Written by the referee Larry Freitas
Finally a game in cold and wet conditions. As I left Aptos it was partly cloudy, but the skies were very gray to the south, and sure enough by Moss Landing it was raining. The field at CSUMB is available rain or shine, unlike some other venues (I won’t mention the schools, but jeez, grass does grow back). It rained a bit during the game, but by the end of the match the sun was shining, though it was in the mid-50’s with a breeze blowing in from the ocean nearby. No one player got their kit too muddy, and the grass wasn’t torn up much by play. I also have taken to wearing Adidas “turf” Mundial Team boots the last two games I’ve reffed. They worked fine on a slick pitch, but I had my Copa Mundials in my bag just in case I didn’t get traction. Regarding the cold, some players were smart enough to have long sleeve tight shirts underneath, but I have to wonder why some of these newfangled tight-wearing polyester rugby shirts aren’t made with long sleeves. Having half a dozen amongst a team set of jerseys might be worthwhile for colder days.
Sacramento State has one of the better women’s university sides, and within a few minutes they had the first of many tries scored, some from kickoffs by CSUMB, who are in their first year of a revitalized program. I was very impressed by the Hornet hooker who kicked conversions without a tee, the old school way, placing the ball upright on the grass. She made most of her attempts, some from a fair distance, and she’s all of 5’2”. Sacramento has an ability to throw the ball around on the pitch, keeping play alive and not going to ground. I’d certainly like to see more play like that and less of these set-up static rucks which remind me of rugby league. The Otters did managed an unconverted try some ten minutes from full time, taking advantage of a turnover and avoiding being shut out.
Driving back toward Santa Cruz I could see that the skies were cloudy up there, and sure enough, by Watsonville, it was raining.