USA Women’s U23s squad head south for Americas Rugby Trophy

Fri, May 26, 2023, 5:30 PM
by Taylor Dean

The top collegiate and club players from across the country will assemble under the USA Women’s U23s banner in Brazil, June 3-7 for the Americas Rugby Trophy. The squad of 26, led by Head Coach Katie Dowty, features some returning and new pathway names as they compete against senior international teams from Brazil and Colombia. 

The South America series is the first of many assemblies for the Women’s U23s this summer, a competition that will supply invaluable experience in preparing, playing and analyzing an international tour. The team kicks off its Americas Rugby Trophy tour with a matchup against hosts Brazil on June 3 at Nicolau Alayon Stadium. They’ll then go on to play Colombia on June 7 at Nogueirão Stadium. All matches will be livestreamed on Brasil Rugby YouTube

26 player prospects head to Brazil as part of the USA squad, with a few capped Eagles included in Kristin Bitter, Emily Henrich and Keia Mae Sagapolu. Henrich rejoins the USA Rugby ranks following an extensive injury recovery and solid season with Dartmouth. Sagapolu also joins the assembly off a stellar collegiate season that won her the 2023 MA Sorensen Award. Six sevens stars will also jump right from the USA Women’s Falcons Sevens squad competing at NextGen 7s in Langford, BC last weekend.

Head Coach Katie Dowty on the upcoming tour and reunion of the U23s squad: 

This squad is electric, full of players identified as having the potential to make an impact for the USA at the senior international level - either this World Cup cycle or the next. We will need to come together quickly as a group to harness their incredible collective talent, so we will be looking for the team to step up as communicators, relationship builders, and architects of the game. 

It is critical for promising young players to be exposed to the pace, physicality, and level of detail required at the international level. Most critically, our rising Eagles need more experience playing under pressure and we fully expect Brazil and Colombia to bring that. For our veterans, this is a chance to take the reins and prove their ability to play at pace, manage pressure, and dictate the game. For our younger players, it will be eye-opening and inspiring exposure to the demands of the international game – and we fully expect them all to bring a new level of dynamism to our play that makes us very excited about the future.

USA Women’s U23s Roster | 2023 Women’s Americas Rugby Trophy
Susan Adegoke Life University
Emerson Allen Railway Union (Ireland)
Kapoina Bailey Lindenwood University
Kristin Bitter Dartmouth College
Natalie Bjorklund Rhinos Academy
Samantha Brackett Rhinos Academy
Alyssa Cunningham Sacred Heart University
Lauren Ferridge Dartmouth College
Cameron Fields Harvard University
Tessa Hann Central Washington University
Emily Henrich Dartmouth College
Abbey Jacobs University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Alivia Leatherman Notre Dame College
Autumn LoCicero Life University
Tiahna Padilla Harvard University
Keia Mae Sagapolu Central Washington University
Sadie Schier Dartmouth College
Paluvavau Freda Tafuna Lindenwood University
Queenette Toomalatai Rhinos Academy
Taina Tukuafu Lindenwood University
Monalisa Tupou EPA Lady Razorbacks
Sereana Vulaono Chicago Lions
Anna Van Dyk Quinnipiac University
Alex Wantlin Life University
Reece Woods Eagle High School, Idaho
Olivia Woods Eagle High School, Idaho

USA Women’s U23s Traveling Staff

Head Coach | Katie Dowty

Assistant Coach | Mel Denham

Assistant Coach | Lisa Jackson

Team Manager | Tiffany Lopez

Athletic Trainer | Anna Unnasch

USA Women’s U23s Americas Rugby Trophy Schedule

Saturday, June 3

v. Brazil | 2:00 p.m. ET

 Wednesday, June 7

v. Colombia | 9:00 a.m. ET