The cheers rang out in Linton Street as the St Kilda AFLW side recorded their first ever win in front of 4,000 fans on Friday night...
After two close losses to kick off their first ever AFLW Campaign, history was finally made as the Saints defeated Melbourne Demons by five points in the AFLW Pride Round.
Donning their rainbow-backed jumpers, the St Kilda women turned up the heat, prolonged their intensity and outplayed the experienced Demons side for four quarters.
Here’s what we learned from St Kilda in Round 3:
G-TRAIN OF THE NEXT GENERATION
St Kilda forward Caitlin Greiser was on fire as the Saints blazed home to hold off an experienced Demons side on Friday night. Known as the ‘G-Train’, Greiser began her sporting career entrenched in Soccer, playing in the National Premier League.
G-Train collected 11 disposals and booted two electric goals for her side in Round 3.
Her most memorable moment of the night was her set-shot goal from outside 50, where she booted through a long-bomb and sent Moorabbin into a frenzy in the final term.
Greiser has now etched her name into St Kilda’s rich history with a performance that has set the tone for the rest of the Saint’s campaign.
SAINTS YOUNG LIST FINALLY PAYS OFF
With nine players taking to RSEA Park under the age of 21, the Saints have proven that putting work into the up-and-coming stars can bring a new energy to a side.
Their Next-Generation Academy, which allows young women to begin training at an elite level from the age of 16, has been paying off, as the Saints have worked closely with many of their young recruits to blood them into the new team.
Against the Demons, after her Rising Star nomination in Round One and another commanding performance a week later, Georgia Patriokis was able to ignite her side and keep their energy high.
Patriokis collected 15 touches and laid a massive four tackles to will her side to victory.
Young character of the club, Liv Vesely, was prominent also, amassing 16 disposals and six tackles. Alongside her was Molly McDonald (seven disposals), who has secured her spot with Vesely as a reliable young duo.
Another young gun, 19-year-old Tarni White, who was given Best-On-ground votes last week when the Saints went down to Adelaide, notched-up 10 touches in her first AFLW victory.
Coach Peta Searle took the risk at the beginning of the season by selecting a younger, more inexperienced side, but the four points on the board, after only three rounds at the elite AFLW level prove that she’s got a strong side for the future.
THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING FOR THE SAINTS
After coming crushingly close to knocking-off reigning Premiers Adelaide last week, it was imminent that the chemistry and hunger was building for the Saints coming into their Round 3 clash.
In Round 2, the Saints collected 14 clearances, which was increased to an impressive 22 on Friday night.
They also improved their contested ball use, jumping from 79 contested possessions (Round 2), to 99 at RSEA.
After preaching that they believed their intensity could match the best sides of the competition, the Saints continued on the positive track, laying 10 more tackles as compared to their Round 2 trip to Adelaide.
Not only was this win one for the history books for the young Saints brigade, but it was a win for all those behind the scenes, who have finally got something to show for their hard work.
ST KILDA 1.0 2.0 2.0 3.1 (19)
MELBOURNE 1.4 1.5 1.8 1.8 (14)
St Kilda: Greiser 2, Guttridge
St Kilda: Greiser, Lucas-Rodd, Watt, Vesely, Guttridge, Drennan
Melbourne: Paxman, O'Dea, Gay, Pearce, Hore, Zanker
St Kilda: Nil
Melbourne: Guerin (knee), Goldrick (concussion)
St Kilda: Nil
Crowd: 4,012 at RSEA Park