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Match Report – SWR vs. Chico

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Stanford 19 Chico 43
Tries – J. Hayward (‘19), K. Juarez-Rico (‘21), S. Els (‘21)
Conversions – 2 x A. Tallman (‘20)

 

On Saturday reigning National Spring Champions Chico State made the trip to the Steuber Stadium to take on Stanford Women’s Rugby in both teams’ first game of Pacific Mountain Rugby Conference West division play.

The game started with both teams struggling to generate much on attack as early season rustiness was evident. On the 20 minute mark Chico finally got the breakthrough and punched in a try out wide which they failed to convert making the score 5-0. Stanford did not take long to answer back and after a line break by junior Anna Park the forwards executed a series of “pick and gos” which saw senior Jett Hayward power over from close range for the try. Junior Avery Tallman added the conversion for Stanford to take a 7-5 lead. The game continued to be a tight affair with Chico managing to add one more try before the break. Halftime score was 12-7 with Chico ahead.

At the start of the second half, Stanford showed some great attacking intent and were quick to regain the lead, following some good continuous possession. sophomore Kim Juarez-Rico was able to get over the tryline,Tallman was able to add the conversion and take the score 14-12 Stanford.

Stanford then went into a second half lull, struggling to maintain possession and failing to contain Chico State’s All-Star Hannah Westfall, who was able to penetrate Stanford’s defense and distribute the ball effectively. Chico went on to score four unanswered tries and stretched out to a 38-14 lead. Stanford managed to hit back with a try from sophomore Sam Els before Chico punched one more try in for a final score of 43-19.

While this was not the result Stanford wanted on week 1 of league play it was great to see so many rookies take the field in new positions, which gives the Cardinal a lot to build upon for the rest of the season.

Photo credit: Hector Garcia Molina

Exploration and Investigation Abroad

By Anna Park

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This summer, with funding from the department of undergraduate advising and research, I traveled to Christchurch, New Zealand to research gender biases and stereotypes in rugby culture. On a day-to-day basis, this meant going to practices and games of a local rugby club where I participated, observed, and talked to as many people as possible about all aspects of rugby, focusing on how and why they are involved in the sport, and what challenges they face as a result of that. As someone who has completely fallen in love with the sport since joining Stanford Women’s Rugby two years ago, it was a dream come true to be able to play and study rugby in New Zealand, where rugby is the national sport.
My main research questions focused on the experience of female rugby players at the amateur level. I asked a lot of women why they play rugby, and a common theme in their responses was empowerment. “Playing rugby makes me feel confident” one teammate told me, because “even though I’m a small woman, I know I could take you down.” But the empowerment that the women describe is not just due to the physical aspects of rugby. For many female players, rugby is a way of redefining what it means to be a woman, questioning the boundaries of traditional masculinity and femininity. After a game, they walk off the field covered head to toe in mud, comparing bruises and scrapes, but later that night at the clubrooms they are dressed up in heels and makeup. These two pictures – at odds with one another – represent a resistance by the women to be put into labeled “masculine” or “feminine.”
A rejection of traditional notions of masculinity and femininity does not mean that rugby culture is free of gender-based stereotypes and biases. In fact, the club culture that I experienced revolved around the men’s teams, and the women’s team was repeatedly overlooked. Some evenings after games, we would be invited back to the clubrooms for speeches, where people of all ages would come together and socialize. The women’s team would sit off to the side, not really a part of the speeches and traditions of the club. Integrating a women’s rugby team into an old boys’ rugby club will also take more effort on the part of the women. It means participating in the traditions and interacting more with the other members. “Until we get a woman standing up there, talking to the club, it’s not going to change” a former player told me over coffee one morning.

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Despite the male-centric rugby club culture, the community surrounding rugby in New Zealand had a way of bringing people of all ages together. On the field I played side by side with women 20 years older than me, becoming good friends with a few of them. Rugby brought us together in a way that no other group or community could.
After my season of club rugby in Christchurch, I feel lucky to come back to Stanford where we are fortunate to have a club that’s equally supportive of the women’s and men’s teams. I am also looking forward to being able to share some of the highlights of my experience in New Zealand with our club. Although gender biases persist within rugby culture, female involvement in rugby is rapidly increasing on a global scale, and with it the perceived masculinity of rugby as a sport is changing. It’s an exciting time for women’s rugby.

