Kieran Yap provides his weekly round-up of all the action from the Victoria NPL Women’s competition. As usual, there is a detailed report on one game and a wrap of all the other matches along with photos (1/6/22).
Above: Calder United (green) battle it out with FV Emerging at the weekend. Photo: Jack Dilks/171819.
MAIN REPORT OF THE WEEK:
South Melbourne 9-0 Bayside United
South Melbourne FC made their slow start to the NPLW season seem like a momentary blip with a 9-0 thrashing of Bayside United.
It took less than three minutes for the home side to score. Kiara Hronopoulos won the ball back quickly when Bayside were looking to counter. After Janne Lawson was played into space, she opted to cross instead of shoot. Hronopoulos had continued her run and met the ball at the back post for an easy finish borne of effort.
After setting up the first, Lawson scored the second. Kat Goff brushed aside the Bayside defence on the left and had the vision to find Lawson unmarked in the middle. Her composed finish was her fourth in as many games. Lawson’s form in front of goal has coincided with South’s recent improvement.
The third goal was one that Bayside’s goalkeeper Kelsey Quinn would prefer to forget. Lawson was able to charge in from the right flank almost unimpeded. With a crowd of attackers and defenders arriving in the middle, she opted to shoot. Quinn blocked the initial strike, but the ball squirmed under her and it was scrambled over the line. South Melbourne had a 3-0 lead in the seventh minute.
It was credited as an own goal to Quinn, but that feels harsh on the goalkeeper. Lawson’s shot was on target and the ball was crawling over the line before the final touch amid some goal-line chaos.
South Melbourne’s fourth goal drew muted celebrations from their own players. It was another attack within far too much space for Bayside’s liking. With three defenders to stop three forwards, the ball was kicked almost directly into the net for an own goal. Quinn got a hand to it, but could not prevent the ball hitting the back of the net.
South Melbourne scored their fifth goal on the edge of half time. Grace Taranto timed her run and jumped highest to head powerfully from a corner kick. It was a textbook finish and a move right from the training ground.
The former Calder United, and Adelaide United player is surely on the radar for A-League Women recruiters for the next season. This goal was a good reminder of her ability.
South Melbourne had time to add a sixth before the whistle. Kat Goff delivered a perfect cutback after another aggressive run on the left. Gough took an extra touch that narrowed her angle but put her into more space. South Melbourne had outnumbered Bayside in the box and Caitlin Picket left Quinn with no chance.
After setting up two, and causing constant problems on the left-wing, Goff scored one herself.
It was another brutally fast attack from South Melbourne, Goff raced onto a long through ball from midfield and ran as close to goal as possible before calmly sliding the ball past Quinn at the near post.
It was a hattrick of assists to Goff and a first for Francesca Iermano for South’s eighth goal. Goff collected a ball at the back post and cut it back. Iermano connected well off her left foot and was too close to goal for Quinn to be able to do much to stop it.
South Melbourne’s ninth and mercifully for Bayside, final goal came from Caitlin Pickett. Her brace was notched up after some strong wing play on the right. It was a simple finish but an exhausted Bayside offered little resistance to the attack.
South Melbourne won this game by outnumbering Bayside in their own penalty area. For most of the goals, there were at least as many attackers as defenders.
Bayside is a young squad and there is not much to gain in the long or medium-term by parking the bus. However these huge losses are mounting up and after offering a much-improved performance in Round Eight, this feels like a step back.
South Melbourne has their swagger back. The start to the season was uncharacteristically slow, but they have now hit form, both individually and as a team.
They face Alamein in the next round as they attempt to climb the table further. After sitting bottom two weeks ago, South Melbourne are now ninth and improving.
Teams: SOUTH MELBOURNE: Farrow, (Picak), Houndalas, Mihocic, Taranto (Tolios), Carman (Stringfellow) Iermano, Sandhu, Hronopoulos (Murray), Lawson, Pickett, Goff (Kandlilas).
Scorers: Hronopoulos 3’, Lawson ‘6, Quinn OG 7’, Ramsay OG 23’, Grace Taranto 44’, Pickett 45’ 69’, Goff 50’, Iermano 67’.
BAYSIDE UNITED: Quinn, Ramsay, Susser (Anvari) Fogarty, Jowett (Sousa), Mclure, Shearing, Cain-Edwards, Stevenson, Porter (Budiongo) Parker.
Referee: George Iliopoulos.
ROUND NINE WRAP:
Across the rest of the games, Box Hill United impressed against Bulleen Lions. The favoured Bulleen hit the lead through Alana Jancevski’s 77th-minute penalty. The home side hit back in the 84th minute through substitute Emma Langley.
Heidelberg United continued to assert themselves as the team to beat at the top of the table. Their 2-1 win over Alamein puts them a point clear of Calder United. Sidney Allan opened the scoring for Alamein but two very late goals by Sophie Papalia and Danielle Wise secured the points for the league leaders.
Calder United kept the pressure on first place with a 5-0 win over FV Emerging. Goals to Alana Cerne, Melissa Taranto, Harriet Withers, and a brace to Adriana Taranto made for a dominant performance by a team that all A-League Women observers should be keeping a close eye on.