SOUTH Australia’s top draft prospects returned for Round 12 to conclude the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season 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.
The silky left-footer produced another strong game and started in the midfield this week being able to influence the clearances. On more than a few occasions, Rasheed hit a pinpoint perfect kick including one three minutes into the third term where she spotted up a teammate between three opponents. Overall she finished with 17 disposals, four marks – one contested – five tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s and four rebound 50s.
#16 Monique Bessen
The double bottom-ager was a little quieter in this game but still had some nice moments presenting at half-forward and rolling through the midfield. She took some strong grabs, and while she was not as clean at ground level, she competed hard. Helping set up scoring opportunities in the second term, Bessen recorded 11 disposals, three marks – one contested – three tackles and three clearances.
#24 Lily Whitcombe
Playing her role for another week, Whitcombe was sold in defence taking a couple of marks and laying three tackles to go with her four disposals. She was able to hit-up targets with her kicks, and while she did not win a lot of it as per usual, did not have a great deal to do with her team controlling the tempo.
#57 Zara Walsh
In one of her most impressive performances this year, Walsh was clean and dangerous across the ground and got involved consistently. She had a few chances across the first half, but her set shots fell short, before marking at the top of the goalsquare in the final term to kick the last goal of the game. Walsh was good in the air all game and provided some great dash, finishing with 11 disposals, four marks, two tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.
It was a quieter game from the bottom-ager who still worked hard defensively but could not get her hands on the ball as much as she normally would. She did get a chance sneaking forward to mark 25m out and have a set shot but it just fell short on the line, though luckily it ended up in goal to Bays anyway. Patterson finished with eight disposals, one mark, four tackles, one inside 50 and two rebound 50s.
#8 Piper Window
The tough inside midfielder tried hard all game and was tough on the inside where the Bays struggled as Sturt dominated in the first three quarters. She did not necessarily have a lot of time or space in the game, but set up a goal to Caitlyn Swanson late in the match and won free kicks when she did not mark it. Her kicking was more effective against the Double Blues, and she recorded the 15 disposals, two marks – one contested – seven tackles, six clearances, three inside 50s and one rebound 50 in the match.
#19 Matilda Wilmore
Like many Glenelg forwards, it was a tough day at the office for Wilmore who tried hard but ultimately finished with four touches and a tackle. She did win the ball on the wing from a free kick after good attack on the ball, but rarely had too much space to work with all game.
#20 Poppy Scholz
One of the best Bays with her work off half-back where she was definitely kept busy, and at times, under siege. Scholz took a great intercept mark early in the game and then intercepted on a number of occasions to go for a run out of defence or hold a high line and kick forward. She laid a great tackle on Walsh and then from the kick delivered down the field. In the end, Scholz managed 14 disposals, three marks – one contested – four tackles, two hitouts, one clearance, one inside 50 and two rebound 50s.
#48 Eloise Mackereth
The double bottom-ager finished her season with some nice moments, though albeit not able to run as easily as the week before. She was quick and clean by hand in close and competed in the air. Though she could not always bring it down or be paid the mark, she put her body on the line. Winning a free kick midway through the final term, Mackereth set up a scoring chance with her delivery inside 50. The Bays youngster ended the game with seven disposals, one mark, two tackles and three inside 50s.
#18 Molly Brooksby
Brooksby produced a best-on performance for the Redlegs in her fourth consecutive game since coming back from injury and was the subject of our SANFLW Player Focus for Round 12. For a full rundown on her performance, check that out, with Brooksby collecting 26 disposals, three clearances, four inside 50s, five rebound 50s and laying five tackles.
Battled hard against one of the league’s best rucks in Soriah Moon and held her own when going forward, converting a running goal to break an armwrestle deadlock. She had seven disposals, two hitouts and two clearances as well as a goal, with another flying shot going out on the full late in the third term.
#51 Coby Morgan
The speedster was a bit quieter this week, only managing six disposals, one mark, three tackles, one clearance and one inside 50, but worked hard up the ground when required. She had a few ‘almost’ moments, and caught the eye with a slick sidestep off half-back in the fourth term, winning a couple of late touches in the game to keep her team’s chances alive.
#2 Holly Ifould
It was another solid game from Ifould playing off a wing with some clean early touches and flick handballs, as well as finding the space she did earlier in the year. Though often under pressure at the contest, Ifould worked hard to spread and found the ball in each third of the ground and had 13 disposals, four marks and two inside 50s, with her kicking efficient as usual.
