Women’s Rugby

Late Bobcat try results in tie on senior day

By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Staff Writer

After losing a quick lead against SUNY Stony Brook, Quinnipiac came back to tie the score at 11-11 with a try by sophomore Christina DeJesus (Purchase, N.Y.) with a little more than two minutes left in the game on Sunday.  This tie, coming on the first senior day in program history, gives the Bobcats a record of 3-4-1 heading into their final two games of the regular season.

“I was thinking of Coach telling me in practice ‘If you’re close enough, just touch it down.’   I thought, ‘You know what, I am close enough,’ so I thought I’d go for it,” DeJesus said of her game tying try.  “I was only in for a couple of minutes and I made a difference in the score and the outcome of the game.”

Early in the first half, junior Krystin Orrico (Cranford, N.J.) scored her first of two penalty kicks on the afternoon.  Despite the Bobcats’ immediate offensive pressure, the Seawolves still managed to fight back.  Stony Brook’s Kathy Tang scored two penalty kicks in the game, and also handed off the ball to Katherine Foran, who made her way to the in-goal area.  The three scores proved to be enough to hold off the Bobcats for a good portion of the game.

While the second half was scoreless until DeJesus’s try, pressure from both teams offensively was present, often times coming within a few yards of the in-goal line without success.

“Punch after punch, we were right at that line, but we just couldn’t get it in,” said senior Marie Pescatore (North Reading, Mass.).  “To finally put that in was just a huge relief for us.”

Despite the try lifting the weight off of the Bobcats, a tie just was not what they were after.

“It’s disheartening when it’s a tie because you want the W,” said head coach Becky Carlson.  “You want there to be something definitive that comes out of it, but unfortunately that’s not the way the brackets work.”

Going forward, the team has some time to recuperate before playing its final two games of the season.  In that time, the Bobcats hope to restore the on-field leadership as a number of captains did not participate in Sunday’s game.

“As far as our health goes, we’re working through a lot of things.  I had four captains sitting on the bench today, and that’s a lot of my leadership that’s taken away,” Carlson said. “We’re going to prepare in filling those holes, and the leaders that don’t have the ‘Cs’ on their jerseys are going to have to step up in preparation.”

The Bobcats next travel to take on Eastern Illinois for their third matchup of the season on Sunday, Nov. 6.


Bobcats Fall to Vassar, 38-5

By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Staff Writer
After winning its first home game in program history, 23-7 against Marist Oct. 2, the women’s rugby team lost to the Vassar Brewers on Sunday.  Despite holding opponents to an average of six points a game the past two games, the Bobcats gave up six tries in their 38-5 defeat.  The loss brings the Bobcats to 2-3, while the Brewers break even at 2-2.

In the first half, Vassar saw the in-goal area twice, senior O’Mara Taylor and junior Nicole Guerrero getting the tries for the Brewers.

The Bobcats’ only try came at the end of the first half on a risky play.  Rather than taking a penalty kick deep in Brewer territory, the Bobcats opted to punt the ball out of bounds and won the subsequent line-out.  With some offensive pressure, senior Alysha Andrews (Leola, Pa.) drove the ball in for the Bobcats’ lone score.  The try gave the Bobcats some momentum going into the half with a close score of 12-5.

Unfortunately for Quinnipiac, the energy fell short as the second half began, and Vassar’s presence on the field became increasingly dominant.  Guerrero got her second try of the afternoon, sophomore Margaret Kwateng scored two tries of her own, and freshman Emma Redden walked away with one.  Taylor converted four times in six opportunities, giving her twelve conversions on the season.

“We came out slow. We weren’t winning the rucks,” said head coach Becky Carlson.  “Certainly the energy wasn’t there.”

Despite the fact that the Bobcats didn’t get the win, there were still some valuable lessons to be learned as, for the first time ever, the team faces an opponent for the second time in a season when the Eastern Illinois Panthers come to Hamden.

“They have a lot of speed and some good athletes. We’re certainly going to be working on defense,” said Carlson.   “Obviously from this game we learned a lot that we need to practice rucking.”

The first time the Bobcats faced the Panthers, they were shut out 24-0.  Given the noticeable lull in energy against the Brewers, the Bobcats have more to work on than defensive technique for the rematch.  Energy and motivation will be keys as the season progresses.

“It’s just one of those things.  You can’t flip a switch; either you have it or you don’t that day,” said Carlson.  “It’s tough to motivate a team that’s down, but they’ve got to do it themselves.  I can’t do it for them.”

The Oct. 15 contest between the Bobcats and Panthers will make for the second of three times they face-off this season.


Bobcats Defeat Marist in Inaugural Home Opener 23-7

By Matt Eisenberg, QBSN Staff Writer

Bobcat head coach Becky Carlson knew the importance of the first-ever home game for Quinnipiac’s women’s rugby team. Stephanie Hasher (Bayport, N.Y.) did what she could to help show the fans what the team is all about.

Hasher had two tries, Jacqueline Lilly (Ventura, Calif.) and Allison Gnys (Cumberland, R.I.) each had a try, and Krystin Orrico (Cranford, N.J.) recorded a penalty kick to lead the Bobcats to a 23-7 victory over Marist Sunday at Alumni Field.

“It feels fantastic,” Carlson said. “I know the girls were relatively nervous before the game, but I think that this kind of proves that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

The Bobcats (2-2, 2-1 MetNY) were coming off a 15-5 win over SUNY-New Paltz on Sept. 25, their first win in program history. Playing at home was just as special.

“We’ve been working so hard. This was our time to show everybody what we’ve been working on,” said Hasher, a senior outside center. “We wanted to prove to everybody that we could do it and we were a team.”

Quinnipiac played Eastern Illinois Sept. 18 in the first-ever Division I women’s rugby game, but the first home game means a lot to Hasher.

“This is as just as big as that because we’re playing on our home turf,” she said.

Carlson said she was proud that her team, playing in its inaugural season, was able to compete with an experienced team like Marist (1-2, 1-2).“These girls have only been playing for six months and they were playing a team that’s relatively veteran,” Carlson said. “I’m very, very proud of the way they pulled it together.”

Hasher earned a try at the end of the first half after the Bobcats won a scrum and ran to the left side of the field for a 13-0 lead. She gave Quinnipiac an 18-0 lead early in the second half when she dove past the goal-line moments after Lilly was stopped by Marist.

“Hasher has been instrumental in our wheelhouse department, where she’s the one who’s expected to take the ball to the outside and she’s done well,” Carlson said.

Lilly scored midway through the first half down the right side for a 5-0 lead, and Orrico nailed a penalty kick for three more points. Gnys eluded two tackles and crossed the plane with 19:16 left in the second half.

The Bobcats shut out the Red Foxes for the first half, thanks to key defense by Hasher.

“I think, more so than the scoring, I think, her defensive play, in terms of her tackle, saved us from some big runs on the other side,” Carlson said of Hasher.

Marist scored its only try from Heather Carr, and Kelley Sullivan made the ensuing conversion.

The Bobcats play their second-ever home game when they host Vassar on Saturday at noon.



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