Saint Mary’s vs. Air Force Match Preview | By: Christian Portillo
MORAGA, CALIF. - After a successful January that saw the Gaels go undefeated in four home matches, Saint Mary’s will begin play in February by traveling to the Air Force Academy in Colorado to play the #15 Air Force Zoomies in a D1A non-conference match. The match will take place on Saturday, February 4th, at 1:00 P.M. at the USAFA Men’s Rugby pitch.
In their first match of the spring season, the Air Force side came back from behind against Arizona State to defeat the Sun Devils 36-34 this past Saturday and are looking to keep the momentum going against Saint Mary’s. However, #3 Saint Mary’s is coming into Colorado scorching hot after winning all four January matches by an average margin of victory of 81 points.
Last year, the #8 Zoomies’ first playoff match against #13 Cal Poly was cancelled due to a snowstorm that caused the Denver airport to cancel several hundred flights. It was initially ruled that because of their higher ranking, the Zoomies would advance to face Saint Mary’s. However, this ruling was overturned on appeal and the two sides made up for the cancelled match at Saint Mary’s own Pat Vincent field, where the Air Force won handily 43-17. The Zoomies did not get much time to rest or study for the Gaels, who were well rested since they had not played since their regular season finale against Cal Poly, because the Quarterfinals were the next morning, and this showed in the final score. Saint Mary’s won 77-17 to advance to the Semifinals against Utah, which they also won 81-32.