A trio of UPEI Panthers forces an Acadia Axewomen out of bounds during Saturday's Atlantic University Sport women's rugby game in Charlottetown.
CIS fifth-ranked Acadia downs UPEI 88-5
The UPEI Panthers lost 88-5 Saturday to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s fifth-ranked Acadia Axewomen in women’s rugby action in Charlottetown.
Despite the score, there were positives to take away from the game for a young Panthers team. Twenty of the team’s 24 players are in their first or second season, three are third years and one is in their fourth.
A week ago, Acadia defeated UPEI 106-0 in Wolfville, N.S., and had a 19-0 lead 10 minutes into the game.
On Saturday, the teams were scoreless through 17 minutes until Emilie Chiasson scored the first of her four trys en route to breaking the single-season Atlantic University Sport (AUS) record for points with 172.
“We have this very young team that has been growing steadily,” Panthers coach Shannon Atkins said. “I really see we’re on our way up. This game was a really great sign of the things we can do.”
The conference-leading Axewomen led 31-0 at the half, but Holly Jones would get her team on the board early in the second half.
The Panthers opened the half by kicking the ball to Acadia.
“We stole possession, rucked it, moved the ball, she broke a couple of tackles and scored a try,” Atkins explained. “I know Holly Jones scored it, but the whole team worked to make that happen.”
The score was one of the positives the team will build on.
“It just made them realize that they can do more than they think can sometimes,” Atkins said.
The Panthers have played the last two games without one of its best players in rookie fullback Megan Thorpe. Kalie MacKinnon, another rookie, has played the position in her absence.
“This weekend she was terrific,” Atkins said. “The more time (the team has) to play together, the better we’re going to be.”
Acadia improved to 7-0 while UPEI is 1-5.
Janna Slevinsky had three trys from Acadia while Riley Kitchin and Laura Klingenberg each added two. Singles went to Maddie MacKenzie, Amber Davison and Veronique Russell. Chiasson had nine converts.
The Panthers have two games remaining in its regular season, Friday at 7 p.m. in Fredericton against St. Thomas (0-7) and Sunday at home at 2 p.m. against Saint Mary’s (3-4).
“My intention is to win those two games,” Atkins said.
UPEI lost 48-15 to Saint Mary’s in its first game of the season and defeated St. Thomas 64-10 in the second game.
The Panthers are hosting the conference championship Oct. 26 and 27.