23 squad for the 2007 New Zealand Tour is as follows: Kirsten Ahrendt (Dartmouth), Tonya Ansel (Sr. MN Mankato), Amber Benlian (Maryland Women), Libby Berg (MN Valkyries), Phoebe Boone (UCSB), Sylvia Braaten (Chicago Northshore), Emilie Bydwell (Brown Univ.), Kate Daley (Penn State Univ.), Kassie Drey (Univ of No Iowa), Sydney Forestal (UNM), Dani Goodman-Levy (Vassar), Kelly Griffin (UCLA), Brea Hughes (Texas A&M), Tess Kohanski (Syracuse), Kristy Lear (U of MN), Tara McBride (Cal State Chico), Schmarrah McCarthy (Purdue), Kati McCormick (Kettle Moraine), Tiffany McCoy (Univ of No Iowa), Jillion Potter (UNM), Naima Reddick (Cal State Chico), Elaine Schlarb (Oregon State Univ.), Jess Travers (UIC), Emily Tunney (Philadelphia Women), Shaina Turley (San Diego Surfers), Krissy Vargas (Cal State Chico), Sheri Villa (American Univ.) and Sarah Wilson (Ohio St).

Accompanying the players will be a staff of six, including: Barbara Fugate, head coach; Martha Daines, assistant coach; Susan Whitwell, assistant coach; Annemarie Henning, program manager; Teresa Tucker, team manager; and Nicole Titmas, athletic trainer.

If you would like to support the U-23 Women’s New Zealand tour, please visit the Support USA Rugby webpage and select “U23 women” in the dropdown menu to designate the U-23 Women’s National Team as the recipient. If you make a donation of $100 or more, you will receive a photo of the team on tour in a scenic New Zealand location when the team returns.

A number of Midwest players on there, which is nice to see. I know that McCormick is now playing for UW-Milwaukee.

And don’t forget, Turls is blogging the tour at Adventures in Rugby.

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Filed under International Tours, New Zealand, Under-23s, USA Eagles

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