It’s time for the 2019 Queen City Cup, a multisport battle between long-time rivals Southern New Hampshire University and Saint Anselm College. The winner of the most events wins the Queen City Cup and bragging rights for a year.
The schools, just seven miles apart from each other, began competing in 1969 when SNHU was still New Hampshire College. However, their official rivalry, documented through SNHU Penmen, didn’t begin until 1977 with a women’s basketball game.
SNHU joined the Northeast-10 Conference in 2000, ensuring that the teams would meet up for a range of (currently)15 sports, at least once a year. This fiercened the rivalry, but the two schools felt they needed something more.
In 2014, the SNHU Penmen-St. Anselm Hawk rivalry escalated the intracity competition with the introduction of the Queen City Cup, awarded at the end of the final season. For season games, a win is worth two points while is tie is worth one.
“The rivalry is always exciting when schools are this close geographically and compete in the same conference,” said SNHU Athletic Director, Anthony Fallacaro, “I think the idea the student-athletes came up with to further grow the competition with an annual cup made the enthusiasm around these games even more thrilling.”
SNHU held the Queen City Cup Champion from 2014-2017. In the 2016-2017 Cup competition, Saint Anselm came close to stealing the title as over 2,000 fans packed into the SNHU Athletic Complex. The suspense was high as fans eagerly watched their favorite teams go head-to-head for the final men’s basketball game.
The following year, Saint Anselm took their first win in the 2017–2018 cup with an end tally of 21–15. With tensions high after Saint Anselm’s victory in the previous year’s cup, spectators packed the stands for the 2018–2019 games. The competition ended in a tie, making the 2019-2020 schoolyear a tiebreaker.
“I think the local fans have a good level of excitement around these games as they are routinely covered by the media. This cup, however, creates an even different level of support from the campuses and a sense of pride among the teams,” Fallacaro said.
So far, SNHU took the first victory in women’s tennis, shutting out Saint Anselm in a 7–0 game on September 17. Saint Anselm then responded in volleyball with an end score of 3-2, and field hockey with a 2-0 game. As it currently stands, Saint Anselm holds three points, while SNHU follows closely behind with two.
“Overall, it has been a very healthy and competitive experience that has made an already exciting series of contests even more exhilarating for those involved,” Fallacaro said.
The next game, a Northeast-10 Championship, features women’s cross country and is scheduled on October 27. Updated standings are posted to the Queen City Cup website at https://snhupenmen.com/QueenCityCup/index.