Two big wins came out of the Pacific Mountain North Conference last weekend, with Stanford and Chico adding to their point total. The Cardinal trounced UC Davis 72-5, while Chico rebounded from a 34-10 loss to Cal on Saturday with a 54-17 victory over visiting Oregon State.
The tries came easily for Stanford, but Amelia Villines and Molly Kinsella stood out on the day with ball in hand. Katie Lampert was the defensive star of the game.
“We improved on all accounts, especially defensively from the previous week,” Stanford captain Frances Wehrwein reflected on her team’s 32-10 win over Cal two Saturdays ago. “We were also able to put more phases together to play longer strings against Davis. Although we had a brief shortfall that resulted in their only try, we were more pleased with the result than the previous week.”
The Chico v Oregon State game was more competitive until about the 60-minute mark. Riddled with injuries and a shallow bench, OSU took a 14-0 lead off tries from wings Rachel Hausmann and Kim Nguyen, both converted by Hannah Lockwood.
But by the 20-minute mark, Chico found their stride and within three minutes matched OSU’s two scores for the 14-all tie. Chico added a penalty before the break to take the lead. The teams traded scores to open the second half, with Hausmann getting her second five-pointer of the day (24-21 Chico).
“Shortly after this last try, things began to unravel for us in a big way,” OSU coach David Dickson said. “By about 20 minutes into the half, Chico had scored two more converted tries and was up by 17. We had a penalty deep in their territory and decided to run it because of the point deficit we were facing. We were unsuccessful finding the goalline, and after a few phases, Chico recovered and cleared. That was really the moment the game slipped away.”
Lockwood came off with a badly sprained ankle, and flanker Rachel Hausmann, who was standing in for star back row Haley Dietz, suffered a game-ending shoulder injury. With no replacements, captain Liz Freund decided to finish out the game with 14 players on the pitch.
“They played with a lot of heart and determination, but they were battered, tired, deflated and outnumbered,” Dickson said. “Chico scored quite a few times in the closing 15 minutes of the game, which was initially for more even than the score suggests, but the injuries were our undoing. Once we were down, we were unable to put up much of a fight against a pretty fit Chico team.”
OSU will struggle to finish the rest of its season strongly, as its roster is looking very thin at the moment.
“We're already focusing on recruitment for next year,” Dickson said. “It's obvious we don't have the numbers to be successful in this league, but I think we are very close. Right up until the 60th minute of this game, I think we've shown we can be competitive in this league, but then we just imploded due to our lack of depth. That will be our focus going into next year. With all the high school kids coming through the ranks of Rugby Oregon, I think we'll be in much better shape.”
OSU has one last game this season against Cal, which will be looking to shore up second place in the division. Chico will play its toughest game of the year against Stanford.