(Photos: ORSU try scorers Beckett Royce, San Juanita Moreno and Te Awhina Hochee [seen here during the Mudhens match].)
Arguably the biggest showdown in CR3’s women’s DI club occurred between Seattle (3-1) and ORSU (2-0) this weekend. Both sides were undefeated heading into the match, but the Breakers certainly had more game time to their credit. However, Seattle put up some questionable scores during last weekend’s trip to northern California, defeating the San Francisco Fog and Nor Cal Triple Threat by a combined seven points. And both sides had put up similar numbers against the Emerald City Mudhens.
If fans were expecting a grueling game, they were rewarded in the first half, as ORSU held onto a two-try lead. But the try that Seattle dotted down in the first half would be the points the Breakers would score all day, and ORSU ran out to a 45-7 victory to remain undefeated.
ORSU had to contend with a less than ideal starting pack, as prop Melody Glascow, flanker Molly Luft and No. 8 and Eagle Sharon Blaney were all absent due to injury. But a sizeable bench allowed rookie Dazzle Dyson and Rachel Johnson get the start, and ORSU veteran and former Eagle Beckett Royce slotted in No. 8. ORSU old girl Toni Fujiwara took over flyhalf, having returned for this season alone.
Throughout the first half, Seattle did well to pressure the breakdowns and remain organized on defense, but not enough to shut down center San Juanita Moreno, who logged for tries on the day. Royce’s hat trick began with a try that evolved after a nice set of quick hands to get the ball wide.
Seattle then launched a long, persistent assault in ORSU’s end, and White finally broke the line inside ORSU’s 22 meter for a try she converted.
Hoping to end the half on a high note, ORSU quickly changed the tide of momentum for good, when Te Awhina Hochee broke through a half-gap and offloaded to Royce, who powered another 10 meters for her second try.
“The second half saw things click for ORSU,” Royce said. “We were able to capitalize on Seattle’s turnovers as well as break their tired defensive line.”
Moreno dotted down another three tries, while Royce added two more. Replacement Lock Megan Adams also got into the scoring spirit and dotted down an additional five-pointer.
ORSU bowed out of last year’s club championships during the first round, a 21-0 loss to eventual champions Chicago North Shore in the quarterfinals. But this early-season win has given ORSU some reason to be optimistic.
“A good number of returning veterans and an influx of some new talent have us looking like we'll be a stronger side than last year,” Royce said. “We have more depth and some great assistant coaches, who are really helping to develop our younger players.”
ORSU will continue their development against the San Francisco Fog at home this weekend, while Seattle enjoys a bye week.