SEVENS TAKES SILVER IN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Lou MacLaughlin and the Wildcats put in a strong showing in Berkeley to close out their Sevens preseason. (Photo credit: Alex Ho)
November 6- Arizona concluded their preseason this weekend in California, hoping to defend their 2017 league title in the PAC Rugby Sevens Championship on PAC-12 Networks.
Arizona, the #1 overall seed in the tourney, opened the weekend with Oregon State, with the underdog Beavers putting pressure on the Wildcats early until Robert Figley touched down and converted his own try to kick things off. Joe Sargeant, fresh off a seven-try weekend, scored twice in the opener before Riley Kerr finished things off in the 26-5 victory.
In game two, Arizona took on Arizona State with the in-state rivals fresh off their two year postseason ban and back on the field. Captain Matt Rogers continued the trend of good starts, scoring twice in the first eight minutes to go along with a Garrett Walker double in the 38-0 shutout.
In the final match of pool play, Arizona took on Utah with the Freshmen again featuring in the action. Matthew Start's first career try in the fourth minute to go along with two more from Sargeant spurred the 31-12 victory and clinched the pool for the Wildcats.
In the Cup Semifinal, Arizona met UCLA seeking to avenge last June's CRC defeat at the hands of the Bruins. Matt Rogers did his part to make this happen with another first minute try, and a Zach Heisterkamp score to end the half put the Wildcats up 12-7 at half. A tense last few minutes were helped by a Kyle Fulton score, sending the Wildcats to the Cup Final for the second straight year to match up with Cal.
In the Cup Final, the hometown Bears took advantage of early mistakes running out to a 21-0 lead against the Wildcats that they would not relinquish. Despite a beautiful Kyle Fulton try, Arizona finished the day second best and will look to May to rematch with Cal in Sevens.
Head Coach Sean Duffy was pleased with the overall performance both in the weekend and in the Fall and looked ahead to next steps. "Cal took advantage of our mistakes but as we've shown this Fall and last year, we can run with anyone. We will be better for this past weekend in both Fifteens and Sevens" said Duffy. Arizona Sevens ends the Fall with a strong bit of work, finishing fourth, third, and second in three major events all while rotating players to build depth for their Sevens championship season in May.
Arizona now closes the preseason with their Red-Blue Game before giving the players time off to focus on final exams. The Wildcats regular season schedule will be announced shortly.
Game 1 vs Oregon State
Tries: Sargeant (2), Figley, Kerr
Conv: Figley- 3/4
Game 2 vs Arizona State
Tries: M. Rogers (2), Walker (2), Scoular, Fulton
Conv: M. Rogers- 3/4, Walker- 1/2
Game 3 vs Utah
Tries: Sargeant (2), Start, Lumsden, Kerr
Conv: Figley- 3/5
Cup Semifinal vs UCLA
Tries: M. Rogers, Heisterkamp, Fulton
Conv: M. Rogers- 1/3
Cup Final vs Cal
Conv: M. Rogers- 0/1
PAC Sevens Roster
-Rogers, Matt (C)
-San Pietro, Jack
-Scoular, Ben (VC)