Quinnipiac Dominates on Senior Day, Staying Undefeated at Home

Photo Credit: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Kyle Levasseur


Home is where the heart is. As for the Quinnipiac women’s rugby team (7-2), it’s also where they have yet to lose a game. Quinnipiac was firing on all cylinders Saturday afternoon, wrapping up it’s regular season with a dominant 74-5 win over American International College (2-5).

 

Since moving to the new Quinnipiac Rugby Field, the Bobcats are a perfect 5-0. Senior Flora Poole, who finished the day with five assists, sees a clear difference between playing in Hamden compared to on the road.

 

“This is our home. This is our ground,” Poole said. “We defend it. We don’t let anybody come in here and dictate how the game is played. Home is home, that’s our ground and we defend it to the last minute.”

(Photo: Flora Poole being honored for senior day. Poole finished with five assists)

 

Another reason Quinnipiac does so well at home, according to head coach Becky Carlson, is the width of the field. After practicing on a field about two-thirds regulation size just a season ago, Quinnipiac now has a regulation size field that allows the Bobcats to effectively use their backline.

 

“They’re certainly just grateful to see their fans out here, to have stands, to have the width,” Carlson said. “I think once I sit back after this season is over and take a look at the research, you’ll see what the difference is, and the way that we’ve scored our tries, and the manner that we’ve scored our tries and we really have benefited from having the width.”

 

Before the game, Quinnipiac honored it’s eight players that are graduating: Poole, Jessica Maricich, Maggie Wesolowski, Karee Helgerson, Rebecca Haight, Lily Weldon, Tayler Schussler, and Ilona Maher. The seven seniors and one graduate student (Schussler) are one of the most accomplished groups of Bobcats in history, winning two national championships so far.

(Photo: Tayler Schussler being honored for senior day. Schussler finished with two tries)

The reigning MA Sorensen National Player of the Year, Maher, finished Saturday with a season-high four tries and one assist. While her on the field performance was excellent, the pregame senior day ceremony was also special.

“I mean it was great to have our parents come out on the field because they’ve been supporting us these past years,” Maher said. “They’ve been doing everything. They’ve been listening to your phone calls, they’ve been coming to games, they’ve been bringing food. So to have them be represented as well is amazing.”

 

While Quinnipiac tallied 74 points on the board, Maher still sees room for improvement as the Bobcats are about to enter the NIRA playoffs.

 

“It was good,” Maher said regarding the offense. “I definitely would have liked to have passed it off more and to get it open, but once you see that open field it’s hard to not want to just take it yourself, and look around for something else.”

 

Carlson shared the same message to her team after the game.

 

“I said it to them after,” Carlson said. “I realize that we put a lot of points on the board, and I’m proud of them for doing that, but it’s more important in the game of rugby to be a team that is sustainable in their attack plan if you care more about how the try is scored than who scored it. So that’s a big thing for us, and up against a team as we get deeper into the playoffs, that’s not a game plan that’s going to work.”

 

Quinnipiac will look to bring that mindset into the NIRA Quarterfinals on November 11. The Bobcats opponent has yet to be decided, but with Carlson and company having home field advantage as the higher seed, it might not make a difference who they face.

 

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