Barbados – March 27, 2014
After securing a place in the conference finals and the pressure of finals week, the Stanford squad headed for Barbados for spring break. Touring is a valuable rugby tradition that has benefits both in terms of bringing the squad tighter as a unit and exposing players to a different style of opponent in a totally new rugby environment. This was certainly the case as the Stanford students faced up to what amounted to the Barbados national men’s team.
Stanford had early success by moving the point of attack to tire the bigger and less organized opposition. On three occasions desperate tackles prevented Odek from opening the account on the right wing as the home defence was stretched. With only 20 travelling players and two of them injured prior to leaving America, Stanford were forced to fight through adversity. When right wing Odek was forced off early with an ankle problem, back row forward Houghton-Berry was drafted in as emergency cover at centre. Despite never playing the position before, Houghton-Berry stepped up to provide a try scoring offload to wing Abundes to open the scoring.
The home side relied heavily on their physicality and began to wear down the Stanford defence with a number of powerful runs. They took the lead with two tries and with further injuries to Abundes and Long, Stanford faced a tough assignment to regain control.
Full back Sam Falkenhagen was the catalyst for the fight back as he raced in for two outstanding long distance solo efforts for Stanford to take a 17-10 lead. Unfortunately Stanford (who ended the game with two back rows playing centre and one wing short due to the long injury list) could not repel the final Barbados attacks and a late try brought the final score to 17-17.
Much could be taken in the way that the team came together to fight for the result in adverse circumstances. It was indicative of the trip as whole, as the group grew closer together and were prepared work hard and to sacrifice for the cause.
Team: 1. Long 2. Kim 3. Omegara 4. Carey 5. Herries 6. Houghton-Berry 7. Barron 8. Agness (Captain) 9. A Sanchez 10. Lexmond 11. Liu 12. N Sanchez 13. Abundes 14. Odek 15. Falkenhagen 16. Perkins 17. Joyner
Steuber Rugby Stadium – Saturday March 15, 2014
A clinical display confirmed Stanford’s position at the top of the Pacific Mountain Conference as they completed an impressive unbeaten conference campaign and 6-0 Conference Record.
Team: 1. Bailey 2. Kim 3. Quigley 4. Carey 5. Herries 6. Ripert 7. Barron 8. Agness (Captain) 9. A Sanchez 10. Lexmond 11. Abundes 12. Fullerton 13. N Sanchez 14. Sebastian 15. Falkenhagen
16. Hoknson 17. Omegara 18. Brown 19. McColl 20. Houghton-Berry 21. LeRoux 22. Sandovel 23. Chabolla
Next up: After a break for Finals week, the squad will fly to Barbados for the annual spring break tour.
Stanford, Ca. – Sunday March 9, 2014
Stanford backed up Saturday’s road win over Nevada Reno with an impressive shutout of last year’s Pacific Western Conference Champions Chico State, to move to the top of the Conference standings with five wins from five games. Against fresh opponents, a Stanford squad that had played two games away in Nevada Reno less than twenty-four hours prior to kick off, secured the bonus point win with four unanswered tries.
The home forwards asserted their dominance with two lineout drives culminating in tries for Chris Herries and Austin Carey in the first half an hour, and a narrow 12-0 half time lead. A Sam Falkenhagen penalty at the start of the second half stretched the margin to more than two scores as the scoreboard moved to 15-0. The Stanford pack then stole a Chico lineout giving their backs a chance to show great skill as a gliding line break from Nico Sanchez engineered a Nino Abundes score down the right touchline. The final try came during a sin bin period in which home captain Dan Agness was off the field. With only fourteen men, Stanford built pressure confidently through the phases before Austin Carey took a direct line off scrum half Alejandro Sanchez. The home defense scrambled to force another phase, but they were unable to prevent Patrick Quigley from diving over for the last try from short range. The win concluded a successful weekend for Stanford, who added an impressive defensive display to their high scoring offense, in securing back to back Saturday and Sunday wins against conference rivals.
The JV side bounced back from defeat on Saturday to hand Chico State JV’s their first loss of the season. Tries from Bryant Chen, Nick Perkins and two each for Wesley Greiner and Jack Chabolla (who also made his Varsity debut earlier in the day) handed Stanford a 32-22 win.
Team vs Chico State: 1. Brown 2. Kim 3. Quigley 4. Carey 5. Herries 6. Ripert 7. Baron 8. Agness (Captain) 9. A Sanchez 10. Lexmond 11. Odek 12. Fullerton 13. N Sanchez 14. Abundes 15. Falkenhagen
Reserves: 16. Bailey 17. Hokanson 18. Omegara 19. McColl 20. Houghton-Berry 21. Nelsen 22. Sandoval 23. Chabolla
Fresno State: Saturday March 16th at Stanford at 1pm
Pacific Western Championships: Sat. and Sun. April 12-13 @ Stanford