Carlson enters her fifth year at the helm of the Quinnipiac Rugby team after leading the transition into becoming one of the most dominant programs in the country. As the Quinnipiac Bobcats have been a three-peat appearance team in the national championship 3 out of 4 years, Carlson has lead the team to a conference championship and three top five national finishes in 4 years.
She currently occupies a 37-13-1 record in four years as head coach. In Carlson’s first year in 2011, the Bobcats became the second Division I program in NCAA history. Quinnipiac began as part of the Metropolitan New York Rugby Football Union (MetNY) before the name was changed to the Tri-State Rugby Conference in 2012. In their inaugural year, the Bobcats finished 3-6-1 overall which included the program’s first victory at SUNY-New Paltz.
In the 2012-13 season, Carlson led the Bobcats to a 15-1 overall record and undefeated in the regular season at 12-0. Quinnipiac was named the Tri-State Conference Champions after a 22-14 win over Albany and received a bid to the national tournament in Stanford, California. The Bobcats defeated the Temple Owls in a 44-0 shutout before taking down Lee University and Appalachian State. In the semifinals, Quinnipiac suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Winona State, but would bounce back to defeat the University of Buffalo in the third place game.
In 2013-14, the Bobcats joined the Northeast Conference and finished 10-3 overall, including six consecutive wins to close at the regular season. Quinnipiac outscored their opponents 567-to-200 across its 13 regular-season contests, with a season-high 94 points coming against the University of Massachusetts. After going 9-2 overall in the regular season and 4-2 in Northeast Conference action, the Bobcats saw themselves atop the conference standings. Quinnipiac received a bid to the American Collegiate Rugby Association (ACRA) National Tournament because of their highly competitive and demanding regular season schedule. The No. 3 Bobcats pulled No. 10 Boston University in the round of 16 before outlasting the Terriers 59-15 en route to a birth in the quarterfinals against Navy. Quinnipiac saw their campaign come to an end with a hard fought 28-5 loss against the Midshipman.
In 2014-15 under Carlson’s tutelage the Bobcats compiled a 9-4 record as they headed back to the national championship final four. Carlson was also named “College Rugby Coach of the Year” in 2015 by Goffonrugby. After trudging through one of the most demanding and difficult regular season schedules in the country, the Quinnipiac Bobcats stood at 5-2 entering the ACRA postseason tournament. QU went on to take down two tough opponents on their way to the semifinals. The Bobcats defeated Army, 46-17 in the round of 16 at Vassar College before going on to overpower an undefeated Brown University squad, 46-20. Quinnipiac advanced to the semifinal for the second time in three years, but fell in a difficult matchup with Penn. State, 35-12. The Bobcats would end their season on a high note, defeating Indiana, 55-32, and capturing third place in the national tournament.
Carlson has been at the forefront of the women's rugby long before Quinnipiac was introduced onto the rugby landscape. As USA Rugby's Emerging Sports Program Manager from 2006-2009, Carlson conducted research and developed plans for more than 30 prospective NCAA institutions who would potentially add women's rugby to their athletic program. Carlson also used her extensive multimedia background in developing promotional materials to be used alongside the NCAA national office, the NFHSA and to NCAA athletic directors.
Co-Founder of varsityrugby.org, after nearly 7 year of lobbying, in 2014 Carlson, along with Amy Rusert and Kristin Richeimer were instrumental in assisting the state high school association of Colorado (CHSAA) into becoming the first state in the United States to have girls high school varsity rugby for the 2016-17 school year.
Carlson is a member of the Alliance of Women Coaches, a graduate of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy and is also the 2015 recipient of the Judy Sweet Award as voted in by her NCAA Academy classmates.
From 2004 through 2006, before joining USA Rugby, Carlson was an assistant coach with the Eastern Illinois University women's rugby team. In that role, she assisted in all operational facets of the team including travel, practice and game-day management as well as film editing and analysis and student-athlete development. She previously worked at Ferrum College as a women's lacrosse, women's soccer, and softball assistant coach in 2004.
A former student-athlete herself, Carlson played women's rugby and women's tennis at Eastern Illinois. As a member of the first NCAA D-I Women’s Rugby program in the United States, Carlson won the 1999 Strength and Conditioning award and was awarded the Panther Award for All-Around Student-Athlete. As a member of the women's tennis team, Carlson played at #1 and #2 singles and #1 and #3 doubles. A two-year captain in 2002 and 2003, she earned the team's Strength and Conditioning Award three times.
Carlson graduated from Eastern Illinois with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in public relations in 2004 and also completed work on a master's degree in physical education/sports administration from Eastern Illinois in 2006