Sullivan ’20 Named To USA Olympic Rugby 7s Team

Category: Grad News
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By Justin Conti, WPAOG Multimedia Journalist 

CPT Samantha Sullivan ’20, a walk-on for the Army West Point Women’s Rugby team, is headed to Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics.  

Sullivan was a three-sport athlete in high school and captain of the soccer team. She intended to play soccer at West Point, but was not recruited and did not make the team during try-outs. After the Army rugby coach noticed her athleticism during cadet basic training, Sullivan decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and try her luck at rugby.  

Picking up a rugby ball for the first time during her plebe year in 2016 changed her life. 

Sullivan’s speed and agility landed her a spot on the starting line-up by the third game of the season. During her time at Army, she was awarded All-American three times, as well as the inaugural Prusmack Award in 2019 for being the top female collegiate rugby sevens player. She also broke and still holds the Army West Point Women’s Rugby all-time try scoring record. She scored 84 tries and 3 conversions to total 426 points throughout her four years.  

“This young lady has shown such amazing growth since she first showed up, completely wet behind the ears,” Penny Anderson Women’s Rugby Head Coach Bill LeClerc said in his 2020 speech when Sullivan was named MVP.  

Off the field, Sullivan was a member of the Hawk Eye ID Program, as well as the first-ever West Point Military Academy Brigade Trust Captain. She created and oversaw a committee of cadets who highlighted sexual assault, sexual harassment and worked to create a culture in which every cadet is empowered to protect their teammates.  

Post-graduation, Sullivan made her way to the Women’s Premier League. Her impressive show-out resulted in a roster spot for the 2022 Pacific Four Series with the USA Women’s Eagles, where she made her debut against Canada in June of 2022.  

Sullivan’s remarkable play and skill-set during her time with the Eagles put her on the USA Women’s Sevens radar, which brought her back to the sevens pitch. She made her debut during the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town, South Africa and the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai later that same year.  

Now she prepares for July 28, where she will make her Olympic Rugby sevens debut representing the red, white and blue.  

“I am beyond grateful to be representing my country on the biggest of world’s stages,” Sullivan said in an Instagram post announcing the news. “This truly is a dream come true and I hope to make you all proud.” 

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