Women's Rugby Defeats Marist, 30-0, In Tri-State Conference Semifinals; Will Face Albany For Championship
HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University women's rugby team defeated Marist, 30-0, in a Tri-State Conference Semifinal match-up at Alumni Field in Hamden, Conn. With the win, Quinnipiac improves to 10-0 for the year. Marist drops to 5-4 for the year. Quinnipiac will face Albany, who defeated Rutgers, 29-22, in the Tri-State Conference Championship Game on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m.
Prior to the start of the game, Quinnipiac honored the 10 senior women's rugby players as part of Senior Day.
"To be able to say that we took a group of walk-ons and transformed them into the athletes that earned a trip to the championship is pretty amazing," head coach Becky Carlson said. "They've done an incredible job, they've done everything we've asked them to do. I couldn't ask for a better day than today."
Natalie Kosko (Sebastian, Fla.) had three tries to lead the Bobcats' attack, two of which came on 20-plus yard runs. She also tallied five tackles in the game. Nancy Dunn (Moscow, Pa.) had a try and an assist while Meghan Hanneman (Manchester, N.H.) scored and led the team with 10 tackles. Shannon Durkin (Oakland, Calif.) also scored for the Bobcats. Colleen Doherty (Ashburnham, Mass.) assisted on Kosko's second try while also finishing with eight tackles. Jackie Maclearie had eight tackles for the Bobcats as well as several long runs at crucial moments.
"Kosko is a gymnast, she's built like a tank," Carlson said. "We put her on the outside so she can make those runs and she does it. She's learned a lot about the game being here at Quinnipiac. She had a lot of raw skills to work with, but her points speak for themselves, she's a tremendous player."
Kosko scored the Bobcats' first two trys to stake the Bobcats to a 10-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. Three minutes into the game, the Bobcats moved the ball deep into the Red Foxes' defensive zone before Colleen Doherty fed Kosko from five yards out for Quinnipiac's first points. Kosko broke out moments later with a run of over 60 yards as she ran to the outside before taking off down the left sideline.
After Marist continued to pressure, Nancy Dunn intercepted a lateral in the Red Foxes zone, split two Marist defenders and took off for a 40-yard run to give Quinnipiac a 15-0 lead. A Bobcats' maul pushed Meghan Hanneman over the goal line to increase Quinnipiac's lead to 20-0. Quinnipiac capped the first-half scoring when Maria Pescatore stole the ball after a tackle and pitched it to Dunn. Dunn then fed Shannon Durkin who beat the Marist defense to give Quinnipiac a 25-0 lead heading into halftime.
In the second half, Marist threatened on their first possession when Kelley Sullivan broke-out a 50-yard run before being taken down. Inside the 25-yard line, Quinnipiac was able to hold the wall and keep Marist off the board.
A 20-yard run by Dunn brought Quinnipiac deep into the Marist zone. Kosko picked up a loose ball on the ground and ran through the Marist defense for her third run-over-twenty yards of the game to give the Bobcats a 30-0 lead.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 18 when it travels to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. for the Tri-State Conference Championship Game.