Stanford Win Plate Championship at 7′s Nationals

 

Stanford traveled to Denver, Colorado this weekend to compete amongst sixteen of the top 7′s teams in the country in USA Rugby’s 7′s National Championship.  Stanford would perform very well throughout the weekend, advancing to the knock out rounds, finishing with a 4-2 record overall, and winning the Plate Championships (5th Place).

Plate Champions

 

On day 1, Stanford competed in Pool B with Air Force, Texas Tech, and Virginia.  The top two teams would automatically advance to the quarterfinals on day 2.  Stanford started strong against the Air Force Academy with three first half tries from Olivia Bernadel-Huey, Chesley Sveinsson and Chelsea Harris, leading to a 19-0 half time lead.  Harris would add a second to start the second half before Air Force would get on the board to close the lead to 24-7. Sveinsson would finish the game with her second for a 29-7 Stanford victory.   Stanford started in similar fashion in game 2 vs. Texas Tech with three first half tries, two from Dani McDonald and one from Sveinnson for a 19-0 half time lead.  Harris would score to start the second half, followed by a Lai Turn try before Texas Tech would rally for a try of their own.  With time expiring, Harris scored her second and Stanford finished with the 40-7 victory.  In their final pool play game, Stanford faced Virginia, also 2-0, for the top seed to come out of the pool.  Under pressure for the first time on the day, Stanford played impatiently and unforced turnovers led to two quick Virginia tries and a 0-12 deficit.  Stanford would rally back, with two turnovers from scrums, to tie the game by halftime 12-12 from two scores from Bernadel-Huey.  Stanford seemed to have stolen the momentum heading into the second stanza, but Virginia would score first after successive Stanford penalties.  Stanford had their chances, but couldn’t capitalize and with time running out Virginia sealed the victory, and first place in the pool with another score and a 24-12 victory.

7's Pools

 

With their second place pool finish on day 1, Stanford would face Pool A winner, and perennial powerhouse Penn State in the quarterfinals.  Stanford started strong and would score the games first two tries from Sveinsson and Nikki Richardson.  Richardson converted one and Stanford was off to 12-0 lead with two minutes remaining in the half.  It looked like Stanford might add a 3rd  with a territorial advantage as the half wound down, but a Penn State long range try brought the Nittany Lions back into the game at the half down 7-12 to Stanford.  Penn State would rally to start the second half, with two tries, one converted giving them a 19-12 lead.  Stanford was unable to get the needed score to tie the contest, and as time ran out, Penn State finished with a score and 24-12 final victory.  Penn State would go on to win the National Championship with a 26-7 victory over Princeton in the semi finals before beating Central Washington 46-27 to claim the title in the Championship final.

 

With Stanford’s quarterfinal loss, the Cardinal would have the opportunity to compete for the Plate Championship (5th Place).  In their next game, Stanford would fall behind to a game Lindenwood University team 0-5 after a quick first minute try.  Stanford answered back with scores from Sveinsson and Harris to take a 12-5 lead into the break.  Esther Melton would add the next score in the second half for a safe Stanford lead before Lindenwood would score once more at the death.  With the 19-10 victory, Stanford moved onto the Plate Final vs. Rutgers.  The Plate Final was all Stanford, with two first half tries from Bernadel-Huey and Harris giving the Cardinal a 14-0 lead at the break.  Stanford started out as they left off, with two more quick tries from Bernadel-Huey and Sveinsson for a 26-0 Stanford lead.  Rutgers would score at the death to close the final gap to 26-5 Stanford.  With the victory Stanford finished the tournament with a 4-2 record and Plate Champions.

 

Stanford Results:

Day 1 Pool Play: Air Force: 29-7 Win

Day 1 Pool Play: Texas Tech: 40-7 Win

Day 1 Pool Play: Virginia: 12-24 Loss

Day 2 Quarterfinals: Penn State: 12-24 Loss

Day 2 Plate Semi-Finals: Lindenwood: 19-10 Win

Day 2 Plate Final: Rutgers: 26-5 Win

 

Stanford Squad for USA Rugby 7′s National Championship:  Chelsey Sveinsson, Sasha Herbst de Cortina, Lai Turn, Megan McAndrews, Jess Smith, Esther Melton, Nikki Richardson, Dani McDonald, Lex Schoenberg, Kathryn Treder, Chelsea Harris, Olivia Bernadel-Huey

 

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