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NIRA Update: Major Results Through the Divisions

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NIRA Update: Major Results Through the Divisions

Queens pitches a shutout.

Davenport edged AIC in a tense NIRA D2 clash in Rochester, NY over the weekend to make an early statement in that division.

The Panthers' goalline defense was impressive and they held up AIC four times in the first half. As the game progressed, Davenport improved their discipline and their ball retention (those two are related) and started to pressure AIC with better ball recycling and support lines.

With two tries from Abbi Kowalczk and tries from Ashley Crowder and Jasmine Hernandez, and with Aubrey Crist converting one, Davenport led 22-14 with time winding down. AIC scored and opted not to take the conversion—this was done to avoid full time being called and allowing them one more shot to win or tie the game. 

Davenport ran out the clock and came away with a huge victory. 

Queens and West Chester also had a close game, but Queens was able to hold West Chester scoreless in a 20-0 victory. Jada Medlin scored two tries for the Royals, and Marley Wylie added one, while Maddie Hughes converted one and added a penalty goal. But the real star was a team defensive effort.

"We've been hungry for a redemption match versus West Chester since last fall season where we lost 25-17," said Queens Head Coach Dana Meschisi. "This is one of our most exciting matches that we get to look forward to every season! WCU is consistently a talented and tough opponent, and they played an incredibly physical match ... "West Chester is a tough opponent who's going to do their homework, study this match and bring even more heat the next chance they get."

So in D2 AIC remains atop the division thanks to a close-loss bonus point at 1-1. West Chester is also 1-1, while Davenport and Queens lurk close by at 1-0. 

Unofficial standings:

AIC 1 1 0 108 19 89 1 1 6
West Chester 1 1 0 66 20 46 1 0 5
Davenport 1 0 0 22 19 3 1 0 5
Queens 1 0 0 20 0 20 0 0 4
Lander 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
U. New Haven 0 2 0 0 152 -152 0 0 0


Bowdoin remains the strongest team in D3 and won a non-conference game against Maine. 

Norwich is a close second and didn't play this week. 

Unofficial Standings:

Bowdoin 3 0 0 132 7 125 3 0 15
Norwich 1 0 0 34 13 21 1 0 5
Castleton 0 1 0 46 95 -49 1 0 1
Colby-Sawyer 0 1 0 22 74 -52 0 0 0
U. New England 0 1 0 7 31 -24 0 0 0

In D1, Dartmouth and Harvard won competitive games to remain undefeated.

Brogan Mior, Achele Agada, Cameron Fields, Victoria Stanley, and Tiahna Padilla all scored in a 27-5 victory over Sacred Heart. Harvard ran out to a commanding lead in the first half but were held to just the one try in the second period. Sacred Heart scored their lone try in the second half also. Paced by the tempo management of scrumhlf Cassidy Bargell Harvard handled a physical Sacred Heart side—they will be hoping for more conversions but the 1-for-5 day for Mior was also a function of the Crimson scoring so many tries out wide.

Dartmouth won the rematch of last year's final, beating Army 24-15. Anjali Pant scored two tries while Simone Bautista and Kristin Bitter also touched down in a game where the Big Green's backline looked very impressive.

Dartmouth has now won 12 games in a row. They still have Harvard (October 15) and Brown (October 29) on the schedule.

Brown, for their part, were very good in a 33-0 shutout of Mount St. Mary's. 

"We controlled the controllables and knew we were going to get some rain and we accepted that early on and they were singing in the rain," said Brown Head Coach Rosalind Chou. "We stuck to our gameplan and the team rallied together and enjoyed the day. Defense is a difficult thing, you have to be a real team together and it really shows how hard they're working for each other and improving every week to create pressure for our opponents."

Akilah Cathey scored two tries for Brown while Elizabeth Mahoney, Mahdia Parker, and Nikki Lynch added tries, with Julia Murray converting three Erin Jessop converting one.  

So the chase is on for those semifinal spots. Harvard, at 4-0, and Dartmouth, at 3-0, are in good shape, and Army, at 3-1 is certainly still in the conversation. Harvard, has a week off but then games against Dartmouth, Brown, and Army, all of which will have the intensity of a playoff game. Brown is at 2-1-1 and has Long Island University this coming weekend, followed by Harvard and Dartmouth. It will be a tough ask to come out of that buzzsaw with a better than .500 record for the season. Circling around that is Quinnipiac. Idle this weekend, the 1-3 Bobcats might seem out of it, but their remaining games are all eminently winnable and they could still reach the final four.

Unofficial Standings:

Harvard 4 0 0 282 27 255 4 0 20
Dartmouth 3 0 0 94 28 66 3 0 15
Army 3 1 0 188 50 138 2 0 14
Brown 2 1 1 154 71 83 3 0 13
Sacred Heart 1 2 1 85 101 -16 1 0 7
Quinnipiac 1 3 0 96 127 -31 1 1 6
Mount St. Mary's 0 3 0 10 190 -180 0 0 0
Princeton 0 4 0 21 325 -304 0 0 0