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Stanford Escape With Davis Win

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Stanford Escape With Davis Win

It took 77 minutes to overcome UC Davis, but Stanford banked its first win of the season. (Photo: Stanford Women's Rugby)

(originally posted on Stanford Women's Rugby)

Stanford began Pacific Mountain Conference play at UC Davis with a dramatic come-from-behind 14-12 victory. 

From the outset, Davis was the more physical and determined team, consistently making inroads into the Stanford half through a vertical and direct attack. Stanford were able to repel many of the Davis attacks, but were inconsistent at clearing the ball out of their own half. When Stanford was able to play with the ball in hand, unforced passing errors and turnovers at the point of contact translated to lost possession. 

The scoreboard stalemate lasted until the 31st minute when Davis executed a spectacular cross-kick that was finished off for a try and conversion, 7-0 Davis. Continuous Stanford penalties led to a Chelsey Sveinsson yellow card, and more Stanford ill-discipline helped a hard-running Davis team to work down the field and score in the 38th minute. Davis took the 12-0 lead into the halftime.

Stanford started the second half with renewed effort and determination, launching multiple attacks deep into Davis territory, but were unable to come away with points. The game flowed back and forth for 20 minutes until Stanford finally breached the Davis line, with senior Daly Montgomery crossing over.  Flyhalf Nikki Richardson converted the try and Stanford was within a score, down 7-12.

While still lacking precision, Stanford’s passion began to match the Aggies' efforts, and in the 77th minute, the Cardinal made a final surge into Davis territory. The Stanford backs shipped the ball wide to wing Chelsea Harris, who crossed over in the corner and astutely cornered Davis defenders to center the ball. Richardson converted the kick to give Stanford a 14-12 lead. In the final minutes Stanford’s defense held off a ferocious final Davis attack to secure the win.

The Stanford comeback win showed resilience and determination to rebound from a deficit and momentum against them. However, the overall performance was poor, starting with lackluster intensity and work rate from the beginning, exposed by a physical fast, and resolute Davis team. Stanford will look to build on the victory with an improved performance against Chico State next weekend in another Conference match.

In the reserve team game, Stanford came out strong, motivated to start the match strong.  In a shortened game, Stanford ran off six tries in route to a 36-0 victory.

Next Up: Stanford (2-0/1-0) continues Pacific Mountain Conference play on Saturday 1/31 vs. Chico State (0-1) at Steuber Rugby Stadium at 4pm.  Chico State dropped their opening Conference match to Cal 10-35.

In other conference news, Cal defeated Chico State 35-10 (read more). In the PMC North, Oregon evened up with Washington State in a 15-7 victory. And in the PMC South, UC Santa Barbara postponed its game against UC San Diego, while Arizona State banked its second win of the season over Arizona, 40-5 (read more).

Pacific Mountain Conference Standings
Central Wash. 4 0 0 270 17 253 4 20
Washington St 3 2 0 168 70 98 2 14
Oregon 3 2 0 150 109 41 2 14
Oregon State 1 2 0 31 123 -92 1 5
Washington 0 5 0 7 307 -300 0 0
Arizona State 2 0 0 74 23 51 2 10
UC San Diego 1 0 0 41 5 36 1 5
UCLA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
UCSB 0 1 0 18 34 -16 0 0
Arizona 0 2 0 10 81 -71 0 0
UC Berkeley 1 0 0 35 10 25 1 5
Stanford 1 0 0 14 12 2 0 4
UC Davis 0 1 0 12 14 -2 1 1
Chico State 0 1 0 10 35 -25 0 0