Antigonish, NS - On a beautiful Homecoming Sunday autumn afternoon at Oland Stadium, the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked X-Women defeated the UPEI Panthers by a score of 93-0.
The spirited and skilled Panthers side battled the X-Women for 80 minutes but, as championship sides do, any Panther half-mistake was punished by a clinical X-Women squad in the form of a try.
The first X-Women try was scored by Subway Player of the Game, June Beals (North Preston, NS) five minutes into the match as she intercepted a Panther pass about 30 metres from the line and touched down under the posts. The try came against the run of play as the Panthers had started the game well and had gone through a number of phases before the intercept try.
The second X try came off a StFX line-out and it was Number 8 Miranda Sample (Havelock, QC) who finished off a number of good passes through the hands of the StFX backs. The next two tries came from scrums near the Panther line with Sam Lake (Windsor, NS) and Joanna Alphonso (Ajax, ON) scoring.
Allison Blanchard scored next for the X-Women when off a loose Panther scrum, she kicked the ball forward, which hit the knee of a Panther player and landed right in Blanchard's hands, who easily put the ball down.
The X-Women kept the play deep in the Panther end and made their territorial pressure count with three more first half tries scored by Danielle Franada (Grand Prairie, AB), Blanchard and Alphonso. The score at the half was 46-0 for the X-Women
The second half saw continued pressure by the X-Women show itself on the scoreboard. Meghan Buchanan (Lethbridge, AB) and June Beals scored StFX's first two tries as Beals showed not just her speed, but quick feet and she ran down the wing. For her second try of the match, she received a great pass by X flanker, Amelia Hatfield (Halifax, NS). Hatfield was the next X-Women to touch down, which was just reward for her great open field play throughout the game.
It was then the turn of the StFX substitutes to contribute to the scoring. Sara Hoering (Whitby, ON) and Danielle Cormier (Halfax, NS) both reaped the benefits of the assured of substitute scrum-half Lucy Killacky's (Wolfville, NS) marshalling of the forwards and backs.
Next to score a try was Carleigh Walters (William's Lake, BC), who was the recipient of Franada's nice pass. Franada put in a complete performance for the X-Women. She made a number of silky passes and was excellent in defence as she patrolled the always difficult 13 channel. She kicked nine conversions, many of which were from difficult angles.
The final try of the match in the dying seconds was scored by Sammy Nadeau (Bewdley, ON) and the match ended 93-0 in favour of the X-Women.
The Panthers faced a difficult proposition this afternoon, but they remained composed throughout the match, conceding very few penalties and looking confident when they had the ball in hand. Unfortunately, those opportunities were few and far between. The front row of Frances MacWIlliam (Alberton, PEI), Brodie Cassita (Rothesay, NB) and Nicole Giddens (New Glasgow, NS) was excellent when carrying the ball and tackled well throughout the afternoon.
The forwards put in a disciplined performance and Number 8 Niki Triantafilou (Mermaid, PEI) distinguished herself in open play and controlled the ball very well at the back of the scrum. The half-back pairing of Maddy Shea (Elmsdale, PEI) and Alysha Corrigan (Sherwood, PEI) was composed under pressure and creative when the opportunity presented itself. The backs did very little wrong and showed great skill in the tackle area. You would not wish on your worst enemy to be the fullback that has to face the X-Women, but rookie Kalie MacKinnon (Charlottetwon, PEI) showed great positional awareness, never shying away from a tackle, and made a number of nice runs with the ball in hand.
Next on the AUS schedule sees the X-Women travel to Halifax to play Saint Mary's on Wednesday night at 7pm. The Panthers next see action on Saturday when they host play Acadia at 2pm.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Athletics communications
UPEI 0-0: 0
StFX 46-47: 93
StFX – June Beals try 1st minute (Danielle Franada convert), 5th minute
StFX – Miranda Sample try, 8th minute
StFX – Sam Lake try (Danielle Franada convert), 13th minute
StFX – Joanna Alphonso try 15th minute
StFX – Alison Blanchard try, 22nd minute
StFX – Danielle Franada try, 26th minute
StFX – Alison Blanchard try, 32nd minute
StFX – Joanna Alphonso try (Danielle Franada convert), 39th minute
StFX – Meghan Buchanan try (Danielle Franada convert), 45th minute
StFX – June Beals try (Danielle Franada convert), 47th minute
StFX – Amelia Hatfield try (Danielle Franada convert), 51st minute
StFX – Sara Hoerig try (Danielle Franada convert), 54th minute
StFX – Danielle Cormier try (Danielle Franada convert), 64th minute
StFX – Carleigh Walters try (Danielle Franada convert), 77th minute
StFX – Sammy Nadeau try, 79th minute
Subway Player of the game
StFX: June Beals (North Preston, N.S.)
Try: 5 points
Penalty goal: 3 points
Convert: 2 points