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Quinnipiac Win Women's NIRA Title

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Quinnipiac Win Women's NIRA Title

Quinnipiac exacted revenge for an earlier loss, and, more importantly, won the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) championship Sunday with a 46-24 defeat of Central Washington.

Quinnipiac, which lost on the road to CWU 19-12 on October 15. This time around, Quinnipiac's offense was firing. CWU, however, started off the stronger, scoring tries through Yana Manoa and A'au. That staked the Wildcats to a 12-0 lead, but Quinnipiac replied. Off a scrum move Mason Johnson set up Ilona Maher, who raced 40 meters for the first try. Then Emily Roskopf ran in another long-range score - this one from 60 meters out - and with the conversion from Madison Gegeckas, the game was deadlocked 12-12.

CWU got down to the Quinnipiac tryline, but Flora Poole poached the ball and helped the Bobcats clear. And right after that play, Roskopf fielded a CWU clearing kick, and linked with Maher to Rebecca Haight, who went up the sideline to make it 17-12. CWU replied, though, with Asinate Serevi's try make it 17-17.

That's how the first half ended, and the back-and-forth remained in the second half, for a whole. Bobcats took the lead within the first three minutes of the second half when Poole broke away and passed it off to Maher for the try. The conversion by Gegeckas was good and QU brought the score to 24-17. Central Washington tied it with A'au's second try and a conversion from Ashlee Burge, and it was 24-24 with 30 minutes to go.

Those final 30 minutes were all Quinnipiac. Maggie Myles set up Poole for a try, and a 29-24 lead. Gegeckas added a penalty, and then, as time wound down, Pool got another steal and set up Roskopf. Finally Poole linked with Maher for Roskopf's third. That finished it off, 46-24 and Quinnipiac claimed the team's second-straight national varsity title. 

CWU Head Coach Mel Denham said the loss was mostly about missed opportunities.

"We dominated possession in the first half, but couldn't hold on to possession long enough in the second half to create scoring opportunities," she said.

Quinnipiac University will hold a rally December 1 to celebrate the team's second-straight NIRA title.


Quinnipiac 46

Tries: Maher 2, Roskopf 3, Haight, Poole 

Convs: Gegeckas 4

Pens: Gegeckas 


Central Washington 24

Tries: A'au, Manoa, Serevi

Convs Byrge 2


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