State Academy notes: 2023 SANFLW Round 3

SOUTH Australia’s top AFL Women’s draft prospects returned for Round 3 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s on the weekend. As always, we took a look at each of the state academy athletes running around in the League competition and made notes on their individual performances.

*Each note is the opinion of the individual author.

  • Team
  • Central District Womens
  • Norwood Womens

Central District:

#8 Elaine Grigg

The tenacious top-ager provided her typical pressure and determination across four quarters, and though sometimes it would work against her in terms of free kicks against, she continually burrowed in and had a crack. She showed great courage and ran hard throughout the match, with her second half in particular being a standout. One of her more impressive plays came in the final term where she read the ball brilliantly off hands on the wing, kicked long inside 50, then got forward and crumbed a ball towards goal at the next contest. Grigg racked up 13 disposals, four clearances and laid six tackles.

#9 Charlotte Riggs

Though not as prolific as the week before, Riggs still played her role in defence, and laid some good tackles and produced key spoils in marking contests, including a goal-saving one early in the second term. A couple of eye-catching defensive players included a good spoil late in the second term, and then a crunching tackle on Alana Lishmund to force a behind. Her best play came in the last few minutes where as Norwood attempted to clear from defence, Riggs rose up and pulled down a brilliant intercept mark at half-forward to put the ball back inside 50 and create the match-winning goal chance. Riggs managed 10 disposals, five marks – two contested – five tackles and five rebound 50s.

#12 Sophie Eaton

Started the game strongly with some valuable tackles inside 50 to lock it up in the forward half. For her first touch, she won the ball up the ground at the defensive 50, took a bounce and hit a pinpoint pass to Evans on the wing. In the second term, she mowed down Morgan Johnston, pinned the arms and won a set shot. She subsequently launched from 40m but it just fell short in the square. Though not as prolific in the second half, she buzzed around and had a couple of neat touches, but mostly applied good defensive pressure. Eaton had six disposals and six tackles.

#27 Jasmine Evans

Evans will be our second Player Focus for Round 3, later in the week where we will recap her full performance. In the match, Evans kicked the game-winner with a goal in the last 90 seconds to go with her 10 disposals, five marks and five inside 50s.

Norwood:

#50 Elle Lineage

The second gamer had a busy first term to rack up five disposals, a lot of which were quick handballs in close. She would add another two disposals in the second term with a nice kick going from midfield to the top of 50 and then a clean handball around the same area to head into half-time with the seven disposals. Her second half was not as prolific, only managing the one disposals, but had some good defensive efforts such as a chase on Laitiah Huynh. Her one disposal was a strong intercept mark just inside 50 and a clean kick to Tahlita Buethke in the centre of the forward 50. Lineage recorded the eight disposals, two marks and four tackles in the loss.

#51 Coby Morgan

Starting her game off with a brilliant run-down tackle on the wing in the third minute of the match, then won a free kick in the middle of the ground, quickly gave the handball off and shepherded for her teammate. Her second term was quiet, before she came to life in the third quarter with some clean hands both at ground level and the air. She took a couple of nice marks through the middle third of the ground, including a nice burst away to kick to Najwa Allen inside 50 and set up a Grace Mulvahil goal. Morgan’s burst speed clocked in so high she burnt off the speedy Grigg and hit up Mulvahil late in the third term. Overall she had some seriously eye-catching moments on her way to 10 disposals, four marks – one contested – and three inside 50s.

  • Team
  • Woodville-West Torrens Womens
  • North Adelaide Womens

North Adelaide:

#9 Laela Ebert

The North Adelaide bottom-ager did well with her attack on the football, working hard to get into ball-winning positions. She won it often in the defensive half of the ground or on the wing, and though she is still adapting to the pace of the game – often having to dispose of the ball under pressure and make decisions quickly – when given time and space she can do a lot of damage. Ebert’s major highlight was a lovely sidestep in the fourth term and weighted kick to Katelyn Pope in the back 50. Ebert had 13 disposals and laid three tackles in the win.

