NOTRE DAME PREVIEW: ARIZONA WELCOMES THE IRISH TO TUCSON
#15 Arizona vs Notre Dame
Saturday March 11
Steven Branham and the Wildcat Forwards look to protect the Parseghian Cup this weekend.
March 10- Arizona returns to Sitton Field for their final regular season home match tomorrow as they welcome Notre Dame for the fifth annual Parseghian Cup. The Wildcats (6-2) have named the side for the charity match, with all proceeds from the weekend going towards the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation.
The Wildcats are led by the usual leadership combo of Captain Kyle Rogers and Vice Captain Sean Coleman, with a mostly unchanged team from the one that took down Air Force last weekend in Las Vegas.
In the front row, Steven Branham, Jake Hedge, and Kurt Vecchio get the call while the usual lock pairing of Coleman and Bronson Teles join them in the tight five. The one change comes in the back row, where Flanker Ben Scoular moves in to the starting lineup after an impactful game last week in a reserve role. Scoular joins Zach Heisterkamp and Number Eight Tyler Hansen to round out the Arizona Forwards.
In the backline. Rogers pairs with his brother Matt in the halfbacks while Luke Thayer and Ben Joseph make up the center pairing. Ryan Hudson returns to the starting lineup where he joins Jack San Pietro and Dante Weeks in the back three.
On the bench, a number of players are ready if called upon, with Zach Biggs, Karl Steffany and Cody Hunt covering in the front row. Sam Peri and Bryce Mantell are ready if called upon, while Shane Dempsey, Lucas Bartzis, and Kalanie Aholelei provide cover in the backs.
Arizona Second XV also returns home this week, taking on Notre Dame Second XV at Sitton Field.
For the Wildcats, this is a key weekend as they seek to find consistency in attack and defense going in to the stretch run of the season. "Notre Dame is well coached and disciplined, so we know they will be ready" said Head Coach Sean Duffy "we are hoping to play a more complete game and even more importantly, raise funds for a great cause." Last year's match went the way of the Wildcats, with Arizona winning 47-10 and nearly $25,000 being raised for the foundation. Tickets for the match are $10 at the gate, with $5 tickets for Arizona students with a Catcard or children 16 and under. 100% of proceeds go towards the foundation.
For more information on the foundation, including donation links, head to www.parseghian.org.
Notre Dame Lineup (click for bio)
2. Jake Hedge
3. Kurt Vecchio
4. Sean Coleman
6. Ben Scoular
8. Tyler Hansen
9. Matt Rogers
10. Kyle Rogers (C)
11. Dante Weeks
12. Luke Thayer
13. Ben Joseph
14. Ryan Hudson
15. Jack San Pietro
16. Zach Biggs
17. Karl Steffany
18. Cody Hunt
19. Sam Peri
20. Bryce Mantell
21. Shane Dempsey
22. Lucas Bartzis
23. Kalanie Aholelei