Win over Stanford gives women’s rugby team new confidence (full gallery)

In a game against their rival, the Chico State women’s rugby team won its biggest game of the season when they beat Stanford University 36-17 at home on Feb. 13.

The win improves the Wildcats’ record to 1-3 and moves them into third place in the Pacific Mountain West division. In previous meetings between the clubs, the Wildcats could not get the win. But this match-up was different as the ‘Cats came away with a much needed win.

The Wildcats were led by sophomore Darby McFall who scored three tries, and for her efforts earned the player of the week award. The defense also had a big hand in the win because of its success in containing Stanford’s potent offense.

“I’m honored, I think that I shouldn’t have necessarily won it, it’s a team effort,” Darby McFall said. “Rugby is one of those sports where I’m not able to do it without my teammates being there protecting and helping me out on the field. I was lucky and I ended up scoring the tries. But it was really a team effort.”

Darby was not the only one scoring as she had help from sophomore centre Stefani Bergerhouse who scored twice. Senior wing Kayla Vasquez also scored and team captain Shanan McFall had three conversions.

“It was very satisfying, after four years,” said senior Selena Miranda. “Everyone thinks we’re the underdogs and they thought they were going to run us over and they didn’t. We fought back, fought hard and we won.”

The win is a big confidence boost for the team as they had failed to win the three games leading up to the clash with Stanford.

“It was a very satisfying win,” Shanan McFall said. “Having not won any games up until this point and winning this game against Stanford was a major mood shift. The attitude of the team has changed, we’re a lot more confident, more passionate and a lot more excited for the rest of the season.”

Aside from earning their first win, Darby McFall believes the win also gives the team a new mentality and approach to the game.

“It breaks us out of our losing streak and proves to ourselves that we’re good enough to compete with the high level teams,” Darby McFall said. “We definitely have it in our brains that we can compete with the high level teams.”

Although the team has a new outlook on the season, they still have a couple games remaining and must carry the momentum to get the wins.

“We’re going to try to carry the momentum into the next couple of games we have. I think it’s nice that we have a win under our belt we have to be humble about it,” Darby McFall said. “We know that we’re going to have to work really hard to beat Cal and it’s going to be a tough game against Davis.”

Carlos Islas can be reached at [email protected] or @cIslasReports on Twitter.