Each week during the NPL Western Australia Women season, Ben Gilby will provide a detailed report on one game and round up all the action from the others as Impetus begins its coverage of the women’s game in Western Australia (3/4/22).
Above: Action from this weekend’s NPL WA Women game between Perth SC (sky blue) and Balcatta Etna. Photo provided by: Rob Lizzi.
MAIN REPORT OF THE WEEK
Fremantle City 2-0 Curtin University
Fremantle opened their NPL WA Women’s campaign with a comfortable win against Curtin in a match they dominated at Hilton Park.
Playing in white shirts, Freo were comfortable throughout as they look to go better than their fourth-place finish last season. Whilst Curtin Uni produced a better showing after the break, they rarely troubled Kaylin Geelhoed in the City goal.
Fremantle City named three players with Perth Glory connections in their starting 11 with last season’s A-League Women captain Tash Rigby fielded along with former Glory players Kat Jukic and Jamie-Lee Gale.
Rigby had a hugely influential game on the right side of defence and got forward at every opportunity, linking well with Annabelle Leek and Kayla McCulloch.
Freo bossed from the start and carefully maintained possession. They earned their first corner with just five minutes on the clock, but Curtin dealt with it comfortably. The hosts continued to look to spread the play wide as well as penetrate through the centre of the visitors.
Despite the continued pressure, it took until the 22nd minute for Fremantle to make it pay. Rigby played a beautiful 1-2 with Siobhan Longmore outside her before playing a ball across from the right. Mikayla Lyons missed her shot, but it rolled further to Gale who sidefooted calmly into the right-hand corner of the net.
There were some positives for Curtin in the first half. Hannah Seerden having a busy afternoon for Curtin, trying to stem Rigby’s creativity along the right as well as looking to build rare counters for her team. Taylor Reid also broke clear but was denied further progress from the offside flag. Both would become increasingly influential after the break.
Freo had one further opportunity before half-time when Rigby had acres of space on the right to lay off for Leek whose effort sailed narrowly over. For the home side to only score one goal after racking up six shots to nil on target was frustrating.
Curtin started the second half showing more from an offensive perspective. Jacqueline McLernon combined well with Jennifer Hazledon before possession was lost. Fremantle had a chance of their own when Jessica Darmago got a shot away which Stacey Cavill in the Curtin goal pushed away into the path of Longmore who hit the rebound over.
The lively Reid became more of a threat for the visitors and she was played in by Hazledon and Geelhoed needed to show fancy footwork to clear the danger.
Fremantle responded by doubling their lead with 54 minutes played. Geelhoed started the move in the Freo goal by playing out to McCulloch. She in turn found Jukic. The former Perth Glory W-League player played a glorious ball into the path of Gale who skipped through and calmly shot under Cavill to make it 2-0.
The home side had a great opportunity to add a third when Rigby released Lyons. Freo’s captain was clean through, but her shot hit the side netting.
Curtin continued to work hard with Reid at the heart of everything positive they did. Despite this, they couldn’t really create sufficient chances to alter the scoreboard. In the end, Fremantle saw out the remainder of the game comfortably to record the three points on opening weekend.
Teams: FREMANTLE CITY: Geelhoed, Gale, Waltman, Lyons, Longmore, McCulloch, Leek, Darmago, Rigby, Kiama, Poad. Substitutes: Siah, Jukic, Nolan, Kiama.
Scorers: Gale 22′, 54′.
CURTIN UNIVERSITY: Cavitt, Brown, Preston, Waycott, Smith, Van-Vugt, Reid, Hazledon, Suckling, Seerden, Yangi. Substitutes: Connop, McLernon, Varatharaja, Riches.
Referee: Josh Mannella.
Round One Round-Up:
The 2022 NPL WA Women’s season kicked off on Friday night as Murdoch University Melville hosted last year’s bottom side Subiaco. The outcome was a 0-0 draw with Subi having the best chance when Kezia Burgess crossed for Murray who was denied by MUM keeper Mathers.
Perth SC hosted Night Series runners-up Balcatta Etna at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday and came away with a 2-0 win. Abbey Meakins’ penalty on the hour mark put them ahead before Taneesha Baker made the game safe in stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes.
Perth RedStar ended the first game under their new banner with a 5-0 success over Hyundai NTC. The Reds were 2-0 up with 18 minutes played thanks to goals from Jacinta Coleman and Larissa Walsh. The NTC were reduced to ten with just over 20 minutes to play and succumbed to three further goals in a 12-minute spell as Coleman, Jayna Ridley and Hannah Insch settled matters in RedStar’s favour.
Round Two Fixtures: Hyundai NTC v Perth SC, Curtin University v Perth RedStar, Balcatta Etna v Murdoch University Melville, Subiaco v Fremantle City.