Cal Faces a Tough Davis Team in Muddy Conditions

Cal v. UC Davis - Jan. 23, 2016
Cal scrum half, Tyana Cullen readies the scrum. Photo credit: Laura Lorenz

The weekends’ muddy match was a tough one for the young Cal team against the UC Davis Aggies. The match ended with a score of 12-80, with the Aggies dominating in the first league match of the season.

There was consistent rain throughout the match, played at Davis’ Russell IM Fields, leading to sloppy pitch conditions. Though the weather was not ideal, both teams were able to keep knock on’s to a minimum even with the wet pitch and mud. Later penalties came with Davis’ offsides on their aggressive defense, which opened an opportunity for both Cal tries scored in the game.

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Cal seasoned veterans in the pack: (L to R) Ceara Lafferty, Miranda Luarca, and Abby Vogel. Photo credit: Laura Lorenz

With seasoned vets Ceara Lafferty, Miranda Luarca, and Abby Vogel in the front pack, Cal looked strong in all of their scrums, winning all of their own put-ins and nearly winning some of Davis’. All things remaining equal, Cal will definitely have a strong forwards game this year, especially with the addition of a few outstanding rookies, including Cathy Cai. Cai at the number 8 position, contributed some outstanding defense with several devastating level 4 tackles in this game that got some groans from the Aggie supporters.

8 man Cathy Cai tackles a UC Davis player
8 man Cathy Cai tackles a UC Davis player. Photo credit: Laura Lorenz

Cal has some ironing out to do in the back line after some key players from last year are out this season. This year’s rookies have some leadership with wings, Valerie Lavenburg and Claire Quinata, both in their second year with Cal, and freshman Tyana Cullen at scrum half, who has played rugby in high school. As Coach Mari Wallace looks forward to a developing season she commented, “Unavailable veterans have opened up the opportunity for new leaders and rookies to step into critical/key roles within the team this season. The young team is settling into their positions, with the goal of learning the game of rugby match by match.”

Rookie Brooke Gemmell at Center breaking a tackle from a UC Davis player. Photo credit: Laura Lorenz
Rookie Brooke Gemmell at Center breaking a tackle from a UC Davis player. Photo credit: Laura Lorenz

Try scorers for Cal were Ceara Lafferty (5), Abby Vogel (5), and Greer Sullivan (2).

Greer Sullivan converts the try. Photo Credit: Laura Lorenz
Greer Sullivan converts the try. Photo Credit: Laura Lorenz

Cal takes on Chico State at Witter Field at 11am in their first home match of the season on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. See the Facebook event here. Chico also lost their match last week, falling 38-17 to Stanford.

The team is also hosting a Prospective Player event concurrent with the Chico match on Jan. 30th. Do you know any high school girls who are interested in learning about playing rugby and being a student at Cal?  Find out more here!