By Jackie Finlan
Cal women added a win to their league record in Northern California's division I college, beating Sacramento State 38-17 on Saturday. The Golden Bears improved to 2-2 and have one more opportunity in two weeks' time to end with a winning record, when Cal takes on Chico State.
Sacramento is playing its second season in the ultra competitive NorCal league and is still looking for its first win. The opportunity will most likely happen during the team's final game against newcomer UC Santa Cruz on March 5.
"Sacramento came out hard," Cal flanker Jamie Furtado said, "but then we picked it up in the tackle, started getting good ball out to the backs and breaking the line. The backs were more cohesive today than they've ever been and were connecting well with the forwards. Sacramento pushed us hard, but we dominated after the first 10 minutes."
Rookie flyhalf Laci Patiga had a standout performance, stepping into the halfback position and working well with her scrumhalf. Patiga scored two tries on the day and impressed veteran teammates. In the forwards, Jen Sever ran hard all day and kept the game moving forward with some damaging breakaways.
"It was important for to remember that it's not always about the opponents," the captain said of the team's mindset heading into the match. "We've got to play our style and achieve our expectations of ourselves. Sacramento is scrappier than our other opponents, so we really had to focus on working together. It took us a few minutes to get used to them, but we executed our level of play."
Cal is rebuilding this year and the team is focused on incremental improvements, one game at a time. "We're not looking at the big picture right now," Furtado said of the post-season,"we're concerned about continually progressing, week to week."
The Bears will face another scrappy team in Chico State on March 5, and maintaining organization like they did against Sacramento will be equally important once again. Chico's game against UCSC was rained out Saturday, so the teams will have ample time to prepare for what should be another big match in Nor Cal.