July 13, 2021
DOD Story by: Steven Dinote
WILMINGTON, NC — Army goes undefeated to win their second consecutive title at the 2021 Armed Forces Women’s Rugby Championship held in conjunction with the Cape Fear 7’s Rugby Tournament in Wilmington, N.C. from June 25-27, 2021. U.S. Army Sgt. MaryCatherine Innace of Eatontown, New Jersey is part of the team.
Army 2nd lt. Samantha Sullivan of Fort Carson, Colo. led the championship with 24 total points, scoring two trys and a conversion against Air Force, and Army’s only try against Marine Corps to solidify the gold.
In the opening night, Army defeated Air Force 17-5 despite a torrential downpour right at kickoff.
“It felt a little like déjà vu on Friday night”, said Army coach Capt. Kaitlyn Kelly of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. referencing their 19-5 win over Air Force in the rain in 2019.
“Air Force always brings top caliber athletes. We came together as a squad and played our system and game.”
On opening night, Marine Corps dominated Coast Guard and Navy winning 25-0 and 38-0 respectively. In the opening minutes against Army, a key injury slowed down the Marines, with Army taking advantage to win 5-0.
Army defeated Coast Guard and Navy to seal the deal and take the gold.
Despite their opening loss to Army, Air Force women beat Navy 26-0 and followed up with a hard fought win over Marine Corps 14-5 and Coast Guard (26-7) to capture the silver medal.
Marine Corps finished the tournament 2-2 for third place. Coast Guard went 1-3 for fourth, followed by Navy placing fifth (0-4).
At the end of the Championship, seven of the best players were selected to the All-Armed Forces Tournament Team. They are:
Capt Gianna Khoudary, Creech AFB, NV – USAF
LCpl Ubaida Ahmed, MCAS Cherry Point, NC – USMC
Maj Stephanie Iacobucci, MCB Camp Pendleton, CA – USMC
PO2 Michal Williams, NIOC Texas – Navy
2LT Samantha Sullivan, Fort Carson, CO – Army
CPT Lauran Glover, Army Reserves – Army
CPT Danielle Deshaies – Fort Stewart, GA – Army
Armed Forces Women’s Rugby is the newest Armed Forces Championship beginning in 2019 and is the only sport to feature a women’s team from the Coast Guard. Coast Guard typically combines with the Navy, with the exception of rugby.
DOD Story by: Seven Dinote
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