Written by Jackie Finlan - RugbyMag.com Sunday, 17 April 2011 10:15
It's been years in the making, but now Women's Cougar Rugby can join the very short list of teams that can say: Stanford isn't invincible. Unless you're Penn State, which has split the last six DI college titles with the Cardinal, it seems that Stanford competes in an elevated tier of play, and is everyone's rival on the West Coast. But now WCR can officially consider itself a peer of the California powerhouse, having defeated Stanford 24-7 yesterday for the Pacific Coast Championship.
"It was two really good teams going at each other," WCR coach Tom Waqa said. "It was one of those games you'd expect at the end of the [national] tournament. Stanford has never been a bad side, but we came out to play. We contested every play as if it was our last. Full credit goes to the girls for responding to the adjustments needed from yesterday [against UC Davis]. The team gave it their all; there were no individual efforts."
Heading into the final against Stanford, WCR knew it could not make the mistakes it made against UC Davis. UCD surprised the Cougars at the beginning of the game by scoring first, and a lack of consistency in retaining possession resulted in a jarring game. UC Davis had the edge in the forwards, while WCR had the edge in the backs, and a lot of pressure was put on its speedy backline to score points when spurts of momentum presented themselves.
Saturday was a different story. Ten minutes in, Chanel Arts barreled over the try line. Kristi Jackson further stressed the home team with another try shortly afterward. The scoreboard took a break for awhile, before Rebekah Siebach put another five-pointer on the board. Star Bollinger slotted two extras for the 19-0 halftime lead.