#30 Jayde Visser

A quieter game from Visser who still won a half dozen touches. She worked hard getting back to win the ball in the defensive half of the ground and then getting forward in the second term, setting up Sky Jensen‘s second major. She laid a great tackle at half-forward just before the half-time siren and used the ball well when in space. The pressure was red-hot and she did not often have the luxury of time, but recorded the eight disposals, three marks and two tackles.

#52 Sarcha Taylor

Coming in for her debut, Taylor looked lively inside 50, and though she did not win a stack of it early, won her first touch via a handball on the wing midway through the opening quarter. In the third term she kicked her first SANFL Women’s goal with a ripping snap off a step under pressure from 30m late in the quarter. That seemed to give her confidence, with Taylor having a busy fourth term where she set up a goal to Jaimi Tabb via a lovely weighted handball rather than blazing away. A minute later she won a free kick from being pushed un the marking contest, then almost kicked a second goal in the final seconds but could not gather it before the siren sounded. Taylor picked eight disposals, two marks – one contested – two tackles and a goal.

Woodville-West Torrens:

#2 Jemma Charity

Charity had an impressive game for the Eagles, providing a lot of run between the arcs and driving the ball inside 50. She kicked a nice set shot from 40m in the second term after finding the perfect positioning and taking a strong mark. Her shot never looked like missing, and she would continue to provide a marking target in the half-forward area. She showed good strength in the tackles, though after being brought down a second time in a passage and was pinged for holding the ball. Her aerial strength across the game was impressive for a smaller player, and she would end up clunking a team-high five marks. All in all, Charity finished with 16 disposals, two contested marks, four inside 50s and a goal.

#30 Marlie Fiegert

The Port Adelaide potential father-daughter selection was a diligent worker who cracked in across four quarters playing at half-forward. She put her body on the line each and every time and won a free kick at a stage for doing so. Her tenacity at the ball or ball carrier was noticeable and laid some big tackles. Her decision making and execution at times still needs to lift, but her defensive efforts and smarts to get into the right spots were good. Fiegert recorded nine disposals – all kicks – five tackles and two inside 50s.

#34 Shineah Goody

Spending more time behind the ball to use her work rate and kicking to advantage, Goody performed strongly in the first half before quietening down in the second. Though once again she had close attention whenever she went near it at a stoppage, she did well when running hard on the outside. At one stage, Goody showcased her elite hands at ground level with a super clean pickup, burst away from an opponent in traffic and kicked from 55m towards the goalsquare and a one-on-one contest. It unfortunately bounced the wrong side of the post, but she herself bounced back to provide plenty of run from the defensive 50. There were a few moments that were un-Goody like where she threw it on the boot just to clear the area, and her second half was a lot quieter, but she had a moment in the fourth term where she stepped around multiple opponents, got tackled but still got her hands away. Goody managed 12 disposals, three tackles, three inside 50s and two rebounds 50s.

  • Team
  • South Adelaide Womens
  • West Adelaide Womens

South Adelaide:

#2 Holly Ifould

Another hard-running performance from Ifould who was productive throughout the game and covers a lot of ground. Her neat short pass is effective and she can nail those short bullets into teammates. Given her ability to win a lot of marks in space, she gets that time that others are not always afforded, though when under pressure she can often thump it forward. In a couple of key moments, that show she is getting there, the first came in the opening quarter where she did well to impact a marking contest and step in between two West Adelaide players but just rushed the handball to space. The second was a chance in the third term where she did brilliantly running at full tilt, changed directions on a dime but then just overcooked the kick while under pressure. For the most part though, Ifould was effective with her ball use and generally was impactful across the ground. Ifould collected 16 disposals, five marks, two tackles, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s.

#23 Esther Schirmer

Had a big role in the second half to try and quell Young, and while that was a challenge, she held her own in marking contests. Schirmer’s closing speed – much like her older sister Gypsy – helps her make up ground, and she is a good size to match Young in that regard. Though she did not have as much offensive drive as she has had in past weeks, her work to try and do her best against a star like Young was critical for the Panthers. Schirmer had nine disposals and two tackles in the win.

#37 Brooke Boileau

Though not as prolific as her first two matches, Boileau still won her fair share of the pill across the game. She won a lot of touches in close as per usual, and also thumped the ball down the down to clear the danger zone. Naturally Boileau’s pressure remained high throughout the match, and she was often able to find space on the wing and present for a pass long down the line. In the end, Boileau took five marks – one contested – to go with 16 disposals, two tackles, five clearances and two rebound 50s.

