September 1, 2012

Quinnipiac Travels to Eastern Illinois To Kick Off 2012 Season

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Saturday, September 1, 2012 – 1 p.m.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-0) (0-0 Tri-State) vs.
Eastern Illinois Panthers (0-0) 

Lakeside Field – Charleston, Ill. 

Season Opener

The Bobcats travel on the road to Division I opponent Eastern Illinois(0-0) on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. at Lakeside Field for their season opening game.

Scouting Eastern Illinois

The EIU squad earned 38 top 10 single-game performances over the course of the 2011 campaign. Senior, center, Lauren Doyle led the Panthers in all 170 points scored, which tied for the second most in single season history for EIU. Senior Stephanie Mahan, flanker, saw action in allten games, finishing with top solo tackle numbers and second in assisted stops and steals-at-tackle. The Panthers loose seniors Narissa Ramirez and Tina Crema. Ramirez leaves EIU ranks in career top 10 for points, trys, tackles, runs over 20 yards, and steals at tackle. 

Previous Matchups Against The Panthers

The Bobcats and Panthers met up three times last season in game play. The Panthers are 3-0 on the Bobcats career. In their last meeting, Quinnipiac was trumped 66-3 at Eastern Illinois.

2012-13 Season Preview Rugby

Head coach Becky Carlson returns for a second season in 2012, bringing along 16 players from last year's roster. The Bobcats joined the Metropolitan New York Rugby Football Union (MetNY), now known as Tri-State Rugby Conference, at the beginning of last year and became just the second Division I program in NCAA history. Now with one season under their belts, the Quinnipiac University women's rugby team looks to improve upon a promising inaugural campaign. In her first season with the Bobcats, Coach Carlson led the Bobcats to a 3-6-1 record, which included the program's first victory at SUNY-New Paltz. Under Carlson's tutelage, the Bobcats posted a 3-2-1 record and finished in third place in the Metropolitan New York Rugby Football Union (MetNY) standings. Carlson also guided the Bobcats to their first win at the QU Rugby Field with a 23-7 win over Marist. Quinnipiac must replace two of their top-four scorers from last season in graduating seniors Stephanie Hasher and Alysha Andrews, but return a solid core especially in the back line where Colleen Doherty, Elisa Cuellar, Shannon Durkin all provided standout years last season.


Forwards

Returning to the Bobcats' front line is a solid group of Jacqueline Maclearie, Emily Carroll, and Megan Hannemann.  The senior leadership on this squad begins with flanker and eighth man Carroll, who is coming off a strong first season where she posted a team-high 39 solo tackles and three steals at the tackle for the 2011 season. Maclearie, a senior for Quinnipiac, held a presence in the front field for the Bobcats as she compiled 23 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles, and one try for the year.  Finally, Hannemann returns after finishing with one of the most impressive all-around years for the Bobcats with 27 solo tackles, 19 assists, 10 points, and two runs of more than 20 yards. Her 10 assisted tackles against Eastern Illinois on Oct. 15 last season were the most in a game all season for Quinnipiac. Also returning to provide veteran leadership are seniors Katie Wood, Nancy Dunn and Katie Partin. Other returners include juniors Allison Gnys, Melissa Condo, Nora Kate O'Brien and sophomore Jennifer Salomon. Much will hinge on this group of four seniors to not only lead a young Bobcat program in only its second year, but also provide the scoring to back an impressive group of backs returning after impressive first seasons with the team. 

"Without a doubt one of our biggest threats this year offensively and defensively, will be senior Nancy Dunn," said head coach Becky Carlson, "Nancy is a walk-on who maintains the shape, size and speed to become one of the best and most formidable players in the conference without a doubt. Her hard work in the off season has really paid off and she will be nothing short of incredible as she develops her game further. Anyone saying walk-ons cannot make an impact should come to our games this season and see it for themselves. She is truly an amazing athlete and we are excited to see what she produces for QU Rugby."  


Backs

Quinnipiac is a group that includes seniors Doherty and Krystin Orrico and sophomores Cuellar and Durkin. Doherty, the team's fly-half, finished third on the team with 30 solo tackles and also chipped in 11 assisted tackles. Her nine solo tackles against Vassar on Oct. 8 finished tied with Durkin for the most in any game last season. Senior Marie Pescatore moves from the pack to the back line where she will look to pose an offensive threat. Pescatore posted one try, two assists, 25 solo tackles, and a team-high 20 assisted tackles. Orrico served as the main fullback last season and finished the year with the most point, 24, of any Bobcat player last season. Scrum-Half Cuellar returns to the field after having a standout freshman campaign where she served as a key defender for the Bobcats making 24 solo tackles and leading the team with six steals at the tackle. Finally, Durkin was a catalyst for the  Bobcats as she finished second on the team in solo tackles (35), third in assisted tackles (17), tied for third in points (10), and led the team in runs over 20 yards (9). Despite heavy rains and winds on Oct. 19 at home against Hofstra, she put on one of the most impressive performances in Quinnipiac's inaugural season. Durkin put in a dynamic individual performance in the 49-0 victory with one try, two assists, three solo tackles, four assisted tackles, four runs of at least 20 yards, and one steal at tackle.The Bobcats will rely on this impressive returning core during the 2012 season and new comers in junior Elena Orlando, sophomore Raechel Stimson, and freshman Devon Vieira for increased depth along the back line.

Fitness and conditioning is key this year as the team did their work over the summer. A team goal before last year was to have everyone under an 8 minute mile and they crushed it with all ranging from low sixes to sevens. 


Schedule

The Bobcats open up the 2012 season on the road playing powerhouse Eastern Illinois on Sep. 1st, before traveling to Binghamton the following weekend to take on the Bearcats on the 9th.  Carlson and her team will start conference play at home against New Paltz on Sep. 16th on the QU Rugby Field. The team is then back on the road against Vassar College before coming home to Marist on September 30th.

   
Quinnipiac starts Oct. on the road against Stony Brook on the 7th. In mid-October the team stays home to take on Hofstra University and Carlson's Alma Mater Eastern Illinois on QU Rugby field Oct. 14th and 21st. The team hits the road one last time in regular season to Albany on Oct. 28th. Nov. 4th marks senior night for the players; the Bobcats will take on Rutgers University in their final match of the regular season.


History In The Books

Quinnipiac's match-up against Eastern Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 marked the first time two Division I Women's Rugby teams squared off on the pitch. Eastern Illinois became a Division I program in 2002, as Quinnipiac became the second member in the 2011 season. The two sides will face each other a total of  two times during the 2012 season, with Quinnipiac hosting the final game.


About Tri-State Rugby Conference

Metropolitan New York Rugby Football Union, made the change to the Tri-State Rugby Conference in the summer of 2012. The Conference believes that education through sport and inter-collegiate competition play a vital role in a student's personal development. Quinnipiac will play in the Tri-State Rugby Conference, which is the home to Marist, Vassar, Rutgers, Binghampton, Albany, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Stony Brook, and Hofstra.

Contact: Bethany Buckholz; bethany.buckholz@quinnipiac.edu