GSFLW Team of the Week - Round Thirteen
The Kangaroos came close to recording their first win of the season, the Eagles surged away from the relentless Roosters in the final term, and the Demons snapped the Tigers' winning streak with a strong display.
The end of the GSFLW home and away season for 2022 is a week away. The Demons claimed another resounding win, the Eagles kicked away in the final term to win, and Goolwa narrowly escaped being Victor's first victim.
Four things we learnt this weekend:
Eagles are fast finishing
Strath is no pushover
Ellis is elite
Goolwa seem to find a way
(1) The Eagles are a fast-finishing side. Last week, McLaren looked to be in trouble against Goolwa. In that game, the Magpies continually wracked up the inside 50s – albeit for little results – while the Eagles seemed to be stuck in second gear. That was until after halftime when they blitzed Goolwa to run away with the win. This time, Strathalbyn seemed to be giving them problems as well. There was barely anything to separate the sides; until the final quarter when the Eagles again ran away for the win.
(2) In saying that, the McLaren versus Strathalbyn match showed that the Roosters are no pushover. They are the original dynasty with a history of winning. They are the sort of team that you have to give respect to when you face off against them, or else they will get the jump on you. The Roosters also have a quality list with such names as Emma Chapman, Courtney Mesecke, Tess Huxtable, Indi Miller, Rosie Shaw, Tessa Grant, and Katie Ehlers.
(3) Jemma Ellis enjoyed a breakout season at the South Australian National Football League Women’s (SANFLW) level. Being thrust into South Adelaide’s midfield – after the Panthers lost their 2 main rucks – Ellis made the most of her opportunity. Playing consistent football as an athletic and mobile ruck, her efforts during the 2022 SANFLW season were rewarded with a South Australian under-18s state appearance. Now that the Yankalilla product has returned to her local club, she seems a class above.
(4) Goolwa always seem to find a way – or at least, they are a team that rarely gets blown away. The Magpies narrowly got over Mt Compass a few weeks back – with that wintery match being decided by only 3 points. Then they took the fight to the Eagles and had their chances to build a strong lead but instead became the victim of a McLaren second-half surge that saw them lose by 13 points. And on the weekend just gone, they managed to fight back and defeat Victor Harbor by 8 points. They just always seem to find a way.
McLaren flicked the switch and soared away after the final change to defeat Strathalbyn by 32 points, 8.2 (50) to 3.0 (18).
Despite how the final score looks, this match was way closer than it seems. The Roosters were relentless. Perhaps they were inspired by the milestone of their inspirational ruck, Emma Chapman. Nonetheless, the scores were locked at quarter time, and the Eagles held a narrow 1-point lead at halftime and three-quarter-time. However, McLaren flicked the switch during the final term and booted 5 unanswered goals to break the game wide open.
The best players for the Eagles were a who’s who of McLaren. Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg, Katie Whish, Sam Pratt, and Tiffany Copley were just some of the standouts. Strathalbyn was once again well-supplied by Tess Huxtable, while 50th gamer Emma Chapman and defender Courtney Mesecke were also solid performers.
So close yet so far: a second-half fightback saw Goolwa deny Victor Harbor of their first win of the season, 3.5 (23) to 2.3 (15).
Things were looking promising for the Kangaroos as they opened up a 12-point lead at halftime. It was looking like the Roos were about to record their opening win of the year. But as fate would have it, the Magpies would respond with 6 scoring shots to 1 during the final half to claim a hard-fought 8-point win.
Alana Browne was a key contributor during Goolwa’s comeback. As were Hannah Crump and Laura Jones who recorded 2 of their 3 goals. As for the luckless Kangaroos, their heavy-hitting midfield group of Courtney Barry, Skye Kartinyeri-Sumner, and Jaimi Tabb were all impressive during their near-win.
Archbold and Gum combined as Willunga ran over the top of Yankalilla by 71 points, 11.6 (72) to 0.1 (1).
This was an intriguing match on paper. The recent improvers of Yankalilla, who were coming off a string of wins, versus Willunga, the premiership favourite. But the Demons quickly put this match to rest after a highly accurate blitz in the first term that saw them kick 5 straight unanswered goals. From there, they cruised toward the biggest win of the weekend.
Shae Archbold and Courtney Gum stole the show as they combined for all 11 of the Demons’ goals. Tessa Kohn, Patty Sommerville, and Shannen Hiern were also impressive performers for the ladder leaders. Jemma Ellis had her expected impact on the Tigers, as did the rising Kangaroo Islander Kelesha Rewiti-Edwards. Anabella Walden and Madi Munro rounded out their best 4.