#56 Lily Baxter

The double bottom-ager had her moments without being consistently in the mix, with a two-bounce run down the centre of Noarlunga in the opening quarter an eye-catching moment. Sometimes her decision making under pressure can be a question mark, but her technique by hand or foot is very impressive. She did well positioning herself in the danger zone early. In the third term to mark 20m out straight in front, converting a crucial major to put her side in front. Baxter had eight disposals, one mark, two rebound 50s and a goal.

#60 Kyanne Campbell

Playing as the deepest forward, Campbell started her day running hard back towards goal to get a kind bounce and slot the first major of the game on the run nine minutes into the first term. She had a few nice moments through the middle of the game with deft touches by hand or foot, and while they will not always be deemed disposals, she impacted the play. While Campbell can be more reactive rather than proactive when it comes to defensive actions, offensively she looked incredibly dangerous whenever she could get isolated. Her moment came midway through the last quarter where she found space to run into an open goal and kick the game-winner. Five touches and two marks for two goals in the win.

West Adelaide:

#2 Lucy Boyd

Again stationed in the back half of the ground, Boyd was solid in her approach, providing plenty of run and rebound. Though her numbers might have been lower and statistically she had far less rebound 50s than the week before, Boyd still mopped up plenty in the defensive half of the ground. She often found herself outside the defensive 50 when she won it, or under pressure inside the defensive 50, needing to quickly give it off or switch to safety. At one point she showed great closing speed on Campbell to spoil late in the game. Boyd had 12 disposals, two marks – one contested – and five tackles.

#30 Lauren Young

It was just another day in the office from Young, who always had someone closely watching her. From the Schirmer sisters to Sam Pratt, Young did not have a lot of time and space, but did well whenever she was near it. Racking up seven disposals in the first term, she brought others into it, setting up Tabby Saville for a goal in the second term, then Tredwell in the third with a clever block in the pack marking contest. Young also almost provided the game-winning goal assist to Kelly Barltrop but unfortunately that set shot missed to the right. Overall she battled hard across four quarters and was clearly one of the best yet again. Young had a game-high 23 disposals to go with five marks – one contested – six tackles and six inside 50s.

#42 Steph Tredwell

The 2007-born youngster came alive in the third term to kick back-to-back goals and provide the spark West Adelaide needed. Taking the free kick after an out on the full play, Tredwell ran in and drilled the snap. A couple of minutes later, the teenager got in front of a pack and with the help of Young’s block took a good grab, then delivered on the set shot. Overall Tredwell was impressive, and continued to provide defensive pressure or compete aerially even if she could not pull it in. She finished with just the six disposals and two tackles, but critically two goals.

#43 Emma Kilpatrick

Sporting new boots, Kilpatrick was her same old self with composure in the defensive half of the ground. She did not do anything outrageous in the match, quite often being the back pocket option for a short kick then delivering down the ground. Late in the match she delivered a terrific long pass to half-back to Iilish Ross, and worked her way to 14 disposals, six marks, four rebound 50s and impressively seven tackles to be rock solid yet again.

#46 Asha Dufour

Dufour played an important role in the forward half of the ground on her way to 15 disposals, five marks and a goal making her return to League level. Playing six games last year, Dufour was in for her first game of the 2023 season, and managed to hit the scoreboard seven minutes into the second term. As the ball was kicked in by Young, Dufour sensed a goal opportunity off hands and Saville handballed to her advantage. Though not able to take control of possession, Dufour managed to get boot to ball to soccer through the major. Aside from her goal, the bottom-ager was able to impact aerially throughout the game and show her talent inside 50.

#51 Ruby Ballard

Providing that balance of offensive and defensive traits, Ballard buzzed around the forward half of the ground. She laid some terrific tackles and almost kicked a ripping goal late in the third term. As the time ticked down into the final few minutes, Ballard roved the ball perfectly off the pack but it bounced the wrong way into the post after initially looking on target. She gets into the best positions to mark and pushes for those second and third efforts. By game’s end, she finished with 13 disposals, two marks – one contested – three clearances, two inside 50s and a whopping 16 tackles. The latter showed just how committed she was defensively to the cause.

