GAELS END WILDCATS' FINAL FOUR RUN
#1 Saint Mary's 43
#14 Arizona 7
Dante Weeks scored the Wildcats' lone try in their loss in the national semifinal.
Apr 30- Arizona traveled to Moraga, California to continue their playoff run last week, taking on #1 Saint Mary's in a national semifinal.
The Gaels, the California Conference champions, got out of the gate fast, jumping to a 7-0 lead on some well worked phase play before the Wildcats settled down. Able to apply great pressure in both their linespeed and in the breakdowns, Arizona was able to stifle the Gaels, earning valuable possession and working their way in to the hosts' 22. Unfortunately a lack of execution in that green zone left the Wildcats shut out, a quick try by Saint Mary's off of turnover ball made it 12-0 before a final attack of the half by Arizona. The Wildcats were unable to convert a Kyle Rogers linebreak while the Gaels ended the half with a try in the corner to make it 17-0 going in to the break.
While halftime adjustments and some valuable play from reserves like Karl Steffany gave the Wildcats flashes of success, the Gaels continued their onslaught, with a late Dante Weeks try and Anton Grigoriou conversion all that the visitors could muster in the 43-7 defeat.
Despite the loss, Head Coach Sean Duffy praised the team for a great season, reaching the final four for the first time in program history, and taking the next step after their 2015 quarterfinal. "We know what we need to do, and we are excited for the future where we can get in to a match like this and take the next step."
Arizona now moves on to their final tournament of the year, the 2017 Collegiate Rugby Championships in Philadelphia on NBC.
Conversions: Grigoriou- 1/1
Penalties: Thayer- 0/1