ROUND 11 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s saw some tight matches take place across the weekend. Our writers watched three games and noted the standout performers.
Richmond vs. NT Thunder
By: James Halley
#60 Kate Dempsey
She scored Richmond’s sole goal of the last term, barraging through a scrimmage and gathering a loose ball get. Along with Lynch, she gave Richmond run on the wing, using her prolific kicking to set up shots on goal.
#75 Bethany Lynch
She played on the wing in a new role for her. She was quite prolific, making many runs along the flanks using her speed to burn off opponents.
#55 Courtney Wakefield
She kicked the first goal of the game from an easy set shot. After taking a great pack mark, she kicked truly to kick Richmond’s second goal of the game from the goal square. Only a minute later she kicked another after her opponent became worried after her previous effort and gave away a holding free behind the ball. She took many contested marks, throwing her weight around.
#88 Phoebe Monahan
She was a shinning light for Richmond in the midfield. She was the everywhere person for the Tigers. When the third quarter onslaught began, she was placed back to try and stem the flow.
#11 Jordann Hickey
She was able to finish a goal along the ground after the ball trickled out after a big pack contest. Late in the game she took a big pack mark and kicked her second goal for the game with an unconventional helicopter set shot.
#26 Abbey Holmes
She played as the focal point at full forward after her heroic four goals last week. Although she didn’t have the same impact on the scoreboard this week she was still influential. She crashed many packs and set up numerous other goals. It just wasn’t quite her day in front of goals.
#17 Emma Swanson
She managed to soccer through goal on the goal line after a Holmes effort on goal was denied. She was quite simply in the right place at the right time. For the whole game she was in the midst of attacks for the Thunder and it was clear that she had a presence.
#20 Jasmyn Hewett
She was the clear winner in the ruck against her lesser light opponents. With Alice Edmonds and Emma King out of Richmond’s team, she took advantage in the hit outs and clearances and gave the Territory midfield silver service.
#52 Ebony Marinoff
Hewett and Marinoff were the perfect pair in this match as it was tap to clearance over and over. In just her second match for NT, she had a best on ground performance in the midfield.
Carlton vs. Collingwood
#8 Madeline Brancatisano
Played her familiar role from the Northern Knights through the middle and crashed in hard, earning an early free. She read the taps well around the ground and had a number of touches through the middle of the game, handballing out of congestion to a teammate on the outside. One handball in particular started a chain in the third term which led to a Kristi Harvey goal.
#10 Sarah Hosking
A really strong performance both figuratively and literally. The inside midfielder laid some massive tackles and had some vital clearances out of the middle. She did not mind getting involved in a few scuffles when the battle got heated, and did everything she could for her side. Some of her clearances bursting out of the middle were really eye-catching including one in the final term as she desperately tried to turn the tide of momentum.
#13 Mika Suzuki
Coming in as the 23rd player, Suzuki did well with her pressure and determination to crack in and win the hard ball. She won a good clearance on the wing by going in hard in the opening term. In the third quarter she had a purple patch, marking in space and kicking forward, then was involved in a play not long after. Bumped off the ball by an opponent, she bounced back up and kept chasing the ball carrier and laid a fantastic tackle.
#19 Georgia Gee
A pocket rocket around the ground. Often found chasing the ball carrier or throwing herself under a pack, Gee provided great defensive attributes throughout the match.
#27 Katelyn Cox
Prominent through the middle, Cox crashed into packs and constantly fought hard for the contested ball working in tandem with Sarah Hosking. She then spread to the outside and provided some good run for the Blues
#37/51 Tyla Hanks
Had an unusual jumper change in the middle of the match, but regardless of the number on her back, still did plenty of nice things throughout the game, Playing up forward and pushing up the ground, Hanks kicked a vital goal from a tight angle in the third term and set up another earlier in the term with a good fend-off and snap to Kristi Harvey who nailed the goal. Hanks had a chance later in the third quarter but just missed. The ball did not get near her in the last term, but it was a promising third term where she was all over the action.
#40 Kristi Harvey
Enormous throughout the match. Harvey played up the end where the breeze was blowing towards, booting three goals in a half up forward and then rebounding everything she could with strong marks in the back 50. Her two goals in the third term were telling, and missed a chance for a third. Her kicking into the breeze proved tough at times, but he dominance with her strong body and reading of the play was very good.
