Sunday, April 6, 2008

USD Wins Season Opener

On Saturday the USD Women traveled 120 miles up Interstate 29 to take on local rivals the SDSU Jackrabbits. The SDSU women were forced to move fields due to water on their regular pitch and the game was played on what could be best described as pasture land. All players struggled with the ankle deep grass and the mud underneath and this slowed the game considerably. USD started well with the backrow of Melissa Dillon, Mallory Framstad and Miranda Bakley all contributing to the team dominating both possession and territory. Unfortunately the Coyotes were unable to turn possession into points and it wasn’t until the last play of the half that Darla Brandt put USD ahead.

Halftime score USD 5 SDSU 0.

Early in the second half USD lost Melissa Dillon to a knee injury and Cassie Garner moved to flanker. The second half was much more competitive as the SDSU women were able to make several runs deep into the USD half. Going into the game the Head Coach Bryn Chivers had concerns about how well the USD scrum would perform with four rookies in the tight five. All the concerns went away as they were able to not only hold their own but push the SDSU pack back a couple of times. With ten minutes to play USD found themselves with a scrum ten yards from their own line and the rookies in the pack stepped up again to win clean ball for the backs. Instead of kicking for touch the backs decided to run the ball and inside center Staci Vander Berg went outside her opposite number and outpaced the defense to go ninety yards for the score. To their credit the SDSU women didn’t give up and were rewarded with a try on the last play of the game to make the final score USD 10 SDSU 5.

This was a very good result for the Coyotes as SDSU had beaten two teams by large scores the previous week. Next week the team travels back up to Brookings to play the very tough Wayne State Women’s team and a second game against SDSU.