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Ithaca 49 Pts Better Than Denison

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Ithaca 49 Pts Better Than Denison

 
Hat tricks from Shannon Lipe and Amy Johnstone helped Ithaca to a 59-10 victory over Denison. The win sees the Renegades advance to the Round of 16 for the USA Rugby Women's DII College Fall Championship, hosted by ACRA.
 
Ithaca College raised eyebrows when it played Notre Dame College to a one-point loss in last year's playoffs. Since then, the Upstate New York champion has built off its collective post-season experience and are stronger for it.
 
That became clear as the team hosted Ohio Valley conference's #3 team, Denison, in today's Round of 32 match. Lipe and Johnstone scored two tries each, while the reliable boot of Katie Conmy slotted three of seven conversions for 26 first-half points.
 
"Our [top] scorers change week to week," Ithaca College captain Rachel Karlins said. "When there is an overload on certain players, we are able to react, and other players adapt and step up when we need them to."
 
Denison scored all of its points in the first stanza, impressing with a drop goal and half-ending try to keep it close at the break, 26-10.
 
But the second 40 was all Ithaca. Alexis Gilbert was integral to the next two tries, setting up Lipe for her third score and then dotting her own five-pointer to go up 40-10. Karlins took a lineout ball into the try zone, Johnstone dotted down her third of the day, and Andie Louer scored her first-ever try for Ithaca to end the game. Four second-half conversions put Conmy's point tally at 14 for the day.
 
"They played a very pack heavy game, but we were able to recognize and adapt," Karlins said. "We dominated because we played as a team and were able to adapt when we didn't start off as well as we would have liked."
 
Ithaca will head to Notre Dame College next weekend to face Cincinnati in the Round of 16. Cincinnati received a late bye into next Saturday's playoffs, as its original Round of 32 opponent, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, did not compete. There was a breakdown in communication between IUP, which is competing toward the spring championships, ACRA and USA Rugby - hence IUP's representation in the brackets (IUP actually played in and won the Allegheny conference title today). Therefore, with the late notice and no time for a replacement, ACRA and USA Rugby were forced to give Cincinnati a bye into the Round of 16.
 
The winner of Ithaca vs. Cincinnati will play the winner of Notre Dame College vs. Davenport on Nov. 16 in South Euclid, Ohio. For the entire DII bracket, click here.