The San Diego Surfers figured if they tanked their first year in the WPL, they could always buy their way back into the league with the promise of plush California fields beneath pleasant sunshine.
As the fog loomed overhead Sunday morning before their home opener against the Minnesota Valkyries, and gophers poked their heads out of the rolling hills of Robb Field the Surfers realized they might need to try a different approach.
Outside center Emilie Bydwell put the first points on the board three minutes into the match with a try in the right corner following a stolen Minnesota lineout. The Beantown import scored five more times in what turned out to be an 81-7 San Diego victory.
The Surfer win was truly a team effort, with dominance from the pack in rucks and set pieces allowing plenty of room for the backs to spin it wide or find holes in the Valkyrie line. Both backs and forwards supported well, and many of the San Diego scores touched several hands before making it to the try zone.
Minnesota prop Jen Triemstra dove in a try after series of San Diego penalties to end the first half, but despite some threatening breakaways, the Valkyries were unable to score again.
The Valkyries side did feature some strong players, but they were only able to travel with fifteen and it didn’t seem like they were all in their usual positions. There were strong performances from hard running and hard hitting 8-Man Lauren Daily and fullback Tracy Call, who disrupted many would-be Surfer tries.
Bydwell – 6
Lear – 2
Fields – 2
Ogata – 1
Nocero – 1
Anderson – 1
Triemstra – 1
Hartos – 8
Berg – 1