Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

Sac State Holds Off UC Santa Cruz to Make Pac West Final

irish rugby tours

Sac State Holds Off UC Santa Cruz to Make Pac West Final

Sac State players are all smiles after the win.

Sacramento State edged UC Santa Cruz 21-20 to advance to the Pacific Western Conference final on Sunday, and also book a spot in the ACR DIAA spring playoffs.

Sac State came into the game behind UC Santa Cruz in the league standings, having lost to both UCSC and Fresno State, while Santa Cruz had only lost to Fresno State.

In a very hard-hitting match. UCSC put the first two over in the first 13 minutes to take a 10-0 lead, with prop Iloilo Amataga and scrumhalf Martin Gutierrez doing the honors.

But Sac State responded with a try from lock and captain Miles Brown, with fullback Kellan Fisch converting. Flyhalf George Fountain got over with a pick-and-jam at 32 minutes, Fisch converted, and the score was 14-10 to Sacramento State at halftime. UCSC's Gutierrez was yellow-carded late in the half but the Banana Slugs managed to keep Sac State from scoring any further.

The Slugs got the second half scoring started just six minutes into the second period with fullback Kaden Loverky running it in. At 65 minutes Loversky added another. No conversions, and that would prove key as UCSC led, but only 20-14. The Hornets put Fountain over again in the 75th minute, and Fisch made the key conversion to put his side ahead by a point. The Slugs threw everything they had at the Hornets in the last five minutes, but the Hornets held tight to get the win.

Sac State will have a day of rest before facing a Fresno State on Sunday, April 3rd. Fresno State got a bye to the final after Chico State announced they couldn't make the trip for the semis. The last time Fresno met Sacramento was February 5, with the Bulldogs winning 66-14 behind six tries from their wings Nathan Eldridge and Joshua Jacobson.

Win or lose on Sunday, Sac State will join Fresno State, Western Washington, and University of San Diego in the Western Bracket of the DIAA spring playoffs, held in two weeks in Bellingham, Wash.