105-0 win against SMU shows a promising start to the season
In their first game back since their U Sports National Championship win, the X-Women Rugby team’s home opener was none other than a triumphant win over Saint Mary’s University. The women’s rugby team defeated Saint Mary’s University by a staggering 105 points to nil at the Oland Stadium.
The beginning of the game started off strong, but slow, and neither team put any points up on the board for the first quarter of the game. At the 20 minute mark, following the injury of one of the team’s key members, the X-Women had no choice but to regroup. The team went on to put over a hundred points on the board and keep the Huskies off the scoreboard for the rest of the game.
Regarding their big win, co-captain and starting fullback Jaelei Meyer explained that despite the team’s successful start, they must continue to get better and not let their guard down. “I think [SMU] just caught us on really good day” Meyer explained. “We know that the next time we play SMU on their home field, it’s going to be a lot tighter of a game than our previous.” Meyer continued to point out more future challenges the X-Women should expect in the near future. “Especially with SMU’s coaching staff and the players that they have; they did a lot of good recruiting and it will be a completely different team the next time we see them.”
Meyer also emphasized the key role that some new players had in this game. “In that game against SMU we actually had two rookies starting in some pretty critical positions for the rugby team. For example, we had one rookie, Hannah Ellis, come in as a starting fly-half, which is one of the hardest positions to come into.” The X-Women’s previous starting fly-half, Sabrina McDaid, played with the X-Women for 5 years, and left the crucial spot open for this season. “Hannah came out and pretty much made her mark on the X,” Meyer said. “She did really well in that game.”
Third year starting lock, Carolyn Williams, reiterated Meyer’s sentiments about the team’s roster by saying that “there is so much depth and competition for a starting spot and we all push each other in practice to be the best we can be.” Williams managed to win player of the game at the home opener. Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh discussed the team’s early success and the team that he has put together for this season. He put emphasis on the team’s pre-season practices. “I think that we had a really good training camp this year. I thought that the girls came in very fit, and very hungry. They’re on a mission this year to win back-to-back championships.” The X-women currently hold the U Sports National Championship title – one that they’ve claimed a total of five times since 2006 – and are looking to reclaim it again in 2017. “We’ve won national championships on even years, so it seems like every year that we win a national championship, we take the next year off.” Said Cavanaugh. “So, over the summer, our message was, it gets harder once you’re a champion, it doesn’t get easier. This is going to be a very good team this year, and it has the potential to win another national championship. If we do, it will be because of the hard work they put in on the offseason. ”The team travelled to the University of Prince Edward Island on September 16 to capture another lopsided 90-0 win over the UPEI Panthers.
This Saturday, September 23, the X-Women Rugby team will play at home again for a 2:00pm game against Acadia.