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 (24/8/22).
Above: Calder United celebrate after lifting the NPLW Victoria Premiers Plate. Photo: Jack Dilks/171819.
Heidelberg United 3-1 Box Hill United
A second-half surge saw Heidelberg United defeat Box Hill United 3-1 at home. A win meant that Heidelberg gave themselves a chance to be crowned premiers after momentarily returning to the top of the table on Saturday afternoon.
Box Hill’s 10th loss of the season meant that mathematically they can no longer finish in the top four. It was a frustrating afternoon from the visitor’s perspective. Despite keeping the dangerous Bergers scoreless to halftime, they could not prevent them scoring three quick goals. Although they remained competitive throughout the match.
Danielle Wise broke the deadlock in the 47th minute. Keely Lockhart won the ball back in midfield as Box Hill looked to create. The immediate counterattack released Danielle Wise behind the defence and she finished as she has so often this season, calmly and ruthlessly.
Wise has a claim to being Victoria’s NPLW player of the season. Whether playing as a striker or an attacking midfielder she has been almost impossible to contain.
She has scored in 15 games of the 20 played, and only Calder United’s miserly defence has been able to stop her. Wise would make a valuable addition to any side in the A-League Women that are looking for goals. Her consistency has been astounding in 2022.
Anais Josefski had Box Hill’s chance to respond. A mishit clearance by Melissa Maizels fell to the feet of the Box Hill attacker. Her long-range shot was well hit but badly directed, and the scrambling Maizels was spared from conceding after the uncharacteristic error.
Wise helped set up Heidelberg’s second of the day just minutes after the first. She won the ball on the right flank and Grace Jale’s resulting cross found Lockhart on the opposite wing.
Lockhart cut inside onto her right foot, and took another few touches to run around the entire backtracking defence. after collecting the ball on one side of the box, she eventually scored from the other with a well-placed finish, following the mazy, deliberate run.
Box Hill continued to attack as they have all season. Josefski won the ball once again on the left wing. She raced into the box and held off a challenge but her shot was smothered by Maizels.
Sofia Sakalis was wide open in the middle, but the pass was not forthcoming. It would have been a tap-in for the in-form attacker if the ball had gotten to her.
Heidelberg sealed the win in the 87th minute. Grace Jale’s burst of pace won a corner that Emily Roach stepped up to take.
The delivery was perfect and the ball landed between the goal line and the penalty spot. Bella Wallhead was unmarked but directed her header perfectly into the net. It was strong technique from one of Perth Glory’s rising stars, but Box Hill might be disappointed with the space she was given. Nevertheless, she took the chance well to make it 3-0 with minutes to play.
Although the contest was over, the scoring was not. In injury time Josefski finally beat Maizel’s with a well-executed near-post finish.
Melinda Barbieri set up the chance with a terrific piece of skill. The flick with the outside of her boot put Josefski in behind the Heidelberg defence. She sped into the box and at full pace slotted the ball into the net.
It would not effect the result, but it was the goal that Box Hill deserved. A final score of 3-1 might feel harsh on the visitors on the balance of play, but Heidelberg have been consistency efficient in front of goal all season and this game was no exception.
Teams: HEIDELBERG UNITED: Maizels, Diblasi (Bitzios 89’), Galea (Jale 45’), Lockhart, McKenna, Parbery (Tiktikakis 18’), Roach (Mcdonald 88’), Torre, Vlahopoulos, Wallhead, Wise.
Scorers: Wise 47’, Lockhart 50’, Wallhead 87’.
BOX HILL UNITED: Hudson, Mackie, Kos, Van Dooren, Langley, Josefski, Hall (Zikas 75’), Petkaris (Pickett 53’), Barbieri, Sakalis, Mazzeo.
Scorers: Josefski 90′.
Referee: Luke Rigo.
Round 20 Wrap:
Box Hill United took the field again just days later. They played Calder United in a catchup game from Round 15. The game ended with a 1-0 win to the league leaders after another Emma Robers wonder strike from long range in the 28th minute.
It was Calder United’s second win of the weekend, following a 2-0 win away to South Melbourne on Saturday. The combination of wins sealed top spot for Mark Torcaso’s dominant side, who have only dropped points on four occasions in a remarkable season.
Western United’s newest signing Emma Robers opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Aleksandra Sinclair added the second in the dying seconds of the match.
Alamein comfortably defeated Bayside United 4-0. In a crowd-pleasing display, Kat Smith’s team scored four times inside of 18 minutes to end the contest. Bayside had been level until Amy Jackson scored in the 61st minute. She completed her brace in the 78th with her goals coming either side of strikes from Ashleigh Lefevre and Emma Runnalls.
A freezing cold Monday night was the setting for FV Emerging to continue their latter season resurgence. A 3-0 win over Bulleen Lions was surprising, but Bulleen have had third spot basically secured for a couple of weeks and although two own goals would not please Caitlin Friend, they surely have one eye on finals right now.
With one game left to play, the top three spots on the ladder have been decided. FV Emerging and Alamein have it all to play for in Round 21. Alamein have the much harder task in defeating Calder United, while FV Emerging will be optimistic of holding onto fourth with a win against Bayside United.