Last second stand allows StFX to squeak by Concordia

Courtesy Victoria Vikes Communications
Courtesy Victoria Vikes Communications

VICTORIA, BC – In a contest that came down to the very last play of the game the StFX X-Women held on for a 24-17 victory over the Concordia Stingers in U Sports quarterfinal action.

"It was a game of momentum. Both teams controlled the game at different times. We tackled well, and held them up," said X-Women head coach Mike Cavanagh. "They had some pretty good backs that punished us whenever they got the ball, but we will take the win and run."

With two minutes left in the game and the score tied 17-17, the X-Women were awarded a penalty try after their strong pressure forced Concordia into repeat infringements.

Not willing to give up, the Stingers marched right back down the field and almost scored a try of their own on the last play of the game, but the referee ruled that the ball was held up by the X-Women defence.

"At the end I don't know what happened exactly, but what a heartbreaking way for this game to finish," said Concordia head coach Graeme McGravie.

With the win, the fourth seeded X-Women will now move on to play in the semi-final against the either the Guelph Gryphons or the Victoria Vikes. Concordia is relegated to the consolation side of the tournament.

StFX was in control the game early. Back-to-back tries by Danielle Cormier and Ellen Murphy gave the team from Nova Scotia an early lead.

The teams traded tries on either side of the half time break but at about five minutes into the second half Concordia kicked things into another gear.

"We knew we had that, the question is why we didn't do that for the entire second half. They've always bounced back all year. We just didn't finish it and that's the disappointing thing," said McGravie.

Mercedes Martino and Alexandra Tessier scored twice in a row for the Stingers to tie the game up 17-17.

"We were great in the first ten or fifteen minutes of the second half but then stopped playing and let them come back into the game," said McGravie.

After the game was tied it was the X-Women who found another gear. Asked about his team's efforts to get the game winning try awarded to them Cavanagh said, "We just kept going at them, didn't get greedy and had a couple good scrums there."

SCORING

StFX: 12-12:24
CON: 5-12:17 

SCORING SUMMARY

FIRST HALF
StFX – Danielle Cormier try
StFX – Ellen Murphy try (Sabrina McDaid convert)
CON – Frederique Rajotte try 

SECOND HALF
StFX – Joanna Alphonso try
CON – Mercedes Martino (Alexandra Ste Marie convert)
CON – Alexandra Tessier try
StFX – Penalty Try (Sabrina McDaid convert) 

Cards
StFX – Jaelei Meyer (Yellow) 

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times Pacific Time)

Thursday, Nov. 3
12:00 Quarter-final 1: No. 3 Calgary (42) vs. No. 6 Acadia (10)
14:00 Quarter-final 2: No. 2 Ottawa (25) vs. No. 7 McMaster (19)
17:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 4 StFX (24) vs. No. 5 Concordia (17)
19:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 1 Guelph vs. No. 8 Victoria 

Friday, Nov. 4
17:00 Semifinal 1: Calgary vs. Ottawa
19:00 Semifinal 2: StFX vs. Winner QF 4 

Saturday, Nov. 5
12:00 Consolation 1: Acadia vs. McMaster
14:00 Consolation 2: Concordia vs. Loser QF 4 

Sunday, Nov. 6
11:00 Fifth place
13:00 Bronze medal
15:00 Championship final