Category: World Championship - published 2010-07-03 by IFAF


Sweden claimed fifth place at the inaugural IFAF Women's World Championship with a dramatic 20-18 victory over Austria, who failed to tie the game and force overtime in the dying seconds when a two-point conversion pass attempt fell incomplete.
Austria's cause was hampered by the loss of one of the stars of the tournament early in the game. Running back Marie-Theres Michelitsch, who had rushed for 329 yards on 56 carries in the group stages, was stretchered off with a broken foot on her team's opening drive having gained 27 yards on Austria's first offensive play of the game.
Sweden recovered from a 12-point deficit to lead by eight until Austria forced the grandstand finish. The win sees Sweden (1-2) record its first-ever win in international competition and upset the tournament seeding with a climb up one place to fifth against previously fourth-ranked Austria (0-3). MVPs for the fifth place playoff were Nina Kiviharju of Sweden and Austria's Julia Nusko.
After Sweden opened the contest by punting away possession, Michelitsch tore through 27 yards on the ground on Austria's first play. More holes found through Michelitsch's running led to quarterback Pia Marrara finding Stephanie Konecny for a first down inside the red zone.
Swedish linebacker and MVP of their first game Pillan Plass tackled Michaela Gerstl short of a key first down before Michelitsch moved the chains on third down but was injured and would play no further part.
Austria soldiered on and Carissa Klupper breached the end zone for a 6-0 lead after a failed two-point conversion with 5:22 left in the first quarter.
Austria were again knocking on the door, helped on fourth down by pass interference call, but Plass twice denied then with a tackle for loss of six yards on first down and a crushing tackle on a receiver on the opposite sideline on second down. Again facing fourth and goal, Marrara found Caroline Friedl for a touchdown and a 12-0 Austria lead after another failed two-point try with 9:09 left in the half.
A Plass interception gave Sweden the ball in Austrian territory and the most unusual play of the tournament gave Sweden its first points of the game. Martina Karlsson threw an interception but the Austrian defensive back ran in the wrong direction and was tackled in her own end zone for a Sweden safety.
Down 12-2 with 5:49 left in the first half, putting points on the board gave Sweden fresh impetus and when Charlotte Gentili fumbled the next play, Erike Hinders picked up the ball and raced 52 yards for a Sweden touchdown to cut the deficit to four points after the extra point attempt was blocked.
Down 12-8 in the third quarter, Sweden blocked an Austrian punt to take over on the edge of the red zone and Karlsson produced a beautiful pass to a striding Anna Persson for a touchdown and Sweden's first lead of the game at 14-12 after the extra point attempt was no good.
Sweden had an opportunity to extend the lead when another interception gave them first and 10 at the Austrian 15, but Moa Arnfridsson was dropped a yard shy of the marker when seven yards from pay dirt.
Austria gambled deep in their own territory and a fourth down pass was broken up by Plass, giving Sweden a first and goal from the Austria seven-yard mark. A penalty on Austria followed by a short run took the ball to within inches of the end zone and a quarterback sneak by Karlsson earned Sweden an eight point lead at 20-12 with 1:39 remaining in the game.
Spurred on by a third missed Swedish extra point, Austria drove downfield with the clock ticking, knowing that a touchdown and a two-point conversion would force overtime.
Stribrny produced a perfect pass to Konecny for a touchdown with 34 seconds remaining, but the decisive two-point conversion was dropped and a failed onside kick attempt failed to preserve Sweden's slim margin of victory.

5th Place
Austria 1801206

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