FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – – Five members of the Norwich Women’s Rugby Team spent the weekend of Nov. 18-20 participating in the national Under-19 All-Star championships. Sophomore prop Baylee Annis (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) captained the Northeast regional side that took second place in the six team tournament.
The first match saw the Northeast wallop the South 33-0. Then the Northeast outlasted last year’s championship team, the Mid-Atlantic in a 12-0 victory. The championship, against the Midwest was a game of two halves – the Midwest claiming the first 17-0 and the Northeast fighting back nearly overcome the deficit, 22-14.
Giving shining performances for the Northeast were sophomores Rose Bernheim (Andrews AFB, Md.) and Joya Clark (Scotia, N.Y.). Both players have become household names in the Northeast with their high octane and league leading scoring performances over the past two years. They continued to produce tries and lead an aggressive attack for the All-star team. Joining the young scorers was freshman scrumhalf Emily Orr (Unxbridge, Ontario) who kept the ball moving with her quickness at the breakdown.
Captaining the Northeast side was Annis. Annis led the team to victories on Saturday, before sitting out the final with a short-term injury. Sophomore center Jackie Derocher (Northwood, N.H.) was called upon to play flanker for the All-stars and she completed her mission with grace and determination.
“I couldn’t be more impressed with the way the Norwich players and the Northeast as a whole conducted business this weekend,” said NU head coach Austin Hall. “They were short-sided and they played with so much heart, coming very close to victory in the final. I don’t think they lost the final match, I think they just ran out of time. Northeast coaches Tiff Renaud and Tree Bartram did a phenomenal job pulling this team together and really taking it to the opposition.”
Coach Hall was in Fort Lauderdale for the tournament in his role as Backfield Coach for the US Development Team. The young National team went 2-1 on the weekend, losing a 5-0 battle with the champions from the Midwest.