By David F. Pendrys
HAMDEN, CT – Quinnipiac Rugby was in trouble as the first half minutes ticked down in their contest vs. Penn State. The Bobcats trailed 20-5, but Ilona Maher raced in a Try very quickly to cut the lead in half. The kick was no good due to the angle but QU had momentum which they carried right into the second half.
Early on, Penn State had Quinnipiac pinned deep in their own end, but the squad pushed out and suddenly, a breakaway ensued as they rushed down the field. The ball came to Maher and she tossed it to Rebecca Haight who got around the PSU line and took it for a Try.
With the score 20-15, it only took minutes before Tayler Schussler pushed it in after a battle near the goal line. Her position was excellent and Margaret Wesolowski sent the conversion kick through for a 22-20 lead.
After a back and forth sequence, PSU got themselves down the field and Kayla Canett received a pass and ran it in. The kick was good and the Nittany Lions had a 27-20 advantage. The two teams continued to spar up and down the field. With about six minutes left, QU pushed the ball in for a Try and the kick was good for a 29-27 lead.
Not long afterward Emily Roskopf had the ball and ran it through mid field evading every defender and making it all the way for the dagger. The kick was also good to put the score at 36-27. PSU drove back down the field and nearly scored another Try, but the clock ended their hopes.
In the first half PSU built their lead with a long developing Try from Azniv Nalbandian. Haight responded soon afterward. Margaret Carly and Alexis Weisser added to Penn State’s lead as the visitors were able to move the ball pretty well downfield. Later in the period Sophie Pyrz added to the lead with her own Try. It was a tale of two halves, as PSU had a lot more trouble getting the ball towards the line in half 2. Though they nearly scored all the same but dropped the ball with the goal line in sight. QU was able to get past the PSU defense with more ease in the second half as well as the score showed. That being said it was quite the contest that seemed fairly evenly matched when all was said and done.
The Bobcats rise to 3-1 in this non-conference match. Penn State drops to 2-2.
View larger versions of the photos at the Facebook gallery.