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How This Weekend Might Have Affected the NIRA Power Ratings

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How This Weekend Might Have Affected the NIRA Power Ratings

Did Quinnipiac make a big move? Photo Rod Rasmussen.

NIRA action outside of DI was relatively quiet as many teams played cross-divisional matches, but in DI it was a big weekend, one with potentially significant ramifications within the new Power Ratings.

Let’s take a look:

Navy vs Long Island University

Navy’s entry into NIRA is a good lesson in how, no matter how strong your collegiate club team is, playing varsity is a whole ‘nother level. Navy is a good team, perhaps the bext collegiate club team coming out of last season, but wins have been hard to come bay.

Against LIU this weekend they got that elusive W, coming back from 15-3 down to beat the Sharks 19-18.

The turning point(s) probably came when LIU starting giving up penalties. It was a series of penalties that resulted in lock Miracle Haynes tapping and powering over with about four minutes left in the first half. 

It was penalties that resulted in lock Abby Herschner slotting three kicks, one 14 minutes into the first half and, crucially, two as the second half progressed. Those penalties made it a score of 18-14 for LIU going into the closing minutes.

And it was penalties that set up a lineout for Navy with five minutes to go. As the Long Island players were focused on defending the ruck, Haynes popped off the back and charged 20 meters untouched to score the game-winner.

“Great to get a win today. We were behind for about 75 minutes and the team learned a lot today

about perseverance as well as patience,” said head coach Murph McCarthy. “Proud of the way they

stayed in it and we improved as it went right up until the final whistle.”

Navy 19 LIU 18

Army vs Mount St. Mary’s

It’s been an up-and-down year for West Point and this week was an up week as the Black Knights defeated an improving Mount St. Mary’s 39-10. Head Coach Bill LeClerc started a relatively young Army side, and they produced with freshmen scoring 15 of the teams points and sophomores accounting for the remaining 24.

Yesenia Morales scored early and added a second later in the second half as Army led 20-5 at halftime. They pulled away from there.

Army 39 Mount St. Mary’s 10

Harvard vs Brown

The Harvard Crimson have been on a roll and it’s not looking like slowing down any time soon. Harvard’s success is, in part, because their forwards work enormously hard, and they have a flyhalf in Brogan Mior who can attack the line and break defenses if you don’t keep an eye on her.

Mior did just that to open the scoring for Brown. Forced to stay honest and now spread too quickly, the Brown defense then found out that perhaps Harvard’s most dangerous player, Tiahna Padilla, loves to draw attention and then distribute. That is potentially her best skill. The result? Three tries for wing Lennox London and two for wing Cameron Fields.

Harvard 48 Brown 14

Sacred Heart vs Quinnipiac

This was a huge game for both teams as they looked to vault themselves into the semifinal conversation. The game itself didn’t disappoint as the teams traded scores throughout. Oddly, however, Quinnipiac never trailed. Kat Storey stakes the Bobcats to a 5-0 lead only for Reece Woods to equalize. Breauna Wertman went over midway through the first half only for Fabiola Millien-Faustin to equalize just before the break to make it 10-10 at halftime.

It wasn’t until 51 minutes in that the deadlock was broken with Cassidy Dugdale’s try. When Storey got her second, converted by Fódhla Ní Bhraonáin, Quinnipiac had some semblance of a cushion, up 22-10. But Sacred Heart battled back with Kaleigh Ahern scoring with three mintues left. Alyssa Cunningham’s conversion made it 22-17, and SHU had a chance to get the equalizer with time running out. Quinnipiac’s defense held.

Quinnipiac 22 Sacred Heart 17

Power Ratings

So what does this mean for the Power Ratings? Remember, beating a strong team helps more than beating a less-strong team. Winning by over 65 actually hurts you, so winning well but not overly well helps. Good defense is rewarded, and losing to a strong team doesn't hurt as much as losing to someone else.

NIRA D1 By The Numbers

Now, we at GRR World Headquarters do not have the exact formula for the ratings, but he know enough to make a guess. Here's what we think:

Harvard remains on top. And in face ever-so -slightly increased their lead. 

With Dartmouth idle, Sacred Heart probably hold onto their 2nd spot. Yes the Pioneers lost, but they lost a very close game to a very good team.

Brown and Quinnipiac were fairly separate before at a rating of .884 for Brown and .796 for the Bobcats before the weekend. Now? We think they will be a lot closer, perhaps even tied. Remember also that the system re-rates every team. So Navy's win over LIU helps Quinnipiac, which beat Navy earlier in the season. That could potentially nudge Quinnipiac past Brown.

Army was basically tied with LIU before and should surge past the Sharks.

Navy should get a big surge in their winning percentage (which was negative) and as a result we think Navy, Mount St. Mary's, and Queens will all be relatively equal.

The Upshot

Quinnipiac still has some work to do to get into semifinal position. They really have to show it against Army in two weeks, and that could be the pivotal game to see whether Quinnipiac bypasses Brown or Sacred Heart, or whether Army puts their hand up late. 

Navy still has Brown and Army on their schedule and victories there could shoot them up the ratings. However, that will be tough. Sacred Heart's schedule was stronger early on, so they will be hard-pressed to improve their position, even if they win. 

And all eyes are on Harvard vs Dartmouth at Dartmouth October 21.