YOUNG WILDCATS SHOW PROMISE AT CAL POLY
Jack McCrossin and the Sevens pool now turn their attention to making the roster for Treasure Island in two weeks. (Photo credits: Jack Megaw)
Oct 7- Arizona Sevens hit the road on Friday for the first of three trips to the Golden State as their Freshmen-Sophomore side kicked off the Fall at the West Coast Sevens.
The Wildcats got off to a strong start in their opener against Cal, with both squads playing a Freshmen-Sophomore side as they build depth for the year. A tight game was made even tighter after an 90-meter try from standout Brendon Paulsen, with fellow Freshman Will McCausland touching down soon after to give the Wildcats a 12-10 lead. Unfortunately it would be the Bears who would take a late lead, with a Lucas Agasse try not enough in the 22-19 loss. In match two of pool play against USC, Paulsen continued his strong form touching down early before Matthew Start's strong running tied it at halftime. In another tight game, the ball did not bounce the way of the Wildcats, falling 21-14.
With two games under their belt but their development the primary goal, Director of Rugby Sean Duffy pointed to the importance of these matches in the players' overall growth. "Results for us weren't ideal, but the growth was. We saw guys really step up, and we felt game three we could put it together." The third and final pool match would be that result, with tries from Ethan Russell, Agasse, and Jack McCrossin leading a 21-14 victory and advancing the Wildcats to their final match against Cal. Lined up against Cal's veterans, the young Wildcats showed great intent and growth, as Paulsen capped his strong Sevens debut with a try to end the first half and youngsters such as Maxime Cathala, Jayden Demmy, and McCausland giving fans a glimpse of the future. Despite the 15-5 loss, the Wildcats showed growth, the number one goal for their lone warm up tournament.
"For the first time as a Sevens program we were able to build the depth to field a competitive side made up of Freshmen and Sophomores, putting them up against other program's first sides in three matches and then giving fans of both us and Cal a peek at the future in that Frosh-Soph tight one to open the tournament. Matthew Start was fantastic as a stand-in captain and now we have two weeks to pick our best 12" commented Duffy. The next event for the Wildcats at the end of those two weeks is the second leg of the West Coast Sevens taking place on Treasure Island Oct 19-20, followed by the PAC Rugby Sevens Championship Nov 9-10 at Stanford University.
Game 1 vs Cal II
Tries: Paulsen, McCausland, Agasse
Conv: Agasse- 2/3
Game 2 vs USC
Tries: Paulsen, Start
Conv: Paulsen- 2/2
Game 3 vs Santa Clara
Tries: Russell, Agasse, McCrossin
Conv: Cathala- 3/3
Game 4 vs Cal
Conv: Agasse- 0/1
West Coast Sevens- San Luis Obispo Squad