By James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday March 27, 2003
The men's rugby team will be seeking a little more than bragging rights in its annual tilt with Arizona State, with a win clinching a share of the conference title.
If the So Cal Rugby Conference championship were shared, the Wildcats (9-4, 6-1) would still lose out to Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. The top two teams earn berths in the national tournament, meaning Arizona is on the outside looking in.
"We're in trouble," said head coach Dave Sitton.
Arizona beat UCSB 19-12 after losing to Cal Poly 41-3, when the Mustangs were blowing out teams week after week, the Gauchos beat Cal Poly. The tiebreaker is the point differential between the three possible champions, so the red hot Wildcats, who won their last five matches in dominant fashion, would be out of the playoffs.
The Sun Devils have lost 13 matches in a row to the Wildcats; last year in Tempe, the score was 59-15. And the UA leads the all time series 37-21-1. The lone tie came when Sitton was on the team in 1975, the first meeting between the rivals.
"An ASU-UA game is always a little more exciting," Sitton said. "I know they really want to beat us."
Saturday also marks the UA's Alumni Day, where over 200 former players will be on hand to celebrate the program's 35th anniversary. Saturday will also have a full slate of matches, as Arizona's Union team, its "B" Union team and its JV will all be in action as well. The match will be played Saturday at 1:15 p.m. at Estevan Park, 1000 N. Main Ave.
Lacrosse looks to rebound Saturday against Huskies
After dropping two games in a row, the men's lacrosse team will try to return to its winning ways tonight when it hosts Washington.
Following its win at then-No. 4 BYU, the No. 5 Laxcats (7-3, 3-1) fell to No. 7 Colorado in Utah and then to No. 2 UCSB, 9-7, in Santa Barbara in the rain. Tonight at 7 p.m. Arizona hosts Washington, (2-6, 1-4) and on Friday at 7 p.m., the Wildcats will play No. 20 Cal (7-4, 2-3).
Against the Gauchos, attackman Jeems Lochridge had five points including a goal and four assists. Lochridge is tied for fourth in the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League in points with 45. Attackman Tom Ghaney had two goals at UCSB.
This year has been a disappointing season for the Huskies, who were ranked No. 23 in the preseason poll and were the 2002 Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League champions.
The Huskies are led by attackman Eli Sonkin, who has 20 points this year and 16 goals, and midfielder Eric Wietz who has 26 points and 17 goals. The Golden Bears are led by attackman Greg Guy, who has 32 points and 22 goals and attackman Matt Smith, who has 35 points.
The Friday match up will be a homecoming for Cal assistant coach and two-time WCLL all-star Taylor Gill, who played for the Laxcats.