Summit’s Gessner to captain U-20 U.S. rugby squad
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Summit County, Colorado
BOULDER – Head coach Bryn Chivers recently chose 22 of the country’s best players for the USA Rugby Women’s Under-20 National Team set to take on Canada Jan. 16 in Lakeland, Fla.
Among those who were chosen were three current and former Summit High School standouts.
Jozy Gessner, a 2009 SHS grad and current player for Colorado State, was named the team’s captain. It’ll be Gessner’s ninth international appearance for the team since making her debut in 2007 against England. Gessner was named Colorado’s high school most valuable player after the 2008 season in which she led the Tigers to an unbeaten record and a state title.
Summit’s all-time leading scorer, Lauren Danielsen, who currently plays for the University of Colorado, was named to the team for the second time. Also a 2009 SHS grad, Danielsen represented the U.S. in a tournament in South Africa in the summer of 2008.
The final Tiger named to the squad was current Summit senior Bri Barto. Barto also made the trip to South Africa in ’08 and has since been one of the best high school players in the state. She helped lead the Tigers to a dominating season this past fall that ended with a second straight state title and Barto winning Colorado MVP honors.
Both Danielsen and Barto were left off the traveling U.S. squad last summer.
Chivers said in a statement released by the team that he is looking for big performances from them as veteran players “who are eager to establish themselves as squad leaders in 2010.”
“We have some returning players with something to prove – Bri Barto and Lauren Danielsen … (who) sat out last year after being (on) the squad that traveled to South Africa in 2008,” Chivers said, “and I think that will motivate them to show us skills we haven’t previously seen from them.”
The U.S. will look to extend its winning streak against its Canada after a 38-20 victory at the 2009 U-20 Nations Cup.
The U.S. squad has 13 players with international experience.
Chivers said in the statement that he is confident in the team.
“I’m excited about this squad,” the statement read. “We have a lot of returning players with experience in key positions, but we also have an interesting group of new players who bring a fresh attitude to the squad.”
The teams first of two contests against Canada starts at 11 a.m. Both matches are part of the Atlantic Cup, a two-match series pitting both country’s full national squads against one another. The U-20 match serves as a precursor the top-teir squad’s matchup later in the day.
For more information on the USA Under-20 Women’s National Team and the Atlantic Cup, visit http://www.usarugby.org.
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