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 (23/1/23)
Player of the Week:
BEN GILBY: Absolutely no contest this week. Alex Chidiac was absolutely masterful in Melbourne Victory’s successful trip to Adelaide United. When Chidiac is in that sort of form, no one can touch her.
KIERAN YAP: Alex Chidiac. The Victory playmaker was dominant and dangerous against Adelaide United. Chidiac scored once, set up another, and tormented the Adelaide defence in a virtuoso second half.
DENISE DUFFY: Betsy Hassett of Wellington Phoenix. International duty against the USA seemed to sharpen and invigorate her. It was smart to move her up the pitch to the number 10 role where she could use her intensity and experience to focus on playmaking and scoring goals.
RYAN MILLER-WOODS: Milly Clegg. Despite being only 17 years of age, the way she played against Canberra was that of a player well beyond her years as she scored the opening goal of the match (which was also her very first goal in the A-League Women) as well as playing a major part in the second goal for her side.
BEN CAREY: Alex Chidiac. Her energy and intent against Adelaide was next level. It resulted in a goal, an assist, and the creation of several more chances. She also did some good defending, making several recoveries, and even blocking a shot from going in. She was a huge part of how Victory was able to complete the comeback.
Coach of the Week:
BEN GILBY: Natalie Lawrence. It’s been a tough season for the Phoenix, who had failed to build on the promise of last season despite, on paper having a more experienced squad this time. Throw in the fact that several of her team played an international match against the USA less than 24 hours before Sunday’s game against Canberra United and it makes the performance and result even more incredible. It’s a performance that they’ve been capable of all season. Now they need to use this as a launch pad, as the talent and promise is there.
KIERAN YAP: Natalie Lawrence. 5-0 against a usually free-scoring opponent, with key players having played just 20 hours before, in an international game against the reigning world champions. Incredible.
DENISE DUFFY: Natalie Lawrence of Wellington Phoenix. Guiding and steering a group of athletes when the wins are not coming must be draining. Lawrence consistently prepared her team each week and the fans saw improvements. The match against Canberra United was their moment to pounce. The game plan was aggressive. They connected passes across lines and they played fluid and exciting football.
RYAN MILLER-WOODS: Natalie Lawrence. In her very first season as Wellington’s head coach, it hasn’t by any means been easy for her with results not going her side’s way and just one point in the season before the match against Canberra United. Going into yesterday’s match, Wellington had scored just three goals in eight matches but coming out of the match had looked the strongest they had been all season in attack with five goals being scored in the match alone. This easily was Wellington’s best performance not only for this season but as a club in their relatively short time in the A-League Women. Hopefully, for Lawrence, this result can kickstart her side’s season and be a massive confidence booster as well.
BEN CAREY: Natalie Lawrence. She was able to keep Wellington Phoenix’s morale high after eight matches this season without a win. Then she implemented the perfect tactics to absolutely annihilate Canberra United at home. Super impressive.
Event of the Week:
BEN GILBY: The scenes on the pitch at Sky Stadium as both Wellington Phoenix’s women’s and men’s teams were photographed with fans after, for the first time they both won on the same day at the same stadium. The ultimate ‘one club’ photo – fantastic to see.
KIERAN YAP: Brianna Edwards’ penalty save for Wellington Phoenix against Canberra United.
DENISE DUFFY: The first minute of the second half of the Wellington Phoenix match. Just a beautiful sequence of football. Milly Clegg connected with Chloe Knott who passed to Michaela Foster who made a perfect cross to Ava Pritchard for a goal. This put the Phoenix up a confident three goals to none. On display was their highest-quality football of their season. The Phoenix were finally flying.
RYAN MILLER-WOODS: Wellington Phoenix’s win against Canberra United. In quite a few of their matches so far this season, Wellington has been very unlucky with the final result not going their way and not necessarily reflecting the hard work and determination that has very much been shown by the players in the team. However, yesterday they were honestly something else entirely against Canberra. It not only made a statement and then some but it really was just reward for a win that had been a long time coming for the Phoenix this season.
BEN CAREY: Alex Chidiac’s incredible attempt on goal in the 85th minute against Adelaide United. She kicked the ball past a defender, headed it over the keeper, but hit the crossbar. If it had gone in it surely would have been a contender for goal of the season! What followed was a mad and exciting scramble from both teams.