Gaels Begin Playoffs on Saturday Against San Diego State | By: Christian Portillo
MORAGA, CALIF. - It’s that time of year again! After months of hard work in practice, a stellar regular season, and a wonderful Spring Tour to Ireland and Scotland, the Saint Mary’s Gaels find themselves in the playoffs once again. Just like last year, Saint Mary’s was given a bye during the first round of the playoffs since they were undefeated in the California Conference and ended the season as D1A Rugby’s #1 seed. Their upcoming opponent was decided in the opening round as San Diego State ousted Utah 41-31. Saint Mary’s will host #9 San Diego State for the Quarterfinals on Saturday at Saint Mary’s Stadium at 1:00 P.M.
In the regular season, the two sides met on March 4th and Saint Mary’s came out on top, 57-5. At the time of this match, these two top-ten teams were both undefeated in the California Conference and were both trying to keep it that way. Although the Aztecs gave the Gaels the toughest battle in the conference, it was not enough to surpass them. The Gaels would score a plethora of points in the second half while keeping San Diego State at bay mostly due to the play of Payton Telea, Mike McCarthy, Holden Yungert, and Dylan Audsley.
Although it rained that day, there were plenty of Aztecs fans in the stands cheering when they scored their only try of the match with under six minutes until halftime. Now that it is the playoffs, Gael Rugby fans need to come out in full force to amp up the intensity and support for the Gaels.
The winner of this Quarterfinal match will advance to face the winner of the #14 Arizona and #16 Baylor match in the Semifinals on Saturday, April 29th.