Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

UN Reno Subdues UC Santa Cruz

irish rugby tours

UN Reno Subdues UC Santa Cruz

UN Reno's off to a good start, downing UC Santa Cruz in a convincing win.

The women’s DII West Coast got off to a rocky start - a couple of game cancelations and forfeits, a program folded – so interest consolidated around the conference’s top teams. The first match of note occurred last Saturday between UC Santa Cruz - last year's conference runner-up - and perennial contender UN Reno, but the result was somewhat unexpected.

The Banana Slugs were coming off an 84-14 win over Santa Clara, and the Wolf Pack was initiating its season. But UN Reno dictated play and celebrated its home-opener with a 55-17 victory.

“One place where we truly shined was in our defense,” said UN Reno vet and Back of the Match Jackie Bordessa. “We were up against girls who had some size on us, but we stepped up, owned our tackles and rucks, and used a heavy-pressure defense to prevent them from passing in the backs.”

That oppressive defense revolved around the aggressive launch of flyhalf Danielle Schumacher. She was greatly aided by No. 8 Olivia Fulton, Woman of the Match Christie Patient at flanker, and centers Sara Parsons and Bordessa.

On the other side of the ball, UN Reno found a lot of line-piercing success in the backs, who accounted for five of the eight tries. Inside center Bordessa dotted down twice, while scrumhalf Karla Navarrete, wing Cecilia Tovar, and UCSC-nominated Woman of the Match Parsons also scored. Schumacher kicked six conversions and a penalty for 15 points.

But the try-scoring leader came out of the forwards: Fulton crossed the line three times. The loose forward was able to attack confidently around the base thanks to solid work from her tight five.

“We were challenged by the size difference and the tight scrums,” Bordessa said, “but our front row stood strong throughout, and our loose forwards immensely added to the quick pace of play, [which] never slowed from either team.”

Newcomer Samantha Koegel put in a particularly inspired performance, and the prop earned Rookie of the Match honors.

The victory marked a promising start for the Wolf Pack, which has the ideal mix experience on its roster of about 30.

“The team is truly half and half, with a large group of older girls who have been around for years together, and another group of rookies who have meshed perfectly in just this year.”

UN Reno will face Sacramento State, which has yet to play a game, on Saturday, and it will likely be the most competitive conference game of the weekend.

West Coast W L D PF PA PD BP PTS
UN Reno 1 0 0 55 17 38 1 5
UC Santa Cruz 1 1 0 101 69 32 1 5
Fresno State 1 0 0 28 0 28 1 5
Humboldt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
St. Mary's 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SF BATS 0 1 0 0 28 -28 0 0
Santa Clara 0 1 0 14 84 -70 0 0