Gaels to Travel to Berkeley to Face #4 Golden Bears | By: Christian Portillo
MORAGA, CALIF. - Almost two years ago, Saint Mary’s, the 2014 D1A National Championship winners, traveled 14 miles to face Cal, the 2014 Penn Mutual Varsity Cup runner-ups, at Witter Rugby Field in Berkeley in what turned out to be a 27-20 thriller win for the UC Berkeley Golden Bears. The Gaels were up 20-11 but gave up 16 unanswered points to lose in heartbreaking fashion. When it was the Gaels’ turn to host the Golden Bears at Saint Mary’s Stadium last year, Cal came away with a 27-14 win.
But all that is in the past. Although the Gaels return some players from that side, such as team captain Kevin O’Connor and Scholz Award nominees Dylan Audsley and Alec Barton, who no doubt have bitter memories of those matches, they are focused solely on the task at hand this upcoming Saturday. Saint Mary’s, although they suffered their first loss of the year at BYU, remain atop the standings of Canterbury’s D1A Top 20 rankings after having the week off while Cal Berkeley dropped a spot to #4 on the list although they absolutely dominated UCLA, USC, and Stanford by winning all three matches by an aggregate score of 299-14 in a span of five days.
#1 Saint Mary’s will play #4 Cal Berkeley at Witter Rugby Field in Berkeley this Saturday, March 25th, at 5:00 P.M. in a match that will be broadcast by the PAC-12 TV Network. This clash between two of the best collegiate rugby programs in the country will be one for the ages as they battle for Bay Area collegiate rugby supremacy.
Saint Mary’s hopes to have a lot of fans in the crowd at Berkeley to cheer and support the Gaels on in what is sure to be a feisty fight. To help make that happen, SMC Campus Recreation has reserved a bus that will take current SMC students only to Berkeley so that they can enjoy the city as well as the match for only $1. The “Afternoon in Berkeley” bus leaves the Saint Mary’s campus at 2:30 P.M. so be sure to arrive at 2:00 P.M. to ensure your spot and so that the bus does not leave without you. Students will have ample time to visit downtown Berkeley as well as UC Berkeley’s campus before and after the match, which is at 5:00 P.M. Just be sure to meet near the bus at 8:30 P.M. so that the bus can head back to Saint Mary’s at 9:00 P.M. The link to register is here: https://docs.google.com/a/stmarys-ca.edu/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfWtgl8CLN8ju6-koYFc_BRgywjKBqXh974PKGUsFHmGn68AA/viewform?c=0&w=1. To pay the $1, just bring $1 in cash to the Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center’s front desk anytime between 9:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday. There are limited spaces available, so make sure to register at the link above and pay the $1 to guarantee your spot today so that you can cheer Saint Mary’s on and spend the afternoon in Berkeley!