(Below, 7s Eagle Amelia Villines' try helped Stanford to another Pacific Coast final. Dobson Images photo)
A big 38-5 semifinal win over Chico State sees Stanford women to the Pacific Coast DI College Championship against Women’s Cougar Rugby (WCR).
The Cardinal’s first half outshone its second, with 24 points marking the first stanza. By game’s end flanker Frances Wehrein, No. 8 Jennifer Cooperrider, scrumhalf Bisi Ibrahim, inside center Melanie Nacouzi and outside center Amelia Villines all crossed for tries while fullback Jamie Lawrence slotted four conversions.
Stanford ran out to a 24-0 first-half lead, and while the team fell off in the second stanza, the perennial national finalist never lost control of the match. Despite the deficit, Chico State battled to the end and saw impressive performances from its No. 8 and flyhalf. Stanfor captain Wehrein recalled one Chico kickoff in which their eightman made a diving catch before the ball hit the ground to turn it over.
“As a team, our defensive alignment has really improved over the past several weeks and there were almost no missed tackles throughout the game,” captain Wehrein said. “We could just work on sustaining our play for all 80 minutes. There were several lag periods in which we were playing defense for longer than we'd like and just weren't connecting to turn the ball over. Overall, however, it was our best game thus far this season.”
Two good games await today – WCR v Stanford for the title, and Chico State v UC Davis for third. The third place match is just important, if not more, than the final game, as it’ll determine who will represent the Pacific Coast’s third team.