High speed, hard hits and gritty rugby – that was the treat this past weekend for sports fans who witnessed the island’s top ruggers duke it out in the inaugural Lady Triton Women’s Rugby Sevens Tournament on Saturday.
Sponsored by the University of Guam, High Performance was crowned the eventual champions, winning 36-0 over the Para Todu club at the campus in Mangilao.
The two-weekend event was a prelude to the debut of the school’s first-ever women’s rugby program.
The excitement in the rugby community was tangible, said UOG Athletics Director Doug Palmer, adding the school plans to host two more tournaments in the spring.
The championship match was hard fought, Palmer said, with High Performance’s defense proving to be the difference maker as it stalled Para Todu for the one-sided affair.
High Performance, whose team consists of multiple Guam national team players, went 5-0 during the tournament, allowing only one try.
In the semifinals, High Performance beat the shorthanded UOG Tritons team 31-0. The Tritons, down to six players after a team member suffered a concussion last week, managed better defense than their 42-0 loss to High Performance in last week’s qualifying match.
In the second semifinal game, the Para Todu club beat the Hybrids 17-5 in a match that heated up in the final two minutes as the Hybrids turned up the pressure on Para Todu.
With the Tritons vs. Hybrids third-place match canceled following a Triton injury in the semifinals, team Hybrids, with a tournament record of 2-3, was declared the winner and third-place finisher.
Para Todu finished second place with a record of 3-2, and the UOG Tritons finished fourth place with a record of 0-5.
“This was a great start for the UOG Lady Tritons,” Palmer said about the university’s newest sport and the team’s first tournament. “We didn’t win any matches, but we learned a lot about the game and what we need to do to have a successful program on the island.”
Vina Terlaje of High Performance was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, with the following players named the All-Tournament Team:
• Olivia Elliott – High Performance
• Katie Mueller – Para Todu
• Taylor Crisostomo – Hybrids
• Katrina Penaflor – UOG Tritons
• Mariana Crisostomo – High Performance
• Makenna Greenlee – Para Todu
• T’anna Dela Cruz – Hybrids
• Tori Starr High – Performance
• Aveah Garrido – Para Todu
• Kayla Taguacta-Chiong - High Performance