CHARLESTON, Ill. – The Quinnipiac women's rugby team fell to Eastern Illinois, 66-3, on Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Field in Charleston, Ill. The loss drops Quinnipiac's record to 3-5-1 overall, while Eastern Illinois keeps its record unblemished, improving to 9-0 on the season.
"We expected a score like this in game one or two, but not in game nine," said head coach Becky Carlson. "From the very first scrum Quinnipiac was simply outmatched strength-wise. Fundamentally, we are comparable programs but pound-for-pound they just flat out beat us today."
Junior fullback Krystin Orrico (Cranford, N.J.) contributed to Quinnipiac's only points of the afternoon, kicking through a three-point penalty kick in the final minutes of the contest. The Bobcats' defensive effort was led by senior Jacqueline MacLearie (Tinton Falls, N.J.), who had a tough task containing one of the most potent offenses in the country.
"Eastern Illinois participates in an extremely physically demanding strength and conditioning program compared to Quinnipiac's and it absolutely showed today," said Carlson.
The Panthers were led by junior Lauren Doyle's five tries, as she contributed 31 points in the team's victory. Sophomore Cara Hahne and freshman Nia Williams each added two tries apiece for Eastern Illinois, while senior Narissa Ramirez and juniors Kayla Heal and Stefanie Mahan also ran in one try apiece in the game.
The Bobcats had difficulty all afternoon with their rucks, as they were unable to consistently set them, giving the edge to Eastern Illinois. Eastern Illinois also did well to make countless steals at the tackle which cost Quinnipiac key possessions throughout the game.
Eastern Illinois grabbed the early lead with a try in the first minute of play. Off a won scrum, the Panthers made a quick succession of passes before dishing a skip pass to Doyle who ran it in for five points. Heal added her lone score of the contest in the 18th minute of action before Doyle extended the lead to 17-0 with her second try of the contest in the 28th minute of action. Williams and Doyle each ran in an additional try before halftime to bring the score to 27-0 at the half.
The Panthers continued to pressure up front in the second half, as Doyle once again scored an early try in just the second minute of play. Mahan, Doyle, and Hahne each ran in a try three minutes separated from each other to bring the score to 49-0 with 25 minutes remaining in the game. Williams, Hahne and Ramirez each scored in the next 15 minutes before Orrico kicked through Quinnipiac's penalty kick with just under two minutes remaining in regulation.
Quinnipiac held a 15-to-11 advantage in line-outs, while the Panthers held a slight advantage in the scrums, 11-to-10. Overall, both squads committed 20 penalties.
The Bobcats return to action on Saturday, Nov. 12 when they travel to face West Chester at 11 a.m.
Contact: Ross Bennet; email@example.com