United States begins championship defence with shutout win
Photo credit: Geoff White (gw-images)
By Ameeta Vohra
On Saturday afternoon, defending champions the United States earned a 29-0 shutout victory over Mexico.
Mexico held the States off the scoreboard in the first quarter.
Late in the first half, Ashley Whisonant tallied a major to give the States the lead. With 3:48 remaining in the second quarter, quarterback Lisa Horton dashed into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown score.
|2nd||9:03||USA – #12 – Ashley Wisonant – 15 yd reception||0-6|
|Convert – #83 – Melissa Strother||0-7|
|2nd||8:18||USA – Safety||0-9|
|2nd||3:48||USA – #14 – Lisa Horton – 4 yd rush||0-15|
|Convert – #83 – Melissa Strother||0-16|
|3rd||5:49||USA – #21 – Hannah DeGraffinreed – 2 yd Rush||0-22|
|Convert – #83 – Melissa Strother||0-23|
|4||9:15||USA – #12 – Ashley Wisonant – 18 yd reception||0-29|
At halftime, the States enjoyed a 16-0 lead over Mexico.
United States Player of the Game Hannah DeGraffinreed’s aggressive, physical play paid off as she ran into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown to extend the States lead 23-0.
Ashley Wisonant rounded out the scoring with a 18-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
“It was a hard-fought game from the first snap until the last snap,” commented United States Head Coach Jim Farrell. “Our ladies came out fired up ready to go and had a couple of miscues early on as far as penalties, kind of stalled some drives for us but it’s exciting to watch them play.”
“Obviously, the first game operations and jitters are now gone. We got a chance to rotate a lot of women in the ball game. We’re excited about that, came out healthy. We were excited about what we saw out there and obviously we have a few things to iron out and get ready for the next game but we were happy with the first game.”
As for Mexico, they were successful as not letting the States get any points in the first quarter. Head Coach Jovanni Carrillo Larios gave credit to the defensive unit for working together to stop the defending champions.
“Our players started out very well,” he said. “The last players are very big in this championship and the new ones we scouted for this game.”
“We tried to make the players not be so eager. We made 3-5 players make the tackle so the big players from the United States cannot escape the tackle.”
Even though Mexico expected the score to be closer, they were content with the effort they put forth on the field against a top contender and know there is more work to be done in the coming days.
“United States is a two-time champion,” added Carrillo Larios. “We expected more of a wide score.”
“Our defence was very good. After that we have to improve some things on offence.”
On the other side, the States did have some discipline issues early on but settled down and relied on team cohesion to guide them to victory today.
“We came into training camp and from day 1, we meshed well,” expressed Degraffinreed. “We have just been working on it day by day.”
“Some penalties happened; we forget about it and move on to the next play. We just work hard, know our assignment and we just keep working on it.”
Overall, the States liked the early test they got today from Mexico.
“For us the personal foul on the first series is not something we are going to allow to have happen,” said Farrell. “But for us I think that game one was a lot of shuffling of different personnel and groupings and pairings together.”
“Three games in nine days, we wanted to make sure weren’t trying to put the accelerator down. We like the fight that we got from Mexico. They played really hard and it was great to see their physical play up front especially their defensive front.”
Mexico captures first women’s worlds win to open day two
Photo credit: Geoff White (gw-images)
By Ameeta Vohra
Mexico took a historic next step in their women’s football program on as they won their first IFAF World Women’s Championship game on Tuesday June 27. Mexico opened the second day of competition with a 31 – 10 victory over Australia.
|1||1:20||Mexico – #11 Marlen Gutierrez Padilla – 11 yd Rush||6-0|
|Conversion – # 23 Maria Fernanda Mandujano Abreio||7-0|
|2||3 :08||Australia – Team Safety ( 10 yd Sack for loss #93 Jasmin Collins||7-2|
|3||6:21||Mexico – # 33 Andrea Romero Vasquez – 13 yd Rush TD||13-2|
|3:32||Australia – #6 Kristy Moran – 43 yd Rush||13-8|
|2 PT Convert – # 89 Melissa Kelly||13-10|
|1:40||Mexico – #1 Tania Garcia Sanchez – 20 Yd Reception TD||19-10|
|4||8:16||Mexico – # 28 Maria Fernanda Pacheco Garcia – 2 yd Rush TD||25-10|
|5 :55||Mexico – # 33 Andrea Romero Vasquez – 70 yd Rush TD||31-10|
Despite a unique set of formations on the field, Australia racked up several penalties in the first half.
With 1:30 left in the first quarter, Mexico opened the scoring as Marlen Gutierrez Padilla an 11-yard touchdown rush.
Australia came close to responding back in the second quarter. On fourth down, with the ball at the two yard line, quarterback Kristy Moran tried to sneak into the end zone but was denied by the strong Mexican defensive wall.
Australia earned their first points of the contest as Jasmin Collins made huge defensive play on Mexico pivot Carla Fernanda Melo Hernandez in end zone to earn an Australia safety.
At halftime, Mexico enjoyed a 7-2 lead over Australia.
At close to 4 minutes of the third quarter, Mexico’s Marlene Garcia Garces picked off Moran. Mexico took advantage as Andrea Romero Vazquez sprinted into the end zone for a 15-yard major.
