National Team

Day 4 – Quarterfinals Results

U.S. Makes Come from Behind Win to Advance to Semi Finals

USA Wheelchair Rugby on October 14, 2022

Vejle, Denmark – Canada USA games rarely disappoint and today was no exception with the U.S. etching a 53-51 win at the quarterfinals of the 2022 WWR World Championship. Top scorers for Team USA were Chuck Aoki (Minneapolis, MN) with 21, Josh Wheeler (Tucson, AZ) with 14 and Josh O’Neill (CO) with 9.  O’Neill was also named the Player of the Match.

While the U.S. took the first try of the match, it was Canada who would force successive turnovers resulting in a 3 try lead that they would hold for the entire first quarter. Still controlling much of the floor for the second, the starting American line up of Aoki, Wheeler, O’Neill, and defensive specialist Lee Fredette (East Moriches, NY) held their own and shrunk the lead to within one going into the half.  Able to tie the board in the third and pull ahead by one, it was in the fourth that the U.S. would open up a lead thanks to turnovers and an unrelentless defensive stand in the key. Despite late game penalties for the U.S., they would hold on to take the 53-51 victory. “They make fun of me for being cheesy, “ said Coach Joe Delagrave. “In the morning meeting today, we talked about eagles and how they rise above the storm and my goodness this team did that, they had so much heart today. We played a lot shorter of a bench today and were hoping to get some others in but Josh Wheeler, Josh O’Neill, Lee Fredette and Chuck Aoki as a leader, I am just so proud of those guys. This win today was set up by our bench being able to provide minutes throughout this tournament. We are six games in now and if we didn’t have that we would not have won today.  Its such a hard, hard tournament and that’s really what it stems from – our bench believing, being loud. We had 12 people in this game today which is really neat.”

Today’s win advances the United States to the semifinals where they will face Team Japan who advanced to the semifinals after besting New Zealand in the early quarterfinal today.  Catch Saturday’s semifinal at 9:45 a.m. CT and the livestream of all the action from Vejle at https://worldwheelchair.rugby/2022/10/09/watch-the-2022-wheelchair-rugby-world-championships/ and check in for all the stats and highlights at usawr.org.