United States defeats Team Mexico in opening round of Women’s World Championship

Mexico came out seeking to get the upset and knock off the reigning world champion Team USA on the opening day of the IFAF New York Women’s World Championship.

In their first international competition, the Mexicans performed well for a time, but the experience of the Americans proved to be too much for them as the United States went on to win 29-0. Team Mexico did hold the USA scoreless for nearly 21 minutes of the first half, but then Team USA began to click.

The first touchdown came at 9:03 in the second quarter when Ashley Whisonant caught a 16 yard TD pass from Sami Grisafe. Melissa Strother added the PAT and then Toni Fuller tackled a Mexican running back in the end zone to add a safety to American scoring. That was followed by Lisa Horton, the second USA quarterback in their rotation, scoring on a QB keeper from 4 yards out. Strother kicked the extra point to make it 16-0.

Photo: Geoff White Images

The Mexican team drove down the field using a halfback pass to reach the USA 19 yard line with 55 seconds left. A pass interference penalty moved the Mexican team to the five yard line, but then an errant center snap killed their best chance to score.

Mexico looked to keep their momentum going after the break when Mexico QB Angeles Cruz Colon began the second half with a 5 yard completion, but then she was sacked on the next two plays. Team USA took to the ground-smashing Hannah DeGraffinrreed up the middle through good holes opened by her offensive line. She took them down the field, and then the USA’s third quarterback, Allyson Hamlin passed to TE Emily Weinberg who made it to the 3 yard line. DeGraffinreed finished the drive, and Strother added the PAT to make it 23-0. The final USA score came when Hamlin passed 18 yards to Whisonant. The PAT failed, and the score would stand at 29-0. Mexico had one final chance to get on the scoreboard when they drove to the 8 yard line, but their fourth down pass failed.

Mexico showed flashes, while the US took care of business – defeating a team they should have. USA DB Mckenzie Tolliver complimented the Mexican effort saying that “the Mexicans were fast,” and that they were “very good tacklers.”

Players of the game were LB Daniela-Michelle Zamudio Guzman for Mexico, and DeGraffinreed for Team USA.

The United States next game will be on Tuesday at 3:30 when they play Finland, and Mexico will play Australia 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