Russell Field – UC Davis
Stanford began Pacific Mountain Conference play on Saturday at UC Davis, with a dramatic come from behind 14-12 victory. From the outset, Davis was the more physical and determined team, consistently making in roads into the Stanford half through a vertical and direct attack. Stanford were able to repel many of the Davis attacks, but were inconsistent at clearing the ball out of their own half. When Stanford was able to play with the ball in hand, unforced passing errors and turnovers at the point of contact translated to lost possession. The scoreboard stalemate lasted until the 31st minute when Davis executed a spectacular cross kick that was finished off for a try and conversion, 7-0 Davis. Continuos Stanford penalties led to a Chelsey Sveinsson yellow card, and down a player, and down a player, more Stanford ill-discipline helped a hard running Davis team to work down the field and score in the 38 minute. Davis took the 12-0 lead into the halftime.
Stanford started the second half with renewed effort and determination, launching multiple attacks deep into Davis territory, but were unable to come away with points. The game flowed back and forth for twenty minutes until Stanford finally breached the Davis line, with senior Daly Montgomery crossing over. Flyhalf Nikki Richardson converted the try and Stanford was within a score, down 7-12. While still lacking precision, Stanford’s passion began to match the Aggies efforts. Play swayed back and forth until Stanford was able to make a final surge in the 77th minute into Davis territory. The Stanford backs shipped the ball wide to wing Chelsea Harris, who crossed over in the corner, and astutely cornered Davis defenders to center the ball. Richardson converted the kick to give Stanford a 14-12 lead. In the final minutes Stanford’s defense held off a ferocious final Davis attack to secure the win.
The Stanford comeback win showed resilience and determination to rebound from a deficit and momentum against them. However, the overall performance left much to be desired, starting with lackluster intensity and work rate from the beginning, exposed by a physical, fast, and resolute Davis team. Stanford will look to build on the victory with an improved performance against Chico State next weekend in another Conference match.
In the reserve team game, Stanford came out strong, motivated to start the match strong. In a shortened game, Stanford ran off six tries in route to a 36-0 victory.
Next Up: Stanford (2-0/1-0) continues Pacific Mountain Conference play on Saturday 1/31 vs. Chico State (0-1) at Steuber Rugby Stadium at 4pm. Chico State dropped their opening Conference match to Cal 10-35.
Stanford Team vs. UC Davis: 1: Daly Montgomery 2: Katheryn Treder 3: Chelsey Sveinsson 4: Julia Howell 5: Allie Ballesteros 6: Sasha Herbst de Cortina 7: Mia Hutchinson (Catherynn Vuong) 8: Lai Turn (Captain) 9: Tia Watkins (Esther Melton) 10: Nikki Richardson 11: Sarah Houamed (Maki Asrat) 12: Madda Wilson 13: Dani McDonald14: Chelsea Harris 15: Olivia Bernadel-Huey
Scoring Summary: 31: UC Davis Try and Conversion, 38: UC Davis Try, 62: Stanford Montgomery Try (Richardson Conversion), 77: Stanford Harris Try (Richardson Conversion)