California swept Army, Navy and Notre Dame to win Pool D at the Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s Saturday at PPL Park. The Golden Bears face Texas at 10:56 a.m. ET Sunday in the championship quarterfinals.
"We wanted to focus on improving in every game throughout the day," said captain Seamus Kelly. "Whenever we were scored on, we came back quickly and answered, and I think that was one of the keys. We've got to recover and get ready to play tomorrow."
The Bears' quarterfinal opponent is to be respected. The Longhorns went 2-1 in Pool C, beating NC State and Oklahoma, losing only to Arizona.
The winner of Cal vs. Texas will face the winner of Wisconsin vs. Dartmouth in the semifinals at 2:28 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. The championship final is at 5:18 p.m. ET on NBC TV.
Dartmouth, which took the 2011 CRC 7s championship, was the winner of Pool B with its 3-0 record. Life University went 3-0 to win Pool A and Arizona took Pool C also with a 3-0 record.
Head coach Jack Clark said he thought his team "played really well at times and overall we had a solid day. Tom [Billups] and I were proud of the boys. It looks like Dartmouth, Life and our Pac-12's own Arizona are the class 7s teams in the field, with the rest of us chasing them."
Cal's pool play began Saturday with a 21-10 victory over Navy as Paul Bosco, Seamus Kelly and Danny Barrett scored tries for the Bears, all converted by Alex Aronson.
Following a six-hour interim, the Bears came out strong in their second match against Notre Dame. Cal scored five tries, with a pair from Jake Anderson and two conversions from Brad Harrington, and clamped down on defense to shut out the Irish, 29-0.
Cal went into its last match of the day against the Black Knights needing a victory to win its pool outright, and the Bears responded to the challenge with a five-try, 29-5 performance. Connor Ring, Harrington, Bosco, Ahmed Chehade, and Andrew Battaglia were the try-scorers, with conversions from Alex Aronson and Harrington.
It took determination to seal the deal in the second half, but the Bears' 17-0 halftime lead was punctuated by Chehade's impressive try after the horn. The fourth-year senior from San Mateo ran under the ball following Harrington's try and subsequent kickoff, seized possession in the air over three Army players and evaded scrambling defenders to score.
"My job is to catch the ball and Brad kicked a beautiful one," Chehade said. "It's an honor to play against our nation's military academies."
Matthew Higgins scored Army's lone try in the ninth minute. Chad Vessell's conversion was wide.
"Today everyone was on the same page," said Ring. "We started off every game well but Ahmed's try off the restart was a big moment. It gave us a second wind. Tomorrow, we have to narrow our focus down even more."
For more information on the CRC 7s, visit USASevensCRC.com.
The Scoring Timeline vs. Navy
01:00 Paul Bosco 5, Alex Aronson 2
03:00 Seamus Kelly 5, Alex Aronson 2
05:00 Navy (Seamus Siefring) 5
Halftime: California 14, Navy 5
10:00 Danny Barrett 5, Alex Aronson 2
12:00 Navy (Ronald Helms) 5
Final: California 21, Navy 10
The Team vs. Navy
1. Okusi, 2. Kelly ©, 3. Barrett, 4. Bosco, 5. Aronson, 6. Lombardo, 7. Battaglia
Replacements: Anderson, Chehade, Ring
The Scoring Timeline vs. Notre Dame
03:00 Danny Barrett 5, Brad Harrington 2
06:00 Brad Harrington 5
Halftime: California 12, Notre Dame 0
9:00 Jake Anderson 5, Brad Harrington 2
11:00 Jake Anderson 5
13:00 Connor Ring 5
Final: California 29, Notre Dame 0
The Team vs. Notre Dame
1. Kelly ©, 2. Harrington, 3. Barrett, 4. Ring, 5. Aronson, 6. Anderson, 7. Lombardo
Replacements: Battaglia, Bosco, Chehade, Coquillard
The Scoring Timeline vs. Army
03:00 Connor Ring 5, Alex Aronson
06:00 Brad Harrington 5
07:00 Ahmed Chehade 5
Halftime: California 17, Army 0
09:00 Army (Matthew Higgins) 5
12:00 Paul Bosco 5, Brad Harrington 2
13:00 Andrew Battaglia 5
Final: California 29, Army 5
The Team vs. Army
1. Kelly ©, 2. Harrington, 3. Chehade, 4. Ring, 5. Aronson, 6. Anderson, 7. Lombardo
Replacements: Battaglia, Bosco, Coquillard
Life 19, Penn State 17
Temple 12, Wisconsin 12
Life 33, Temple 7
Wisconsin 19, Penn State 15
Penn State 36, Temple 7
Life 36, Wisconsin 12
Dartmouth 31, Delaware 5
Florida 19, Maryland 7
Dartmouth 31, Maryland 7
Delaware 17, Florida 10
Delaware 38, Maryland 14
Dartmouth 28, Florida 0
Arizona 33, Oklahoma 12
Texas 17, NC State 14
Arizona 33, Texas 7
Oklahoma 21, NC State 10
Arizona 38, NC State 0
Texas 28, Oklahoma 19
Army 10, Notre Dame 5
California 21, Navy 10
Navy 34, Army 14
California 29, Notre Dame 0
Navy 19, Army 15
California 29, Army 5
(3 points for each win, 2 points for each tie, 1 point for each loss)
Penn State 5
NC State 3
(Match #) Sunday Matchups (Kickoff ET/PT)
(25) Life vs. Delaware (9:50/6:50 a.m.)
(26) Wisconsin vs. Dartmouth (10:12/7:12 a.m.)
(27) Arizona vs. Navy (10:34/7:34 a.m.)
(28) Texas vs. California (10:56/7:56 a.m.)
Semifinal: (33) W #25 vs. W #27 (2:03 p.m/ 11:03 a.m.)
Semifinal: (34) W #26 vs. W #28 (2:28 p.m./11:28 a.m.)
(29) Penn State vs. Maryland (11:58/8:58 a.m.)
(30) Temple vs. Florida (12:20 p.m./9:20 a.m.)
(31) Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame (12:42 p.m./9:42 a.m.)
(32) NC State vs. Army (1:04 p.m./10:04 a.m.)
Semifinal: (35) W #29 vs. W #31 (2:53 p.m./11:53 a.m.)
Semifinal: (36) W #30 vs. W #32 (3:18/12:18 p.m.)
(37) L #33 vs. L #34
(38) W #35 vs. W #36
(39) W #33 vs. W #34
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