Despite trailing late, Santa Clara snatches improbable victory
THE SANTA CLARA
January 22, 2014
An energetic crowd helped keep morale high for the Santa Clara men’s rugby team on Friday. Despite local rival Stanford University striking first, the Santa Clara University Touring Side came back from a 19-3 deficit to win 22-19 at the end of the two halves.
The Santa Clara men’s rugby team welcomed Bay Area neighbor Stanford to Bellomy Field in a non-league match underneath the lights on Friday. The first few minutes of the match established the energy of the game, with Stanford scoring and then adding on a conversion to go up 7-0 almost right away.
In spite of the early score, Santa Clara was far from routed. An active Bronco offense forced the Cardinals to go on the defensive, which they did well for the first half of the game, rendering several scoring attempts by the Broncos ineffective.
Stanford held the Broncos to just one penalty goal, scored by senior J.J. Holmgren midway through the half. However, the first half ended with Stanford on top, 14-3.
Halftime brought a chance for the SCUTS to reenergize and adjust their play. Although Stanford scored again early in the half to push their lead to 19-3, Santa Clara began to fight back.
Off an attack set up from a lineout, sophomore Conor Rounds was able to dash from midfield into the try zone for Santa Clara, and Holmgren converted it to cut Stanford’s lead to 19-10.
With just a little less than a quarter of the game left, sophomore Matt Fitzgerald scored to pull within four points, putting Santa Clara within one try of tying the game.
After 10 minutes of back and forth, Santa Clara pressed one last time and sent freshman Miguel Chapa racing into the try zone to put his team up 20-19.
Holmgren solidified the lead with a conversion, and the Broncos led 22-19.
Although Stanford had one more chance to tie the game, the SCUTS held strong and blocked the drop goal to clinch the spectacular win.
Stanford’s B-side defeated the Broncos’ B-side 38-0.
It was a good mix of Santa Clara students, parents and even some faculty that came out to support the SCUTS.
After two exhibition wins in November, Friday’s win improved the squad to 3-0 on the season.
Regular season games start the third week of February and their next game is this Saturday at home against the University of Arizona.
Contact Alli Kleppe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.