LIVESTREAM IFAF WWC Gold Medal Game: Team Great Britain vs Team USA, Aug. 7, 18:30 CET (6:30 pm, 12:30 pm ET)

The Gold Medal Game of the 2022 IFAF Women’s World Championships in Vantaa, Finland has a surprising matchup as the defending champions, Team USA, will be facing the upstart Team Great Britain, Sunday, August 7.

The Great Britain Lions scored an impressive last-play upset of Team Canada to qualify for the gold medal match at the WWC for the first time. Team Great Britain began the tournament earning a forfeit win when Team Mexico failed to arrive in time. They then shocked many when they scored on the very last play of the game to break a 13-13 tie to down the Canadians.

Team USA started off the tournament as dominantly as most predicted, shutting out Team Germany 63-0. But the team that has won all three previous WWCs got their own shock when they found themselves trailing Team Finland 10-7 at halftime. The Americans roared back in the second half scoring 21 unanswered points to defeat the host country 28-10.

Against Canada, Great Britain’s offense was led by quarterback Sydney Green who threw for 140 yards on 18 for 28 passing. She threw one touchdown pass but also three interceptions. Green also ran five times for 15 yards and another touchdown. Wide receiver Siobhan Walker caught five passes for 34 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for 77 yards on seven carries. Running back Ruth Matta was held in check by the Canadian defense, only gaining 29 yards on 17 carries. She did return two kicks for 83 yards, including a 70 yarder.

The Lions’ defense was led by game MVP defensive back Phoebe Schecter who had 9.5 tackles and a key interception. Fellow defensive back Lucy Peaty had 4.5 tackles and an interception. Linebacker Rachel Moody, Delta Npuna, and Harley-May Lynch all had sacks.

Team Finland forced Team USA HC Callie Brownson to diverge from typical American practice of getting everyone playing time. She kept her starters in for most of the game. Quarterback Brittany Bushman played the entire way, and for the tournament, she has been a force completing 29 of 48 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns. The Finns picked her off twice though. Running back Dajah Scott has been the anchor of the American ground game with 28 carries for 141 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Stephanie Pascual has caught nine passes for 86 yards while Maria Jackson has hauled in six passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns.

Linebacker Carla Odom has been the mainstay of the Team USA front seven with 11 tackles, including two for losses. Defensive back Kristen London intercepted two passes against Germany, including an 85 yard pick six. Ta Shaun Leigh and Angie Wells had picks against Finland while defensive linemen Shanice Cole, Danielle Fournier, Shatonya Spicer, and Leshaunte Bowman have all sacked opposing quarterbacks.

Did the excitement of the upset win over Canada take too much out of Team Great Britain? Is Team USA really beatable? It will be fun to find out in the potential rubber match of the struggle between North America and Europe. Intra-family fights are often interesting, so this cousin battle should be entertaining to watch.

IFAF WWC Gold Medal Game: Team Great Britain vs Team USA, Aug. 7, 18:30 CET (6:30 pm, 12:30 pm ET)

Russ Crawford is an Associate Professor of History at Ohio Northern University in Ada, OH. He has published three books: Women’s American Football: Breaking Barriers On and Off the Field (2022), Le Football: The History of American Football in