#23 Esther Schirmer
After a couple of tough plays in the game that included being pinged for holding the ball and then missing a short kick in the final term from defence, Schirmer became the hero with a game-saving touch on the goalline as Morgan Johnston had a flying crack late in the match. She did plenty of things right as well earlier with a strong intercept mark flying across a pack. By the final siren, Schirmer finished with nine disposals, four marks – one contested – four tackles and three rebound 50s.
The developing ruck supported Moon and went up against Hazelhurst on a number of occasions, winning nine hitouts to hold her own. Though she only was recorded having three disposals, she look to grab it out of the ruck a couple of times and give it off as well as win a free kick midway through the third term and deliver a neat short pass.
#52 Melissa Anderson
The tough forward/midfielder produced an even offensive-defensive game against the Redlegs as she tallied 12 disposals, two marks, four tackles, two inside 50s and a goal. Her major came in the first term, kicking South’s first goal of the game. Having being pinged for holding the ball, her opponent pushed her off it and the free was reversed, then Anderson was given a 25m penalty. She kicked truly from the set shot to get her team up and about. Anderson found her fair share of the ball throughout the game and really worked all the way to the final siren, definitely looking tired in the final few minutes, but deservedly so after her efforts.
#53 Alissa Brook
The athletic defender only had seven disposals and three marks – one contested – as well as three tackles, but showed the traits that earned her a spot in the State Academy. She was clean with ball-in-hand and strong overhead, taking a great intercept mark on the wing in the third term. Though not the finished product just yet, her ability to back herself in the air and when on the move is very impressive.
#56 Lily Baxter
Starting strongly in the match, Baxter quickly began to rack up the ball and finished with 12 disposals two marks and three rebound 50s playing off a wing. She also moved defensively to help out the back five, but got forward and had an early short from 30m. Unfortunately Baxter had to rush after it was not deemed a mark due to distance, and her shot hit the post. She kept presenting throughout the game and was able to have an influence with her running and ability to find space.
By: Liam Badkin
#9 Laela Ebert
Ebert roamed the wing of Prospect Oval and found plenty of space whenever the ball was distributed out wide. Although she took just three marks, her attack when the ball was in the air was a real strength of her game and she often provided spot up leads for her North Adelaide teammates. Ebert laid eight tackles for the match, doing a good job of pinning the arm and was rewarded by the umpires for her efforts at times. She also looked to be creative with ball-in-hand, highlighted by a nice centered inside-50 entry that opened up a congested forward line.
#30 Jayde Visser
Although she was credited with just three disposals for the match, Visser was still amongst the play as she rotated between the wing and on ball. She delivered a strong mix of inside work and outside running, particularly when North Adelaide was on top early. Visser was always willing to put her body on the line and take the tackle in order to hold up play, and had a bigger impact than her numbers suggested.
#52 Sarcha Taylor
One of North Adelaide’s best in a losing effort, Taylor looked constantly dangerous whenever the Roosters moved the ball into their forward half. Despite not slotting a goal for the match, the small forward looked a chance of conjuring something special whenever the ball entered her side’s 50, and helped set up a number of scoring opportunities for North Adelaide with clean hands and smart decision-making. She had two shots on goal for one behind, and fought to keep her side rolling forward until the final siren.
Charity delivered a classy performance in Woodville-West Torrens’ come-from-behind win over the Roosters. She was able to create space around the stoppages, pushing off her opponent and getting boot to ball, regardless if it was tapped by either team’s ruck. Using smart footwork to break away from any would-be tacklers, Charity proved extremely tough to wrap up on her way to 14 disposals and three clearances as she rotated between midfield and half-forward.
#7 Grace Martin
It took a while for Martin to work into the game, but once she did, it gave Woodville-West Torrens a massive lift around the ground. She was lively whenever the ball hit the deck at half-forward, and provided a nice leading target down the line, using the width of the ground with her patterns to burst into space. She got truly involved in the final quarter when her side took control of the match, and played a crucial role in getting the match-winning momentum.
#30 Marlie Fiegert
Stationed on the ball as she always is, Fiegert used her bigger body to bully the opposition out of the way whenever possible, and was a tackling machine in close. When the Roosters were winning the ruck taps early in the match, she was always first on the scene to ensure the ball was not cleared by her opponents. As the match went on, the midfielder got involved with a few clearances of her own, not shying away from contact and bursting through a few attempted tackles to get boot on ball in a typically tough performance.
