Dartmouth dismantles Quinnipiac rugby in 2022 NIRA Semifinals


Cameron Levasseur

Quinnipiac rugby struggled in the first half of the NIRA Semifinals, allowing six total tries and 40 points.

Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

The Quinnipiac rugby team, who came into the NIRA Semifinals on a four-game winning streak, fell victim to the undefeated Dartmouth Big Green on Saturday. The 47-14 defeat signaled the end of the 2022 season for the Bobcats, in which they won five games, their most in a season since 2017. 

Dartmouth’s speed caught the Bobcats off-guard to begin the game. Dartmouth junior center Ava Procter burst through the right side of the Quinnipiac defense for the game’s first try and after the successful kick, the Big Green took an early 7-0 lead. 

And just as fast as the hosts took the lead, the visitors snapped back. Quinnipiac sophomore flanker Riva van der Valk made a diving effort towards the tryline, tying the game up. 

For the next few minutes, the game stalled as both sides struggled to gain any momentum. A few sideouts by the Bobcats allowed the Big Green to set up good field position for a successful try by freshman flyhalf/center Simone Bautista. 

Halfway through the first half, a costly turnover by junior center Haley Crow allowed the Big Green to push their way past the Bobcats defense. Senior prop/hooker Lauren Ferridge recorded her sixth try of the season, adding to the Dartmouth lead. 

That lead would stay in the hands of the Big Green, as their front line of defense mimicked a brick wall all afternoon. The Bobcats, who continued to face difficulties moving the ball downfield, kept having to move backwards often. 

Those struggles to push the ball into Dartmouth’s zone forced the Bobcats to try a new offensive attack, which quickly came back to haunt them. Big Green graduate student wing Ariana Ramsey took possession and blew past the Bobcats’ defense for her first try of the day. Just a few moments after, an interception by graduate student center/wing Sophie Ragg was returned for another try for Dartmouth. 

With under five minutes left in the first half, Quinnipiac junior fullback Kat Storey showcased her electrifying speed, racing down the near sideline for a score. The kick that followed was good and the Bobcats pulled to within 21.

The Bobcats headed into halftime with some momentum, until an impressive blocked kick by sophomore scrumhalf/wing Sadie Schier put the Big Green right back on the board with another score.

Quinnipiac, who trailed 40-14 heading into halftime, seemed to come out even more sluggish in the second half. The Bobcats defense looked slower and allowed a second-chance try by junior lock Nicole Ihensekhien made the lead even bigger for Dartmouth. 

After a few strong runs by the Bobcats, they were halted after junior prop Hannah Pfersch was down with an injury. She was able to walk off the field under her own power, but was moving very gingerly to the sideline. 

In the game’s late stages, Quinnipiac was able to muster some offensive chances, but ultimately fell short, a common theme all afternoon. Turnovers in their own zone, mixed with some broken tackles by the Big Green, dealt the Bobcats a hand they were unable to overcome. 

The 47 total points allowed by the Bobcats was the second-most given up all season, just one point under the 48 points given up to Harvard back on Sept. 10.

While the Bobcats will not be advancing to the NIRA Championship, the Big Green will now host that same Harvard team in the title match. The Crimson knocked off Army 41-24 earlier Saturday afternoon and will meet Dartmouth for the championship on Nov. 19.