Sports

Women's tackle football: USA wins IFAF World Championship; Kent's Adrienne Wilson on team

Kent
Kent's Adrienne Wilson plays for the Seattle Majestics women's tackle football team.
— image credit: Courtesy photo - not for sale

(Editor's Note: Kent resident Adrienne Wilson is a member of the world-champion USA team.)

The United States won the first IFAF Women's World Championship gold medal July 3 with a 66-0 victory over Canada at the Zinkensdamms IP Stadium in Stockholm, Sweden.

Earlier in the day, Finland won the Bronze medal with a 26-18 win over Germany, while on a good day for Scandinavia, host Sweden took fifth place overall by beating Austria 20-18.

USA Football’s Women’s National Team head coach John Konecki said afterwards, "Canada was an excellent team and we had to work hard to prepare and play against them. I feel honored to have coached Team USA. It is a remarkable group of women."

Defensive Most Valuable Player Sharon Vasquez of the Pittsburgh Passion added: "It was amazing to win the gold medal. It was very emotional. We played an awesome team and it feels great to be in this moment."

The United States now hold all IFAF tackle football world titles with the USA Football Women's National Team joining their male counterparts, who won the senior crown in 2007 against Japan, and the juniors (aged 19 and under), who beat Canada to lift the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship.

A strong defensive start for Team USA forced Canada to punt on its first drive and the offensive powerhouses took over immediately.

On Team USA's opening drive, Jessica Springer lined up in the wildcat and plowed her way through the Canadian defense for a first down to Canada's 20-yard line. Giving the ball right back to Springer, she ran straight into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown and with Emily Williams' extra point USA went up 7-0 with 9:45 left in the first quarter.

The defensive pressure continued on Canada's next drive as Jeanamarie Fisher of Portland Shockwave sacked Canada's quarterback Saadia Ashraf for a loss of four yards quickly making it third and long. More pressure from USA forced Ashraf to throw the ball away as Canada punted.

The United States quickly attacked again with a 34-yard gain by Desiree Weimann followed by a 26-yard touchdown by Mia Brickhouse and the United States went up 15-0 with a successful two point conversion by Springer with 7:18 left in first quarter.

Canada's Julie Paetsch started to have success late in the first quarter picking up three big runs of 10, 19, and 11-yard gains but then the USA tightened up the defense and did not allow Canada to pass the 24-yard line. On fourth and seven, Canada opted to go for it but Amy Satterfield stopped the run as the United States took over on its own 19-yard line.

Not letting up, USA attacked again with a screen play for Weimann followed by an 18-yard run by Brickhouse who found some room down the middle with some great blocking by game MVP Jamie Menzyk.

Springer showed her power again with a 27-yard run and then with a hand off to Weimann who went untouched down the middle for a 25-yard touchdown as the United States increased their lead to 22-0 with 1:36 remaining in the first quarter.

With another quick three and out due to defensive pressure led by defensive lineman Olivia Griswold, the United States found the end zone again as quarterback Jenny Schmidt connected with Offensive Most Valuable Player Rusty Sowers to the three-yard line for first and goal. Springer then plowed her way into the end zone for her second touchdown of the game. With a direct snap to Springer for two the United States built a 30-0 lead.

And on first and goal, Brickhouse found a gap running into the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown going up 37-0.

Canada moved the ball into U.S. territory as quarterback Ashraf connected with Alia Palmer for an 11-yard gain. On third and seven, Ashraf was forced to scramble out of the pocket for an incomplete pass. Going for it on fourth down, Tracy Adams and Griswold immediately put pressure on the quarterback who again had to throw the ball away with the U.S. taking over on their own 39-yard line with 4:47 left in the half.

On the first play of the drive, Springer took the ball running through the Canadian defense for a 59-yard touchdown and with an extra point gave the United States a 43-0 lead.

With 53 seconds remaining in the half, the United States got the ball back. Quarterback Schmidt took the ball herself, weaving in and out for a 20-yard gain and with time running out quarterback Sami Grisafe connected with Sowers for a 31-yard touchdown to end the first half with a commanding 51-point advantage.

The second half started similar to the first, as Sowers returned a punt for 20 yards, giving USA good field position starting on the 50-yard line. The drive saw multiple runs: a 7-yard gain by Danilynn Welniak, a 14-yard gain by Onetha Cannon, and ended with a 16-yard touchdown run by Julie Shockley with 9:56 left in the third quarter.

Canada's Alex Black returned the kickoff into US territory to the 34-yard line, but could not capitalize with the USA defensive pressure forcing another Canada punt.

Canada picked up their defense, with a tackle for a loss and on third down stopped Welniak one yard short of first down forcing the U.S. to punt for the first time in the game.

After a false start, and a tackle for a loss by Jeanamarie Fisher followed by a sack, Canada took an intentional safety when backed up to their own five-yard line as USA went ahead 60-0.

2010 IFAF Women's World Championship Medal Games

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gold Medal game

USA 66 Canada 0

Bronze Medal game

Finland 26 Germany 18

Fifth Place game

Sweden 20 Austria 18

Highlights of the day's media games can be watched on webcast accessible through www.2010WWC.info.

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