Team USA Wheelchair Rugby Cruises in Parapan Am Games Preliminary Play
The United States wheelchair rugby team dominated its first two preliminary matches at the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile. On Saturday, Team USA blew past Argentina 55-31 after a 62-27 rout of host nation Chile earlier in the day.
Against Chile, Zion Redington was the star with 26 tries in 21 minutes of play. Clayton Brackett added 9 tries as Team USA forced 11 Chilean turnovers.
Facing Argentina, the U.S. took a 1-0 lead on a Charles Aoki try assisted by Eric Newby and never looked back. Sarah Adam was a standout, notching 11 tries and a steal in 13 minutes of play. Her defensive effort kept Argentina from easy scores.
“It’s great to see the team kind of coming together, getting some of the new players on the court, doing fantastic stepping up into those roles we need them to right now,” Adam said after the match.
On offense, Adam scored on breaks and off passes from her teammates. The U.S. led 41-19 at one point, allowing coach Gregg Smith to substitute liberally. All 12 American players saw at least 5 minutes of action.
Mason Symons and Redington padded the lead with a give-and-go try in the second half. Symons also had a key defensive play, stopping an Argentina try by checking a player into the cone.
Team USA showed its depth and dominance in the first two prelim games. They have three more contests – Colombia, Brazil and Canada – remaining before medal round play begins.
“We’re playing our ball and that’s what it’s all about,” Symons said. “We’re not going to let anyone dictate how we play. Now’s the time to show and perform.”