The sun shone brightly over Treasure Island Saturday, where the Berkeley All Blues DII side faced off against the San Jose Seahawks in their third match of the season. At kick off temperatures were in 70s, and on both sides, the sweat was already flowing. An early penalty against San Jose and dominant play by both forwards and backs setup All Blues for the first try of the game by center Brittany Bruder off a switch from center Bulou Mataitoga. A successful conversion from fullback Stara Gipson put the early score at 7-0.
The Seahawks responded by pushing hard on a series of penalties that led to a try to tie the game 7-7. The Seahawks kept up their momentum with a breakaway by their 9, but she was stopped by a crunching tackle from Gipson, who would go on to make many more try-stopping cover tackles in the game.
Play continued with hard punches from both teams, but a turnover ball deep in the All Blues half led to a Seahawks try in the corner. Score 7-12. All Blues quickly retaliated with a try off a strong forward drive to tie the score. With the score tied, both teams fought hard to gain the lead before the end of the half. A held up Seahawks ball and dominant tackles by Mataitoga and All Blues props Daniela Bernstein and Kerrie Kubo, left the halftime score tied at 12-12.
The sun beat down on the spectators and on the field tensions heated up as both teams hoped to gain the momentum in the second half. Possession switched sides multiple times, but a breakaway by the Seahawks backs ended in a try under the posts. Score 12-19. San Jose continued their plan of punching up the middle of the field, but a forward pass gave possession to the All Blues. Good ball movement by the Berkeley backs brought the ball into the San Jose half and put the Seahawks under pressure. All Blues forwards kept up the pressure by dominating two scrums on the Seahawks 5 meter line, forcing a Seahawks kick, which was picked up by Bruder for a try. Score 17-19.
The All Blues maintained their energy by catching the kickoff and barreling once more deep into the Seahawks half. Berkeley and San Jose forwards battled it out in set play until All Blues made the decision to kick for points from the 22m line off a Seahawks' penalty. With all eyes on her, Gipson sent the ball through the posts bringing the score to 20-19.
Bolstered by the lead change, the All Blues kept the momentum for the remainder of the half. Both sides continued to play viciously, but a kick into the Seahawks try zone and a chase to touch down the ball, both by All Blues center Lisa Dombroski, erased any doubts of a Berkeley victory. The final whistle of the heated match saw the score at 25-19. Forward of the match went to lock Emily Peinert for consistent hard work , and back of the match went to Dombroski for coming in at half and immediately making an impact.
Catch the next All Blues home game on Treasure Island this Saturday, March 15 (kickoff 1pm) against the Sacramento Amazons!
By Mel Nacouzi