Scouting Notes: 2024 VFLW – Round 12

MANY of the regular stars of the VFLW continued to shine last weekend, but that did not mean new faces did not step up and give Scouting Note worthy performances.

Port Melbourne 5.5 (35) lost to North Melbourne 7.4 (46)

Port Melbourne:

#5 Lauren Caruso (Midfielder)
19/11/1999 | 161cm

Stats: 20 disposals, five clearances, four tackles, three inside 50s, two rebound 50s, two marks

Although Caruso did rest forward at times, she continued to mainly play in the midfield, impressing in what has become a real top position for her.

One of her biggest strengths continues to be her clearance work, working on the inside and using her pace to really get the ball out of the pack well.

#17 Emily Harley (Midfield)
4/12/2001 | 169cm

Stats: 10 disposals, three marks, one hit out, one tackle, one goal, one behind

There was a bit of a positional switch for Harley on Friday night, but it was one that was a true benefit to both the player and the team.

Although more well known as a forward, she was pushed up into the midfield for much of the match, using her body strength and power kick to break through congestion and create drive into attack.

North Melbourne:

#10 Matilda Zander (Forward)
3/4/1998 | 160cm

Stats: 13 disposals, four inside 50s, three marks, two clearances, two goals, one rebound 50

Although Zander normally does not take the spotlight, this former Pie really showed what she can do on Friday night.

Kicking multiple goals, both with quite some power behind them, she also showed strong game sense and awareness of the positioning of team mates in certain situations.

#26 Alana Barba (Midfielder)
26/9/2001 | 164cm

Stats: 22 disposals, 11 tackles, seven clearances, three goals, one rebound 50, one inside 50

Barba continued to show how much of an absolutely sneaky midfielder she can be, but also showed she can be a goal sneak too.

Both her goals were not straight set shots, but required her to sneak through traffic and kick truly.

#34 Renee Tierney (Midfielder)
23/5/2002 | 166cm

Stats: 19 disposals, seven tackles, six clearances, five inside 50s, two marks, one rebound 50

Tierney is another player beginning to show versatility in her game.

She played more as a midfielder than her traditional forward role on Friday, and really created a strong presence in that midfield in the way only a key forward turned midfielder can.

Darebin 6.5 (41) defeated Western Bulldogs 3.5 (23)


#32 Simone Ruedin (Defender)
9/11/1992 | 173cm

Stats: 12 disposals, five marks, four rebound 50s, one clearance

Normally the quiet and unassuming type, Ruedin’s work alongside the rest of Darebin’s defence was the true cornerstone of the team’s success on the weekend.

She was a really strong marker, and really worked hard to take away the strengths of the Bulldogs’ forwards, which is marking in the air.

#33 Caitlin Bunker (Midfielder)
28/8/1993 | 165cm

Stats: 14 disposals, 10 tackles, six inside 50s, one rebound 50, one clearance

The inspirational leader of the Falcons had another captain’s game on the weekend and continues to truly lead the team from the front.

She had another strong game in the clearance department, and just did not stop working all day, playing with absolutely no fear.

#52 Monique DeMatteo (Forward)
24/5/1997 | 168cm

Stats: 14 disposals, six tackles, five goals, two behinds, one mark, one inside 50, one clearance

Although DeMatteo is someone who has been really growing as the season has progressed, her performance on the weekend was on another level.

Kicking five goals, all of differing types and difficulties, she continues to show that she has really improved her foot speed and was strong both in the contest like a traditional marking forward, but also out the back of contests like a smaller forward traditionally is.

Western Bulldogs:

#51 Dominique Carbone (Midfielder)
25/9/2001 | 161cm

Stats: 21 disposals, five tackles, four clearances, four marks, two inside 50s, one behind

Although it was the kind of game for the Western Bulldogs that could have seen their players easily just drop their heads, one player who never did was Carbone.

She was hard working all game, truly leading from the front and working hard at the bottom of many a pack, much like her opposite number in Bunker.

#63 Jaimi Tabb (Forward)
9/2/2001 | 168cm

Stats: 13 disposals, five tackles, three clearances, two goals, one behind, one mark, one inside 50

Although overall it was a pretty tough day for the Bulldogs’ forwards, one player who bucked the trend was Tabb.

She stood up when others were being beaten, and made the most of the rare chances she was given.

Southern Saints 2.3 (15) lost to Williamstown 7.3 (45)

Southern Saints:

#37 Georgia Foran (Defender)
17/11/2004 | 174cm

Stats: 14 disposals, five rebound 50s, three marks, three tackles, one clearance, one inside 50

In what was at times a frustrating game to be a Southern Saint, Foran really stood tall.

Playing across the half back line, Foran was a really strong intercept marker, which allowed her to rebound back into attack really well.


#24 Megan Williamson (Midfielder)
3/2/2000 | 158cm

Stats: 17 disposals, 10 clearances, seven inside 50s, six tackles, two marks, one goal

Although Williamson has shown glimpses this season, last weekend’s match was one of her best games of the season.

Really strong in the clearance game, her positioning around the contest was really good, but she may have to watch her temper better at times after giving away a 50m penalty because of it.

#25 Sharnie Whiting (Forward)
23/8/2000 | 169cm

Stats: Five disposals, three marks, two goals, one tackle, one rebound 50, one inside 50

It was another typically strong performance from Whiting, who continues to show how much of an influence she can be despite not racking up the disposals.

