CAL Wins West Coast Collegiate Sevens

October 9, 2016

CAL Wins West Coast Collegiate Sevens


Photo: ABFlyer of Sam Cusano

Cal Athletics Release: Anton Malko, Oct. 8, 2016

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. – California opened its year by going 4-0 Saturday, beating Arizona State in the semifinal and Saint Mary’s in the final to win the Central Coast stop of the West Coast Collegiate 7s on Pennington Fields at Talley Sports Complex.

Captain Russell Webb was named Tournament MVP after the Golden Bears won their pool and then beat the Sun Devils, 33-5, and the Gaels, 38-5, to win the WCC7s. Webb led the Bears with five tries and 10 conversions (10-for-13), but it was a complete team effort by all 17 members of the travel squad to get the job done against solid competition on a hot, dry day.

Seven players, including four freshmen, made their collegiate 7s debuts for the Blue and Gold on Saturday. First-year players Sam Cusano, Ken Kurihara, Keanu Andrade and Christian Dyer got the nods to travel to the Bears’ first tournament of the year, while second-years Nic Mirhashem, Elliot Webb and Ben Casey recorded their first 7s appearances at Cal as the team handled UC Santa Barbara, 55-0, and Santa Clara, 36-5, in pool play.

“We came into the tournament with the goal of winning it. The debuts came with some great performances as well. Everyone on the trip contributed and it was really good to see,” said Webb, who also noted the crispness with which Cal played tended to fray with the rotation of replacements onto the pitch. “Ideally we don’t want our performance to drop when replacements come on, and I’m sure we’ll be focusing on that in training.”

Cusano, a freshmen who notched a hat trick in pool play against Santa Clara, termed his first day in Blue and Gold “a pretty awesome experience. Sticking to the pattern we installed in practice, coach said it would take care of itself when we get out there today, and it did.”

It was mission accomplished for Cal overall at the WCC7s, with playing time distributed to every player who made the trip and a good effort to bring back a tournament win to begin the completion calendar, both good benchmarks as the team seeks to build its depth and experience.

The Bears now return to campus for two weeks of preparation for the second event of the 7s slate at the Treasure Island stop for the WCC7s held October 22-23. The final event of the fall is the PAC Rugby Conference 7s, held in Tucson November 12-13 and hosted by the University of Arizona. Cal then transitions into 15-a-side play in January and continue through the national postseason before converting back to 7s for their final event of 2016-17 at the Collegiate Rugby Championship.

The Scoring Timeline vs. UC Santa Barbara

02:00 Ben Casey 5

04:00 Nic Mirhashem 5, Russell Webb 2

05:00  Russell Webb 5, 2

07:00 Ken Kurihara 5

Halftime Score: California 29, UC Santa Barbara 0

08:00 Elliot Webb 5, Jamie Howells 2

10:00 Aidan Flynn 5, Jamie Howells 2

12:00 Keanu Andrade 5, Elliot Webb 2

14:00 Jamie Howells 5

Final Score: California 55, UC Santa Barbara 0

The Team vs. UC Santa Barbara
1. Robles, 2. Mirhashem, 3. Casey, 4. R. Webb, 5. Howells, 6. Flynn, 7. Kurihara
Replacements: Andrade, Sweet

The Scoring Timeline vs. Santa Clara

03:00 Anthony Salaber 5, Patrick Barrientes 2

05:00 Zachary Tavenner 5

07:00 Anthony Salaber 5,  Patrick Barrientes 2

08:00 Sam Cusano 5

Halftime Score: California 24, Santa Clara 0

10:00 Santa Clara (Assad Braswell) 5

12:00 Sam Cusano 5, Elliot Webb 2

13:00 Sam Cusano 5

Final Score: California 36, Santa Clara 5

The Team vs. Santa Clara
1. Salaber, 2. Ternan, 3. Gaffney, 4. Tavenner, 5. Barrientes, 6. Dyer, 7. Cusano
Replacements: Casey, Kurihara, E. Webb

The Semifinal Scoring Timeline vs. Arizona State

02:00 Russell Webb 5

03:00 Anthony Salaber 5,  Russell Webb 2

05:00  Russell Webb 5, 2

07:00  Russell Webb 5, 2

Halftime Score: California 26, Arizona State 0

09:00 Sam Cusano 5, Patrick Barrientes 2

11:00 ASU (Colin Clancy) 5

Final Score: California 33, Arizona State 5

The Team vs. Arizona State
1. Robles, 2. Mirhashem, 3. Sweet, 4. R. Webb, 5. Barrientes, 6. Salaber, 7. Cusano
Replacements: Casey, Kurihara, E. Webb, Andrade, Flynn

The Final Scoring Timeline vs. Saint Mary’s

01:00 Thomas Robles 5, Russell Webb 2

03:00 Anthony Salaber 5, Russell Webb 2

04:00 Russell Webb 5

06:00 Patrick Barrientes 5

Halftime Score: California 24, Saint Mary’s 0

10:00 SMC (Dylan Audsley) 5

11:00 Thomas Robles 5, Russell Webb 2

13:00 Patrick Barrientes 5, Russell Webb 2

Final Score: California 38, Saint Mary’s 5

The Team vs. Saint Mary’s
1. Robles, 2. Mirhashem, 3. Salaber, 4. R. Webb, 5. Barrientes, 6. Flynn, 7. Cusano
Replacements: Howells, Tavenner

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