Amazons celebrating NorCal trophy. /// Photo: Lee Michalek
It’s finally official: Sacramento is NorCal’s DI champion. The Amazons advanced to the title match after a 26-7 play-in victory over Danville. That tune-up was valuable, and Sacramento entered the final against Pleasanton (which had received a bye to the championship for completing all of its league games) in post-season mode. The Amazons dominated Saturday’s bout, defeating the Cavaliers 48-12 for the trophy.
“Playing Danville and Pleasanton these past two weekends is just what we needed,” Sacramento coach David Tausinga reported. “Both teams gave us the competition we expected, and our ladies stepped it up. They’re starting to bond, and we’re happy to see the ladies run their phases, set plays, and the unselfishness with the ball. That’s what we coaches love to see: teamwork.”
When angling for possession, Sacramento looked toward players like flanker Jaida Kafovalu, who is a consistent work horse, doing a lot of the dirty work and gaining meters with piercing carries. The Amazons did well to move the ball and sent seven different players across for tries, including Gabriellani Finau, who dotted down twice. Finau is another hard runner who needs little room to build up momentum for a defense-cracking run. Her tries came off of a set play at the attacking 22 meter and from a weak-side tear off a ruck. Finau was also very influential on defense.
The team was also happy to have Eti Haungatau back from injury. Her punishing style of play upped Sacramento’s physicality, and she celebrated her return by scooping up a loose ball from a lineout and barreling in for a try. Salote Tausinga, Alysha McMoore, Ana Polaulu, Mele Tausinga and Maryjane Pasioles also scored tries, while Mele Tausinga (3) and Alejandra Rodriguez (2) added conversions.
“We still have a lot to work on,” Tausinga confessed. “We had a very good ref this past weekend, Jim Crenshaw. He gave us a lot of things we need to work on, including discipline. But all in all, the coaches and the ladies have been working very hard, staying focused and preparing for nationals.”
Sacramento will be joined by NorCal’s Danville, Pleasanton and Plate champion Land Park (stay tuned for the first-year program’s story) at the high school club championship in Ellensburg, Wash., May 21-22.