skip navigation

NSCRO/Penn Mutual Women's 7s Select Side Compete at LVI

By Bryn Chivers, NSCRO, 03/08/17, 10:15AM EST



Last week, the NSCRO/Penn Mutual Women’s 7’s Select Side competed in the Las Vegas Invitational Tournament. The team assembled on the evening of 28 February 2017, had two practices together on Wednesday, and competed on Thursday and Friday.


Pool Games
The team was seeded second in their pool and fifth overall.

The first game was against Nation’s Sports Academy who are a select side from Quebec and were the top seed in the in the pool. The opening two minutes was all defense until Erica Long was able to get a foot to a dropped pass, scoop up the bouncing ball and out-pace the defense to score the opening try. Nation Sports hit right back with a try from the kick off, and got another try within a minute to take a 5-10 lead. Some fine defensive work by Hailey Thompson resulted in turnover ball that Nikki Ciccarelli kicked downfield, Erica Long won the race to the ball, scooped it up and as she was tackled she was able to offload Anna Elder who ran in to score. Half time score 10-10. The second half started with a nice piece of interplay between Elder and Ciccarelli who put Thompson away for a well worked try. Kelcey Stutzman’s conversion took the score to 17-10. Stuzman then scored from a break around the scrum to stretch the lead to 22-10. The final score of the game came from nimble footwork by Shae Ferguson who stepped outside and then inside a defender before accelerating away for a try that was converted by Stutzman. Final score NSCRO 29, Nation Sports 10.

The second game of the day was against Utah State 2, the second of two teams representing the school. Shae Ferguson opened up the scoring and this was followed a minute later by a fine solo effort by Ciccarelli. Utah State had a nice passage of possession only to have Stutzman steal the ball at a break down and feed Ferguson for a breakaway try, Stutzman made the conversion and then added a try of her own to make the halftime score 27-0. The second half opened with a long run by Val Driscoll who was able to dot down in the corner. Good ball movement resulted in a try for Emily Clinton and two tries for Erica Long and a conversion by Ciara Pettinos. Final Score NSCRO 44, Utah State 0.

The third of the pool games was against New Mexico State and it was a lopsided game in favor of an NSCRO team that was really beginning to play well together. Shae Ferguson took the ball from the kickoff and beat three players as she raced away for the opening try. This was followed by tries from Hailey Thompson, Nikki Ciccarelli, Ciara Pettinos, and Emily Clinton. Kelcey Stutzman added four conversions and the halftime score was 33-0. The second half was similar to the first with tries coming from Kiara Long, Mary Kate McNulty and two more from Ciccarelli to make the final score NSCRO 53 New Mexico State 0.

The team finished 3-0 in Pool D with 126 points for and 10 points against.

Cup Quarterfinal
The quarterfinal game was against Utah State. While the first half was played entirely in the Utah State half they made a strong defensive stand and challenged NSCRO in all of the scrums. Ciara Pettinos was able to poach a ball at the breakdown and raced in for the only score of the first half.

The second half saw NSCRO begin to win more possession and this resulted in tries by Ciccarelli and two fine solo tries by scrum half Stutzman. The final score was NSCRO 20, Utah State 0.

Cup Semifinal
The semifinal game was against the University of British Columbia who had outscored opponents by 130-17 in pool play and looked very impressive in their 36-0 win over Dixie State in their quarterfinal.

NSCRO had most of the early possession and were rewarded with a try that was created by Emily Clinton and finished by Anna Elder. Both teams had opportunities but NSCRO looked to be finishing the stronger with a nice run by Shae Ferguson ended with her being bundled to touch. A failure to mark the line out resulted in UBC taking a quick throw in that they turned into a try under the posts. Half time score NSCRO 5, UBC 7.

The second half started with UBC scoring from a weak side run by the scrum half followed by another try when NSCRO failed to retain possession from the restart (NSCRO 5, UBC 19). Undaunted, NSCRO hit back with their best try of the tournament (watch it on our YouTube page) to narrow the score to 19-10. Any hope of a comeback ended when UBC took advantage of some missed tackles to score a last try. Final score NSCRO 10, UBC 26.

UBC progressed on to beat Notre Dame College 19-7 in the tournament  final. 

The NSCRO/Penn Mutual team went 4-1 for the tournament and scored 156 points while conceding 36.

The squad was comprised of five players on the squad who competed in the 2016 CRC and seven new players selected through the player recommendation process.


Emily Clinton

York College of PA

York, PA

Nikki Ciccarellil

Mount St. Mary's University

Emmitsburg, MD

Valerie Driscoll

SUNY Potsdam

Potsdam, NY

Anna Elder

LeTourneau University

Longview, TX

Shae Ferguson Lee University
Cleveland, TN
Erica Long

California University of PA

California, PA

Kiara Long

Regis University

Denver, CO

Mary Kate McNulty (Captain)

Denison University

Granville, OH

Ciara Pettinos

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY

Leanna Rosberg

Wayne State College

Wayne, NE

Kelcey Stutzman

Wayne State College

Wayne, NE

Hailey Thompson

Lee University

Cleveland, TN

Bryn Chivers Coach
Jeff Noe Coach
Randi Linninger Athletic Trainer


Penn Mutual
The program is made possible by Penn Mutual and their continued support in the growth of women’s rugby.

Program information
Players can be referred to the program by having their coach complete this player recommendation form.

Contact Bryn Chivers via email or by phone at 773-308-3430 if you have questions about the program.