After hosting the University of Sydney on Wednesday and attracting a crowd to Warren Field for their only home game of the preseason, UCSD Rugby was back on the road at Ocean Beach to play Point Loma University. The Tritons showed up with a thin squad but battled hard, ultimately going down by the slimmest of margins to PLMU after four quarters of 20 minutes.
The day started off badly for the Tritons who lost three players after barely 10 minutes of play. UCSD would not let this drag them down however and continued to battle hard during the first quarter, which ended on a score of one try to two in favor of PLNU. The second quarter was as shaky as the first, but was highlighted by some nice runs from rookies George McMahon and Eric Golant as well as a beautiful 50 meter solo try by Pierre Karpov. UCSD leveled the score at the end of the second quarter and picked up the intensity for the following 40 minutes.
Everything got together for the final 40 minutes as UCSD started exploiting what PLNU was giving them with more efficiency and played together as a team. The defense made stops, despite allowing PLNU to score on some inattention errors. On offense, the progress made since the beginning of the preseason was visible and led to scores from Damon and Noah Lee to close out the game, on a beautiful run that saw the rookie get past half the PLNU defense to score the try. At the end of the day, UCSD showed up with intensity and determination to battle their rivals from San Diego but ultimately fell by one try to PLNU.
The two players of the game were Lewis Langi for the forwards and Max Pregoni for the backs. Lewis was one of the most active forwards for the Tritons, tackling and rucking on seemingly every play. He got out of the scrums quickly and put pressure on the opposing scrum-half and fly-half. Max got into the game in the second half and got his first meaningful minutes on the wing. He was credited with a few nice tackles and provided speed on the edge for an increasingly tired Triton team.
UCSD is back on the field next weekend at the San Diego City Championship where they will face City Rivals PLNU, San Diego State University, and University of San Diego at the little Q field.