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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac struggles against Harvard, loses 55-14 in season opener

Peyton McKenzie
Quinnipiac rugby only scored twice in a 55-14 loss in the 2023 season opener to Harvard.

HAMDEN, Conn — In what was the season opener for the Quinnipiac rugby program, the Bobcats fell to Harvard’s relentless offense 55-14 Saturday evening.

Following an appearance in last year’s NIRA semifinals, the Bobcats had high expectations for 2023. However, a season opening loss was not in their plans. 

“Anybody who’s never seen the game before can see that our backs were completely exposed,” Quinnipiac head coach Becky Carlson said.

The Crimson took an early lead with a try from junior scrum half Reese Morgan. Quinnipiac managed to keep Harvard’s offense at bay, but it could not stop the bleeding toward the end of the first half.

Harvard racked up four more tries before the whistle, while Quinnipiac remained scoreless.

“We just didn’t believe in ourselves early enough,” Carlson said.

Down 35-0 to start the second half, the Bobcats aimed to claw their way back. Despite their efforts and revamped offensive gameplan, the second half went similarly for both teams. 

Harvard’s crusade continued, as sophomore outside back Cameron Fields dominated the game. Fields scored her second and third tries of the match in the second half, including several long runs that demoralized the Bobcats’ squad. 

With less than 10 minutes left in regulation, Harvard secured the 55-point lead over the hosts. In the face of defeat, the Bobcats battled. Senior prop Hannah Pfersch scored Quinnipiac’s first try of the season with a hard-fought battle.

In the final minute of the game, senior second row Anna Van Dyk fought her way to another Bobcats try. Giving up was not an option for Quinnipiac, who have now fallen to Harvard for the eighth straight time since 2013. 

Evidently, the Bobcats missed opportunities to capitalize on Harvard as their momentum waned. Quinnipiac was working with a new offensive strategy, but they couldn’t thread the needle in game one.  Rather than staying down, the team persevered and took accountability for their mistakes.

“I think it’s less about the ‘ra, ra, ra’ than it is the honesty that they are able to give each other in really hard moments and that’s really important,” Carlson said.

The Bobcats have a week to recover before hosting LIU on Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Amanda Dronzek
Amanda Dronzek, Sports Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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