WOLFVILLE, N.S. - Acadia University and Axewomen Rugby head coach Matthew Durant announced today the second wave of committed student recruits who will be suiting up for the Axewomen in the fall of 2016. Included in this recent recruiting class are four players from B.C., one from Ontario, one from P.E.I. and a local recruit from Windsor, N.S..
The defending AUS Champions have attracted several key recruits from British Columbia including Danika Elias, Emma Pfleiderer, Laura Pfleiderer and Sky Forcier.
Danika Elias is the first of four B.C. recruits to commit and she brings a massive upside to the Axewomen program. From Chilliwack, B.C., Danika just returned from the United Kingdom having represented Canada at the Under 18 level. Her strong nose for the ball and incredible physical presence are sure to make her a threat in the back-row for Acadia.
"Danika is a strong recruit and is one of several of the U18 Canada players joining our program this fall. It is a very exciting recruiting year for us, and we expect Danika will have an immediate impact on our program", commented Durant.
Acadia attracted two extremely talented sisters from Williams Lake, B.C. Emma and Laura Pfleiderer have been standouts in a strong British Columbia provincial program. Emma is a gritty and determined flanker who is extremely coachable, while Laura is a creative, dependable and hard-working scrum-half.
Durant was thrilled to have both sisters commit to Acadia. "Recruiting these ladies to Acadia is a real steal for us. They are both capable of great success at the CIS level and we are really excited to see them develop with our program."
The last B.C. native to commit to the Axewomen is Skye Forcier, another product of Lake City Secondary School in Williams Lake, BC. Forcier is a natural leader and captained her team this past season. A versatile forward, Forcier can play many positions in the pack and is a strong tackler and a creative play maker.
"I really like what Skye brings to our team. I think she has great potential for us at hooker, but her ability to play many positions will help her, especially in her first year with our program", said Durant.
Making our way across the country, Annie Kennedy from Kingston, Ont. will join the Axewomen is fall. Kennedy has many years of rugby experience, including playing at both fly-half and fullback for the Canada U18 team that recently toured the United Kingdom. Kennedy has the ability to add strength at many position in the Acadia back line. A very quick and agile athlete, Kennedy is strong on the ball in contact.
"We are really excited that Annie chose Acadia. We think Annie is game-ready for CIS rugby action and I think she can add to our program from day one", pointed out Durant. "I like her ability to play at both fly-half or in the back three, and that will really open up options for us in the back line in the coming years."
In Atlantic Canada, Tara Campbell comes to Acadia from a strong Three Oakes High School and PEI provincial program. Tara is a relentless and tireless ball carrier and she has a unique ability to keep her momentum going well through a tackle to keep her team moving forward.
"We are excited about Tara. She is a very strong runner in the centres and she has deceptive speed once she breaks the line. Tara plays with a real edge and some toughness and I really like her ability to keep her intensity high throughout the game", noted Durant.
Local product Julie Morash arrives from very strong Avon View high school program in Windsor, NS. Julie is a very strong, physical player who can play effectively at many positions in the back-line.
"We love the size Julie can bring to the scrum-half position and she is effective distributing the ball. A big and strong player, Julie can clean up messy set-pieces effectively using her physicality", concluded Durant.
The Axewomen, who graduate several key players this past season's championship team, will begin the AUS season on the road at UPEI on September 10 and then host the StFX X-Women on September 17 on Raymond field. Both games are at 2:00 p.m.