A Celebration of Women in Sport and Wellness


Many changes made to traditional Homecoming schedule

While students and faculty are beginning to frantically wrap up the academic year, there is already a number of community members and alumni managing details of Homecoming 2019, taking place this following fall semester.

While Homecoming is always jam packed with celebrations, this year’s festivities will have a number of noteworthy milestones to commemorate in both health and athletics. This includes the 50-year anniversary since Mount Saint Bernard Athletics’ merged with StFX Athletics, and the 25-year anniversary of the Wellspring being established.

The celebration of these milestones is also a wonderful opportunity to recognize the immeasurable contributions of strong women to StFX University itself. Mount Saint Bernard College, the Sisters of St. Martha, and every woman to pave a path for those after are worth thanking and commending and there would be no better time to do so than StFX Homecoming.

Mount Saint Bernard College was founded in 1883 and provided post secondary education for young women. At the time, StFX college was an all male post secondary institution. The two schools were closely affiliated and by the early twentieth century, both young men and women were taking classes together under the chaperoning of nuns. It wasn’t until 1969 that the female athletes of Mount Saint Bernard could compete in varsity athletics under the StFX umbrella.

The advancing academic year will mark the 50 year anniversary of female varsity athletics at StFX. This highlight will be greatly celebrated at Homecoming 2019, as well the countless accolades achieved by the X-Women over the previous five decades.

For the purpose of celebrating the contributions and legacies of female athletes and leaders at StFX past and present, the customary Homecoming schedule will be adjusted solely for 2019.

The Saturday afternoon game at Oland Stadium, classically showcasing the X-Men football team, will be replaced by an X-Women Rugby game. The 2018 USPORTS national champions will face Acadia at 3pm on October 5. This is one of the most noteworthy changes, as this will be the first time a female varsity team has been showcased in the main athletic event on StFX’s Homecoming weekend. The football team will instead be playing on Friday, October 4 under the lights against Bishop’s University.

StFX and X-Women Alumni, Alyssa MacDonald was ecstatic about the news on scheduling. “Honestly, this is a huge milestone not only for women’s varsity athletics but USPORTS history in general! I’m always a proud alumnus, but I’m a little extra proud today. I’m so pumped to watch this game.”

Another commemoration being made at this year’s Homecoming will be granted to the deserving Wellspring; a safe place established by the Sisters of St. Martha to serve the Xaverian community. Located on the second floor of Morrison Hall and found next door to Mini Moe’s, the Wellspring has provided community members a wonderful haven to recharge.

The Wellspring has been a massive contributor to the general well-being and health on the StFX campus, and the strong women of St. Martha’s are the ones to thank. Whether its yoga, or a quiet space, the Wellspring has a way of promoting health around the community. On Friday, October 4, there will be a Wellspring open house from 2-4pm. This will provide a chance for guests to get a close look into the work the Wellspring does and the help it provides.


X-Women Rugby Anticipate Triumphant Season


House players return to StFX while National Championships return to East Coast

Members of the StFX Women’s rugby team have made their return to Antigonish after a long summer and off-season of hard work and preparation for the season to come. Training camp welcomed rookies and veterans alike from all areas of Canada, all with diverse experiences and skills to offer the team. 

For the 2018 season, the X-Women welcomed many first-years and new faces from near and far that have competed at numerous levels of representative rugby. Other noteworthy additions to the team are the welcomed back fifth year players, Joanna Alphonso, Alison Blanchard, Danielle Cormier, and Olivia DeMerchant. DeMerchant represented Canada at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2014. 

A small exhibition tournament held in Truro marked the end of training camp, where players could showcase their rugby ability in shortened games against teams that are also part of Atlantic University Sport (AUS). These pre-season games were nothing short of successful for our X-Women. The women, separated into two teams, won their games with scores of 95-0 versus Saint Mary’s and 52-15 versus Acadia respectively.

Less than one week later, the X-Women rugby team hosted the Saint Mary’s squad for their home opener at Oland Stadium on September 7. Despite the team’s starting lineup having a large mix of new and returning players, there was no question that the ladies were working cohesively and intelligently on the pitch. Early tries were scored in the first half by Keeley MacCuish (3), Jacqui Salvatore (2), Sarah Hoerig (2), Meghan Buchanan (1), Olivia DeMerchant (1), Sam Lake (1), Lucy Killacky (1), Maddie Harroun (2), and Claudia Fulton (1). Fourth year, Jacqui Salvatore scored 3 conversions to add to the scoreboard before halftime.

Photo: Rachel Drummond

Photo: Rachel Drummond

The second half looked like a much different game, where the team slowed down its try scoring and geared its focus on more tactical work and defence; two aspects that will prove to be crucial farther into the season. First year, Maddie Harroun’s, second try was the only try scored by the X-Women in the second half, with two scored by Saint Mary’s. The game ended with a final score of 76-12. 

“I think the team has a lot of depth this year and having three of our graduated players returning for a fifth year is really going to help us out.” Explained fourth year player Keeley MacCuish. 

As Friday’s player of the game, she was happy to comment on the team’s hard work and performance. “As it was evident in our game last Friday, we have many first years who are able to step up and fill the shoes of some of our veteran players, and I think that will be key in the upcoming months. We really wanted to work on our defense in the second half of the game and I think it went pretty well considering it was our first time playing as a new team.”

The next game for the X-Women Rugby team will be at UPEI on Saturday, September 15 at 2pm. The team intends to continue to impress and improve throughout the season to stay on track to another AUS title and to ultimately compete for a 2018 national title. Nationals this year are especially significant as they will be held at Acadia University November 1 to November 5. This will be the first time that Nationals are held in the Atlantic region since 2012, when they were held and won by StFX on home soil.