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 (22/5/23).
Above: Reina Kagami (left), Perth RedStar’s match-winner on Sunday, captured in action during the Night Series. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Perth RedStar.
Hyundai NTC 1-5 Murdoch University Melville
MUM FC gained a superb result in becoming only the second side to defeat the NTC this season and extended their own winning run to four matches as they won the encounter originally scheduled for round three on Wednesday night.
Murdoch ended the match level on points with the NTC who went into the match in second, and just a single point behind leaders Perth RedStar. They had to come from behind to win. Klaudia Houlis continued her rich vein of goalscoring form for the NTC when she hit a shot across Stacey Cavill and into the left-hand corner of the net less than four minutes before the break.
Within three minutes of the second-half opening, Murdoch University Melville were level when Sam Mathers headed home a corner that came in from the right. They hit the front with 64 on the clock as Mathers fed Charli Wainwright who was positioned centrally at the top of the 18-yard box, and her low shot rolled home.
NTC then suffered a sending off and three further goals in the final 12 minutes sealed MUM FC’s win. First, Sophie Meaden fed Jessica Johnson out on the right who advanced and cracked home a stunning shot from the edge of the box. Then, less than 120 seconds later, Nikita Strickling nodded on for Mathers to advance into the area and slot in across two would-be tacklers, and Mathers completed her hattrick with less than two minutes of normal time remaining when she lifted a shot over NTC keeper Megan Phillips and into the net from just over 20 yards out.
Round Eight Game of the Week:
Perth RedStar 1-0 Murdoch University Melville
Perth RedStar produced a dominant display to defeat in-form Murdoch University Melville and extend their lead at the top of the NPLW WA on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides went into the match having won their last four NPLW WA matches in a row, and this was a hugely important match in the context of the season so far as whoever won would go clear at the top.
The home side imposed themselves from the start and looked to use both flanks to build attacks. RedStar earned their first corner with just three minutes on the clock as Reina Kagami’s ball in was volleyed over by Bronwyn Studman.
Studman and Andreia Teixeira were prominent in construct offensive play with MUM FC attacker Sophie Meaden working hard to assist her defence in these early exchanges. On the rare moments that the visitors were able to attack, young gun Jessica Johnson showed great pace and footwork to escape her markers and deliver into the box.
RedStar came close with 13 minutes played when Kagami pounced on loose possession at the back from MUM FC and unleashed a drive that Stacey Cavill held in the visitors’ goal.
The home side were pressing the life out of Murdoch University Melville and always seemed able to have more time on the ball to consider which pass to play. However, despite this advantage, Carlos Vega Mena’s side were unable to transfer dominance of possession and territory into a scoreboard lead.
After the half-hour mark, MUM FC started to get a foothold into the game, and the key influence in this was Vanessa Miller seeing more of the ball on the right. The first signs of the pendulum changing direction came when a free kick, 30 yards out to the right of centre was played in and a header flicked goalwards which RedStar cleared at the cost of a corner as Miller looked to follow up.
Moments later, Miller’s cross-shot needed to be tipped over the top by returning RedStar goalkeeper Shivani Battaglia.
Just before the break, great footwork from Clara Hoarau led to a corner for MUM FC. Charli Wainwright’s ball in eventually found Hoarau to fire just over the top. It was very much game on as the half-time whistle went.
However, as the second half opened, it was apparent that the 15-minute break had taken away all of the visitors’ momentum as RedStar imposed themselves on the game once more and simply would not let go of it.
With just two minutes of the second period played, Kagami got through, but just as she was about to pull the trigger, Rosie Lehane put in a superb tackle to deny her. RedStar had another opportunity when Renee Leota fed substitute Chiori Ikeda brilliantly before the Japanese star found Jayna Ridley who won a corner. As the flag kick came in, Jay Coleman fired in two shots from close range which Cavill repelled magnificently at the left-hand post.
A minute after the hour mark, RedStar finally got the goal that their dominance deserved as Kagami put a vicious curl on her corner kick which Cavill looked to have got a hand to, but could not keep out.
