Quinnipiac Beats Army in Women’s Rugby Season Opener

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September 2, 2016

Quinnipiac Beats Army in Women’s Rugby Season OpenerCrNHpyCWgAAfgTuPhoto: Army West Point Athletics

Doug Coil

Last night’s match between Army West Point Women’s Rugby and Quinnipiac was a rematch of last season’s National Collegiate Women’s Varsity Rugby Association Championship. The organization’s name has since changed to the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association.

The match featured two elite women’s rugby teams with their opening match of the season. At halftime the Black Knights had a 19-17 lead, but Quinnipiac errupted for three tries in the second half to win the match 32-19.

With the win, Quinnipiac are undefeated and lead the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association, while Army falls to 0-1 to open the season.

It only took three minutes for Ilona Maher to score the first try for Quinnipiac after an offload from Caitria Sands. Ten minutes later, Mackenzie Garner evened the score at 5 all with a try for Army.

Quinnipiac regained the lead 10-5 a few minutes later with another try. The scoring seesaw continued as Army took a 12-10 lead after a Rebecca Stipp try and Bayleigh Gable conversion. This was followed by a Maggie Myles offload to Ilona Maher for her second try of the day and had Quinnipiac regaining the lead 17-12.

Just prior to halftime, Sydney Hawkins added a try for Army and Bayleigh Gable was again converted. At halftime the host Army West Point Women’s Rugby team had a narrow 19-17 lead over Quinnipiac.

Just like the beginning of the match, Quinnipiac scored a try to take the lead within the first two minutes of the second half. An Ilona Maher shuffle pass to Emily Roskopf, had her running up the left sideline for a try that put the Bobcats ahead 22-19.

Quinnipiac capped up their scoring with two additional second half tries. Flora Poole reeled in a pass from Tayler Schussler and then barreled through four Army defenders for a try.  The last try for Quinnipiac had Rebecca Haight taking a lateral pass from Mason Johnson and breaking down the left side of the pitch for her first try of the year, making the score 32-19. Neither team would score again the last seven minutes of the match.

Army West Point Women’s Rugby  vs. Quinnipiac
1. Taylor Jessop (Sophia Schwanebeck @73rd minute) 2. Sarah Meier (Reilly Kissinger @ 50th minute) 3. Hannah Whisnant (Olivia Capasso @ 50th minute) 4. Nicola Newton 5. Alyssa Peters-McKeethen 6. Sydney Dossett 7. Elexa Leach 8. Giovanna Ferguson-Lewis 9. Mackenzie Garner 10. Sydney Hawkins 12. Zye Crittington 13. Jill Bottarini 14. Rebecca Stipp 15. Kirsten Redmon (Savannah Murray @ 79th minute)

Information on Quinnipiac’s squad was not readily available. Head coach Becky Carlson did say that “We came away with the win, which is always nice when it’s your opener, but we also displayed elements of a team that was experiencing their opener. Working out the kinks and seeing a live ball after preseason is always an interesting transition, and in the first half we most certainly had to shake out a lot of those kinks. We needed to adjust to Army running a hard ball up the middle and allocating a lot of speed in their backs. We answered that the second half and really I think at the end around the last ten minutes, our fitness really shined through. I’m so proud of the team and the way they played. There is certainly room for improvement, and we’re looking forward to the next one.”

The Black Knights continue their NIRA play on Friday, September 9 when they host Dartmouth at Anderson Rugby Complex at 6pm.

Quinnipiac will travel to Springfield, Massachusetts on Friday, September 9to meet American International College at 6 p.m.

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