MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College and Southern New Hampshire University athletic departments announced a new wrinkle to their long-time, cross-town rivalry Tuesday. Starting this fall, the two schools – located less than seven miles apart in Manchester – will meet in 16 different sports with a point-based system crowning the winner “Queen City Cup” champions at the end of the year.
“The Queen City Cup will bring another level of rivalry between the two schools that will add to the competition and excitement at each of our Saint Anselm-versus-SNHU events,” said Saint Anselm Director of Athletics, Jim Herlihy.
“While games between Southern New Hampshire and Saint Anselm have always been highlights of the schedule, the Queen City Cup will add another layer to the rich rivalry between the two schools,” said Southern New Hampshire Director of Athletics and Recreation Anthony Fallacaro. “This is a great opportunity to showcase one of the fiercest rivalries in college athletics in New England.”
The point system for the Queen City Cup, which was organized by both schools’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), will award points for wins and ties between each of the 16 competitive athletic teams during the regular season. Two points will be awarded for a win and one point for a tie among sports where the two teams meet only once in the regular season, such as field hockey and soccer. If a team meets more than once in a sport during the regular season, such as volleyball or basketball, the winner of the overall series will earn the two points. In the event the two teams split the season series, each team will be awarded one point.
Postseason meetings, including Northeast-10 Championship or NCAA Tournament clashes, will count separate from the regular season and will award two points to the winner. A limit of four points will be set as the maximum number of points an individual team can earn during the athletic year. In addition, cross country and men’s golf will earn points according to their finish in the Northeast-10 Championship. In the case of a tie, each team will earn one point, otherwise, the highest-placing team will earn two points.
The two teams have been playing each other since May 5, 1969 when Saint Anselm posted a 9-0 home victory in men’s tennis against then-New Hampshire College. The first pitch in baseball was thrown April 21, 1971 the Penmen locked up a 6-1 victory at home. Nov. 10, 1976 saw the start of women’s volleyball with a 2-0 Saint Anselm road win. Women’s basketball opened their rivalry Feb. 2, 1977 when Saint Anselm posted a 53-40 road victory. Later that year on Sept. 15, the Hawks kicked off the men’s soccer series with a 3-0 win at home before pulling out a 56-50 home victory in men’s basketball two months later on Nov. 27.
To this day, the men’s basketball rivalry is the fiercest between the two schools and it shows as the two schools had split 58 all-time meetings heading into last February’s nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network.
In fitting fashion, softball opened their series with a split at Saint Anselm on April 14, 1981 as SNHU posted a 12-3 win in the first game before the Hawks flipped the scrip for a 13-3 victory in game two. Men’s ice hockey dropped the puck for the first time five months later as Saint Anselm cruised to an 11-3 home win Nov. 13. Women’s tennis squared off for the first time Sept. 26, 1983 with Saint Anselm tallying up a 9-0 road win. Women’s soccer took to the pitch a year and a day later on Sept. 27, 1984 as the Penmen threw up an 8-0 blanking.
SNHU easily went on to a 17-5 victory in the inaugural men’s lacrosse meeting April 18, 1994. The rivalry as a whole received a bump in 2000 when SNHU joined the Northeast-10 Conference, ensuring the teams would meet up at least once a year across all sports. Women’s lacrosse got underway April 19, 2004 with a 16-7 Saint Anselm road win and now field hockey will join the fray Oct. 25 at noon when the two teams battle at Grappone Stadium for the first time as the Penmen just added the sport this fall.
The Penmen hold a slight lead in the early going of the inaugural Queen City Cup as they edged the Hawks in volleyball, 3-2, at the SNHU Fieldhouse on Sept. 9 and posted a 9-0 blanking at home in men’s tennis Sept. 17. Click HERE to visit the Queen City Cup page with details, history and a scoreboard to keep track of the Cup points.