The home side conjured up another three chances to add to their lead. First, when MUM FC couldn’t clear Kagami’s free-kick, allowing Ikeda to fire in a shot from the edge of the box.
Then, Leota combined with Ridley whose shot was held by Cavill, and then Kagami’s turn and shot was pounced on by the MUM FC shot-stopper.
Despite a late flurry by the visitors, they could not find an equaliser. Perth RedStar look to be back to their imperious best. MUM FC had some chances, but the old adage that if you don’t take them against RedStar when they come, then you will pay the price rang true once more.
With results elsewhere this weekend going in their favour, Carlos Vega Mena’s side are, once more, the team to beat this season in WA.
Teams: PERTH REDSTAR: Battaglia, Teixeira, Studman, Dunn, Doan, Coleman, Kagami, Ritchie, Ridley, Leota, Neal. Substitutes: Ikera, Diederichsen, Wood, Woolley, Lague, Goud.
Scorer: Kagami 61′.
MURDOCH UNIVERSITY MELVILLE: Cavill, C. Meaden, Schubert, Hope, C. Wainwright, Hoarau, Johnson, Lehane, S. Meaden, Mathers. Substitutes: Brown, Shore, I. Wainwright, Ierino, Strickling.
Balcatta Etna 3-0 Hyundai NTC
Balcatta Etna look to have finally found their feet this season after claiming their second successive win over a top-four side.
The home side hit the front with just four minutes played as superb footwork from Tia Stonehill allowed her to find Monique Prinsloo outside her on the right to play a ball across for Stonehill. The attacker’s shot headed over to the left where Epril Nossent pounced to score.
Balcatta doubled their lead just after the hour mark when Lauren Continibali’s free-kick from the right-hand touchline was brilliantly headed home by Prinsloo. The scoring was completed with nine minutes remaining as Stonehill turned a ball across the box from the back post for Nossent to turn in from close range.
Subiaco 3-1 Curtin University
Subiaco gained their second win of the season against Curtin University at Rosalie Park on Sunday afternoon.
Subi went ahead after 18 minutes when Phoenix Brownlie’s shot took a deflection off Curtin’s Danielle Petch and fell kindly for Frankie Murray to pounce from close range. Murray was on target again just four minutes later when a flick pass allowed Dakota van Vugt to advance towards the Curtin keeper and play a ball across for Murray to score hers and Subiaco’s second.
The third goal arrived just after the half-hour mark as van Vugt played a perfectly weighted pass into the run of Shelby Cochran who broke through to poke home.
With just under 15 minutes remaining, Curtin grabbed a consolation, with a great move that saw Tiana Botha charge through the middle to feed Pavitra Prem Kumar who broke into the box and calmly finished.
Perth SC 2-3 Fremantle City
Perth SC’s hopes of remaining close to leaders Perth RedStar fell apart as Abbey Green created all three of Fremantle City’s goals at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday.
Despite being without injured attacking duo Gemma Craine and Ellie Lamonte, Perth SC hit the front with 19 minutes played as Matilda Bohm’s throw on the left found Cameron Barreiro who played a ball back for Monique Godding whose first effort came back off of Nina Boorman, and rolled back to her to lift a shot into the net from the edge of the box.
Freo leveled seven minutes before the break thanks to their Perth Glory combination. Green danced along the left and played a ball in at the second attempt for Tash Rigby to head home at the back post.
Just after the hour mark, the visitors went ahead as Green took possession and fed Kat Jukic on the edge of the box who turned and fired a superb shot into the net. It was 3-1 when after 74 minutes with Green once more the creator. Gaining possession on the left, she played a centimetre perfect through ball for Jamie-Lee Gale to run onto and crack a low shot into the left corner of the net.
The Azzurri grabbed a lifeline with 10 minutes to play. Abbey Meakins picked out Judy Connelly and laid a low ball across the box for the former NTC player to hit a first-time shot into the net. But they couldn’t find an equaliser, and are now fourth, six points behind Perth RedStar who top of the table.
Impetus‘ Ben Gilby is part of the judging panel that picks the weekly Squared Ball Analytics NPLW WA team of the week. Check out their selections this week here: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=645894874250786&set=pb.100064908385999.-2207520000.