#2 Chloe Molloy
Played predominantly through the midfield and did as much defensively right as she did offensively. While she was not on the end of goals, she was helping set up her teammates. In the first half she applied some good shepherds and tackles to lock the ball up. Had a shot on goal in the final term from an Iilish Ross handball, but hit the post.
#3 Nicole Hildebrand
Playing up forward, Hildebrand lead out and provided a target for her midfielders. She took a courageous mark under pressure in the opening term and kicked forward, then had a flying shot on the goal in the second quarter but just missed. A fantastic effort from tight in the pocket was just touched on the line.
#4 Sarah D’Arcy
A booming kick, D’Arcy was able to boot the ball long into dangerous positions, and was able to give off quick handballs to teammates when they went forward. In the final term she had a shot on goal which hit the post, and then showed composure under pressure on the last lane, stepping around an opponent and then took an extra second to hit-up a target at half-back.
#8 Brittany Bonnici
One of the best on ground in my opinion for her ability to read the play and attack the ball hard coming off half-back and along the wing. She often left her opponent to win the football and kick long down the ground. In the second term she avoided being caught holding the ball by using her strength to fend off Georgia Gee. Later that quarter she ran off half-back, beat her opponent to the ball and delivered it lace-out inside 50. Had a flying shot on goal but missed, then continued running hard in the third term and did not have to do a lot in the final term back there.
#12 Stacey Livingstone
Changed the course of the game with a purple patch in the third term. With Carlton doing all the attacking and no goals kicked up the Grand Boulevard end, Livingstone broke the deadlock with a couple of goals in as many minutes. She snapped a goal for her first, and then ran into space from a Jessica Edwards long bomb, out-sprinted her opponent and booted a goal on the run.
#18 Ruby Schleicher
Used the ball well going forward and kicked a lovely ball to a teammate early in the game and also pushed back into defence and laid strong tackles. Just bobbed up throughout the game and had some nice moments.
#21 Iilish Ross
Stepped up in the second half, having booted Collingwood’s first goal in the second term with a flying shot running in towards the big sticks. In the third term, she worked hard on the inside, gave quick handballs off to outside teammates and created good run going forward. In the final term she laid an important tackle on the wing and gave the handpass to Chloe Molloy in the final term after winning a free on the boundary, but Molloy’s subsequent shot missed.
#49 Sophie Alexander
After having a few chances through hard leading in the second term and missing a shot in that quarter, Alexander stepped up in the final quarter, booting two goals and being the difference on the scoreboard in that term. She led into space and marked, then nailed the set shot from 20m out. A second shot from a standing start missed, but a long range bomb from outside 50 got the crowd up and about to seal the game.
#52 Nicole Hales
A brave game in defence, in what was a hard-working effort for two quarters and an easier game in the opposite quarters. She battled away in defence, coming up at the ball and pumping it out of the danger zone. Hales laid some good spoils and put body contact on her opponents.
#63 Paige Nash
Showed a great attack on the football and won a free for front-on contact midway through the first term. She was able to rebound the ball out of the defensive half, proving particularly important in the final term when Carlton was attacking.
#99 Shayla Marsh
Worked well on the outside winning a bit of the ball through midfield and half-forward and trying to kick it forward. Missed a chance in the final term kicking it out on the full, but more often than not looked to kick long inside 50 and put it to dangerous areas.
Southern Saints vs. Melbourne University
#4 Georgia Ricardo
Had a number of chances on goal early in the game but just missed, but buzzed around the forward line and laid a great blind-side run-down tackle on an opponent in the third term at half-back.
#8 Alison Drennan
The prominent midfielder just wins the football at will and goes in hard around the packs. She draws free kicks from getting to the ball first and from opponents aware of what she can do. She laid a great tackle to force a turnover at a crucial stage in the final term.
#15 Tara Bohanna
Made a huge difference by the end of the game and could have done even more damage had she managed to kick a couple of gettable chances. She booted two goals in the final term, and had two more chances – one from a snap and another from a set shot – but both missed. Created havoc up there all day though and was one of the best Saints.
#24 Kayla Ripari
Plays that high half-forward and defensive forward role well, in the sense that she tackles, creates forward pressure, and can still have offensive chances. She runs hard, has clean hands and had a chance in the second term but her shot which was on target, took a wrong bounce and went off for a behind.
