WILDCATS DROP PAC OPENER TO BEARS IN BERKELEY
#2 Cal 39
#17 Arizona 12
Kyle Rogers, Shane Dempsey, and Matt Rogers will look to bounce back this coming weekend against Utah Valley.
Jan 23- #17 Arizona and #2 Cal got their PAC Conference season started on Saturday as the Wildcats looked to move to 2-0 on the year after last weekend's victory over Santa Clara.
The Wildcats used some stout defense early to hold the Bears scoreless in the first 20 minutes, with strong play by Tyler Hansen and Kyle Rogers over the ball turning away the Bears attack. Unfortunately for Arizona, penalties and some strong attacking play by the Bears led to an early try in the corner to make it 5-0 Cal. A second try after an Arizona turnover made it 12-0 Bears before the Wildcats began to respond. Despite trips in to Cal territory, the Wildcats were turned away and two more Cal tries made it 22-0 at half.
The Wildcats would not give up, however, and worked their way into Cal territory early in the second half, punctuated by a lineout move from Arizona that saw Prop Charlie Platt set up Hooker Zach Biggs for the try to make it 22-5. Arizona's defense created turnover ball but, unable to capitalize, the resulting pressure became too much for the Wildcats to handle, leading to two tries to make it 39-5. In the final 20 minutes, though, Arizona achieved success to build on, shutting out the Bears and scoring a well-worked mauling try that Scrumhalf Matt Rogers was the beneficiary of to make it 39-12 Bears.
The hard-fought loss was dissapointing for the Wildcats, who will look to bounce back next week against Utah Valley to close out January. "We feel we left points on the board but I'm happy with the fight we showed in a tough enviroment. Holding Cal scoreless in the first and final 20 is an item we'll build on. Our goal remains a national championship and this will help us come together to continue the march towards that goal."
The weekend was not a full loss for the program, as Arizona Second XV got a victory over Stanford on Friday 25-12. While the match was not a full PAC Conference match, the inclusion of both Stanford and USC as associate members provides additional rivalaries for players, fans, and alumni as the conference grows.
Arizona's first and second sides will return to action this weekend as they take on Utah Valley and USC, respectively.
Tries: Biggs, M. Rogers
Conversions: M. Rogers- 1/1, K. Rogers- 0/1