October 27, 2013, CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. (ISN) – The CIS No. 5-ranked StFX X-Women edged the top-seeded Acadia Axewomen 19-12 in overtime to claim their 16th consecutive AUS women’s rugby title at the 2013 Subway AUS women’s rugby championship Sunday afternoon at UPEI’s Alumni Canada Games Place.
Despite the cold, rainy weather and a wet field, Sunday’s final did not disappoint, marking the first time in the history of AUS women’s rugby that a post-season contest has gone into overtime.
The X-Women trailed by a score of 12-0 at the half, but scored 19 unanswered points to complete an impressive comeback.
Tournament MVP Emma Taylor (Scotsburn, N.S.) scored the game-winning try in the final minute of the second 10-minute overtime half to give the reigning AUS and CIS champions another conference banner and a berth in next week’s CIS championship hosted by Laval.
Early in the match, both teams battled for field position with neither team able to score. The Axewomen finally got on the board in the 20th minute when AUS all-star Janna Slevinsky (St. Albert, Alta.) touched the ball down in the StFX end zone for a 5-0 lead.
With eight minutes to play in the opening half, Acadia’s Laura Klingenberg (South Bruce Peninsule, Ont.), named the AUS rookie of the year Friday, added to her team’s total with another try. Amber Davison (Kingston, N.S.) was successful with the conversion attempt to make it 12-0, a lead the top-seeded Axewomen took into the halftime break.
The defending CIS and AUS champions came out in the second half and didn’t waste any time working on a comeback.
Danielle Robb (Shawnigan Lake, B.C.) capitalized on a bobbled ball by the Axewomen deep in their own zone and managed to score the X-Women’s first try of the day just one minute into the second half. The convert was missed to make the score 12-5.
Twelve minutes later, in the 53rd minute, StFX completed the comeback thanks to a Natalie Lesco (London, Ont.) try followed by a successful convert by Sabrina McDaid (Scarborough, Ont.).
The final 27 minutes of regulation time remained scoreless as the top two teams in the conference battled to a 12-12 tie after 80 minutes of play.
The overtime format for the AUS championship final consists of two 10-minute halves and after 19 minutes of extra time, Taylor was able to put the X-Women ahead with her first try of the weekend. Sabrina McDaid was good on her convert attempt to make the final score 19-12.
“This final was even harder than many of the CIS championship matches I’ve played in,” said Taylor, a 2012 AUS conference all-star. “It was cold and it was rainy, but we never gave up. Even when we were down 12-0, we knew we could battle back.”
“Acadia is a very talented team,” added Taylor. “We knew coming into this match that no matter who won, the AUS conference would be represented well nationally.”
The X-Women, now 9-1 (7-1 regular season, 2-0 AUS playoffs) are riding a nine-game winning streak. They dropped their season opener against the Axewomen by a score of 44-13 back on Sept. 6, but have not lost to a conference opponent since.
The Subway Players of the Game were Natalie Lesco from StFX and Laura Klingenberg from Acadia.
With the win, the X-Women keep their perfect AUS playoff record unblemished, having never lost a post-season game in AUS championship play. They will once again have their name engraved on the Birks Memorial Trophy.
StFX will now advance to next weekend’s CIS championship being hosted by Laval in Quebec City, Que.
The X-Women are making their 16th consecutive appearance at the CIS championship.
- ACA: 12-0 | 0-0: 12
- StFX: 0-12 | 0-7: 19
- Acadia: Janna Slevinsky – try, 20th minute. 5-0
- Acadia: Laura Klingenberg – try, 32nd minute (Amber Davison convert). 12-0
- StFX: Danielle Robb – try, 41st minute. 12-5
- StFX: Natalie Lesco – try, 53rd minute. (Sabrina McDaid convert) 12-12
StFX: Emma Taylor – try, 99th minute (19th minute of overtime). (Sabrina McDaid convert) 12-19
2013 AUS championship most valuable player:
Emma Taylor, StFX (Scotsburn, N.S.)
Subway Players of the Game:
ACA: Laura Klingenberg (S. Bruce Peninsula, Ont.)
StFX: Natalie Lesco (London, Ont.)
- Try: 5 points
- Penalty goal: 3 points
- Convert: 2 points
SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Saturday, October 26
- Semifinal #1: Acadia 69, UPEI 12
- Semifinal #2: StFX 60, Saint Mary’s 15
Sunday, October 27
- Championship final: StFX 19, Acadia 12 (OT)
For more information on the 2013 CIS women’s rugby championship, please visit the official website at: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wrugby/index