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Slightly More Comfy Win for Stanford

College Women

Slightly More Comfy Win for Stanford

Freshman Maki Asrat scored two tries against UC Davis Saturday. (Photo: Hector Garcia Molina)

(submitted by Stanford Rugby) Stanford defeated a fast, physical, and athletic UC Davis for the second time this season, extending their Pacific Mountain Conference (PMC) West record to 4-0. In the first encounter, Stanford staged a late come-back to overcome the Aggies. In the second showdown, after an early deficit, Stanford took a comfortable lead that Davis came back from to tie the game at the half 17-17. However, in the second half, Stanford was able to take control of the lead and hold it all the way through, due to one of the better performances of the season from the Cardinal, and win 37-24.

From the outset, Stanford seemed to have more control of the run of play and be on the front foot. Despite the advantage in the flow of the game and territory Stanford was enjoying, Davis struck first, showcasing their speed and alertness. Stanford turned over possession near the Davis 22, and Davis countered quickly, scoring from long range through two quick phases.

Stanford struck back from a great counter-attack from a Davis kick through the Stanford backs. Chelsea Harris spotted a gap and darted into it, dished to Madda Wilson, who offloaded to Maki Asrat who crossed over in the corner, 7-5 Davis.

Shortly after, a well earned 10-phase attacking movement from Stanford led to Dani McDonald fending off an Aggie defender for the score, and Nikki Richardson converted the try. Soon after McDonald scored again, this time after Sasha Herbst de Cortina snagged a UC Davis lineout overthrow.

With only 15 minutes to play in the half, Stanford were surging and led 17-7. However, the final minutes of the half belonged to Davis, as a suddenly sluggish Stanford started to fall off tackles. In the 34th minute a poorly executed Stanford kick-chase allowed the Aggies into Stanford territory, and then hard Davis running coupled with poor Stanford tackling led to a Davis try. Minutes later, more missed tackles and a Stanford penalty saw the Aggies cross the line and tie the game just before the half at 17-17.

In the second half, Stanford began to re-assert pressure, seeing them own more territory and possession. This led to a Richardson penalty in the 45th minute to retake the lead. Ten minutes later, sustained pressure led to a Davis penalty from which Ether Melton darted through the defense to score. Richardson converted and Stanford was up 27-17.

Davis did not go down easily, and with just over 10 minutes left in the game, Davis ran straight through a slow-to-react Stanford defense from a quick-tap penalty. With the game now a contest again at 27-24, Stanford turned up their urgency and effort, leading to successive tries from Olivia Bernadel-Huey and Asrat, and a final score of 37-24.

In many facets the game was one of Stanford’s best performances of the season. Passages of play showed resolute defense and attacking flair. However, other moments of carelessness with the ball, inconsistent tackling, and slowness to respond from turnovers and transitions, allowed an athletic and opportunistic UC Davis into the game.

In other PMC West news, Chico State earned their first win of the season 23-22 over Cal (read more). The Cardinal will host Cal (1-3) this Saturday, while Chico travels to UC Davis.

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