Team Canada overwhelms Australia on Day 1 of Women’s World Championship

The final game of the first round of the IFAF New York Women’s World Football Championship contained a few surprise plays, but the final score was as expected as the hosts, Team Canada downed Australia 31-6.

Canada came into the tournament as the second seed while Team Australia was entering the tournament for the first time. The home team was well represented by their fans, which was not surprising, but the Australians also traveled well with a sizable contingent in the stands to cheer on their favorites.

The Canadians drove down the field on the opening drive, but were stopped short of the goal line. Carly Dyck kicked a 30 yard field goal to get her team on the scoreboard. The Australians came out and used mass substitutions on several plays in an attempt to confuse their opponents, but the Canadians met the changes with calm, and stopped the visitors routinely. The Australian defense continued to stymie the Canadians, however, and the quarter ended 3-0.

With 4:26 left in the half, the Canadians finally cracked the end zone when FB Olivia DeMerchant ran the ball in from 4 yards out, and Dyck added the PAT. The Canadians scored once more before half when WR Laurence Pontbriand hauled in a pass from QB Aimee Kowalski and scored from the 30 yard line. Dyck again kicked the PAT giving Canada a 17-0 lead. Australian WR Kestra Triasmono responded with a nice kick return, but Canadian DT Joanie Duchesneau recovered a fumble at the 50 and killed any momentum that might have provided, and the teams went into halftime.

Photo: Geoff White Images

In the second half, the Australians settled down somewhat and were at midfield when Canadian DB Amelie Janson intercepted QB Casey Cubis’ pass. Australia played decent defense as well and stopped Canada on 4th and 2. They then began running a counter play off of the jet sweep that had the Canadians puzzled. RB Kristy Moran scored for Australia on a 9 yard run, but the extra point attempt failed when the snap went awry, something that bedeviled the Australians all night.

To prevent the visitors from gaining momentum, the Canadians marched down the field and scored on the next series. RB Julene Friesen took a pass from Kowalski and scored. Dyck converted again on the PAT. With Australia pinned deep in their own territory, the Canadians forced a fumble in the end zone that LB Virginie Roussel recovered and with the PAT, Canada’s lead was 30-6. The Australians drove once again, but with 2:20 left, they failed to convert on 4th down. Canada then ran out the clock.

Players of the game were RB Cassey Brick for Canada and DL Canecia Simms for Australia.

The Canadians will play Great Britain at 19:30 on Tuesday, June 27 and the Australians will face Mexico at 11:30.

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