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