Chico State men’s rugby club fall short in D1AA national championship


Chico State men’s rugby team celebrating beating Cal State Long Beach on April 21. Photo credit: Ricardo Tovar

The Wildcats knew that facing defending champion Dartmouth College was not going to be easy and were ready to fight for the national title.

“I’ve played in big rugby games before and how you approach championship games can make or break a team,” eight-man Matt Mulholland said.

Both teams came undefeated through their conference play and were ready to demonstrate why they had made it this far.

The adrenaline in the air seems to overwhelm Chico State as it allowed Dartmouth to score 29 points in the first 24 minutes of the game. The Wildcats snapped out of their slow start and kept Dartmouth scoreless for the next 29 minutes.

“We had a bad first 20 minutes but after that, the boys stood up and brought a physicality to the game,” Mulholland said.

Dartmouth at minute 53 broke through the Wildcats defense once more to extend their lead 36-0. It didn’t end there as two minutes later they were at the try zone once again with a score of 43-0.

Chico State refused to give up and 71 minutes into the game Chance Horvath scored the first try for the Wildcats. The final score was 43-5 and the team stands No. 2 in the nation, the highest rank ever achieved in club history.

Regardless of the outcome, the club moves forward into the next season hungrier than ever to end up in the national championships once again.

Lucero Del Rayo-Nava can be reached at [email protected] or @del_rayo98 on Twitter.