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Wolfville's Axewomen to face StFX in finals after win over UPEI

Acadia’s Maddie MacKenzie gets pulled down by UPEI Panther in recent semifinal action.
Acadia’s Maddie MacKenzie gets pulled down by UPEI Panther in recent semifinal action. - Acadia Athletics/ PeterOleskevich

WOLFVILLE, N.S. - For the eighth year in a row, the Axewomen rugby team will be taking on StFX in the AUS championship game after Acadia’s 55-0 win over the visiting UPEI Panthers in AUS semifinal action.

Subway Player of the Game Annie Kennedy posted three tries and five conversions in the Axewomen’s third win of the season against the Panthers.

The Axewomen scored three minutes into the opening half when Emilie Merilainen had an easy off to Kennedy, who had an easy 30-yard sprint to the try line. Kennedy converted her first of three tries.

Maddie MacKenzie’s hard work paid off as she was taken down inside the 22-yard line and tossed it off to Nicole Pahl for Acadia’s second try in the opening 12 minutes.

The Axewomen would go on to score one more try in the opening half. Bailey Dembicki’s try was converted by Kennedy for a 19-0 halftime lead over the Panthers.

Former Panther Alysha Corrigan picked up a loose ball 15 yards outside of the Panther try line and used her speed and strength to open the second half.

Kennedy scored her second try of the night off of a great outside pass from Gillian Bergsma to push the Axewomen lead to 29-0 at the 45-minute mark of the game.

Ten minutes later the lead was extended to 36 on a MacKenzie try that was converted by Kennedy.

Merilainen extended the lead to 43-0 with just over 20 minutes remaining in the match on a run that demonstrated her speed in open space. Kennedy converted the try.

Alysha Corrigan scored her second try of the night on a long 50-plus yard run that used several straight arms to elude the Panther tacklers.

With a 48-0 lead, Kennedy added her third try of the evening and converted her fifth try of the game to give Acadia a 55-0 win over UPEI.

Kennedy, who was named the Subway Player of the Game, noted that the team plays one game at a time.

“We just take it game by game with the hope of winning the AUS next weekend. We will worry about AUS before we worry about nationals,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy was concerned about the Axewomen’s lull in the first half.

“We definitely have some things to work on. It was our performance 100 per cent. We didn’t have the ball the first half so that’s something we definitely have to work on. A little more possession. That will come. We are pretty confident going into the AUS championship,” said Kennedy.

The Axewomen face StFX on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. in Antigonish. Watch the Championship live on AUStv.ca.

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