IT was a big final round of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s football. Williamstown got a big win against Melbourne University while Collingwood continued its remarkable season. We watched the Seagulls take on the Mugars as well as the Pies take on the Demons in an entertaining weekend of football.
Casey Demons vs. Collingwood
By: Carly McClen
#7 Bianca Jakobsson
Dominant in her role for the Demons. She had 10 kicks and seven marks. Took strong marks and kicked to targets and also scored from a 50 metre penalty. She was strong in defence, particularly in the first half.
#15 Sophie Phillips
Booted a much-needed goal in the third quarter. Had nine kicks and played her role well for four quarters.
#17 Shelley Scott
Kicked a goal from a 50 metre penalty early and presented well as a forward target in the first half.
#25 Madelaine Shevlin
Likes to get off the blocks first and create, she’s an exciting forward. Kicked the first goal of the game for the third week in a row.
#28 Maddison Gay
Had 15 kicks. Ran hard for all four quarters and was often first to the ball. Was pivotal in the first half at absorbing Collingwood’s pressure and sending the ball back into attack.
#29 Eden Zanker
Dominant in her role with six kicks and seven handballs, she ran hard all day and was pivotal in the Dees’ first-half dream start.
#2 Chloe Molloy
Molloy had the usual class-above performance, particularly in the second half. After Eliza Hynes began controlling the clearances, Molloy swarmed, creating bursts from the centre and delivering the ball into the forward 50 directly for scoring opportunities. She even just missed a goal from 55 metres out with an unlucky bounce. Had 15 kicks for the game and converted from a 50 metre penalty. Molloy was pivotal in securing the win and the minor premiership.
#3 Nicole Hildebrand
Was an ominous presence on the half-back line and continued to send the ball back into Collingwood’s forward half. She intercepted an early burst in the third quarter from the centre clearance, and the ball rarely made into the Demons’ attacking zone for the quarter. Hildebrand was lethal at pushing up and getting to the ball first with five strong marks (the most in her team) and strong defensive kicking. It showed her versatility and her capacity to play multiple vital roles for her team.
#12 Stacey Livingstone
For a tall forward, she moved around the danger area like a small; hunting, gathering and snapping. With some bad luck and a couple of close misses, she was able to nail two goals for her side and prove herself as a reliable forward resource.
#13 Jaimee Lambert
Hunted in the forward line consistently and was rewarded with three opportunities she was never going to miss. She had 10 kicks for her side. In one instance, Lambert relished in the space provided when Eliza Hynes moved out into the ruck in the second half.
#18 Ruby Schleicher
Loved the forward line and used it to chase and create space, providing a solid target and securing two goals for her team. She also moved cleverly with Lambert and Molloy in the forward line to make space and get goals on the scoreboard.
#21 Iilish Ross
Coming back into the side, Ross resumed impressively with 10 kicks.
#58 Eliza Hynes
Hynes was really strong in the ruck. In the third quarter when it really counted, she was able to bring the Demons’ attack to a halt, with the ball rarely entering Casey’s forward line after the first bounce.
Melbourne University vs. Williamstown
By: Taylah Melki
#3 Kaitlyn Ashmore
She used her speed and agility to get into damaging positions and worked tirelessly all game to try and keep her side in the game. Ashmore showed her impressive skills to keep the ball alive and juggle it around the boundary line. Executed a beautiful pick-up off her toes late in the fourth, highlighting her silky skills and ability to shake off an opponent.
#12 Martha Cantwell
Cantwell had a really good first quarter, hitting targets and showcasing her pin-point accuracy to create a scoring opportunity for her teammate. She went in hard at the stoppages and put her body on the line to win the footy at the coal-face. She showed good vision to lower her eyes and hit a leading target in the forward half of the ground.
#26 Caitlin Greiser
Greiser showed good hustle throughout the game to try and keep the ball in play in the Mugars’ attacking 50. Slotted a nice goal in the first quarter, showing good composure for a youngster. She was forced into the ruck late in the third term and proved her versatility. She showed good awareness to sneak out the back and bag another goal in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, highlighting her ability to read the play and impact the contest.
#41 Katherine Gillespie-Jones
She was in everything in the opening quarter, making an impact around the stoppages and getting her hands to the ball. Her hands were strong throughout the game, taking a heap of marks and working tirelessly across the ground to win the ball and use it effectively. Continued to find the footy and used good speed to break away from stoppages and propel her team forward. Gillespie-Jones used the ball well and opened up space across the ground with her clever kicks, allowing teammates to create overlap run.
#50 Chloe Haines
Haines covered the ground with ease and proved that she is a force to be reckoned with, winning a lot of the footy and going in hard at the contests. She was not afraid to back herself in one-on-one situations and showed good footy awareness to keep her feet and hit up teammates. She was relatively effective by hand and foot, and took a heap of strong contested and uncontested marks, showing good composure under pressure. Haines also applied a lot of physical pressure, laying solid tackles to bring down her opponents.
#1 Rebecca Dardengo
Really built into the game and used the footy effectively and efficiently. Dardengo’s beautiful kicking style was on display with long bombs into the middle of the ground to try and open up the space for her teammates. She was clean around the stoppages and was able to flick the ball out of congestion. Dardengo racked up a heap of the footy and showed her strength, taking a few good grabs.
#2 Jess Duffin
Duffin looked damaging in the forward 50, reading the flight of the ball well and positioning cleverly to protect the drop of the ball to take a good grab in the first quarter. Missed a relatively easy shot on goal in the first minute of the game, but made up for her misfortune by nailing three majors for the game. She was not afraid to get involved, body-lining the footy to win the hard ball. She found some really good space in the forward 50 and took a heap of strong marks. Duffin was a real play-maker, creating half chances for her teammates.
#8 Chloe Portelli
She started to accumulate the touches in the second term and used the footy cleverly to hit targets while under pressure. Portelli fought hard all game to win the footy and showcased her strong hands, taking a strong mark in the third. Led into space and created a good option across the ground. She showed great awareness to burn off her opponent and then check-side her kick to bag a major.
#25 Jasmine Garner
Hit the packs hard, applying heaps of pressure to trap the ball inside the Seagulls’ attacking 50. Garner read the play well and took a strong intercept mark about 20 metres out in front of goal. She showcased her strong kicking action by nailing a good goal in the opening quarter. She worked hard up the ground to win the footy and make an impact on the contest throughout the match. Her solid hands were on display, clunking a few big grabs and racking up a lot touches, highlighting her effectiveness and efficiency by hand and foot.
#30 Ashlee Melnikas
She was influential throughout the game, nullifying the impact of ball magnet, Emma Kearney. Melnikas showcased her running ability, going step for step with Kearney and applying plenty of physical pressure. She took a really strong mark in the defensive 50 and demonstrated her footy smarts with a clearing kick to a one-on-one in the middle of the ground in the second term. She was a tackling machine, proving that she is not afraid to put her body on the line to win the ball.