Chula Vista, CA - The Pacific Coast took the top seed out of pool A at the Women's National All Star Championship with a final 12-5 win over Mid-Atlantic, which was also undefeated heading into the match.
It was a tough day for the Grizzlies, who had some travel issues when the date change. The last-minute logistics scramble forced former Eagle Laura Cabrera to come out of retirement and put the Pacific Coast jersey back on.
"The players really benefitted from having Laura out there," Pacific Coast coach Brandon Sparks said. "They literally had an on-field coach out there. Her communication really helped and she set a good example for the team."
Cabrera didn't play half bad either, scoring two tries on the day including one against MARFU. The ball was tied up in the breakdown, and Kelly Griffin was in the scrumhalf position. She spun the ball out to Cabrera and looped around expecting the pass, but "Laura had other plans," Sparks said. Cabrera put an up-and-under over the defense, broke the line and dotted down her kick in the try zone.
"Laura put on a clinic today," Sparks said. "She definitely proved that age and wisdom outplays youth."
The Pacific Coast team looked a lot like the All Blues team that won the Club 7s Championship, and saw more great performances from Nathalie Marchino and Griffin, both co-captains of today's squad. Phoebe Boone also had a good day and accounted for the game's first try, which didn't occur until late in the first half.
Boone was camped out on the wing, and as the ball worked to her end, recycled the ball so it could work to other touchline. As planned, the ball worked back into Boone's possession and she was able to break through a couple of tackles, then spin through the try zone to center the ball and dot down the try. Griffin converted. MARFU's score came from Ida Bernstein, who was leading the points board at that point in the tournament.
New to the squad was San Juanita Moreno, and she meshed well with her teammates.
"In the first game [against the Midwest], we wanted to make sure that San Juanita was on the same page as the rest of the team," Sparks said after the 19-10 win. "She knows a lot of the players from playing in the Women's Premier League, so she wasn't much of an outsider. She's a smart player and picked up the system quickly. She hooked up with Laura well, and at one point, the two of them had about four passes between the two of them en route to a try."
Sparks was happy with the team's performance, especially considering their light numbers, and was pleased that the player were able to meet at least two of three goals set out by the captains before each game. But the coach also know that the squad isn't running at full pace yet and is interested to see what Sunday will bring. If it's anything like the Club 7s' second day, it'll be another big day on the scoreboard.
Pacific Coast 12
Tries: Boone, Cabrera