Now that the season is done and won, it’s time to take a look at the fantastic year the Cats had in the AFLW. There were big wins, close finishes, and heartbreaking losses, but the trajectory is clearly trending in an upward direction. 

There were some key statistical metrics blowing previous seasons out of the water.

This is the first in a three part series where we take a closer look at the the stats of the season, and it’s easy to see why Geelong had the season they did. 


A brilliant defensive partnership reached new heights in 2023. 

Meghan McDonald and Claudia Gunjaca turned into a formidable force throughout the year, often dubbed “The Brick Wall”, taking some inspiration from Matildas Goalkeeping superstar, Mackenzie Arnold.

Gunjaca finished with 96 Intercept Possessions, 1st in the league, while McDonald finished 8th with 74. The Skipper was in top spoiling form though, punching away 49 opponent marking attempts, 4th in the league, with Gunjaca finishing just outside the top 10 with 33 spoils.


The forward turned defender competed in the 2nd most defensive 1v1's with 36, while Meg came 5th with 34. The more experienced McDonald however finished with a higher win % rate of 26% to Gunjaca’s 33%. However, Claudia’s ability to intercept mark and immediately switch to attack was a highlight as well, seeing her finish with 41 rebound 50’s (10th)

Gunjaca’s marking was a key strength to the backline this year, seeing her record 51 marks for the season (6th in the competition), but it was forward Jackie Parry who clunked 56 marks total, seeing her finish equal 3rd. 21 of those were marks were contested which placed her 1st in the League. 27 of those 56 marks were inside 50 also seeing her finish equal 1st in that category.

The marking defenders were complimented well all season by Chantel Emonson, whose pinpoint kicking was a highlight for the year. She finished with 108 effective kicks (6th in the competition), with a kicking efficiency of 73.5%. Also recording 63 rebound 50’s, 3rd total.

Rachel Kearns also had a career best season after her transition down back, as did Georgie Rankin who only had 3 Contested Defensive losses for the year and recorded a disposal efficiency of 76.6%, the 20th highest ranked in the league.