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STORRS, Conn. – Sophomore Natalie Kosko (Sebastian, Fla.) led Quinnipiac to their fourth straight victory of the season on Saturday with four tries as the women's rugby team defeated UConn, 49-0, at Depot Field. The Bobcats improve to 7-2 overall and 3-2 in Northeast Conference action.
The win marks Quinnipiac's first shutout of the season and their eighth shutout in the last two years. For the year, the Bobcats have outscored their opposition, 340-128.
"It was a great effort today," said head coach Becky Carlson. "UConn posted threats in the middle of the field and we shut it down early. We wanted to put points on the board, but more importantly on the defensive end we were striving for the shutout. We saw great things from our backline and Shannon Durkin was without question our player of the game as a driving force up the middle for support and possession."
Joining Kosko in the scoring column for the Bobcats was sophomore Devon Vieira (Kent, Wash.) who finished with two tries. Freshmen Hailey Wyatt (Breckenridge, Colo.), Christie Albers (Castle Rock, Colo.), and Tayler Schussler (Westminster, Md.) also chipped in with a try for the Bobcats. Senior Allison Gnys (Cumberland, R.I.) added four points off of conversions, while Elena Orlando (Winters, Calif.) helped with two assists. Freshman Madison Gegeckas (Downingtown, Pa.) and Schussler were also credited with an assist.
In the first meeting between the two programs, it was all Quinnipiac from the start. In the third minute of regulation, Wyatt put the Bobcats on the board with a try after receiving a pass from Tayler Schussler for a 5-0 lead. The Huskies tried to bounce back making their way into Bobcat territory, but a steal by senior Shannon Durkin (Oakland, Calif.) resulted in a 50-yard run for Kosko for her first five points of the game. The run gave Quinnipiac a 10-0 advantage. Kosko went on to close out the half with her second try of the game off a pass from Orlando. Quinnipiac led UConn, 15-0, at the half.
As the second stanza got under way, Albers wasted very little time as she connected on a play with Gegeckas for a quick five points to start the second half. Gnys would successfully make the conversion kick for an additional two points for a 22-0 lead. On the return, it was Vieira's turn to get into the action as she touched the end zone to add to Quinnipiac's lead. Kosko, Schussler, and Vieira completed the scoring summary for Bobcats to solidify a 49-0 win on the road at UConn. It was the first meeting between the two schools.
The Bobcats return to the pitch for senior day on Saturday, Oct. 26. Quinnipiac will meet the Huskies of Northeastern with the opening kick-off projected for 12 p.m. Prior to the start of the match, Quinnipiac Athletics will honor five of the women's rugby seniors for their hard work and dedication to the program.
The women's rugby team will also continue to promote the Austin Hill Project. Austin is an amazing 14-year-old from Colorado Springs who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. Austin is currently a member of the Colorado Springs Tiger Rugby team, but has been unable to participate. The Bobcats have proudly partnered with Quinnipiac's newest 2013 addition of the School of Medicine and also the School of Engineering, where Quinnipiac doctors, professors, engineers and students will work alongside the women's rugby program and athletics in this campaign to develop a chest protector for Austin so he may be able to play sports again.
Each member of the women's rugby team will wear a purple T-shirt before each home game to honor Austin and support the fight against Cystic Fibrosis. In addition, the game officials for the game will be outfitted in "I Ref For Austin" gear to show their support. Each donation and purchase of a purple "I Play for Austin" tee will go directly to the development of this chest protector. T-Shirts will be sold at each home game and are $15.
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