Scroll down to see the Team of the Week, plus a minor breakdown of the squad.
Captain: Shae Archbold
Vice-Captain: Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg
This week’s forward line is spearheaded by an unstoppable Demon duo that recorded all 11 of their goals on the weekend. It is a case of the former AFLW star meeting a future one. Shae Archbold, the classy small forward, has continued to impress since returning from SANFLW duties. Her most recent haul of 6 goals brings her season total to 14 goals from 4 matches. Likewise, the young prospect has booted 15 goals in her 3 under-17s matches this year.
Then there is the other Demon goalkicker, Courtney Gum. Continuing to display a wealth of experience that she has gained throughout an outstanding career, Gum’s most recent performance up forward saw her slot 5 majors.
Fellow Willunga players including their Best on Ground, Tessa Kohn, are included in this week’s attack. Kohn is a fast-paced player who can play in the middle or up forward – while Abby Woodward is a strong and tall prospect that continues to develop with each passing week.
Laura Jones, who kicked a crucial goal for the Magpies, and Alana Browne, who continues to provide some experience and composure, were both key contributors to the Goolwa comeback. Browne went one further with a Best on the Ground selection.
Rucking duties belong to Yankalilla product, Jemma Ellis. The athletic tall was a highlight of an otherwise tough end to the Tigers’ season, with this promising state representative topping off her time at the local level with yet another Best on Ground performance.
Joining her on-ball is Strathalbyn’s versatile recruit, Tess Huxtable. This Rooster was once again a valuable member of her team – and this is not surprising since she can impact the contest regardless of whether it's in the air or at ground level. Joining her is another stellar recruit, Jaimi Tabb. A huge inclusion for Victor Harbor, Tabb is one of those tough in-and-under type midfielders that are extremely hard to stop.
In the middle is a composed and reliable McLaren Eagle, Sophia Flanagan-Sjoberg. Clever and slick when amongst a pack, while also being fast and skilful when on the outside; Flanagan-Sjoberg is a multifaceted footballer. She was the Best on the Ground during the Eagles’ late surge on the weekend – a fact that has seen her also receive this week’s vice-captaincy.
Katie Whish, the hard-running and consistently great Eagle is named on the wing this week. The other wing is home to an underrated Willunga player, Shannen Hiern. Hiern is an outside midfielder that just goes about her role without any fuss, and she does it extremely well.
Kelesha Rewiti-Edwards has the potential to be one of the next great exports of Kangaroo Island football. In recent times, we have seen the emergence of some great SANFL and SANFLW quality talent from KI: Damon Freitag, Tate Lovering and Kimberley Rowe. Rewiti-Edwards is fast, silky, and a fantastic rebounder of the footy – there’s no major reason why she cannot follow suit.
Speaking of SANFLW talent, the South Adelaide duo of Sam Pratt and Tiff Copley have continued to be outstanding for McLaren. Combined, these 2 make the perfect defensive combination: Copley marks anything that comes her way, and Pratt tackles anything that comes her way.
From established defenders to rising ones, Maya Overall and Jasmine Bailey were both strong contributors to Victor Harbor. Overall can run out a game with ease and she always seems to be at the right place at the right time. Bailey is tough, strong, and is a great anchor down back for the Kangaroos, which is rather amazing considering she is new to football.
Finally, rounding out the backline is an underrated Strathalbyn defender, Courtney Mesecke. She has routinely been one of the best at the Roosters for the past couple of seasons. Reliable: a quality that anyone would love to have in a defender.
Emma Chapman, the milestone Rooster, tried her best during Strathalbyn’s near upset. The inspirational ruck did a great job at spearheading the Roosters’ midfield that had to face off against one of the best midfield groups in the league.
Likewise, Skye Kartinyeri-Sumner was a standout Kangaroo during their near upset. The usual performer was the Best on Ground for the blue and white – and will undoubtedly come close to their Best and Fairest at the end of the season.
Patty Sommerville, Willunga, and Tayla Hoad, Goolwa, were also strong performers for their respective clubs. They are the type of players that play their role well – and are a consistently strong part of their clubs’ line-up.
Rounding out the MWM GSFLW Team of the Week is Meg Bentley, a McLaren goalkicking wing, and Katie Ehlers, a consistent Strathalbyn performer.
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Minutes with Moose would like to thank all of our ambassadors and team members.
Special thanks to all those who nominated players for our Team of the Week.
All of these images have been taken by the MWM team.