VFLW Round 1 - 23 March, 2024 - Poppy Schaap in action for Geelong.

Geelong has fallen to Carlton by 31-points in their opening match of the 2024 Rebel VFLW competition at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.

The Cats got off to a promising start to lead at quarter time, but it was all the Blues from there going down 9.5 (59) to 4.4 (28).

CATS v BLUES Full match coverage and stats

A back and forth first quarter saw the home team up by just two points after the first break.

Co-Captain Poppy Schaap came out with a remarkable first quarter, having seven disposals and booting both of Geelong’s first quarter goals. 

Samantha Gooden played her first game for Geelong, and was a dominant force in the middle for the first half, using her size to help get first touch on the ball.

AFLW players Gabbi Featherston and Abby McDonald were at their confident best, with McDonald leading all disposal getters at half time with 15.

Carlton were able to get on top in the second quarter and kick three goals to one to open up a 12 point lead heading into the main break.

The Blues were able to carry over their momentum, coming out of the half time break with two goals in the first five minutes extending their lead to 24 points.

“They grabbed hold of the game in the third quarter where our intensity and urgency around the footy dropped off a little bit,”  VFLW Coach Elise Coventry told geelongcats.com.au following the game.


Carlton were able to control the game and the scoreboard for the rest of the third quarter scoring four goals to Geelong’s one, coming from the boot of the 18th pick of the 2023 AFLW National Draft, Chantal Mason.

The fourth quarter became an arm wrestle with neither team giving much ground. With just the single point scored from both teams going the way of Carlton. The Blues the eventually victors by 31-points.

McDonald finished with a game high 36 disposals, five marks and 12 clearances.

“That’s what the VFLW is for Abbey, is just for her to get more experience playing footy, in different positions.”

“We know that’s what she can do around a contest, she finds a way to get her hands on the footy, but what we love about her is at this level she’s able to use some composure  and get the ball out as well.”

Other notable performers were Melissa Bragg, who was influential out of the defensive 50, Gooden, who continued in her dominance in the ruck and Schaap who ended with 19 disposals, two goals and eight tackles.

Geelong will now look towards next week, where they will return to GMBHA Stadium to take on the Box Hill Hawks on Saturday 30 March from 2.10pm.

VFLW Round 1

Geelong  2.3   3.4  4.4  4.4 (28)
Carlton   2.1   5.4  9.4  9.5 (59)

Geelong: Schaap 2, Mason, Burchell
Carlton: Tait, McCarthy 2, Vickers, Skepper, Sherar, Robertson, Austin