20th U SPORTS Women's Rugby Championship:
StFX moves into semifinals with win over host Pronghorns
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. (U SPORTS) – Looking to repeat as U SPORTS women's rugby champions, the top-seeded StFX X-Women exerted their size and strength, moving on to semifinals with a 39-12 win over the host Lethbridge Pronghorns.
StFX will now face the Laval Rouge et Or in the second semifinal, Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. ET. Lethbridge will face the Guelph Gryphons in the second consolation semifinal at 3:00 p.m. ET.
"I am very proud of the girls today, I think all the teams had to throw their game plans out the window with the weather conditions and grind out wins," said StFX head coach Mike Cavanagh. "Our forwards went forward all day and we scrummaged well, so it was a good win for us."
Three minutes into the game, the top ranked X-Women took advantage of a Pronghorn penalty deep in the offensive end, with Danielle Cormier touching down the ball to open the scoring. AUS-leading scorer Danielle Franada made the convert to put StFX up 7-0.
Nine minutes later, off another Pronghorn penalty, a StFX scrum pushed the Pronghorns back from 10 yards and scrum half Alison Blanchard picked up the second try for the X-Women, pushing the lead to 12-0.
Following a strong push by the Pronghorns in the middle of the half, StFX pushed the Pronghorns deep into their own end again, but strong defending by the Pronghorns kept the X-Women out of the endzone for an extended period.
With five minutes remaining in the half and the Pronghorns pinned on their goal line, StFX was awarded a penalty try, putting the X-Women up 19-0.
After the restart, StFX pressed the Pronghorns back deep into their own end again and Sara McCarron scored the X-Women's fourth try in the 38th minute to up the lead to 24-0.
Lethbridge was finally able to get on the scoreboard just three minutes later. Sydney De La Mare broke a tackle 25 yards out and rumbled in for the Pronghorns' first try. Caitlin Sears hit the convert to make the score 24-7.
Any thoughts of a Pronghorn comeback in the second half were quickly put to rest. Off the kick-off, StFX pinned the Pronghorns deep again and off another penalty, the X-Women scored again. Taking a quick tap, Joanna Alphonso crashed into the Lethbridge defence and in for the try. The convert was missed to increase StFX's lead to 29-7.
Not wanting to go away quietly, Lethbridge responded right back, as senior Brittany Orr touched down the ball in the corner of the end zone. The convert was missed from the wide angle and with 16 minutes remaining the Pronghorns trailed 29-12.
Showing their power again, a StFX scrum from 10 yards pushed right into the Pronghorn endzone and Miranda Sample was credited with the try. Substitute Alexandra Hamilton rounded out the scoring with a try for the X-Women with two minutes to play.
Third year prop Sam Lake was honored as the StFX player of the game.
38' StFX Sara McCarron Try, 24-0
41' Lethbridge Sydney De La Mare Try (Caitlin Sears convert), 24-7
49' StFX Joanna Alphonso Try, 29-7
54' Lethbridge Brittany Orr Try, 29-12
61' StFX Miranda Sample Try, 34-12
68' StFX Alexandra Hamilton Try, 39-12
Thursday, November 2nd
11:00 am Calgary 41 vs Queen's 5 - Quarterfinal 1
1:00 pm Ottawa 65 vs Acadia 5 - Quarterfinal 2
3:00 pm Guelph 5 vs Laval 35 - Quarterfinal 3
5:00 pm StFX 39 vs Lethbridge 12 - Quarterfinal 4
Friday, November 3rd
11:00 am Queen's vs Acadia – Consolation Semi-Final #1
1:00 pm Guelph vs Lethbridge – Consolation Semi-Final #2
3:00 pm Calgary vs Ottawa –Semi-Final #1
5:00 pm Laval vs StFX –Semi-Final #2
Sunday, November 5th
11:00 am Game I – Consolation Final
1:00 pm Game J – Bronze Medal
3:00 pm Game K – Gold Medal
*All times are local
Courtesy Lethbridge Pronghorns Communications