HANOVER, N.H. – In front of a sizable crowd at Brophy Field, the Dartmouth women’s rugby team took down the two-time defending national champion and top-ranked Quinnipiac, 22-17, on Saturday afternoon.
The Big Green improve to 1-0 with the five-point win in the season opener, while the No. 1 Bobcats even their record at 1-1.
“We are thrilled with the win of course, but eager to keep improving,” head coach Katie Dowty said. “There were areas of the game that we dominated today, but we also learned some valuable lessons – particularly on managing our penalty count – that we'll be keen to improve upon moving forward.”
Dartmouth had a great first half, scoring three tries while holding Quinnipiac scoreless. Sands got the first two scores to give the home team a 10-0 lead, while Durbin added another in the 34th minute to enter the intermission with a 15-0 edge.
“In the past two weeks, we have played the defending Club National Champion, Penn State, and the defending Varsity National Champions, Quinnipiac,” Dowty continued. “On both occasions, we put in impressive, well-rounded performances to come away with wins. This is huge for us as a program. A lot of hard work is coming to fruition and we have every intention of bringing home a national championship this fall.”
In the 47th minute, the Bobcats made it 15-7 with their first try and conversion of the afternoon. On the ensuing kick-off, Dartmouth maintained pressure in its attacking third and its forward pack put together several powerful phases of play on the line. Minutes after Quinnipiac’s score, Ihensehkien got her first try of the season and, with a Ramage conversion, the Big Green led, 22-7.
The Bobcats followed that up with two tries of their own, but missed both conversions, ending the game trailing by five.
“More than anything, we know we are just starting to unlock our potential this season and can't wait to keep raising the standard of rugby we play,” Dowty said.
The win was the first against a Quinnipiac team that has been dominant against varsity competition since the program’s inception. The Bobcats had won the only previous meeting two years ago in Hamden en route to the first of their two straight national titles. Dartmouth has claimed a pair of Ivy Rugby crowns in that time and made the national postseason each year, but had not had an opportunity to avenge that first loss to the Bobcats until doing so on Saturday in Hanover.
On Saturday, Sept. 23, Dartmouth will host Army West Point at 11 a.m. in its next meeting.