Aztecs remain unbeaten, run over UC Santa Barbara

D1A Rugby: Aztecs remain unbeaten, run over UC Santa Barbara
Photo Credit: Connie Hatfield

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Saint Mary’s isn’t the only undefeated team in the California Conference. The same day the top-ranked Gaels dominated No. 19 Cal Poly, San Diego State improved its California record to 2-0 by traveling to Santa Barbara and besting the Gauchos, 53-21.

A converted try by Aztec flanker Kevin McGlone initiated the scoring in the third minute before UC Santa Barbara fly half Cameron Gerlach slotted his first of two first half penalty kicks. The match quickly turned in an overwhelming favor for the visitors when Jake Zinda went off for a hat trick over a 20-minute spurt. Now leading 22-6, San Diego State forwards Jake Jorstad and Kurtis Schmidt dotted down before the opening half came to a close to give their side a commanding 34-6 lead at the break.

UC Santa Barbara produced its first try to start the second half through Gerlach, but it was soon dismissed by a fourth Zinda score. The Gauchos went back to Gerlach’s boot for three more points in the 50th minute, and the dynamic first receiver converted his own try 10 minutes later to impressively account for all 21 of UC Santa Barbara’s points.

Gerlach’s efforts, however, were be in a losing effort. McGlone added a second try and full back Ari Flink scored his third try of the season in the closing minutes to stamp the Aztec’s 53-21 win.

The 32-point victory comes a week after San Diego State earned a nonconference win over Arizona that resulted in the Aztecs shooting up to No. 11 in the Canterbury D1A Rugby Top 20. The momentum from the recent wins will be more than necessary as they prepare for this weekend’s game at No. 1-ranked Saint Mary’s College.

UC Santa Barbara remains at home for its next California Conference fixture – a March 11 date with No. 19 Cal Poly.