Waukesha, WI–Hamilton made their varsity debut in rugby 7s at Catholic Memorial’s Foley 7s tournament on Saturday, named in honor of the former Marquette University rugby player and journalist, James Foley, who was murdered in 2014 while covering the Syrian Civil War.
The team opened the tournament against Oak Creek. It was the first time the two teams met in any competition. The Harriers jumped out to an early lead when Mykayla Pena broke for a long run three minutes into the first half. Oak Creek’s #6 was able to convert a five meter scrum for a try to tie the game on the last play of the half. Jessie Endries opened the scoring two minutes in the first half with a long run of her own, but Oak Creek would once again score on the last play of the half as #6 broke through the Hamilton line from about 30 meters out. With both teams missing their kicks, the game ended in a 10-10 tie.
Hamilton had a tougher time with their second opponent, Brookfield. Hamilton student and Brookfield Bruiser’s player Hannah Emberts opened and closed out the scoring with a pair of tries good for 12 points, as she converted one of her four kicks. Brookfield’s #10 and #22 added tries of their own. Hamilton put together a few runs that were close to breaking up the shutout, but the Harriers ended up dropping the result, 22-0.
A match between the Harriers and Madison Furies served as the final encore for the tournament. Due to low numbers Madison added players from Brookfield, but the Bruisers players were not able to carry over any of their previous success, as Hamilton jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first half after a length-of-field run by Pena and shifty line break by Taylor Fryda.
Fryda added another five minutes into the second half after a neat off-load by Hannah Pfersch. Fryda was the only player to convert her kicks, going 2 for 2 for 14 total points. Elise Rades had spectacular debut in the tournament today. She added Hamilton’s fourth score of the game in the final minute when she returned a desperate kick by Madison to score her first career try. She was also one of only four Harriers to record tackles in double digits, and she saved a try by running down a breakaway in the game against Brookfield. Michelle Wehrman also made her rugby debut in the last minute of the Madison game.
The team finished the day a respectable 1-1-1. Their only other 7s experience came last fall, a 22-5 win over a JV CMH side. Pena and Fryda both had a score in that game.
Hamilton did have some room for improvement. They allowed their opponent score on the final play of the half in four of the six halves they played today.
- Taylor Fryda
- Stellar play on both sides of the ball. Scored a team high 14 points and had a team high 18 tackles.
- Mykayla Pena
- Her big runs and 10 points made her one of the go to players on offense.
- Elise Rades
- Scored a try, make try saving tackle, added 12 tackles, and settled in nicely as scrum half in her rugby debut.
- Jessie Endries
- Scored her first 7s try and had ten tackles in 28 minutes of play.
- Calla Dane
- Had the second most tackles on the team with 14 in 22 minutes of play. Served as the captain when Pfersch wasn’t on the field.