‘Best game of the year’

Aca­dia Ax­e­women suf­fer last-minute loss in ‘riv­et­ing’ na­tional match at home

Valley Journal Advertiser - - SPORTS - SARA ERIC­S­SON KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA

Aca­dia’s rugby Ax­e­women were min­utes away from vic­tory Nov. 1 when the Ot­tawa Gee-Gees scored two fi­nal points to con­tinue their pur­suit of yet an­other na­tional cham­pi­onship.

A re­lease pro­vided by Aca­dia Ath­let­ics said the game came to 26-24 for the On­tario team, and was a “riv­et­ing” match un­til the fi­nal sec­onds ticked off the clock, and the GeeGees scored to se­cure the vic­tory, punch­ing the vis­it­ing team’s ticket to the semi­fi­nal round.

Aca­dia Ath­let­ics ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Kevin Dickie said this meant the match was a tough one to lose for the team, and the univer­sity.

“I’ve not seen us play bet­ter, and I’ve not seen a bet­ter game. There’s the moral vic­tory part, and then the dif­fi­cult part is play­ing to the No. 1 team in the coun­try and com­ing out on the short side,” he said.

Rugby coach Matthew Du­rant led the team, ranked eighth in their di­vi­sion, as play­ers Mad­die Macken­zie, Alysha Cor­ri­gan and Gil­lian Bergsma scored tries for Aca­dia.

Macken­zie’s sec­ond try put Aca­dia in front with nine min­utes re­main­ing, and the team later tal­lied a pair of tries – six min­utes apart af­ter fall­ing be­hind – and as­sumed a 24-19 ad­van­tage, but the top-ranked Ot­tawa team per­se­vered and scored the game’s fi­nal points.

Dickie has dubbed the game the club’s “best game of the year,” and said this only means it was a more dev­as­tat­ing loss be­cause of it, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the team’s near­suc­cess­ful come­back.

He said it’s even more heart­break­ing con­sid­er­ing the prov­ince’s suc­cess over­all in the sport.

“If you take a look at suc­cess we’ve all had at the na­tional level, Nova Sco­tia is trending rugby-wise – es­pe­cially on the fe­male side,” he said.

“We’re cer­tainly trending ahead of the curve in terms of the sport be­com­ing big­ger and bet­ter in the prov­ince.”

Tour­na­ment play con­tin­ued un­til af­ter press time. Up­dates will be avail­able at KingsCountyNews.ca.

GARY MAN­NING

Aca­dia rugby Ax­e­woman Gil­lian Bergsma.

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