The St. F.X. X-Women celebrate their Atlantic University Sport rugby title Sunday in Charlottetown.
The St. F.X. X-Women were not ready to lose their grip on the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) rugby championship.
The Antigonish, N.S., university defeated Acadia 19-12 in overtime Sunday in Charlottetown to continue a streak of conference titles that dates back to 2002 when the sport became sanctioned by the AUS.
“Sometimes I find the fear of losing is much more powerful than the excitement of winning,” said Emma Taylor, a fourth-year X-Women from Scotsburn, N.S.
“We came in here knowing we could be the first team to lose. I think that’s what really pushed us,” the playoff MVP said. “We weren’t ready to be the first team to lose the AUS at X.”
Acadia gave the defending Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) champion X-Women all they could handle.
The Axewomen built a 12-0 lead at the half on trys Janna Slevinsky in the 20th minute and Janna Slevinsky in the 32nd minute. Amber Davison had a convert.
The X-Women replied with a Danielle Robb try in the first minute of the second half following a bobbled ball deep in the Acadia end.
Natalie Lesco scored a try in the 53rd minute and Sabrina McDaid tied it with the convert.
The score remain tied through regulation and the first 19 minutes of the 20-minute overtime.
Taylor scored with a minute to go after a few good plays by her teammates led to the X-Women having control of the ball near the goal-line.
“I just picked it up and dove it in,” Taylor said. “I really did the least of the work.”
The Subway players of the game were Acadia’s Laura Klingenberg and St. F.X.’s Lesco.
After years of dominating the competition the defending national champion X-Women were pushed during the AUS season. They split their two games with Acadia in the regular season and Sunday’s final could have went either way.
“That was probably the hardest game I ever played,” Taylor said of Sunday’s titlt. “There were points in the game where I didn’t think I had anything left, that’s how exhausting it was. It was so exciting. Honestly, that’s what an AUS final should look like.”
She said being pushed to the limit will help them as they prepare for the CIS championship in Laval starting Thursday. The X-Women have won the title two of the previous three years.
“We’re going to put on a hell of a show at nationals again this year and Acadia would have done the same thing if they won,” Taylor said.
The X-Women included three Islanders. Beckie Clark is a first-year centre from Summerside, Angelina MacLellan is a second-year lock from Cornwall, and Ellen Murphy is a second-year prop/lock from Augustine Cove.
The Axewomen have two Islanders on their roster. Stratford's Hailee Coll is a first-year player at Acadia while Morell's Nicole Kelly is a fourth-year winger.
Scores from the Atlantic University Sport rugby championship held at UPEI.
St. F.X. 19, Acadia 12 (OT)
Acadia 69, UPEI 12
St. F.X. 60, Saint Mary’s 15