This Saturday, January 28th, marked the beginning of the Tritons’ season for the year. After a turning out to support the women’s rugby team’s victory against UCLA, the boys readied up to play hard in their first season game. In the first half of the game, the team held together a solid defense and refused to allow LMU to put the ball down in their side. The teams were pitted against each other and the back and forth could only be broken through bomb kicks overhead to the other side of the field. The Tritons made a few mistakes in their own half that allowed LMU to take kicks to the goal and end the first half with no tries scored but UC San Diego trailing behind by a few points.
In the second half of the game, some substitutes were rolled around and the Tritons came back onto the field to take the lead by scoring. After a few back and forths and a penalty against UC San Diego in their own 40 meters, LMU patted their lead with another kick through the posts. The Tritons reevaluated and hit hard against the LMU defense. Strong lines and passes by the UC San Diego backline and forward charges, the Tritons drove LMU into their own territory. After a penalty and a wide ball, flyhalf A.T. sent center Michael Andrews through the defense numerous times for him to score for the Tritons and lower the difference between LMU and UC San Diego. A.T. kicked the conversion and the Tritons were ready to score another.
The Tritons received the kick and engaged in another back and forth with LMU. LMU snuck through a close call penalty with the referee and with the confusion as to whether a penalty happened, LMU was able to use it to their advantage, making their first try against the Tritons. The boys shook off the bad call and accepted that they needed to make up the difference to catch up. A.T., Michael, Sean Martinez, Judah Word, and George McMahon bulldozed through the defense, to set up another score for winger Omar Kaprielian to sneak through the defense to put down another try to bring back the competition for the Tritons. A.T. converted the kick, helping the Tritons catch up to a close game.
The last ten minutes of the game, the Tritons were down by 3 but after a few mistakes, LMU kicked through the goal, extending their lead. The boys were taken advantage of through another penalty and LMU slipped through, scoring again to ensure their lead. The Tritons still did not give up and combatted through the defense to set up for another score in the last few seconds of the game. After a serve with A.T. and George, center Ryan Callahan kicked the ball over the heads of LMU and Sean Martinez chased the ball down, dove for it, and scored it for the final play of the game. Ryan then converted the ball from a far edge bringing up the score to being down by a try. The Tritons didn’t give in and won’t falter when they Pepperdine at their home for their next season game.