Stanford Women’s Rugby hosted two-time defending USA Rugby Spring Champions UC Davis under the Friday night lights. UC Davis jumped out to 14-0 with two converted tries in the first 15 minutes. However, SWR refused to roll over and replied with a try to winger Kara Herson ’21 in the 23rd minute. The Cardinal continued to build the pressure as they spent the rest of the half camped in the UC Davis 22m. The pressure paid off with points as flyhalf Olivia Bernadel-Huey ’18 collected her own kick to score under the posts. The successful conversion locked the scores up at 14-14. The teams headed into halftime with the game finely balanced.
In the second half, SWR looked to retain the momentum and used a varied attack to put pressure on UC Davis. A strong kicking game from Bernadel-Huey, impressive ball retention and the ability to attack the width of the park kept UC Davis on the backfoot. When UC Davis had possession, SWR showed relentless defense and strong tackling to stall the Aggies go forward. In the end, the Cardinal attack led to 3 more tries in the second half from Herson, Avery Tallman 20′ and Lia Ferguson ’18. Bernadel-Huey slotted two more conversions, and SWR ran out winners 31-14. While there were many noteworthy performers, special mention goes to the back row of Anna Park ’20, Kathryn Treder ’18 and Ferguson. Their high work rate on attack and defense set the tone for the team performance.
Stanford 48 Humboldt 41
Tries – O. Bernadel-Huey (2)
L. Ferguson (2)
Conversions – O. Bernadel-Huey (4)
Only 12 hours after the final whistle against UC Davis, Stanford Women’s Rugby were back at Steuber Stadium warming up to face a big and physical Humboldt State. Humboldt State jumped out to a quick start, scoring four tries for a 26-0 lead after just 20 minutes. The game paused due to an unfortunate injury to Cardinal wing, Nicole Almanzar ’18. The delay gave SWR a chance to refocus. The Cardinal came back scoring three quick tries before the break through Olivia Bernadel-Huey ’18 (2) and Isis Anderson ’21. At halftime, the score was 26-19.
The second half began with an energized Humboldt State building their lead. SWR stayed composed by working the connections and processes they have been practicing since the start of the season. Through teamwork and patience, the Cardinal were able to wrest the momentum. SWR built pressure with a good kicking game, strong ball carries and long periods of possession into a 48-31 lead. The points came on tries from Tatiana Balabanis ’19, Lia Ferguson ’18 (2), Anna Park ’20, Haley O’Brien ’20. However, Humboldt State launched a furious last 10 minutes, punching in two more tries. In the end, SWR squeaked out the win in a very exciting and physical game.
(Photo credit: Hector Garcia-Molina)