WHILE all eyes will be on the last finals spot up for grabs this weekend, there's another race set to play out over round nine of the NAB AFLW season – the leading goalkicker.
A whopping eight players – all from different clubs – are feasibly in the running for top spot to take Caitlin Greiser's crown.
Interestingly, there are a variety of different types of players in the running, each with their own unique strengths.
DARCY VESCIO (Carlton)
14 goals, v GWS on Sunday
Vescio, the 2017 leading goalkicker, is in the box seat after her five-goal haul against Gold Coast last Friday.
The Blue is incredibly agile at ground level, anticipates play well and has a decent leap to boot.
She is the smallest of the players in the running for leading goalkicker, standing at 166cm.
GEMMA HOUGHTON (Fremantle)
13 goals, v North Melbourne on Saturday
Houghton has already topped her previous season-best tally, having kicked nine goals from her eight matches back in 2018.
Standing at 179cm, Houghton is a handful for defenders due to her strength both in the air and at ground level.
She's also one of the best run-and-carry players in the competition, capable of bursting away from opponents and eating up plenty of ground with her running bounces.
CHLOE MOLLOY (Collingwood)
13 goals, v Adelaide on Sunday
Molloy has been incredibly consistent this year, only going goalless in one of her eight games.
A strong lead-up forward, Molloy is also dangerous when the ball is on the deck, blessed with a dangerous side-step and able to snap goals at will.
The Pie can push higher up the ground, having previously played in the midfield and even in defence, but has been mainly based close to goal this year.
ERIN PHLLIPS (Adelaide)
12 goals, v Collingwood on Sunday
For all her accolades, superstar Phillips is yet to win a leading goalkicker award, having kicked 10 goals (2017), seven (2018) and 11 in 2019.
Phillips has been playing somewhat of a hybrid forward-midfield role this year, often starting at centre bounces before pushing into attack, where her strong marking ability and clever positioning catches defenders out.
She's a clean set shot, a deadly snap from tough angles and can kick for goal from a fair distance.
IZZY HUNTINGTON (Western Bulldogs)
12 goals, v Richmond on Friday
Huntington's goalscoring has dropped off in recent weeks as the supply from further afield has lessened, but there's no doubting the best contested mark in the competition.
Very much a set-shot player in comparison to others on the list, Huntington is often forced to outmark multiple opponents, and is a clean strike of the footy.
Previously a star junior forward, Huntington returned to the footy field after several serious knee injuries as an All-Australian key back, but has returned to the attacking half this year.
KATIE BRENNAN (Richmond)
11 goals, v Western Bulldogs on Friday
It's taken five seasons, but we're finally seeing the best of Katie Brennan at the top level.
Waylaid by serious ankle injuries at the Dogs before a concussion halted her 2020 season, Brennan has hit her straps in recent weeks.
Probably stronger in the air than at ground level, Brennan has a long boot and is an accurate set shot.
KATE HORE (Melbourne)
11 goals, v Brisbane on Saturday
The lively mid-sized forward has been a constant in front of goals this year, and rarely kicks just the one major.
While accuracy can occasionally be an issue, Hore finds plenty of the footy and is equally adept from a set shot or on the run.
Hore has speed to burn and is often found in space without an opponent, such is her hard running.
DAKOTA DAVIDSON (Brisbane)
11 goals, v Melbourne on Saturday
A genuine key forward, Davidson is one of the best pack marks going around – occasionally to the detriment of her teammates, having cleaned up Jess Wuetschner last week.
Five of Davidson's 11 goals came against Gold Coast, but she stands up in big moments and runs hard throughout the game.
Don't discount Davidson from a distance either, with the Lion having a booming boot when taking a set shot.
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