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Quinnipiac Resolute in Army Win

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Quinnipiac Resolute in Army Win

Ilona Maher leads Quinnipiac with 16 tries this season. (Photo courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics)

The Quinnipiac vs. Army game pit the varsity league’s top two teams against each other in a game that would bring the squads’ relative improvements into focus. When the squads competed on Sept. 12, the Black Knights staged a brilliant comeback to win 29-24. The Bobcats banked some important lessons on that day a month-and-a-half ago, and ensured history did not repeat itself in Saturday’s rematch.

Quinnipiac controlled the first half and played the majority of the first 40 in Army’s end. The Bobcats played a little faster and a little wider, and did well to exploit the holes that resulted. Those tactics produced four unanswered tries from junior Maggie Myles, freshman Emily Roskopf, who scored her 13th try of the season, sophomore wing Rebecca Haight, and Ilona Maher, who dotted down her team-leading 16th try of the fall.

Quinnipiac led 20-0 into the second half.

“The last time we matched up against Army, we came out of the gate and scored points early in the first half with a fair amount of ease,” Quinnipiac coach Rebecca Carlson remembered. “We allowed Army back into the game and supported their momentum by playing not to lose instead of looking to extend our lead.”

That experience was not lost on the Connecticut team, but even the best intentions couldn't completely nullify a tough team like Army.

“Army is well coached and, true to form, we knew they would make their adjustments at halftime to pressure our centers and pack the backline to prevent breakthroughs,” Carlson explained. “We had our moments where we let them back in, and they benefitted from even the smallest momentum of a few consecutive rucks where they secured the ball, as well as a few offsides penalties in their favor within our five.”

Mariah Caid-Loos and Lindy Clark scored for West Point, and Nicole Heavirland added a conversion to pull the score line to 20-12. But there wasn’t enough time for another rally, and Quinnipiac had hardened over the course of the fall.

“The Bobcats absolutely did a much better job in keeping a consistent level of play in order to secure the win,” Carlson added.

Both teams have more games before the first round of the varsity championship. Quinnpiac will play West Chester on Saturday, Nov. 7, while Army lines up against Air Force. The Black Knights also have a friendly against Navy on Nov. 13, the night before the varsity quarterfinals. The higher seed - both of which Quinnipiac and Army will be - will host their respective quarterfinals, and the semifinalists will convene at Brown University Nov. 20-22 for the final rounds.