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Quinnipiac over PSU - But Who's the Best?

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Quinnipiac over PSU - But Who's the Best?

Photo courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics.

The top women's college rugby teams in the nation are starting to show where they fall in the pecking order.

Of recent games that told us what is what, Quinnipiac v Penn State was the big one. Saturday, the Bobcats dispatched an excellent Penn State team 41-22 on the campus of Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, Md..

Sophomore wing Emily Roskopf scored three tries and set up another as Quinnipiac came back from 17-12 down to score five straight tries to win it. Penn State No. 8 Kyla Chipman scored two tries to help stake Penn State to a lead. But Roskopf's second try, with just under 10 minutes left in the first half, gave Quinnipiac a 19-17 lead, a lead they would not relinquich. Senior flanker Tayler Schussler closed out the first half with a try off a pass from junior scrumhalf Mason Johnson.

Quinnipiac's momentum carried over into the second half, as Roskopf converted her third try, all of which were assisted by junior center Ilona Maher.  

Quinnipiac cruised after that.

“Quinnipiac was a challenging game that the team needed and we are grateful for the opportunity to play them," said Penn State captain Gabby Cantorna. "Overall, we did not respond or adjust well and our uncharacteristic individual play let us down."

This was Penn State's first loss to an American collegiate opponent in five years.

Elsewhere in the country, Central Washington has been very impressive, beating Quinnipiac earlier in the fall and then slamming BYU 67-12 behind three tries from Asinate Serevi and two each from Kat Truong, Suiluana A'au, and Cassidy Myers. Leah Ingold added one, while transfer Ashlee Byrge converted six. October 29 they beat Washington State, and the Wildcats are 8-2, having lost only to the University of Victoria and University of Lethbridge, both of Canada. CWU also beat both of those teams. The Wildcats have beaten varsity programs Quinnipiac, Army, AIC, and Norwich. 

Life University which tied Penn State 10-10 October 1 in a classic knock-down, drag-out meeting, found a stern opponent October 22 in Lindenwood - the Lions won 24-14. Life rebounded with a 103-0 win over Clemson. Lindenwood got tries from Natalie Kosko, Hannah Gauthreaux, and Laura Enk to lead 17-0 at halftime, and McKenzie Hawkins added one in the second half. 

"The team played really well under the pressure of hosting such a high caliber match," said Head Coach Billy Nicholas. "It's always great to play such strong opponents like the Running Eagles because they really push us to continue to grow as a team collectively. This is a big win for us at home and for the program, so we will enjoy it for 24 hours, then start prepping for our next match."

But then right after that Lindenwood went to Penn State and got dumped 43-12.

So who's the best? Right now it probably looks like Central Washington may be the best team in the country. You can't ever count out Stanford, but CWU's wins over Quinnipiac and BYU put them at the top, especially given that Quinnipiac beat Penn State, and Penn State tied Life and beat Lindenwood. the other team to consider? Notre Dame College.