  • Team
  • Sturt Womens
  • Glenelg Womens

Sturt:

#11 Abbey Rigter

It was a tough day to be a Sturt forward for the most part, and Rigter earned her first touch on the edge of half-time when she kicked it inside 50 and a downfield free to Tahlia Walker allowed her teammate to goal on the siren. Lifting a bit more in the third term, Rigter won the ball just outside the forward 50 kicking to the danger zone, but the Glenelg defence was able to clear. She won a couple of free kicks late in the game, including one that popped up towards Alysha Healy but the forward could not quite get there for the mark.

#16 Monique Bessen

The double bottom-ager backed up a Breakthrough Player nomination in Round 2 with a solid performance in Round 3. There were not many high disposal winners from the Double Blues, though Bessen still picked up the 10 disposals, four marks – two contested – two tackles and four inside 50s. Possessing clean hands and a neat kick whenever she was afforded time and space, she attacked the contest well. With more time and development getting used to the bigger bodies, she will not get pushed off as easy, as her ball-in-hand work was very strong.

#24 Lily Whitcombe

Had a couple of tough assignments in the match, including lining up on Window in the opening term. Though she did not win a lot of it – her role as often restricted her to minimal touches – she tried hard throughout the game and competed well at marking contests. She had a marking chance midway through the second term she should have won, but did earn a free kick at half-back later in the third term to kick effectively to a marking contest on the wing. Whitcombe had the three touches at the end of the game.

Glenelg:

#6 Violet Patterson

The potential Collingwood father-daughter was her usual fierce self, opening the game with a big crunching tackle at half-forward in the opening minute. She worked hard up and down the ground, possessing clean hands at ground level and in the air. Quite often she got back to half-back to help mop up and was reasonable with her kicking, but her handballing in traffic was the standout trait. Though there were others more dominant, Patterson certainly helped contribute to the big win on the outside.

#8 Piper Window

Window was the focus of our SANFL Women’s Round 3 action, as the standout player not just from the Academy, but across the competition on the weekend. She racked up an impressive 29 disposals, two marks – one contested – eight tackles, seven clearances, four inside 50s, three rebound 50s and three goals in a remarkable effort. Check out her Player Focus for the full review on her performance.

>> SANFLW PLAYER FOCUS: PIPER WINDOW

#19 Matilda Wilmore

A little overzealous at times, no one could ever question Wilmore’s competitiveness or determination to take the game on. She recorded the seven disposals and three inside 50s, but also gave away the four free kicks. Often it was for an in-the-back tackle or trying to force her way through a tackle, but continued to read it hard. Wilmore looks to rove the ball off packs when front and centre, but also gets up the ground to be an option between wing and half-forward. Will get better with time.

#20 Poppy Scholz

In the wake of her sister’s elevation to the AFL Women’s, Scholz looked inspired in defence, clunking just about everything that came her way. After a two-grab mark midway through the first term, she gained more confidence, even clunking a couple of contested marks at full speed. She provided defensive pressure at ground level to match her aerial impression on the game. Boasting the athletic traits that have always been there, Scholz showed a handy sidestep and a willingness to get to a second contest. At one point she was worked under the ball in a marking contest with the more experienced Tessa Doumanis, but when having a clear run and jump, she was near-unstoppable. Her kicking at times was hit and miss, but she was always willing to take risks and keep the ball moving, and it was that aerial interception ability that stood her apart from her peers. Scholz had the 13 disposals, five marks and two rebound 50s in the victory.

#28 Matilda Scholz

In her first game since winning an AFL Women’s contract with Port Adelaide, Scholz broke another milestone by kicking her first SANFL Women’s goal in the opening moments of the match. She pushed forward after the centre bounce – something she did often in the match – and continued to remain forward for large parts of the game. When rolled into the ruck, Scholz was too big and athletic for her opponents, and won the hitouts on a platter. She missed a chance to get a second goal late in the game from a set shot, but had done enough throughout the match to keep Port fans and recruiters happy. She picked up the nine disposals, two marks, three tackles, 23 hitouts and one goal.

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