Photo: Tero Tuovinen
defending champions, TeamUSAopened the 2022 IFAF Women’s World Championship tournament in Vantaa, Finland as expected with a resounding 62-0 victory over Team Germany who were making their first showing in the tournament since 2013.
Six TeamUSA Players carried the ball 47 times for 216 yards and scored five touchdowns. Four American quarterbacks completed 19 of 28 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns. The defense held Team Germany to -49 yards rushing, but three German quarterbacks managed to complete 10 of 24 passes for 66 yards.
TeamUSA running back Dajah Scott led all rushers with 70 yards on 11 carries while Gina Magana contributed 54 yards on 11 carries, and Adriana Gutierrez added 51 yards on 10 carries. Five separate rushers scored touchdowns for the American national team. Starting quarterback Brittany Bushman completed 9 of 13 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Tori Tucker went 7-10 for 71 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Stephanie Pascual hauled in five passes for 44 yards, and Maria Jackson caught three for 89 yards and two scores. Linebacker Carla Odom led Team USA’s defense with five tackles, including two tackles for losses. Defensive back Kristen London had two interceptions.
Quarterback Silvana Friese completed 7 of 15 passes for 37 yards and had one interception. Mona Stevens completed 2 of 5 for 12 yards and also had an interception. Anja Driver caught four passes for 31 yards, and Jules Hollerbaum caught three for 10 yards. Defensive back Dora Jung led the German defense with an astounding 15.5 tackles and broke up one pass.
Jackson opened the scoring when she caught a 27 yard touchdown pass from Bushman with 6:51 left in the first quarter. Alaina Lange added the first of nine PATs. Bushman scored next on a one yard run. London returned her first interception for 85 yards for USA’s third score. Bushman and Jackson connected again, this time for 38 yards. Scott capped a drive with a one yard run with 3:38 to close out the first half’s scoring to make it 35-0 USES.
Jana Meister began the second half by catching an 11-yard touchdown pass from Tucker who then added her own touchdown by scoring from the 11. Quarterback Knengi Martin ran in one from the five yard line, and Gutierrez closed out the scoring when she scored from the one.
Germany managed a moral victory by holding TeamUSA from scoring on their last attempt. Lange came on to try a 40 yard field goal but came up short.
MVP’s for the game were Bushman for the United States and Jung for Germany.
After the game, Team USA HC Callie Brownson congratulated Germany on their play.
“A great team win. A lot of great individual play, but, at the end of the day, everybody came together as a team.”
Team Germany HC Tom Balkow:
“After seven years away from competition, the first international competition against the United States, I can only be proud of my team for what they did today. They stepped up. They took the challenge.”
On Day 2 of the tournament, Wednesday August 3, TeamUSA will face Finland who beat Sweden 49-0. Team Germany will play either Team Australia or Team Mexicowho seem to have finally overcome their travel issues.
Russ Crawford is Professor of History at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. His latest book of him, Women’s American Football: Breaking Barriers On and Off the Field will be published by the University of Nebraska Press in November of 2022. Along with several chapters on sport history, he has also published two earlier books. Le Football: The History of American Football in France was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2016. His first book, The Use of Sport to Promote the American Way of Life During the Cold War: Cultural Propaganda, 1946-1963, was published by the Edwin Mellen Press in 2008.