After three straight away games and two bye weeks, the Santa Monica Women hosted the Las Vegas Slots this past Saturday. The Dolphins defended their home pitch successfully, handily beating the Slots 77-24.
The Dolphins looked a bit rusty at the start, being pushed back by the larger Vegas team and allowing the Slots to score first (0-7). However, Santa Monica quickly rebounded as they took advantage of a penalty quickly and demonstrated offloading skills between Lucy Tin, Cassie Tong, and Jacki Bercovici with Tin ultimately touching it down. Bercovici’s conversion was good to tie the game 7-7.
The next 20 minutes were a quick scoring clinic by the ‘Phins. Within 10 minutes, SM scored 5 tries every two minutes. Whitney Vance, Jacque Davisson, April Rodriguez each scored a try while wing Alex Walker scored her first two of the game. Bercovici notched 3 of the 5 conversions and the Dolphins were up 38-7 when they let their guard down and allowed Vegas to pound in another try (38-14). Santa Monica responded with their own try by Vance off a switch with Captain and center Nina Crane, but again allowed Vegas to score and close the half with a score of 45-19.
The second half started quickly with a try in the first minute by Hannah Han (50-19). Vegas answered by once again punching the ball up the field and past the try line (50-24). Santa Monica’s frustration showed with multiple penalties and a yellow card in the second half, but the experience and fitness of the ‘Phins ultimately carried them through the latter half of the game. Walker scored her third try to complete her hat trick (55-24). SM forwards also notched points with Rodriguez taking advantage of a run by Rebecca Hearn (60-24), followed by a birthday try from Margaret Lee on a 60 meter run down the pitch (conversion by Han, 67-24). The Phins scored two more tries from wings Han and Hearn with a final score of 77-24.
Santa Monica remains undefeated and hosts their final regular season league match versus Tempe this Saturday. They sit comfortably in first right now and will likely be hosting the Southern CA playoffs on May 9.