She snapped a couple of goals in very typical Whiting fashion, and even did a spell in defence to help out her team mates and sure up the game.

Casey 0.7 (7) lost to Collingwood 3.4 (22)


#18 Meg Macdonald (Midfielder)
29/6/1998 | 172cm

Stats: 23 disposals, 13 tackles, 10 clearances, six marks, five inside 50s, three rebound 50s

It was not an easy game for any Dee by any stretch of the imagination, but Macdonald really stood tall and tried to lead by example for her team.

She was again hard at the contest and not afraid to put her body on the line, and was also really strong in the clearance.

#36 Tegan Williams (Ruck)
7/3/2004 | 178cm

Stats: 20 disposals, 16 hit outs, four clearances, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s, one rebound 50, one behind

Key players being unavailable meant a position change on the weekend for Williams, and one that she seemed to slot into with ease.

Although more known as a forward, Williams played a fair amount of the match in the ruck, and really competed with the bigger and sometimes more experienced Collingwood ruck duo.


#52 Akayla Peterson (Midfielder)
2/10/1994 | 176cm

Stats: 25 disposals, nine rebound 50s, six marks, four tackles, one inside 50

Although 2024 has not always gone to plan like Peterson probably would have liked, her performance on the weekend was more like the Lambert-Pearce Medal winning form she showed last year.

She played more of a defensive midfield role, but still created plenty of drive into attack for her side.

#55 Maya Ellin (Midfielder)
8/6/2005 | 169cm

Stats: 15 tackles, 12 disposals, three marks, two clearances, one inside 50

Although probably better known for her prolific tackling work, Ellin really showed on the weekend that there is more to her game than just that.

Although her tackle work was still impressive, her intercept mark game was one of her biggest weapons on the weekend, which was really helpful in the sometimes chaotic and scrappy nature of the midfield battle.

Essendon 1.4 (10) lost to Carlton 4.10 (34)


#42 Maddison Ford (Defender)
29/3/2004 | 174cm

Stats: 22 disposals, nine marks, five rebound 50s, two inside 50s, two marks, one clearance

The younger of the Fords was mainly working around the half back region, and provided a great hazard to the Carlton attackers trying to penetrate forward 50.

Her intercept marking was particularly strong, and she provided great rebound back up the ground for her side.

#45 Sarah Ford (Midfielder)
24/4/1996 | 157cm

Stats: 14 disposals, six clearances, five tackles, three inside 50s, one mark

The ex AFLW Swan was industrious through midfield, and playing a much bigger role than her height or perhaps her reputation would expect.

Through her strong clearance work she was able provide great forward momentum through midfield for her side.

#73 Sophie Molan (Defender)
24/3/2001 | 175cm

Stats: 19 disposals, five rebound 50s, two tackles, one mark, one inside 50

It was another impressive game from Molan, who continues to really grow as a footballer in the Essendon backline.

One of Molan’s biggest strengths on the weekend was her defensive positioning, regularly knowing exactly where she needs to be in any given situation to affect the play in the best way.


#51 Octavia Di Donato (Defender)
23/2/2004 | 172cm

Stats: 14 disposals, three rebound 50s, one mark, one tackle, one inside 50

It was another strong game from the Carlton skipper, who continues to show calmness and maturity beyond her years.

She took a lot of the kick outs for the Blues and was overall really composed with ball in hand, particularly as the Carlton defence was really tested at times.

Box Hill 14.8 (92) defeated Geelong 0.2 (2)

Box Hill:

#49 Grace Matser (Ruck)
3/1/2003 | 186cm

Stats: 24 hit outs, 12 disposals, seven inside 50s, five clearances, five tackles, one mark

Although Matser was really strong in the ruck on the weekend, she was more than just a standard tap ruck.

She was playing more like an extra midfielder at times, roving her own taps at times and being really crucial in helping drive forward momentum.

#51 Gabby Collingwood (Forward)
15/1/1999 | 163cm

Stats: 10 disposals, three tackles, two goals, one behind, one inside 50, one clearance, one mark

There was a bit of a role diversification on the weekend for Collingwood.

She mainly played up the ground to much affect, but also came back to the forward line and was really clever in the way she got her two goals.

#56 Jade Wise (Midfielder)
5/2/1990 | 168cm

Stats: 19 disposals, three marks, two tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s, two rebound 50s, two behinds

Although game time is something that has not always been forthcoming for Wise in more recent times, Wise came back into the side on the weekend and proved that leaving her out of it was a mistake.

Playing through the midfield, she was really clean with her disposal and was a really important cog in the full ground transition for the Hawks.


#29 Molly Walton (Defender)
6/5/2004 | 173cm

Stats: 12 disposals, six rebound 50s, one mark, one tackle

Although it was not an easy game for any of Geelong’s defenders, Walton still really stood tall.

Like much of this season, she continued to stay really composed beyond her years and was a solid rock on the last line of defence.

#35 Poppy Schaap (Midfielder)
28/7/2003 | 153cm

Stats: 26 disposals, nine tackles, seven clearances, three marks, two rebound 50s, one inside 50

It was a tough game for Geelong players just in general, but one player that really stood tall was Schaap.

One of her biggest assets was the speed with which she was able to clear the ball out of a pack, and she was willing to lay the shepherd, which is an underrated skill in the women’s game.

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