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Penn State v Quinnipiac Showdown in Emmitsburg

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Penn State v Quinnipiac Showdown in Emmitsburg

Echo Field is the setting for this classic.

Mount Saint Mary’s University has a unique opportunity this weekend as the school hosts two of the very best women’s college teams in the nation.

While you’d have an argument if you said they were the two best, Quinnipiac (tops in the NIRA varsity competition and their only loss a close one to Central Washington), and Penn State (virtually untouchable in the Big Ten and only blemish a thrilling 10-10 tie with Life) will face off at the MSM in Emmitsburg, Md.

For the hosts, this is a special moment as their women’s program looks to join the NIRA next year.

The teams will face off on fabled Echo Field in front of the Seminary at Mount Saint Mary’s.  Kickoff is noon on Saturday, with free admission to all fans. The teams will have top-notch hosting, with locker rooms and all of the school’s facilities. MSM Director of Rugby Jay Myles and the school’s VP for University Advancement, Bob Brennan, have been working hard to make it a special occasion.

For Penn State, coming off an impressive 43-12 win over Lindenwood the day after they shut out Ohio State, this is a special extra test. 

Penn State looks set to win the Big Ten, but they are taking nothing for granted and want this difficult game before they hit the climax of their season.

Captain and flyhalf Gabby Cantorna said the past weekend showed that we have the flexibility to adjust to last-minute injuries and shuffle people into different positions without hindering team performance.  Going forward, that knowledge and confidence in our newer players will be key and will ensure continued team unity as a cornerstone of our success.”

PSU has been getting some good work from freshman Kayla Canett at fullback, while Tess Feury has shown that she is consistently one of the best college backs in the business.

For Quinnipiac, they are coming off a 38-34 win over AIC that was perhaps a bit closer than they wanted. The Bobcats led 38-8 before the subs rolled in, but Coach Becky Carlson won’t be super happy with the late letoff.

Playing Penn State is a departure for Quinnipiac in that they haven’t played non-varsity teams in the last two seasons. But a late scheduling cancelation opened up the opportunity for both teams, and Mount Saint Mary’s was ready to host. 

“Going into playoffs both teams in their respective leagues could use the matches to prepare,” said Carlson. “Our program wanted to be able to showcase for the future NCAA program at the Mount and saw it as a great opportunity given MSM's hospitality and facility offering. Having two competitive teams compete in front of the Mount administration, current club team and local community is helpful to the growth of our sport and the focus is the exposure of what does it does for the women's game.”

Carlson’s Bobcats are also fully aware that they aren’t invincible. The Central Washington loss (a 19-12 Wildcat victory) taught them as much.

“It's a shame it wasn't being streamed,” said Carlson. “The weather was a bit of an equalizer to the speed on both sides but we learned a lot. The level of pressure the players  put on themselves in the situational portions of practice these last few weeks has allowed them to adjust accordingly and respond from the level of urgency teams like CWU display at the breakdown.”

They will need those adjustments against a superb Penn State side.