WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The U SPORTS No. 2 ranked StFX X-Women retained first place in the AUS standings, but it didn't come easy as they edged the No. 8 ranked Acadia Axewomen 22-20 Sunday afternoon in the last game of the AUS regular season.
If the Axewomen had posted a win of 20 points or more, they would have clinched first place overall, but the stars were not aligned for such a victory.
Fans were treated to an epic battle with Acadia pulling out to an early 15-0 lead.
Seven minutes into the match, second year Axewoman Emilie Merilainen ran 20 yards after a pass from Annie Kennedy on the perimeter.
The Axewomen stretched the lead to 10-0 five minutes later when Alysha Corrigan straight-armed two X defenders and ran 65 yards to the try line for her fifth try of the regular season.
Late in the opening half, second year flanker Laura Pfleiderer pushed the lead to 15-0 on a diving try in the corner of the try line.
Finally the X-Women responded with two minutes remaining in the opening half, when Joanna Alphonso powered her way in for StFX's first points of the game.
All tries in the first half were not converted.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half leaned in favour of the X-Women.
In typical StFX fashion, Amelia Hatfield powered over the try line on a one-yard dive, closing the Acadia lead to 15-12 on the ensuing Dani Franada conversion in the opening two minutes of the second half.
Sophie Parker added a third consecutive X-Women try five minutes later on another tightly contested inside run which game StFX their first lead of the day.
StFX's last try of the day came with nine minutes remaining in the match on the power of their ruck. As the X-Women pulled ahead 22-15 on the unconverted try by Alison Blanchard, time would become the enemy of the Axewomen squad.
With no time remaining on the unofficial clock, Acadia's Keisha Kane pulled the Axewomen to within two points on a great scoring effort in close. A missed conversion left the Axewomen short in tying the match as the X-Women defenders came up with a big black on the conversion attempt to seal the victory with no time left on the clock.
The X-Women finished the season with a perfect 6-0 record in first place in the AUS standings. The Axewomen settle for 4-2 in second place record and will host UPEI in the AUS semi-final game this coming weekend.
With the first place finish the X-Women earn a bye into the championship game and the right to host that game on their campus. They await the winner of the Acadia-UPEI playoff game and will play for the AUS title on Friday, October 26th at 6:00 pm at StFX Oland Stadium.
Courtesy Acadia Sports Information
ACA – 7 min. Emilie Merilainen try, no conversion 5-0 ACA
ACA – 12 min. Alysha Corrigan try, no conversion 10-0 ACA
ACA – 32 min. Laura Pfleiderer try, no conversion 15-0 ACA
StFX – 38 min. Joanna Alphonso try, no conversion 15-5 ACA
StFX – 42 min. Amelia Hatfield try, Dani Franada conversion 15-12 ACA
StFX – 46 min. Sophie Parker try, no conversion 17-15 StFX
StFX – 71 min. Alison Blanchard try, no conversion 22-15 StFX
ACA – 80 min. Kiesha Kane try, no conversion 22-20 StFX