Moran would get Australia on the scoreboard as she tallied a 43-yard rushing major. Along with a successful two point conversion, Australia trimmed Mexico’s lead 13-10.
With 1:40 remaining in the third quarter, Maria Fernanda Pacheco Garcia reached the end zone to increase Mexico’s lead before the final frame.
Mexico’s solid defensive performance continued in the fourth quarter as they intercepted Moran and took over at the 42-yard line. On third down, Romero Vazquez added her second rushing major of the game to clinch the victory.
For Mexico, the team felt fortunate to win their first-ever Women’s World Championship game.
“It was a really tough game,” commented Mexico Head Coach Jovanni Carrillo Larios. “At halftime, the score was really tight.”
“The defense took over the game while the offence tried to spend a little more time to accomplish all their plays. This Australian team is a really fast team and disciplined team. They did a very good job.”
As for Australia, Mexico’s victory signified how far the women’s game has evolved.
“Today’s game is confirmation of how far women’s football has come since the Women’s World Championship started in 2010,” Australia Head Coach Jen Welter said. “I thought that both Team Mexico and Team Australia fought very hard and they showed the potential of what this game could truly be. My hats off to Team Mexico, they fought hard, they played fast as we knew they would.”
Welter assessed Australia’s performance against Mexico.
“From Team Australia’s perspective, I thought we did some good things defensively but we had some tough breaks on some major plays,” added Welter. “I’d really like to see us get more in gear offensively.”
As for the penalties Australia had in the first half, Welter said it is still a learning curve for players.
“I think the game is evolving,” emphasized Welter. “I think as the players learn, it will become a much cleaner game and that’s the best that we can hope for – safe football that is clean football.”
“I think that will evolve as players play longer and it will continue to get safer as referees get more and more live action.”
Winning their first Women’s World Championship game evoked a special feeling for Mexico.
“Truly, it was a main goal,” expressed Carrillo Larios. “We knew the last game against the US it was going to be tough.”
“We knew we would be prepared very well against Australia. We were very lucky to win this game. We were really excited about this game and are looking forward to the next game.”
Mexico captures bronze in first women’s worlds appearance
Photo credit: Geoff White (gw-images)
By Ameeta Vohra
Friday June 30 was a historic day for two national football programs at the 2017 IFAF Women’s World Championships in Langley, British Columbia.
The bronze medal game featured two nations making their women’s tournament debuts. Mexico came out on top 19-8 over Great Britain.
|1||5:34||Mexico – #28 Maria Fernanda Pacheco Garcia – 4 yd Rush TD||6-0|
|Conversion – #23 Maria Fernanda Mandujano Gonzalez||7-0|
|2||4 :59||Mexico – #28 Maria Fernanda Pacheco Garcia – 13 yd Reception||13|
|0 :52||GB – #21 Ruth Matta – 3 yd Rush TD||13-6|
|2 pt Conversion – #4 Joannah Kilby||13-8|
|3||1:54||Mexico – #5 Cinthia Olivares Arrendondo – 5 yd Reception TD||19-8|
Winning the first bronze medal in their national football program’s history was a major accomplishment for Mexico. However, the expectations are now much higher for the team once they head back home.
“For us our main goal was to be in the bronze medal game,” commented Mexico Head Coach Jovanni Carrillo Larios. “We worked very hard to achieve this medal.”
“Finally, we achieved our goal. So, we have a very big responsibility when we get back to Mexico and in order to improve and make this program stronger.”
Some of those improvements are to play different structures of tackle football.
“The Mexico players saw the level of play from United States, Canada and Europe,” added Carrillo Larios. “In order to improve our program in Mexico, we play arena football for Mexico 7 on 7.”
“In this competition, it is 11 (on-11) football. We need to improve that to make a bit of ground in order to improve and make it stronger.”
While Great Britain had hoped for a better outcome, the team applauded Mexico on making history in their national program on Friday.
“I congratulate them because there’s a new women’s program that’s going to be competing in the future and it’s great to see the further growth of the sport,” said Great Britain Head Coach Jim Messenger.
Despite the loss, Great Britain took away many positives from Friday’s game which included achieving goals.
“Our first thing was to actually get here so we are proud that we actually achieved that,” Messenger said. “Our goal was to win one game; I have to say if it was one game we had to win, we wanted to win against Finland because they beat us in the European Championship.”
“To a certain extent, we achieved our aim after game 1. Then, it was how far could we push ourselves as far as we can. Getting the opportunity to play for the bronze medal was a tremendous opportunity.”
Already, Great Britain is motivated to improve for the next Championship.
“We will be back and we will try again,” added Messenger. “We know that we need to get better but we have learned so much from being a part of it and the qualities of the other nations, their ability of football and we need to get better as a nation.”
“We are very much looking forward to that challenge ahead and continue to take part in this celebration of women’s sport.”
By having two first-time entries succeed beyond expectations in this tournament, Great Britain hopes it will inspire nations to build their own programs.
“It’s a very exciting, exciting future for us to take back home the experience of actually having been here four years from watching it the last time to actually competing here has been an amazing experience,” expressed Messenger. “We hope that other nations from around the world will look at this an say it is possible to build quickly as Mexico did compete at a very high level.”