Charlottetown, PE - Since he was promoted to head coach two years ago, the James Voye-led UPEI Panthers have never lost at home to the STFX X-Women…until today.
The X-Women (3-0) proved they're still a championship contender after handing the Panthers (2-1) a 43-26 loss—their first of the season.
Jill Griffith led the charge, scoring three of her team's seven tries and was named STFX's Player of the Game, while Katie Murphy connected on four conversions.
UPEI's Emma MacLean countered with two tries and was named the Player of the Game for the home team.
The Panthers' defence came out strong and held the X-Women up in the in-goal twice in the first 10 minutes of play to keep the game even at zero.
However, they finally broke through in the 13th minute when the ball made its way to the left wing where Griffith touched down for the try.
In the 22nd minute, UPEI's Emily Duffy powered her way through the STFX defence for the converted try and a 7-5 lead.
But the X-Women responded with a converted try of their own just six minutes later, when Griffith found open space on the left side for the score from five yards out.
STFX attacked the left side again in the 35th minute, as Emily Dodge found open space for the try and a 19-7 lead.
Katherine Culligan finished the half with a 50-yard sprint where she weaved through the UPEI defence for an impressive try that extended the lead to 24-7.
The X-Women were also the first to score in the second half, as Kendra McDonell added her second try of the season to make it 31-7.
MacLean wouldn't let her team go down without a fight, as she scored the next two tries for the Panthers. The first came on a maul in the 56th minute and the other was a penalty try in the 63rd minute, which cut the deficit to 31-19.
With plenty of time still to work with, it looked like UPEI had the momentum, but STFX ended any thought of a comeback with a try from Brianna Willis on a maul that started 10 yards from the goal line.
Griffith added her third try of the game in the 75th minute to make it 43-19 before UPEI's Olivia McLeod ended the game with her second try of the campaign.
The Panthers will take on the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies next Sunday, while STFX welcomes the Acadia Axewomen.
Recap courtesy Thomas Becker, UPEI Athletics