Maher and Roskopf Propel Quinnipiac to 36-27 Win Over Penn State


Kyle Levasseur

By: Kyle Levasseur

With just six minutes left on the clock, two crucial tries from Ilona Maher and Emily Roskopf decided the outcome in a 36-27 win for Quinnipiac women’s rugby (3-1, 2-1 NIRA) over Penn State (2-2, 1-0 BIG TEN).

The first half belonged to the Nittany Lions, with most of the game being played in their offensive zone, and four tries to show for. Yet, with two minutes left in the half, Maher broke into the endzone cutting Penn State’s lead to 20-10.

Maher, the reigning MA Sorensen National Player of the Year recipient, played in Saturday’s game with a special fan in the stands: Maryanne Sorensen.

“I’m just happy that she was able to see me play,” Maher said. “I won this award that’s named after her, but she’s never really seen me play, so all she can take is the word of other people that I’m a good rugby player so to have her here and to see maybe I do deserve the award, she can be happy that someone like myself won it in her honor.”

Maher’s day was just getting started. The senior recorded her second try with just six minutes left in the game, tying the score at 27-27.

The Bobcats took a 29-27 lead thanks to a successful conversion by Maggie Wesolowski.

Quinnipiac Head Coach, Becky Carlson, said she and Wesolowski had talked about these kind of situations just earlier in the week.

“When we practiced this whole week, (Wesolowski) was hitting them nonstop. And I said, ‘I want you to know that it’s possible that there could be times in the game where it comes down to a few points, and you’re going to feel your heart rate escalate when that has to happen, and you need to be able to deliver.’ And she did.”

Not satisfied with a two point lead, two-time All-American Emily Roskopf, found a whole in Penn State’s defense and sprinted to the try zone. With another successful conversion by Wesolowski, Quinnipiac’s lead extended to 36-27.

When asked about the last moments of the game, Carlson simply smiled and said, “When is Emily Roskopf not a hero?”

Rebecca Haight, who finished the game with two tries, spoke about Quinnipiac’s fight in the end of the game.

“We decided not to be complacent,” Haight said. “One try up against them wasn’t enough for us. We wanted to keep going more and more to prove a point that we’re really the better team and we didn’t want any question for that.”

Quinnipiac will face AIC next Saturday to start a three game road trip. The Bobcats have five regular season games left in their season, and their next home game is against Central Washington on October 21.



While there are plenty of scoring options for Quinnipiac, Ilona Maher and Emily Roskopf have proved time and time again to be the backbone of the Bobcat’s offense. While each has a different approach to finding the try zone, both are scoring threats that can come through in the clutch.

Carlson: “I think that it’s interesting how both of their games have evolved, because ‘Lo’ (Maher) is just go, go, go. She wants to pound it into the try zone. You saw her off that penalty. She wanted it. And then there’s Emily who’s a little bit more on the sneak attack. And they’re both completely priceless on their strengths.”

Despite their loss to Dartmouth, the Bobcats believe they are the best team in women’s rugby. Haight has the type of confidence Quinnipiac may need for it’s upcoming road trip.

Haight: “It’s good to prove to ourselves and to the rest of the rugby community that we’re really the best team in rugby right now.”