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NIRA All Divisions: Leaders Raising Hands

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NIRA All Divisions: Leaders Raising Hands

The playoffs may be different but right now all eyes in the NIRA are on Hanover, NH.

With Army having beaten Harvard, who beat Dartmouth, this week’s Army at Dartmouth clash will either confirm West Point as the top dog, or throw the league into a bit of confusion.

West Point is coming off a 77-0 shutout of Notre Dame College, paced by braces from Sam Sullivan and also Kaitlyn Schwarting. Kalyee Cargile and Natalie Rivera scored their first ever tries for Army.

That victory put Army firmly in 1st place with a 2-0 record, and dropped NDC to 0-3. But the middle—Dartmouth, Quinnipiac, and Harvard—is tight.

Harvard opened up its season with a 57-10 defeat of Quinnipiac, but that wasn’t recorded as a league game, and in fact, the Crimson will play the Bobcats this weekend for really-real-reals this time.

The game will be on ESPN+ here: ESPN+

Harvard is coming off a big win over Dartmouth in which Achele Agada and Emily Prentice scored twice each. In that game, Dartmouth scored early only to see Harvard reel off four tries and 26 points to turn the game around.

Dartmouth scored a couple of late tries to get that four-try bonus point, but Harvard prevailed 50-32.

So that lines it all up for us. Army wins, the Black Knights are 3-0 and will only have Quinnipiac left to play. If Dartmouth beats Army, then Dartmouth will be 2-1, as will Army, and the winner of Quinnipiac vs Harvard will also have two wins.

If that happens then the seedings for the playoffs are all at stake. Quinnipiac, which beat NDC 74-20, could still take the conference regular season with three straight wins—not easy. Harvard could win the regular season if Dartmouth beats Army and Harvard wins twice. Dartmouth could also do it if the Big Green beat Army and then take down Quinnipiac.

So many options, but it’s pretty clear that Army, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Quinnipiac will be in the semis in November.

Tier II

In the NIRA Tier II, Queens stands tall at 3-0, with only Brown (3-1) and West Chester (3-0) close. Queens beat Mount St. Mary’s 46-12 two weeks ago to go to 3-0. Antres Lance scored three tries as the Royals blew apart a bit of a nailbiter (19-12 at halftime) into a 46-12 rout.

Last week Queens played Coastal Carolina in a non-conference game, winning 6-5, with Lance scoring another hat trick.

Queens takes on 1-3 AIC this week while Brown doesn’t have a league game. Brown and Queens face off in league play October 26. West Chester already has a win over Brown and meet Queens on October 19. For Queens, it’s likely they will see one of those two opponents in the final November 16.

Tier III

In Tier III, Colby-Sawyer reigns supreme, with a 58-0 defeat of New England. Bailey Burt scored four tries. Colby-Sawyer has already beaten Norwich and Bowdoin, likely their two biggest rivals.