West point, NY – The StFX X-Women came out on top 20-19 over the Army Black Knights in very wet, rainy conditions Wednesday night in exhibition action. The loss was the first one of the season for the Black Knights, who compete in Tier I in the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA).
In the opening five minutes of play, StFX's Sophie Parker scored the first try of the game. As the StFX scrum were deep in Black Knights territory, they moved the ball over the try line and Parker pounced on it. The good field position was set up on nice long run by Sarah Hoerig. The unconverted try gave the X-Women an early 5-0 lead.
At the 11 minute mark, after more continued StFX pressure in the Army zone, veteran Sam Lake scored an unconverted try to give the visitors a 10-0 lead. Five minutes later they went up 15-0 off another Parker try scored off an X scrum.
Army was pressuring late in the first half but the X-Women defense held them off.
The home squad finally got on the board with eight minutes left in the first half as one of their players broke through on long run and scored. With the conversion it brought the score to 15-7 in favour of X, which held up until halftime.
The second half was a different story as Army came out with a mission. They scored four minutes in off another long run. The try went unconverted and X lead 15-12.
As a close defensive battle ensued, the X-Women increased their lead to 20-12 as a deep kick into Black Knights territory resulted in Sammy Nadeau chasing it down and jumping on the try just over the try line in the corner for the unconverted score.
The Black Knights went on to hold some lengthy possessions and were on the doorstep threatening to score but the X defense held them back.
Army continued to dominate as the half went on and it paid off with seven minutes left in the game as they scored their third try of the night. With a good conversion kick, they brought the score to within one at 20-19.
The X-Women were able to stave off the Black Knights for the remainder of the game and hold onto the win.
The defending AUS and U SPORTS champions will be off this weekend with a playoff bye. Acadia will host UPEI on Saturday in the AUS semifinal with the winner advancing to meet the X-Women in the championship game on Saturday, October 26th. Game time is 2:00 pm at StFx Stadium.