NOTRE DAME RECAP: CATS RETAIN CUP IN RAINY WIN
#13 Arizona 47
Notre Dame 10
Captain Cesar Davila and the Wildcats retain the Parseghian Cup for the fourth straight year.
March 13- Two storied college programs got together this weekend as the 2016 Parseghian Cup between Notre Dame and Arizona took place at Steuber Rugby Stadium at Stanford University. While the Rugby was the focus for 80 minutes, the teams assembled for a great cause, as the match and preceding banquet served as a fundraiser for the Ara Paseghian Medical Research Foundation.
Arizona took a two-game winning streak in to the contest on Saturday and picked up where they left off, as a beautiful set piece move from a scrum put Wing Ben Joseph '18 in to the try zone in just the second minute before a kick from Flyhalf Kyle Rogers '17 set up Joseph's fellow Wing Dante Weeks '18 for a try. The quick lead was key, as Notre Dame responded with attacking time in Arizona's 22, touching down in the 20th minute to make it 12-7. It was then that the Wildcats' set piece began to take over the match. A strong scrum from the Wildcats five meters out led to a penalty try, an exciting moment for the young and talented group of Forwards. Head Coach Sean Duffy explained the excitement: "We set a goal this week of a pushover or penalty try in the scrum, and in the 24th minute these guys achieved that goal" said Coach Duffy. Arizona continued to apply pressure on the Fighting Irish with their attack, and this pressure paid off in the 28th minute as Rogers spotted a gap and touched down from 15 meters out, giving the Wildcats a 26-7 lead that would become a 26-10 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Arizona scrum continued to thrive, with penalties leading to attacking opportunities that were taken advantage of by the backline. Dante Weeks served as a major recipient of these efforts 54 minutes in, scoring his second of the game and soon following that up with an outstanding final try five minutes later. "That was a special play from a special player" said Duffy "he has great feet and his game is rounding out this year as he's taken the next step in his growth." Week's 60- meter back breaking try sealed a hat trick, and the fate of the Fighting Irish, as a JJ Fanucci try in the 75th minute set up by Rogers was the final touches on the win.
Arizona's win is their third in a row, and fourth straight in the Parseghian Cup series, with the weekend raising just over $30,000 to help fight Niemann Pick Type C disease. The Wildcats head in to Spring Break this coming week and now prepare for their final two matches of the regular seasion before a possible invitation to the D1A playoffs. Arizona's next matchup will take place April 2nd as they travel to Oregon State.
Tries: Weeks (3), Joseph, Rogers, Fanucci, Penalty Try
Conversions: Rogers- 3/4, Wilson- 2/2