Kelter scores as Team USA beats Italy in World Cup opener

August 9, 2017

Alev Kelter

Alev Kelter

Eagle River’s Alev Kelter made sure Team USA was victorious in its first match at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Dublin, Ireland.

The 26-year-old came off the bench to score in a 24-12 victory over Italy in Pool B play.

Kelter, of Chugiak High fame, was inserted into the game as a substitute in the 50th minute. In the 64th minute, she bulldozed her way to a two-point conversion.

Scoring is nothing new for the bruising Kelter, who led Team USA in scoring last season.

The former University of Wisconsin hockey and soccer standout is a powerful runner and one the most consistent scoring options for the Eagles on the rugby field.

She is effective because she is fast, strong and fearless.

Kelter doesn’t shy from contact and can deliver a vicious hit just as well as take one – without pads, mind you.

Team USA is part of a tough Pool B group that includes defending world champion England.

The Eagles won the inaugural tournament in 1991 and reached the first three finals but have failed to reach the semifinals since 1998.

Led by Kelter, Team USA has increased its physicality over the last few years to better compete on the world stage.

The Eagles next face Spain on Sunday before a much-anticipated matchup with world champion England on Thursday.