#28 Rhiannon Watt
Enormous through the ruck and around the ground, she was one of the Saints most influential players. She worked strongly at the ruck stoppages and drifted into defence to clear the ball out of the back half and into safety.
#30 Charlotte Wilson
Had a solid game in defence, running down an opponent at half-back to force a turnover in the opening term and then took a good mark in the third term after reading the play well.
#33 Jemma Owen
Went in hard and won the football, clearing it out of the congestion to teammates on the outside. Owen booted a fantastic goal in the third term, winning the ball at ground level, turning her opponent inside out and snapping around the body for it to bounce home. Showed good strength at the coal face.
#35 Gabriella De Angelis
Was another Saint who stepped up in the last term and put the ball into dangerous positions. She guarded a Jemma Owen snap to allow it to bounce through in the third term and then tried to create some of her own chances in the final quarter.
#39 Eleanor Brown
Really impressive performance from Brown who stepped up after returning from the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She showed good hands and game smarts by chopping off a number of passes including a handball from an opponent at ground level in the first term and a kick at half-back in the second term. Won plenty of the football and was a shining light on the outside.
#42 Courtney Jones
Was a prominent player in the second half, kicking well out of the congestion and taking a good run inside 50 with a bounce and a shot which just missed, Had a long range shot from 45m out but it fell short. Copped a knock in the final seconds of the game but at least was able to limp off rather than be carried off.
#49 Ashleigh Allsopp
Booted an important goal in the final term after a chance in the second term. She lead into space and made the most of her opportunities. Allsopp also pushed up to the wing to create a target for her teammates.
#1 Sophie Abbatangelo
Gave off a goal assist to Madison Prespakis in the first term and then played behind the ball. She took a good intercept mark at half-back in the second term and worked hard to mop up in defence and lead by example with composure.
#6 Elizabeth Keaney
One of the Mugars’ best, she had a massive win in the third term when she went up against three opposition players in defence. The ball bounced high and she ran hard to spoil it to an area that she could get too, laying a follow-up tackle to lock the ball in. One of the most prominent players throughout the game.
#7 Ashleigh Riddell
Went in hard through the middle and won the footy to release quickly by hand. Showed composure under pressure and was able to dispose of it well going forward.
#17 Elyce Hay
Had an almost highlight-reel worthy run in the second term, taking four bounces along the wing, but her kick ended up being a bit scrappy along the ground. Hay created good spread and won the foot at half-back and along the wing.
#20 Lauren Belza
Very composed under pressure and this showed in the dying seconds when the Saints were attacking. Belza took crucial mark in the goal square and kicked out to make sure the visitors retained the lead.
#21 Rebecca Webster
Did not win a heap of it, but showed glimpses of her talent. She received the handball in midfield in the final term, fended off two players and kicked neatly to half-forward.
#26 Caitlin Greiser
The tall forward did a lot of leading up the ground and started the game with the first goal. While not a huge accumulator there were a couple of moments to point out that were smart play. One came in the second term when leading at the football she was worked under it but drew multiple opponents because of her strength and it lead to an Asha Price goal. Then in the final term, she kept the ball in front of her when an opponent was in pursuit, kicking it 20m along the ground for Imogen Milford to kick the final quarter goal, sealing the game.
#34 Asha Price
Worked hard up forward for two goals and was the main target deep inside 50. She had another couple of chances including a shot from 15m out but hit the post. In the second term she lead out and doubled back to run into goal. Was a forward who had her chances and rewarded with the two majors.
#38 Kate Angelis
Kicked a fantastic goal from just inside 50 early in the third term and used her strong body throughout to impact the contest in the midfield or up forward. She was unlucky not to get a free for front-on contact n the third term in a marking contest which would have given her a shot on goal 20m out straight in front. A solid performance.
#48 Madison Prespakis
Kicked a goal from just inside 50 on the run and spread well throughout the four quarters, winning a heap of the ball. She was often under pressure but used it fairly well and was strong by fending off an opponent in the third term, weaving back inside to kick forward but it was unfortunately intercepted. She copped a big front-on knock midway through the final term but bounced straight back up. A really strong performance from the top star and she continues to get the job done at senior level.