2013 IFAF Women’s Worlds provide convincing victories in opening days

With the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Football Championships kicking off on July 1, the United States are looking to repeat as world champions. Fans in Vantaa, Finland witnessed several games on the first day, including the beginning of the United States quest towards a golden finish.

Host country Finland had the honor of playing the opening game of the event. They would win by convincing fashion in a 47-0 whitewash of Spain. With the 2013 edition of the Women’s Worlds marking Spain’s debut, the squad endured growing pains.

Contested at ISS Stadium in Spain, Finland jumped to a 16-0 lead after one quarter of play. Finnish quarterback Tiina Salo logged the first touchdown of the game with Janina Virtanen converting the extra point. She would contribute to the second touchdown with a pass to Sari Kuosmanen. Before the first half would expire, Elina Seppala added a score for the 22-0 advantage. Kuosmanen would extend the lead over Spain with her second touchdown of the game.

Facing a 28-0 halftime deficit, Spain was not able to comeback. Jenni Linden scored the initial touchdown of the second half for Finland. In the second half, Jutta Luhtala was handling the extra point conversions for the host Finns.

Linden’s score was followed by Janna-Jemina Seiels who provided Finland with a convincing 41-0 lead. Before the second half would expire, Linden logged her second touchdown of the day as Finland prevailed. Salo was named Player of the Game for Finland, while Raquel Diaz Garcia earned the nod for Spain. Finland’s next opponent is Canada, the defending silver medalist.

In a convincing 84-0 defeat of Sweden (the country which hosted the inaugural Women’s Worlds in 2010), the US set the tone for the remainder of the event. Having never lost a game at the IFAF level, the US has extended their undefeated streak behind three touchdowns by Cassey Brick.

Competing with the San Diego Surge of the Women’s Football Alliance, Brick would log the first touchdown of the game. Adrienne Smith, Odessa Jenkins and Jeanette Gray would follow suit with their own scores to provide the US with a convincing 32-0 lead.

Brick would follow with another touchdown as Sweden was unable to mount an offensive attack. Jenkins would log her second touchdown of the game for the 46-0 advantage as the game was now clearly out of reach.

Quarterback Samantha Grisafe, who competes with the Chicago Force in the WFA, (and is also a recording artist) would run in for a touchdown as the US boasted a 54-0 score. Brick, who played against Grisafe in the 2012 WFA National Championship game, added to the lead for her third and final score of the game.

Remaining touchdowns were scored by Brandy Hatcher, Ashley Berggren and Kathrine Sowers for the 84-0 final. Grisafe was named as Player of the Game for the US while Emma Bendorf was Sweden’s selection as Player of the Game. The US will attempt to extend their undefeated streak with a Fourth of July clash against Team Germany.

On July 2, the German contingent was successful in their contest against Sweden.  Prevailing by a 25-14 score, Susanne Erdman made the difference. She had a career day with 20 carries for a remarkable 217 rushing yards and three touchdowns. While Sweden provided a valiant effort, their offense sputtered throughout the day.

Erdman was recognized as Player of the Game for Germany, while linebacker Frida Er-Terlecki earned the nod for Sweden. With the 0-2 start, Sweden will compete in the contest to determine fifth and sixth place.