Gaels begin New Year with shutout win over Arizona State

D1A Rugby: Gaels begin New Year with shutout win over Arizona State
Photo Credit: Mike Geib

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Saint Mary’s appeared to be in midseason form during its 96-0 drumming of visiting Arizona State. The Sun Devils used the backend of its winter break to train in Moraga, Calif. with the Gaels. The combined sessions, however, did little to prepare Arizona State for a well-organized Saint Mary’s unit.

Tries by seniors Jack Carso and Kevin O’Connor and junior Vili Helu helped build a 26-0 lead for the hosts 25 minutes into the fixture. The Gaels would strengthen its lead to 45-0 at halftime by adding tries from Tommy Wallace, Payton Telea and Mike McCarthy.

Saint Mary’s, which already contested a half dozen 15s matches ahead of its game against Arizona State, continued to live inside the opposition’s half and capitalize on nearly every Sun Devil mistake. All-American center Dylan Audsley opened the second period with a long score and was followed by fellow All-Americans Helu and Holden Yungert.

Telea, a freshman from nearby San Francisco, continued his strong shift into the second half by scoring twice more to give the prop a hat trick.

Both Arizona State and Saint Mary’s next match signal the start of its respective conference season. The Gaels open California Conference play by welcoming UC Santa Barbara to their campus Saturday, Jan. 14. Meanwhile, the Sun Devils have two weeks before kicking off PAC Rugby with a home game against Canterbury’s 12th-ranked UCLA Saturday, Jan. 21.