National Small College Rugby Organization LLC: Latest News: Occidental and California Maritime Advance to NSCRO PacWest Regional Championship

Oxy 2013 Pac Cup Champ
Occidental College - 2013 Pacific Cup Champion. Photo by Jeremy Castro
Wednesday, March 27
Occidental and California Maritime Advance to NSCRO PacWest Regional Championship

Reported written by Marc Ferguson

March 23-24 - Vallejo, Ca.

The first weekend of spring brought with it sunny skies and warm weather to Vallejo, Ca, home of CSU Maritime Academy the host for the inaugural playing of NSCRO Pacific Coast Cup Qualifier. Competing for the cup were host Cal Maritime champion of the Nor Cal Collegiate Rugby Conference, the University of Puget Sound champion of the Pacific Northwest Conference, Pepperdine University runner-up in the Pacific Mountain West Conference and Occidental College the champion of the Pacific Mountain West Conference.

The Saturday morning game matched Pepperdine vs. Cal Maritime. Maritime came out strong and dominated the game early with tries scored 10 minutes into the game by #12 Brandon Teepen and #8 Lonnie Shankling. Both tries were converted by #15 Will Fitzpatrick. Midway through the first half, Cal Maritime penalties’ provided Pepperdine with 6 points by way of two successful kicks by Pepperdine #10 Takutu Suzuki. Scoring in the first half was rounded out with 3 more tries by Maritime #8 Lonnie Shankling and a try by #1 Larez Pinder. CMA made several replacements before the end of the half and into the second half. Scoring in the second half was limited to a try and penalty kick by #10 Kevin Raff. Final score: Cal Maritime 46, Pepperdine 6.

The afternoon match between Occidental and Puget Sound started out with steady forward play featuring hard rucking and rolling mauls by Oxy. Occidental got on the board first on the legs of shifty #15 Joseph Maloney. The try was converted by #10 Barnaby Audsley, who put on a kicking clinic during the rest of the game with 4 conversions and 3 penalty kicks. Several of the kicks were long and from the severe angle of the touch line. Maloney scored four tries in the game, most on masterful runs through midfield traffic. Audsley put Puget Sound on the defense throughout the game with masterful kicks to touch keeping Puget Sound deep on their own end of the pitch and creating scoring opportunities for Oxy. Occidental scoring was rounded out by 2 tries rammed in off rucks by #3 Oscar Flores. Puget Sound #9 Cole Mcilvaine booted a penalty try to give his side their only score in the first half. Down 24 – 3 at half, Puget Sound came out strong at the beginning of the second half with hard fought tries scored by #2 Murphy Franz and #8 Roman Vern. Puget Sound #9 Cole Mcilvaine finished the scoring with a final penalty kick. Final score: Occidental 39, Puget Sound 20.

The consolation match on Sunday pitted Puget Sound against Pepperdine. Pepperdine arrived at the tournament on Saturday with only 17 players and found themselves unable to field a full side for the Sunday match and forfeited the game. Puget Sound loaned them a few players and the game was contested as a friendly. Scoring tries for Pepperdine were #12 Matt Vandewoude (2), #5 Major Ellis, #15 Achilles Kontostathis, #13 Matt Lopez, #4 Jare Sexton and #10 Takutu Suzuki. Takutu Suzuki successfully converted 4 of the tries. Scoring tries for Puget Sound were #10 Cole Mcilvanie (2), #11 Isaac Thrupp and #8 Nick Butterfield. Cole Mcilvanie converted two tries and penalty kick. Final Score: Pepperdine 43, Puget Sound 27.

Sunday’s final saw action between Cal Maritime and Occidental. Occidental came out strong early behind bruising forward play and scored midway through the half when #1 Leo Haroon punched the ball over for try. First half scoring ended with seconds to play on a push over try on a loose ruck by # 14 Jacob Sertich. The second half saw dominating defensive play by Occidental. Presented with several opportunities, Cal Maritime was just not able to capitalize and fell further behind. Tries in the second half were scored by #8 Sean Sarean, #12 A.C Zepponi, #14 Jacob Maloney. #10 Barnaby Audsley converted 1 try and added a penalty kick. Cal Maritime scored on tries by #8 Lonnie Shankling and Travis Quesenberry. Final Score: Occidental 25, Cal Maritime 10.

Both teams now advance to the PacWest Regional Championships in Glendale, CO on April 6. Cal Maritime Academy will face the University of Denver and Occidental takes on Benedictine College. The winner of this championship will advance to the NSCRO National Championship in Glendale, CO on April 27-28.