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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Rugby drops second consecutive NIRA Semifinal to Dartmouth

Cat Murphy
Quinnipiac rugby gets into a scrum during a 38-8 loss to Dartmouth in the NIRA semifinals.

HANOVER, N.H. — Speaking through gritted teeth with her gaze pointed intently at her feet, rugby head coach Becky Carlson appeared to be on the verge of tears during her postgame interview.

“Anything else?” the veteran coach asked reporters after the team’s 38-8 loss to Dartmouth in the NIRA Semifinals Saturday afternoon. 

It was clear she wanted the interview to end as quickly as possible.

It’s hard to repeat history, after all.

The Veterans Day matchup came exactly 364 days after Quinnipiac rugby dropped its last playoff game. 

That matchup was also an NIRA Semifinals game. It was also on the second Saturday of November. It was also against the Big Green. It was also at Brophy Field. It was also a 30-some-point loss for the Bobcats.

And it’s not even that the Bobcats played poorly. Rather, it’s that they played wildly inconsistently.

“The score of this match definitely didn’t reflect how hard we played,” Carlson said. “We had some small errors and they punished us for it. And they got an extra 15 points on the board because of it.”

To her point, the Bobcats (5-3) held the Big Green (6-2) scoreless for 18 minutes — and senior fullback Kat Storey’s early try had Quinnipiac up by five until then.

“And then we just fell a little bit short,” Carlson concluded. “We had possession, and we had all the momentum behind us, and then we just kind of gave it back.”

But the loss was characteristic of the six-year pattern that has defined the relationship between the Bobcats and the Big Green.

The teams may have taken the field with identical 5-2 records, but Quinnipiac hasn’t overcome the New Hampshire Ivy since November 2017 — a game that only Carlson and assistant coach Emily Roskopf, then a player, were there to witness.

Carlson had just finished taking photos with her team when she acknowledged that “it’s never going to look like this again.” 

“Every single year, it’s like, as a coach, you kind of get older and everybody else stays the same age,” Carlson said. 

It was then that her voice started to break, the pauses between her words growing longer and longer with each passing moment.

“I am still kind of standing over there like I’m watching the game,” she said.

Because at the end of the day, Quinnipiac went home without a ticket to the championship yet again.

And, like Carlson said, “that’s going to sting.”

“That’s going to sit with them for quite a bit,” she said. “Losses stick with you longer than a win ever could.”

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Cat Murphy
Cat Murphy, News Editor

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