NPL Victoria Women Round 14 Wrap

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 (6/7/22).

Above: Dramatic action between Calder United and Alamein at the weekend. Photo: Jack Dilks/171819.

Round 14 of Victoria’s NPLW was one of the biggest of the season. Every fixture was a must-win game. Bulleen Lions met Heidelberg United in the more star-studded clash from an A-League Women perspective, and Calder United played Alamein in the other battle of the top four.

Bayside United FC had an opportunity for their first win over the dangerous FV Emerging. However, it was in mid-table where there were the questions that would be answered.


South Melbourne 2-4 Box Hill United

South Melbourne and Box Hill United both have been inconsistent this season. Both sides have the quality to beat anybody on their day, but their days have not been consecutive enough.

When they met at Lakeside Stadium on Saturday afternoon, it was an entertaining clash between two sides that still could hold hopes of a top-four finish should they get a win.

South Melbourne welcomed back Claudia Mihocic. The star defender missed the previous week with a minor injury, and things were looking good for the hosts early on.

It took only minutes for the first goal. Francesca Iermano, burst through the middle of the Box Hill following a turnover, and was brought down as she readied to shoot.

Above: Akeisha Sandhu, who put South Melbourne ahead. Photo: South Melbourne FC.

Akeisha Sandhu stepped up to take the spot-kick and had no trouble. South Melbourne had the lead in the seventh minute.

The game immediately opened up for both sides. Box Hill looked to reply and a free-kick to Emily Kos crashed off the crossbar in a warning of what was to come.

With less than a minute left until half time, the game turned suddenly. Sofia Sakalis drove through midfield for Box Hill. She was held up and lost possession to Holly Murray, but won it back with strength and persistence. From there Sakalis broke into space and placed a through ball into the path of Anais Josefski on the right.

South Melbourne’s entire back four was taken out of the equation by the pass and Josefski’s finish was into the far bottom corner. Box Hill were level, but were not ready to rest.

Above: Anais Josefski, two goals and a great performance for Box Hill United. Photo: Box Hill United.

The same pair combined again. This time it was Sakalis on the end of Josefski’s cross. After South Melbourne attempted one last attack, Box Hill won it back and Josefski was in space on the wing. Sakalis met the ball with an athletic diving volley and the Box Hill had two goals in the last two minutes of the half. It was now 2-1.

South Melbourne had an excellent chance in the second half. Caitlin Picket played through Iermano with a clever through ball, but this time Iermano’s shot was well saved.

Box Hill extended their lead when a corner kick was not cleared by South Melbourne. Emily Mackie hit a hopeful but dangerous ball back into the area and it either deceived the defence or was deflected in for an own goal. It made no real difference, it was 3-1 and looking increasingly unlikely that South Melbourne would find a way back. Emily Kos was eventually credited with the final touch.

The final blow was struck after a good shot from the right flank bounced off the bar and was nodded in at close range by Josefski for her second of the game.

South Melbourne had some fight left in them. A late goal to Kat Goff made it 4-2 and the score more respectable. With goal difference a possible factor by the end of the season, it may yet prove more than consolation. But regardless, it was a day that South Melbourne would prefer to forget.

Artwork: South Melbourne FC.

They put this match behind them quickly with an incredible win midweek in the Nike FC Cup over Heidelberg. After trailing 2-0, South Melbourne fought back to win the semi-final 3-2 in normal time.

Squads: SOUTH MELBOURNE: Farrow, Carman, Goff, A. Houndalas, Iermano, Kandilas, Keppens, Lawson, Mihocic. Murray, Picak, Pickett, Sandhu, Stringfellow, Taranto, Tolios.

Scorers: Sandhu 7′, Goff 84′.

BOX HILL UNITED: Gidari, Alle, M. Barbieri, Capomolla, Ferreyra Bas, Giannakopoulos, Josefski, Keyt, Kos,  Langley, Mackie, Mazzeo, Petkaris, Pickett, Rutherford, Sakalis, E. Hudson.

Scorers: Josefski 44’, 80’. Sakalis 45’, Kos 76’

Referee: Boyang Yu.

Round 14 Wrap:

Artwork: Bulleen Lions.

Elsewhere in the league, Heidelberg United continued to keep up the pressure on first placed Calder United with a 2-0 win over Bulleen Lions. Danielle Wise and Stephanie Galea scored in each half in an entertaining game that saw both sides receive cautions.

Above: Action from Calder United’s win over Alamein. Photo: Jack Dilks/171819.

Calder United retained their supremacy in first place with a 1-0 win over Alamein. Aleksandra Sinclair won the game in the 80th minute to ensure that Alamein’s position in fourth remains tenuous. Calder remains five points ahead of second-placed Heidelberg.

In the league’s best news. Bayside United finally got their first win of the season, and it came against FV Emerging. All of the goal-scoring action was in the first half. Coco Parker opened the scoring in the 24th minute with Julia Budiongo adding a second 10 minutes later. Bayside United FC have struggled for both form and results this season but have come close a few times and looked competitive in patches.

Their first win was worth the wait and came against a team of young but very strong players in FV Emerging who were without Young Matildas Caitlin Karic who was away with the Under 23 side in Manila.

Next round, South Melbourne will look to bounce back against Bulleen Lions, while Box Hill will try to continue their momentum against Calder United.

Bayside face a tough afternoon away to Heidelberg and Alamein can not afford to slip up against FV Emerging.  

Table From: NPLW Victoria.

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