#34 Shineah Goody
Goody’s class was on show again for Woodville-West Torrens, playing a vital role in the result of the match. Although the opposition tried to blanket her influence on the wing, she was simply too powerful to contain and was the standout for the winning side. Goody showed her aerial capability with a pair of flying contested marks, one in the second quarter and one in the last. She was explosive through her legs and was able to break through tackles with easy. She provided plenty of drive and made an impact whenever she was around the contest.
#38 Zahlia Niemann
Coming up against one of the more talented rucks in the contest, Niemann held her own around the ground and was still able to influence the match. She was beaten in the air early in the contest, but gradually began to get first hands on the ball as the game went on. Her follow-up work was equally impressive, laying a whopping 11 tackles and putting plenty of pressure on the opposition midfielders. Niemann competed strongly in the air too, putting her body on the line and flying for big marks despite being outnumbered at times.
#8 Elaine Grigg
Maintaining her ultra-consistent season, Grigg racked up 19 disposals and 12 tackles in a strong defensive performance. She was busy all over the ground for the Bulldogs and spent a lot of time at the stoppages where she was influential in close. With captain Shelby Smith returning for the finals. Grigg will have the flexibility to also use her outside run more, but has shown she can play either role. Her tackling pressure has always been elite, but is building a nice inside game in the process, with the top-ager recording six clearances.
Having her work cut out for her often going head-to-head with Young, Riggs was strong in the air and spoiled it on a number of occasions. With free kicks going both ways between the pair, Riggs did create some drive and long kicking down the ground, even rolling into the ruck at one stage. She was a little clumsy at times, falling into an opponent’s back and slipping over on another occasion, but was still solid across the game, particularly one-on-one. Riggs had 13 disposals, two marks, one tackle, one clearance, one inside 50 and two rebound 50s.
#12 Sophie Eaton
Though her work rate was still high, it was one of those games where Eaton could just not get her hands on the ball. Only having the three touches and three tackles, the South Australian Under 16s MVP did a lot of unrewarded running, and took a nice two-grab mark late in the match kicking perfectly to a one-on-one inside 50.
#27 Jasmine Evans
It was a game of almosts for the talented bottom-ager. Starting off the match, Evans produced an elite kick to Katelyn Rosenzweig for a goal. She had a couple of chances herself, but one was smothered off the boot and another from the set shot went to the right for a behind. She recovered well when spoiled in the second term to fire off a handball to a teammate, then a minute later was close to pulling down a grab in the goalsquare but was rushed across the line. A couple of set shots in the final term also went astray, but she had her chances. Evans tallied up nine disposals, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and two behinds for her troubles.
#30 Lauren Young
In her last game for the season, Young did all she could for the Bloods in a prominent performance. She was in the midfield and up forward, kicking both of her side’s two goals coming off strong contested marks. The first was 20 seconds into the second quarter being too big and strong for Madison Lane, with an extra 16cm, while her other major came late in the third term with a terrific pack mark. She took a number of strong intercept grabs behind the ball as well, and wanted to drive the ball down the ground with booming kicks. Overall, Young recorded 22 disposals, six marks – two contested – five tackles, one clearance, four inside 50s, two rebound 50s and two goals.
#42 Steph Tredwell
A tough day for the West Adelaide forwards though Tredwell worked hard and had some highlights. She produced a bullet pass to Nicole Hooper into the middle in the second term and continued to go in for the contested ball, earning a free kick for being slung in a tackle. She had a chance in the last minute of the game, but was run-down by Shelby Raven.
#43 Emma Kilpatrick
The defender played her role in the back 50 and come away with a solid finish to the year. Often looking for the short, sharp kick and right decision by foot, Kilpatrick had the 11 disposals, two marks and three rebound 50s, sharing in the kickouts.
#46 Asha Dufour
Another busy day for Dufour who played inside and then worked her way around the ground to collect 20 disposals, five marks, four tackles and three clearances. She found space really well to be a marking target then looked to play the percentages with her kicks, going long down the line or opting for a short, safe pass. A set shot from inside 50 pushed far left, but she did her best work at the coalface, where her taller frame is a worry for opposition midfielders.
#51 Ruby Ballard
Worked hard without a great deal of reward, Ballard had her fair share of the ball without having much freedom in the game. She picked up 11 disposals, two marks, two tackles and three clearances. Going for riskier kicks, one got turned over midway through the second term, but others paid off. In the final term she copped a free kick against for a dump tackle on Laitiah Huynh, but then outmarked her opponent shortly after with a neat kick to follow.