The most convincing final that has occurred inside PPL Park today was also the most emotional. Divine Savior Holy Angels imposed themselves on defending champion Fallbrook to win the Girls 7s High School Challenge 41-0. The victory marked the first time that DSHA has ever beaten the California team, which hasn’t lost a national game – in 7s or 15s – since the 2010 high school final.
As the team circled up and prepared for the awards ceremony, everyone – including coach John Klein – was in tears, as a win against the country’s best girls’ high school team resonates.
“We’ve been waiting for this for four years,” Divine Savior Holy Angels co-captain Lindey Wise said. “I’m a senior and I’ve been playing since freshman year, and Fallbrook’s always been our toughest competition. And we finally won it.”
The Dashers didn’t just win the 7s title, the Wisconsin team sped away with it. Co-captain and senior Emily Van Bibber got the scoring going early, dotting down the first of her two tries breaking around the weakside. Fallbrook had trouble realigning on defense all game, and attacking the weakside proved a very lucrative move for DSHA.
The Dashers also put a lot of pressure on 8th grade sweeper Lilly Durbin, who had to track down an overwhelming amount of linebreaks. Casey Karl did well to cover, but even the star center was off her game. An uncommon knock-on deep in Fallbrook’s end helped set up the second of Beth Pokorny’s two tries. DSHA took that 10-meter scrum to the weakside for a try.
Maggie Brennan and Catherine Trowbridge (2) also scored tries, as the Warriors could not rally from the ever-growing deficit, and Wise handled the conversions.
“We were finally communicating as a team, and it just all came together,” Wise reflected on the team’s performance. “We needed to make sure that our passes were solid, that we weren’t playing ‘happy ball,’ and that we gave it all because this was our last opportunity [for the seniors.”
“It’s indescribable,” Wise said of ending her DSHA career with this game. “Winning a national championship has always been a dream of mine, and it finally came true on the last game with DSHA.”