Ben Gilby provides his weekly round-up of all the action from the Western Australia NPL Women’s competition along with action shots from the games (15/8/22).
Above: Perth SC’s Abbey Meakins (pink shirt) battles for possession against Perth RedStar on Saturday. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Rob Lizzi.
Perth SC 1-1 Perth RedStar
Round 19 opened on Saturday afternoon at Dorrien Gardens with the top two facing off. Visitors Perth RedStar were already guaranteed to win the NPLW WA this season, but with second-placed Perth SC the only team to have taken a point off of the all-conquering champs, a great battle was in prospect.
With the game being part of The Azzurri‘s day to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Network Australia on a Super Saturday action at the ground involving four of Perth SC’s teams, it was an important afternoon. Perth SC’s NPLW side were wearing a special pink kit to mark the occasion, with the men’s teams sporting pink socks with their regular shirts.
It was the visitors who went ahead with 17 minutes played. Out on the right, former Football Fern Renee Leota played the ball back for Carla Bennett to cross high to the far post where an unmarked Olivia Wood was able to head home.
Perth levelled with 25 minutes remaining. Abbey Meakins took the ball from just outside her own area towards midfield before finding Jaime Duncanson outside her on the right. The ball was then played to Ella Lincoln, who won a throw parallel with the six-yard box.
From Duncanson’s throw, Alyssa van Heurck curled the ball into the mix, it bounced awkwardly in front of RedStar keeper Maya Diederichsen who was also under pressure from an on-rushing Perth attack and the ball fell for Jess Byrne to gleefully lash home from eight yards.
Right now, Perth SC are bang in form and picking up points against their competitors in the upper echelons of the ladder. This will make the forthcoming Top Four Cup hugely competitive indeed if they can maintain this over the coming month.
Regardless, Perth RedStar will go into the post-regular season competition as deserved NPLW WA champions and have been a cut above everyone else this season. Carlos Vega Mena’s side are the masters of the high press and have the crucial dual ability to score goals when on the front foot combined with reducing the opportunities for opponents to the absolute minimum. It will take something very special to deny them a clean sweep of the silverware this season.
Murdoch University Melville 0-0 Fremantle City – Match abandoned after 24 minutes.
The game of the round looked set to be Murdoch University Melville’s (MUM FC) clash with Fremantle City on Saturday evening. With only three rounds of the regular season to go, the encounter at Besteam Stadium was of huge importance in the race for Top Four Cup qualification, but both teams would be frustrated as weather conditions forced an abandonment after just 24 minutes of action.
In the short spell of action that did take place before the rain, hail, wind, and lightning arrived, chances were few and far between, yet Murdoch were more influential. Charlotte Meaden and Sam Mathers were looking to create and the latter was involved in the abbreviated match’s most significant moment.
Found by a delightful accurate switch pass from Charli Wainwright, Mathers advanced to the edge of the box on the right-hand side and fired in an effort that Freo keeper Dayle Schroeder pushed wide of the goal.
MUM FC were looking to play a relatively high line, which Fremantle tried to counter with the influential Mikayla Lyons directing the traffic in the middle and ensuring her team tried to find their wide players. Ultimately, the home side were extremely well organised and worked hard to force Freo backwards.
Any further action was ruled impossible as exceptionally heavy rain began to fall with some hail accompanied by strong winds, thunder, and lightning. Consequently, referee Stephen Knight led the teams from the field. The match has been rearranged for this Thursday (18th August) at 7:15pm.
Balcatta Etna 4-1 Curtin University
Balcatta returned to winning ways with a routine victory over struggling Curtin at Grindleford Reserve on Sunday afternoon.
After their heartbreaking semi-final loss to Perth SC in the State Cup Semi-Final, the hosts had found it tough to maintain their Top Four Cup push, and this is a welcome three points. With MUM FC and Fremantle City going to take points off of each other this week, Balcatta are only two points outside the top four, and their game at Freo next weekend now takes on huge importance.
The home side were on the front foot from the start, forcing four corners in a seven-minute spell. It was no surprise when the home side went ahead just before the 20-minute mark with a ruthless sweeping move. Monique Prinsloo gained possession down the right, cut inside, beat a defender, and played in a sumptuous ball for Lauren Continibali to roll the ball home.
It was the start of a spell of four goals in six minutes with Curtin levelling within 120 seconds. Jacqueline McLernon picked up the ball from Gabby Dal Busco’s goal kick and play eventually found its way to Danielle Suckling who broke through and fed Dakota Van-Vugt who slid in for the ball twice before Danielle Brown netted.
Any hopes Curtin may have had of getting a firm foothold in the match expired within a further two minutes thanks to Monique Godding, one of the hosts’ top players this season. Angelique Alberts extended Balcatta’s lead after yet another two-minute interval.
The home side forced Curtin back once more after the break, racking up three corners in the five minutes immediately before grabbing their fourth of the afternoon thanks to a sensational strike from Elizabeth Doust. The visitors failed to clear and the ball fell to Doust who hit a rocket from 20 yards to the left of centre which went in off of the left-hand post.
Curtin’s wretched season continues and they are now only two matches away from adding a winless campaign to the wooden spoon that they are guaranteed to pick up in a fortnight’s time.
Subiaco 4-2 Hyundai NTC
Hyundai NTC’s Top Four Cup qualification hopes took a hit at Rosalie Park late on Sunday afternoon as they fell victim to a Lisa De Vanna hat-trick for resurgent Subi.
The talented young visitors hit the front within three minutes as Subiaco failed to clear along the left-hand flank and Ava Richards played a ball across for Louise Tana who turned beautifully away from her marker and lifted the ball into the net.
NTC doubled their lead just before the 20-minute mark as Violet Longmore played a ball forward for Grace Johnston who crossed in from the right, Subi keeper Zara Board, a member of the Junior Matildas’ recent successes looked to clear, but the ball fell kindly for Tanika Lala to sweep home.
Subiaco, are made of stern stuff these days, and a sensational second-half comeback saw them earn a fifth win of the season – more than they have ever managed in the previous years of NPLW WA football put together.
First, within three minutes of the re-start, all three of Subiaco’s former Perth Glory stars combined as Ella Mastrantonio fed De Vanna who received the ball back from Marianna Tabain to advance through on goal. Lilly Bailey in the NTC goal parried De Vanna’s shot, but Ingrid Gomez Basallo was on hand to steer the ball home.
A sixteen-minute hat-trick from De Vanna turned the game on its head. The former Matildas legend got her first just after the hour mark as Mastrantonio fed her on the left and galloped into the box to curl a low effort in at the near post to level the scores.
The second goal came fifteen minutes later through a similar route as Mastrantonio threaded a superb ball through and De Vanna beat the offside trap to advance on goal and tuck the ball under Bailey as the home side hit the front for the first time.
Johnston broke forward and a sensational tackle from Subi’s Phoenix Brownlie set events in motion for the final goal of the afternoon. Tabain and Mastrantonio combined to play in De Vanna to complete her hat-trick in style as she ran through and chipped the onrushing Bailey in style as Subiaco claimed a 4-2 win.
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Round 20 Fixtures: Curtin University v Hyundai NTC, Fremantle City v Balcatta Etna, Perth SC v Subiaco, Perth RedStar v Murdoch University Melville.