The Santa Monica Women clinched the first place spot in SoCal and officially punched their ticket to Nationals this past weekend. It was a physical match against Belmont, who brought everything they had against Santa Monica, but the Dolphins came up victorious 28-22.
At kickoff, Santa Monica came out aggressively and was able to put the first points on the board when Alex Walker ran the ball into the try zone. Jaclyn Bercovici started her perfect game and kicking clinic with a conversion and the ‘Phins were up 7-0. Belmont came back fast and furious though, using their size and momentum to their advantage and evening the scoreboard with a try of their own to bring the score to 7-7. Santa Monica took a few blows to their starting line within this time as well, with head and ankle injuries to two of their players. However, they were still able to capitalize on their swift play as Lucy Tin and Whitney Vance both touched down tries before the 30th minute, with Bercovici again topping them off with her kicks (21-7). A high tackle from Belmont immediately after resulted in a yellow card and injury to yet another ‘Phin, pausing the game for emergency services. Upon resuming the match, Santa Monica was unable to capitalize on the extra man and the half ended 21-7.
The second half was a slugfest with Santa Monica spending far too much time in their half. Belmont struck first in this half, but was unable to hit their conversion (21-12). Tin answered, powering her way through the Belmont defense and spinning her way out of several tackles. Her try and Bercovici’s kick put Santa Monica up 28-12. Belmont came back with a vengeance and pounded their way through the Santa Monica defensive line to score twice more, but they were unable to convert their kicks. The whistle blew with a final score of 28-22.
Santa Monica will represent SoCal at National playoffs in San Francisco May 30-31.