By John DeCoste
The Acadia Axewomen and St. F.X. X-Women rugby teams are on a collision course to meet each other for the conference title Oct. 26 in Charlottetown.
Prior to action for both teams this past weekend, Acadia led the conference standings with a 5-0 record and a game in hand over 5-1 St. F.X.
The Axewomen had scored 370 points in their five games and allowed the opposition just 18 points. The X-Women had scored 494 points in six games and allowed just 44.
The difference in the season so far is Acadia’s 44-13 win over St. F.X. on Sept. 6 in the season opener for both squads, neither of which has lost since.
With the other three teams in the conference (Saint Mary’s, UPEI and St. Thomas) seemingly not a factor, the season - and first place in the conference standings - will likely hinge on the St. F.X. versus Acadia rematch Oct. 19 in Wolfville.
The Axewomen hold a 31-point advantage by virtue of their win in Antigonish. To finish first, St. F.X. must not only win the Oct. 19 game, but win by 32 points or more, said Axewomen head coach Matt Durant, “assuming we win our two games against UPEI.”
Those UPEI games will be played Oct. 5 in Wolfville and Oct. 12 in Charlottetown. St. F.X. had one additional game left to play Oct. 4 against winless St. Thomas.
In terms of statistics, with three games left to play, Acadia’s Emilie Chaisson led the conference in scoring with 108 points on 14 tries and 19 converts.
The rest of the Acadia scoring was spread around – the mark of a good team. Maddie MacKenzie had eight tries; Allison Jordan, Janna Slevinski and Laura Klingenberg five apiece; Veronique Russell four; and Kate Amirault, Rachel Chapman and Michaela Haley three each.
Genevieve Bittorf, Molly Labenski and Kate Little had each scored a pair of tries. Heather Boersma, Kristine Lovatt, Maddie Fray, Natalie Silver, Nicole Kelly, Riley Kitchin, Amber Davison, Makayla Albert, Gillian Bergsma and Laura Trider had scored one try each, and Shannon White had kicked one convert.
Durant said he was pleased with the season so far, although it’s hasn’t been without adversity.
“(Acadia) has had some injuries, but this has really opened the door to many younger players who have all played very, very well,” he said.
“We have some great young players who are really making a case for starting positions, which is great to see.”
He predicted the Axewomen would be “firing on all cylinders” on Oct. 19.
“(It’s) unfortunate we’re seeing so many lopsided scores in the league this season,” Durant said, adding that St. F.X. and Acadia have really made some “huge strides” in the last few years, leaving both teams in a “dominant position” in the league.
“I think the highly competitive nature of the contests between us and X is super for the league, and I think it’ll be a great game here at Homecoming Oct. 19,” he said.
“We were ready at St. F.X. to open the season, and we’ll be ready when they come here. Our ladies are serious about getting to nationals and making some noise. I really think we can do big things at nationals this year.”