Bishop O'Dowd's girls team pulled off something of an upset, as the 11th-ranked Northern California team knocked off two-time national champion finalist Sacramento Amazons (ranked 7th) 30-5. Three hundred spectators convened at Bishop O’Dowd to watch the match.
As always the case against the Amazons, the match unfolded into a very physical battle. Senior forwards Katelin Chan, Nicole Garde and Natalie Dierkx worked incredibly hard to maintain the majority of possession and were not intimidated by Sacramento’s size.
Sophomore flyhalf Olivia Bernadel-Huey, who usually plays fullback but switched to halfback due to an injury, did an excellent job of moving the ball around Sacramento’s defense.
"The whole squad played well; it was a solid performance,” said O'Dowd Director of Rugby Ray Lehner, the same Lehner who coaches the O'Dowd boys program and the Olympic Club men's club. “But I still believe our girls have yet to hit their maximum potential. Bernadel-Huey was outstanding for her first match playing flyhalf. She is really a special player.”
O'Dowd took a 15-5 lead into the break thanks to tries from Dierkx and junior scrumhalf Gretchen Shaw, while Bernadel-Huey added a penalty and conversion. The Amazons scored their lone points of the game to end the half.
BOD equaled their first-half points and used their bench well to run in another three tries courtesy of flanker Garde, junior prop Rachel Keener and senior flanker Toni Coaston.
The highoctane O'Dowd offense - averaging over 30 points a game and easily leading the NorCal Girls league, improved to 5-1-2, second behind undefeated Mother Lode. Mother Lode are set to play the Amazons next week, although reports are that the two may agree not to play the game.
UPDATE: NCYRA reports that the NorCal girls standings are actually not accurate, as they include friendly games. The NorCal semifinal matchups are now slated for May 5 at the NCIT with Mother Lode taking on Rio Linda, and Bishop O'Dowd facing off once again with the Amazons.