2018 U SPORTS National Champions

2018 U SPORTS National Champions


The StFX X-Women won the 2018 U SPORTS championship, their sixth national title in team history, following up on a national bronze from last season. The Atlantic University Sport (AUS) champions, they returned to the national championship for the 21st consecutive season. The X-Women defeated Queen’s 42-21 in the quarter-final game and Laval 26-12 in the semifinal, before going on to handle Guelph 41-24 in the championship game.

The X-Women are 20-time AUS champions, having won from 1998-2014 and again the past three seasons. They defeated conference rival Acadia 38-7 in this year’s AUS final.

Ranked No. 2 nationally throughout the season, the X-Women sported a perfect 6-0 record to finish atop the AUS conference. The 2018 StFX squad led the conference in points scored (372), tries (62), and conversions (31), and allowed the fewest points scored against (59). In exhibition non-conference play, the X-Women posted a 3-3 record.

The X-Women were led this season by five AUS all-stars, including four-time U SPORTS All-Canadian and five-time conference all-star, prop Joanna Alphonso. No. 8 Olivia DeMerchant, a member of the Canadian senior women’s team returned for her fifth year of eligibility and earned a nod on the AUS all-star team. She also played a dominant U SPORTS championship and earned tournament MVP honours. Fifth year scrum half Alison Blanchard, second year center Sarah Hoerig and third year winger Carleigh Walters were also named AUS all-stars. Fly half Danielle Franada was third overall in AUS scoring with 43 points on the season, while Alphonso, DeMerchant and Hoerig each scored 30 points. Franada, DeMerchant, Alphonso and fourth year flanker Amelia Hatfield all earned recognition as 2018 U SPORTS tournament all-stars.

The X-Women are guided by two-time U SPORTS coach of the year and 11-time AUS coach of the year Mike Cavanagh, currently in his 20th season. Since 2002, Cavanagh's career record stands at 99-3-2 in regular season play and 149-31-5 overall (regular season, AUS & U SPORTS playoffs).

Following the 2018 U SPORTS championship, the X-Women currently have a championship record of 35-31-3 with six gold medals (2018, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, and 2006), three silver medals (2011, 2009, 2008) and one bronze (2017).

Championship Record:  3 wins and 0 losses
Quarterfinals: Defeated Queen's 42-21
Semi-finals: Defeated Laval 26-12
Gold Medal Game: Defeated Guelph 41-24

U SPORTS 2nd team All-Canadians:  Joanna Alphonso, Olivia DeMerchant
U SPORTS Tournament MVP:  Olivia DeMerchant
U SPORTS Tournament All-Stars:  Joanna Alphonso, Olivia DeMerchant, Amelia Hatfield, Danielle Franada
AUS Coach of the Year:  Mike Cavanagh
AUS All-Stars:  Joanna Alphonso, Alison Blanchard, Olivia DeMerchant, Sarah Hoerig, Carleigh Walters

AUS Regular Season Record:  6 wins, 0 losses
AUS Regular Season Standing:  1st place, 12 points
AUS Playoff Record:  1 win and 0 losses
Defeated Acadia 38-7 in the AUS final