A handful of alumni are pictured just before the alumni welcoming dinner, a day prior to the game.
By Frances Wehrwein ’12
2011-2012 SWR President
As a 2012 recent graduate, the alumni game was a much anticipated event. There was significant turn out on the alumni side from many years, and the team provided a significant challenge for the current players. Jen Crawford, All-American and 3-time world cup final participant, for whom the B-side women’s team is named, played 10 for a portion of the match, stepping players left and right. All-Americans from a wide range classes brought experience to the alumni side, including Melissa Smit ’08, ’09, Diana Peng ’09, Susan Dekker ’09, Kasonni Scales ’10, Janae Grijalva ’10, and Amelia Villines ’12.
Duo Katie Lampert and Jessica Talbert had numerous defensive plays throughout the match, although many alumni were not aware of the new tackler release rule and were penalized by the ref. Melanie Nacouzi reappeared in the backs though she made a switch last year to loose forward, and seemed at home at 12 and 13. Carey Myslewski ’07, had some spectacular runs at wing, putting pressure on the undergraduate back 3.
On the undergraduate squad, players were grateful to be back on the field and play against such challenging opposition. First-year returners proved their rookie years have taught them well, running some impressive lines through the defense and bringing strength and physicality to each set piece. Blanche Du Sault ’15 had several line breaks throughout the game, including one that after a quick offload to Chelsea Harris ’15, led to the undergraduates’ only try. Smriti Sridhar ’15 also had several speedy runs around the alumni’s defensive line, coming very close to scoring another try for the undergrads if it weren’t for Katrina “Bisquit” Logan and her stellar debut at the opposing wing. The players also had an opportunity to mix the alumni and undergraduate teams up and compete against each other, providing fresh legs and significant experience to each side.
The undergraduate team has many young strengths and talents they can build on for the upcoming season but the alumni brought great opposition, exposing where the team needs improvement. The challenge will be to recognize those weaknesses and work to improve.
Overall, the move of the alumni game to homecoming weekend was a great success, and we hope to see even more in attendance next year!
Reflections from Current Players:
“It felt great to be back on the field playing with former teammates. The alumni’s defensive pressure was phenomenal over the course of the game, forcing us (the youngins) to play with more intensity and at a higher tempo. The successful execution of one and zero balls allowed us to make significant line breaks and ultimately led to our one try.” – Chelsea Harris ’15
“It felt great to finally be back on the rugby field after a whole summer away. It’s all a matter of getting back in the groove and we could already see that halfway into the game; communication was increasing and the organization between players got better. Overall, I think we have a really good potential. It gave me a little taste of what is about to come and I can’t wait for it!” – Blanche Du Sault ’15
“Playing the alumni reminded us of the history of strong, high caliber, players that have come through Stanford Women’s Rugby. By running hard lines and making great tackles, they showed us their passion for the game. The alumni taught us not to set limits on our abilities and expectations as players, and to always work to keep growing and improving.” – Jamie Lawrence ’13, Current Co-President
Final Score: 38-5, Alumni
Tries for alumni were scored by: Mel Smit ’08, Jen Crawford ’87, Carey Myslewski ’07 (2), Diana Peng ’09, Amelia Villines ’12
Four conversion kicks made by Mel Smit
Try for undergrads was scored by Chelsea Harris ’15