Ben Gilby provides a full report from the game of the week plus all the details from the other matches in Western Australia’s NPL Women’s competition (10/4/23).
Above: Katie Ritchie fires in a shot for Perth RedStar despite the attentions of Perth SC’s Judy Connolly. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Perth RedStar.
Game of the week:
Perth SC 0-0 Perth RedStar
The battle of the two favourites for the NPLW this season ended goalless at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday night.
With Perth SC head coach Peter Rakic pointing out to Impetus on Wednesday that his side still have yet to beat RedStar in 90 minutes, it was an opportunity missed. Yet his team were without players such as Abbey Meakins, Jaymee Gibbons, and Poppie Hooks and had assistant coach Jess Byrne listed as a substitute.
Additionally, star attacker Gemma Craine came off with what the Azzurri will hope was just a minor knock. The shared spoils mean that Perth SC still have three points more than Carlos Vega Mena’s defending champions at this early stage of the season.
Perth RedStar employed an energetic press which reduced the amount of time that the home side’s ball players had in possession. This intelligent tactic also forced the home side into rushed passes with resulting turnovers of possession and make Perth SC look less than their usual composed selves at the back.
Whilst the opening half was largely devoid of clear-cut chances, when they did eventuate, they generally went the way of the visitors.
Quyen Doan supplied Jay Coleman with the first opportunity of the game with three minutes played, but Rebecca Bennett held on well in the Perth SC goal. Bronwyn Studman was working hard to deny Craine time on the ball as RedStar had the better of the opening half hour.
The visitors had another chance with 25 minutes played as a perfectly timed through ball from Reina Kagami fell into the path of Chiori Ikeda who was denied by a sensational tackle from the Azzurri‘s Liana Cook who blocked what looked to be a certain goal.
There were three further opportunities for RedStar with Leota hitting a floater just over the top before Jayna Ridley, on as a sub for Ikeda who took a knock, found Doan whose effort was held by Bennett. Then, Doan’s lofted ball in from the right to Leota saw the former Football Fern in space and, with hindsight, the time to take a touch and place a shot, but instead hit a first-time effort wide.
Perth SC did fashion a handful of opportunities – Sophia Papalia had two bites at the cherry, with the second one going wide of the right-hand post. Craine also broke well along the right and found Monique Godding, but the former Balcatta Etna’s cross had too much pace on it for the onrushing Ellie La Monte.
The second half was more open and began with La Monte firing a shot in on goal that Maya Diederichsen gathered in the RedStar goal.
The visitors responded with Doan reaping rewards on the right, but her low ball in from the byline, which was begging to be turned into the net was cleared by Perth. Doan was involved again just two minutes later as her ball in from the same flank was met by the head of Leota, but the ball went narrowly wide of the post.
Back came the Azzurri and Cook headed wide. With just over 10 minutes remaining Craine departed, with Stella Zampogna replacing her.
Each side had one further chance to break the deadlock. First, for the visitors, Emily Dunn curled a ball in towards Coleman whose effort had Bennett scrambling across goal to save. Then, La Monte broke through for Perth, taking a touch and heading over the onrushing Diederichsen, but couldn’t find the net.
In this early stage of the season, it’s hard to know which of the two sides this result favours. For Perth SC, it keeps them unbeaten and three points ahead of their potential title rivals from the Northern suburbs. RedStar know they could and perhaps should have won based on the chances created.
Teams: PERTH SC: Bennett, van Heurck, Phillips, Cook, Connolly, Godding, Papalia, Lincoln, La Monte, Duncanson, Craine. Substitutes used: Flannery, Byrne, Marshall, Zampogna.
PERTH REDSTAR: Diederichsen, Teixeira, Studman, Dunn, Carroll, Coleman, Kagami, Ritchie, Ikeda, Doan, Leota. Substitutes used: Ridley, Insch.
Fremantle City 7-0 Curtin University
Three goals in a nine-minute first-half spell ensured that Fremantle City recorded their first win of the season against struggling Curtin University at Hilton Park.
The home side went ahead with 13 minutes played after Laura Waltman showed great skill along the left to beat two Curtin tacklers before dispatching a low ball which was turned into her own goal by the visitors’ Selene Jimenez Lobato with Freo’s Janice Kiama threatening to pounce.
Just six minutes later, Fremantle doubled their lead with another own goal as an attempted low square ball for Kiama was inadvertently turned into her own net by Danielle Petch.
Shortly afterwards it was 3-0 as Curtin lost possession from their own free-kick, allowing Olivia Trueman to play a sumptuous pass between two visiting defenders into the path of Kiama to comfortably round the visiting keeper and slot home.
Fremantle added two further goals before the break. First, as the clock hit 45 minutes, Siobhan Longmore’s high cross in from the left was mishandled by the Curtin keeper, potentially not helped by the sun, and flew into the net. Then, just over a minute later, Kiama received a pass on the right and played in a low ball which the visiting custodian let slip through allowing Trueman to tap home.
The next goal arrived with 20 minutes to go as Kiama escaped along the right and delivered a low cross which was met by Mikayla Lyons’ effort which was repelled, with the rebound falling kindly for Trueman to grab her second as she tapped home at the back post. With nine minutes to go it was 7-0 as Lyons volleyed home a high cross from the left from close range.
The round’s remaining scheduled games, Balcatta Etna against Subiaco, and Hyundai NTC’s clash with Murdoch University Melville have been rescheduled for later in the season.