Each week during the home and away season, Impetus’ writing and photography team covering the A-League Women will nominate a player, coach, and event of the week. We’ll keep a tally of the player and coach votes as the weeks go by and just before the Finals, will announce our winners for 2022/23.
Player of the Week:
KIERAN YAP: Annalee Grove was the best player on the field for the second week in a row. The Adelaide United shot-stopper prevented Perth Glory from scoring what would have been a well-deserved equaliser. Her positioning was excellent, and her hands were strong. She is the in-form goalkeeper of the competition.
BEN GILBY: I can’t look beyond Sarah Griffith this week. Newcastle Jets’ American forward grabbed the perfect hat trick – left foot, right foot, and head. A notable mention also for Chelsie Dawber who had a superb first half for Adelaide United in Perth.
JONATHAN TAY: Though the score was only 2-0, Sydney FC completely wiped the floor with Melbourne Victory on Saturday. Key to the victory was their domination of midfield; a standout performance from Sarah Hunter played a big part in keeping Matildas Elise Kellond-Knight and Alex Chidiac quiet. After her time at the U20 World Cup representing Australia, it’s clear that Hunter has taken another step this season. Calm on the ball, and a menace without it, she drove play for the Sky Blues. The 19-year-old was involved in the build-up to both goals, and showcased an ability to prolong possessions and beat any pressure Victory threw her way. National team head coach Tony Gustavsson was also in attendance at Cromer Park, and I would wager with more performances like this, it won’t be long until we see Hunter suit up in green-and-gold for the senior team.
BEN CAREY: Sarah Griffith. The American proved to be an absolute menace against Western Sydney Wanderers, scoring a hat-trick in 77 minutes on field and single-handedly carrying The Jets to their first victory of the season.
RYAN MILLER-WOODS: Hannah Keane of Western United. With two goals and one assist for Jessica McDonald and an excellent header for her second goal, the way in which she conducted herself during the match against Wellington Phoenix was really impressive to see and her passages of play were also a delight to watch.
KIERAN CHEA: Hannah Keane of Western United. A fantastic double in their dominant display.
JOHNATHAN STACK: Sarah Griffith – a superb hat trick.
Coach of the Week:
KIERAN YAP: Mark Torcaso. The Western United coach should be commended for how quickly his team has adapted to the league and to each other. Western United have won both their games. His homegrown players look at home in the A-League Women, and his star signings have fired. Against Wellington Phoenix, Jess McDonald scored for the second week in a row and Hannah Keane continued the form she showed in pre-season. The arrival of Tyla-Jay Vlajnic meant that Stacy Papadopoulos could shift to the other flank. She may also be deployed further forward if need be. A 4-1 win away from home is something any team would be proud of, especially the newest in the league.
BEN GILBY: Adelaide United boss Adrian Stenta showed just how closely he had studied Perth Glory and how aware he was of what his team needed to do in order to come away from Western Australia with the points. Targeting the right flank with the trio of Dylan Holmes, Chelsie Dawber, and Izzy Hodgson and putting in place a high press to give Perth’s pacy attackers the room they needed to establish themselves in the first half laid the foundations for Adelaide’s win.
JONATHAN TAY: Yes, it’s a bit strange to be nominating a coach who’s overseen two 4-1 losses to start the season. And yes, the Wellington Phoenix look to still be an inferior side on paper. But for 70 minutes on Saturday, they were able to hold Western United – winners against champions Melbourne Victory last week – to a stalemate. They didn’t sit back either, going toe-to-toe with United, and dictating significant portions of the match. Lawrence gave licence to the likes of Paige Satchell, Alyssa Whinham, and Mikaela Robertson to combine and attack, resulting in some decent play in the forward areas. The overall quality of the team is still lacking, evidenced by the concession of three goals in 11 minutes (including two from corners) to put the game out of reach. But if they can tighten up some of their fundamentals, they’ll have opportunities to earn points against the lesser sides of the league.
BEN CAREY: Ante Juric picked Sydney FC up after a disappointing opening loss against Adelaide United and lead them to an emphatic 2-0 victory over the reigning champions Melbourne Victory.
RYAN MILLER-WOODS: It has to be Mark Torcaso of Western United. The way in which he had United playing overall as well as how the team was structured during the match proved to be impressive. The substitutions that he made in the second half changed the match.
KIERAN CHEA: Mark Torcaso. Another impressive display by his team away to Wellington Phoenix. It shows that despite Western United being a new team, they are already title contenders.
JOHNATHAN STACK: Ash Wilson for masterminding her team to a vital win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
Event of the Week:
KIERAN YAP: Marisa Van der Meer’s goal for Wellington Phoenix. The Phoenix lost 4-1 but it was not a complete thrashing as the score line suggests. They were in the contest and when the Young Football Fern equalised from a set piece it gave the home supporters hope and the best moment of their season so far. The Phoenix youngsters are unafraid to take teams on, and this was a reminder that they can compete. They just need to replicate this over 90 minutes, but Van der Meer socring her first goal for her new club in her home nation is something to celebrate.
BEN GILBY: After 51 weeks without being able to play a home game, Perth Glory were back able to play on Western Australian soil. When a club has only played six home matches since the start of 2020/21 then you understand the true significance. If the team are able to play for 90 minutes the way they finished off against Adelaide, then Macedonia Park can become a cauldron and be a significant weapon in Alex Epakis’ team making Finals this season.
JONATHAN TAY: A perfect hat-trick (left foot, right foot, header) from Sarah Griffith blew Western Sydney Wanderers away, and announced the American onto the A-League scene. Having played her rookie season for Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL, she joined Newcastle for more match minutes, and has immediately taken to her new surroundings, linking up particularly well with Murphy Agnew. The first two goals were particularly emphatic finishes, and the 22-year-old will have put the rest of the competition on notice.
BEN CAREY: Madison Haley dribbling past the defensive line and the goalie, twirling around and putting the ball in the back of the net on her A-League debut to give Sydney FC the go-ahead goal.
RYAN MILLER-WOODS: Mickey (Michaela) Robertson making her A-League Women’s debut for Wellington Phoenix in her home city of Wellington against Western United becoming the first Wellingtonian to play for the club in the process.
KIERAN CHEA: The Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory match. A great and heated contest between the Grand Finalists of the last two seasons.
JOHNATHAN STACK: In the first season they have been able to play home games, Michaela Robertson becoming the first Wellington-born player to take to the field for the Phoenix in Wellington is something special.