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 (29/6/22).
Above: A tussle in possession between Calder United (white shirt) and South Melbourne. Photo: Jack Dilks/171819.
MAIN REPORT OF THE WEEK:
Calder United 3-0 South Melbourne
League leaders Calder United continued their unbeaten run when they faced South Melbourne in Round 13 of Victoria’s NPLW.
Mark Torcaso’s side has not lost since Heidelberg United got the better of them in April. South Melbourne came into this game in need of a win. After a tough start to the season, they made a resurgence that had them on the edge of the top four. But since a hard-fought and impressive win over Alamein, they had lost the next two before making the journey west.
Not helping matters was the fact that they were without Claudia Mihocic in defence after an injury in Round 12 against Heidelberg. Without the Young Matilda, they are much easier to score against. Her excellent one-on-one defending was one of the reasons for their turnaround, and Calder United wasted no time in testing the new-look South Melbourne defence.
Calder speedster Stacey Papadopoulos received the ball wide on the left and raced into the area. She used the defender’s momentum against her to cut inside and open up the angle from the by-line. The finish was from close range but was not easy. She hit it with enough power to leave Jenna Farrow with no chance. It was one-nil after seven minutes played.
South Melbourne looked set up to counterattack. They allowed Calder United to bring the ball out from the back with minimal pressure, defending deep and hoping to use the pace of Janna Lawson to launch attacks.
However, this meant that Calder were able to attack in multiple ways and any errors could be potentially damaging. Natasha Dakic’s cross almost resulted in another goal for the hosts. Emma Rober’s header was on target but saved well by Farrow.
The score remained at 1-0 until early in the second half. In the space of a few minutes, Calder United put the result beyond doubt with two brutal attacks.
Raquel Derales won possession wide on the right. She played the ball inboard to Melissa Taranto who sent a long pass into the path of Harriet Withers. The winger collected the ball in her stride and held off close attention to finish calmly and make it 2-0 in the 47th minute.
Soon after, they had a third. South Melbourne won a corner through the efforts of Francesca Iermano. However with numbers committed forward for the set-piece, Calder United were able to burst away through Withers. She easily outpaced Bella Stringfellow and cut it back inside to Derales. Her first touch looked slightly heavy, and the ball bobbled on the pitch, but she lifted it over Farrow and finished into the open goal with her third touch. 3-0 after 49 minutes.
To South Melbourne’s credit, they continued to attack, though they had little choice. Janna Lawson had their last attempt on goal. Her control and cutback was very nicely done, but Alyssa Dall’Oste was untroubled by the finish.
Calder United extended their lead at the summit of the NPLW. They are five points clear of second-placed Heidelberg United and have only lost the one game so far. South Melbourne’s second loss sees them drop to seventh. They host Box Hill United next week and desperately need a win.
Squads: CALDER UNITED: Dall’Oste, Cain, Dakic, O. De La Plaza-Sanchez, R. Deralas, El-Hayek, Groba Mathews. Papadopoulos, Robers Rossi, Sardo, Sinclair, Stojcevski, Taranto, Taranto, Withers.
Scorers: Papadopoulos 7′, Withers 47′, Derales 49′.
SOUTH MELBOURNE: Farrow, Carman. Claridge, Goff, Houndalas, Iermano28, Kandilas, Keppens, J. Lawson, Picak, Pickett, Sandhu, Stringfellow, G. Taranto, K. Tolios.
Referee: Aleksandar Nikoloski.
Round 13 Wrap:
In other results, Bulleen and FV Emerging’s game was postponed, The NTC side sits just outside the top four with a game in hand. Bulleen Lions’ ladder position did not change despite not taking to the field.
Heidelberg United continued in their consistent year with a 2-1 win away to Box Hill United. Goals to Stephanie Galea and Kathryn Vlahopoulos saved the day in the second half after Madison Van Dooren opened the scoring for Box Hill in the 47th minute.
Alamein continued to present their credentials for fourth place, dispatching Bayside United 4-0. Elaina Vatcky scored a brace, with the first coming in just the second minute of play. Nia Stamatopoulos added one from the penalty spot and Sidney Allen scored Alamein’s fourth before halftime.
With FV Emerging hot on their heels, Alamein will need to get a result against the odds away to Calder United in Round 14.