16 October 2013

Winning Gold at Uni Games

The All Australian women’s AFL team won gold at the Australian University Games and Stepahanie Chiocci tells the story of how she and her team make it happen!

I was extremely excited to return to the Gold Coast having started my Australian University Games’ career there back in 2010 and like then, it didn't disappoint!

Leading the Redbacks Women's Football team was a massive honour and I was optimistic of our chances of going back to back to back.
We started the week with a bang, winning our first game against University of Ballarat who was our toughest opponent.
The second day we faced Griffith University & Australian Catholic University and won both games by large margins. The girls began to string together some really impressive passages of play and team work.

Wednesday was the dreaded 8 am game, meaning we were up close to the crack of dawn. To the girls’ credit, they responded well and were victorious by over 100 points. As this was the conclusion of the round robin games we cemented top place in our pool meaning we were to face Murdoch University in the qualifying final later that afternoon.

What a final it was, beating Murdoch convincingly giving us a game against the University of Ballarat in the semi final on Thursday. Although we had beaten them in the round robin rounds, we knew it would be a different ball game come finals. We fought and hit hard pushing our way through for a win.

The game, whilst a challenge, held us in good stead to go back to back to back. We were to face Monash University, last year’s silver medal winners, in the gold medal match; a team that is much improved and will require our best team footy to beat. We were looking forward to the challenge.

During the warm up there was a real sense of togetherness and focus, the girls were ready... And they didn't disappoint! We were able to kick quick goals early leaving Monash shell-shocked! After dominating for the first half we went into the break with a ten-goal lead and the gold a medal in our sights. The second half was a lot more even but we were still able to extend our lead to win 88 to 6!
I am so proud of what we achieved this week, especially when you consider that many of the girls haven't played footy together before let alone footy in general. It was another fantastic Australian University Games’ campaign and whilst I'm sad it was my last one I can safely say that it was one of the most enjoyable ones. I hope to stay involved in the years to come and would love the opportunity to coach this amazing bunch of girls.

Stephanie Chiocchi is a Bachelor of Applied Science (Pysical Education) final year student, member of the AFL women’s team and green and gold medallist at the 2013 Australian University Games.

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