PALO ALTO, Calif. – Penn State came out firing on all cylinders and playing impeccable defense against hometown favorite, Stanford University, on Saturday in the USA Rugby Women’s Division I College Championships at Steuber Rugby Stadium.
Penn State held Stanford scoreless until the final three minutes of the match and was able to stop Stanford’s typically strong offense from nearly every angle.
Not only did the Penn State Lady Ruggers disrupt Stanford’s plan of attack, but they stole momentum early with textbook hands down the line to Lisa Henneman, who touched one down in the first 13 minutes. Sadie Anderson converted and PSU never looked back.
Player of the match Deven Owsiany scored two tries on the day, one just before half to help clinch Penn State’s only consecutive Championship.
“We are familiar with the way Stanford plays and how dangerous they can be in open space,” Penn State’s Coach Peter Steinberg said. “We have been working on this high pressure defense for two years now and I was really happy with how we executed it today. Both teams played very good rugby, but we were just able to stop them from getting their ball out wide.”
Penn State has now played Stanford six consecutive years for the DI Women’s Championships, winning three times. In all, Penn State has secured six titles to date, and although this rivalry has become a staple at the National Championships, Stanford’s head coach recognizes that this may be a turning of the tide.
“Penn State could very well be unbeatable for the next 15 years,” Stanford’s Jonathan Griffin said. “They are coached by the best defensive coach in the country. When we were able to make line breaks we executed well, unfortunately that was for about only 10 minutes of the match. Penn State beat us in the contact contest.”
Stanford’s one try in the 77th minute at came at the hands of Frances Wehrein, who was able to capitalize off a breakaway by Jess Watkins and touch one down after a phase of play near the try line.
To watch the archived video of the match, go here.
USA Rugby National College Championships Women’s Division I Results
Saturday, May 1, 2010 – Championships
Penn State 24, Stanford 7 (halftime 12-0)
PSU Tries: Lisa Henneman, Deven Owsiany (2), Rachael Muir
Conversions: Anderson (2)
Stanford Tries: Frances Wehrwein
Conversion: Jamie Lawrence