"With the playoffs and crazy spring weather, the WI Girls High School All Star team was finally able to get together for a quick practice before heading to Indiana. As the sun set on our last night in WI, the pieces were beginning to fall into place. Saturday morning was our first match against Michigan. Many of the girls had never played on a select side and were anxious to see how things would fit together. Things could not have gone better, communication was great, it took nearly 14 minutes before we even had a knock on in the match. We had tries by 9 different players and huge runs all over the field. It was a huge confidence boost, showing that we could play together before the afternoon Ohio match.
The Ohio match was much different, they were well organized and had a bunch of athletic talent. We were able to strike first with a penalty kick from Anisa Feto (OC). However the resulting kickoff was poorly fielded and led to a stolen lineout and quick try and conversion for Ohio. Fighting back into the match, Maggie Wesolowski (CMH) disrupted a ruck that sent a lazy pass from the scrumhalf into the hands of inside center, Cassie Schultz (KM) as she was able to avoid the fullback and get in under the posts. Anisa’s conversion split the posts and WI was back up 10-7. Ohio was able to answer just before half time to make it 12-10. A fired up WI team was able to come out after half time and Maggie Wesolowski (CMH) was able to get the lead again with a try making it 15-12. After some back and forth play, Ohio was able to get WI to commit a penalty around the breakdown and wisely opted for the points, and drawing even at 15. With time winding down both sides were looking for the last points. After a few big runs by the Ohio #8, WI found itself with their backs to the wall, after holding up one attempt by the #8, the 2nd pick off the back of a scrum found space for her to touch down. The conversion made it 22-15 with only a few minutes remaining.
WI worked hard to get a turnover off of the kickoff and then were able to put Ohio under pressure. A few penalties kept the game alive until Maggie Wesolowski was able to find some space down the far sideline. As she kept getting slowed down by the defense it looked as though she would end up a few meters shy of the try line. At the last moment, captain Lindey Wise (DSHA) came through in support to gather a quick pop pass and dive through the defense to score. The attempt at the conversion went wide and the opportunity to tie was missed. It was by far the best match of the weekend, and the heart and passion of the smaller Wisconsin side gave Ohio everything they could handle.
On the final match of the weekend, the WI forwards took to a very physical Indiana side. The extra scrum work from Thursday night paid off as WI was able to control the set piece. With the great platform to work from, it led to a quick scamper around a ruck for a try by scrumhalf Julie Else (CMH). Anisa Feto saw another of her big runs breaking tackles on her way into the try zone as well. Indiana were able to sneak a quick score around the front of the lineout just before half to keep it close at 10-7. After halftime, junior Beth Pokorny (DSHA) was able to loop around the back line on her way to the try zone and build on the WI lead. A few minutes later, off of the same backline play, Beth was able to find freshman Aliana Cervera (Brookfield) on the wing for Wisconsin’s last score of the weekend. With a comfortable lead and time running down on the long weekend, WI grew a bit sloppy allowing several penalties as IN made one last push and found the try line in the far corner. The game would end 20-12 Wisconsin. After a long weekend of some great rugby, the team was satisfied with their performance and eager to see what is possible next year.
Thanks to the coaching staff, the parents that helped drive down and the teams that sponsored us: Milwaukee Scylla, Wisconsin Women, Winona State Women and UW Oshkosh Women.