Rugby player is living the dream
By John DeCoste
Axewomen Emilie Chiasson shattered the women’s rugby conference scoring title this past weekend.
During Acadia’s 88-5 victory over the UPEI Panthers in Charlottetown Oct. 12, the senior player scored 38 points to set a new single-season scoring record of 172 points. The previous record holder was X-Woman Magali Harvey who had 145 points last year.
She has smashed her own Acadia scoring record of 72 points and still has one regular season game to play Oct. 19 when Acadia hosts St. F.X. to add to her total of 20 tries and 36 converts.
Chiasson spoke to the Register before Saturday’s game
How did you end up choosing Acadia?
“I knew I wanted to attend a small university for my undergrad. Since my family is originally from the East Coast, it has always been a second home, and when I visited Acadia I just knew it was the right school for me.”
What was your background in rugby before coming to Acadia?
“I started playing rugby in high school in Grade 12. I found a club team to play on in the summer before I came to Acadia, and my coach really pushed me to try out for varsity rugby. Having just started, I didn’t think I could make the team, but, with her encouragement, I tried out and made it my first year. Other than my second year when I broke my collarbone and was out for the season, I’ve been playing ever since.”
This season the Axewomen have elevated their game to a higher level. What’s the biggest change you see over last season?
“This program has been gaining tremendous momentum since my first year when Matt Durant came in as head coach. Having now been with him for four years, I’ve seen this program and the players in it develop.
“This year, our returning players have come back stronger, faster and more skilled, and our rookies are the best group we’ve ever had come into training camp.
“The combination of committed veterans and talented recruits has brought our team to a higher level, with more competition for starting spots and dressing positions than we’ve ever had since I’ve been here.”
You’re currently leading the conference in scoring. How much do individual accomplishments and awards mean to you?
“I never look at individual accomplishments as my main drive in rugby. This is a team sport, and it is the collective effort from the team that creates possibilities for scoring.
“I think I’ve been in the right place at the right time with the chance to score due to the hard work, that often goes unrecognized, by my teammates who have made those opportunities possible.
“It’s been amazing this season so see a wide variety of players scoring. I think, again, that attests to the fact that we are stronger than ever.”
Do you see yourself as a team leader on the squad?
“Like any veteran player, I feel some sense of leadership just from having the experience of being on the team before. I would hope my teammates know they can rely on me because of the effort I’ve put into preparing for and during the season.
“I think my teammates lead by pushing me to always work hard, and I strive to do the same for them.”
By the numbers…
Who: Emilie Chiasson
Team: Acadia Axewomen
Position: Flyhalf, fullback
Season so far: 172 points, 20 tries and 36 converts.