It’s taken 11 rounds in the NPL NSW Women’s competition but we have a different league leader with the Macarthur Rams surrendering first place.
Sydney Uni and Sydney Olympic set up their mid-week fixture to be a blockbuster with wins on Sunday while Blacktown continued their solid form.
APIA also snapped their three-match losing streak with a last-gasp win.
While it’s the Northern Tigers who sit atop the competition ladder with one game remaining in the first half of the season after their victory.
Bankstown City 0-4 Sydney University
Bankstown City were hoping to make it three wins on the bounce on Sunday afternoon at Jensen Park but it wasn’t to be against Sydney University.
Bianca Galic got the party started before Kaitlyn Torpey picked up a brace and Demi Koulizakis rounded off the scoring.
From start to finish, it was a dominant Uni victory and never looked in serious trouble against the hosts.
It would be the home team with the first chance early on, the inform Olivia Price crossing for Isabella DI Sipio who headed over from point blank range.
The away side went close next with their high press bearing fruit, forcing Liana Danaskos to cough up possession as Torpey fired toward goal, only for Annalee Grove to save well.
Again Bankstown was an aerial threat, this time Maryam Mostaghimi at the far post couldn’t direct her effort on target.
Uni had the lead from their next chance.
Galic had a free kick from the corner of the box. With everyone expecting a cross, including the Bankstown custodian, Galic surprised all with her effort at the near post coming off the woodwork and into the goal.
That’s where the chances lined up for Uni.
First Rachel Lowe let fly from outside of the box, her shot smashing against the bar. Next Laura Hughes hit the upright before Maxine Peak did the same.
It wasn’t to be though and the Students went into half time one-goal to the good.
Emily Husband wanted her side to finish the match off as early as possible but the Lions had other ideas, coming out more aggressive for the second 45.
But five minutes in and Uni should’ve doubled their lead.
First Torpey had her shot blocked before Peak picked up the loose ball and fired it across goal for Torpey, only for the striker to completely miss the target from a yard out, reminiscent of her miss a couple weeks ago against APIA.
And when you thought she couldn’t do it again, she did.
This time some fine skill by substitute Koulizakis and a neat cross into the middle of the six-yard box had Torpey stretching and again shoot high and over the goal.
Torpey would have her goal shortly after, sticking a foot in front of Grove before rounding her and placing the ball into an empty goal.
The striker grew in confidence following that goal and had her second 10 minutes later.
A fine cross from the right was begging to be attacked and that’s exactly what Torpey did with a perfect header into the bottom corner.
The scoring was completed in stoppage time when the away side were awarded a spot kick.
Koulizakis, who was fouled, stepped up and sent her powerful effort into the bottom left corner.
It was a fine performance from the premiers, holding a masterclass with some fine pressing, ball possession and most importantly, goal-scoring.
Blacktown Spartans 2-0 Emerging Jets
The Blacktown Spartans knew that to get closer to the top five, they needed to be the Emerging Jets and that’s exactly what they did.
Two first half goals were enough for the Spartans to secure all three points.
The first coming with a spectacular team move as Emily Kos whipped a perfect ball in for Ash Crofts who scored her second goal in as many weeks.
Just before half time the Spartans had their second, Leticia McKenna with a fabulous corner found Ash Calvar at the far post and she powered a header into goal.
The win puts Attard’s team only a point outside the five now.
Football NSW Institute 0-1 Northern Tigers
A massive match took place at Valentine Sports Park as the Northern Tigers travelled to take on the Football NSW Institute.
It’d be the away team that would take all three points with an odd-goal victory,
That goal came in the first half courtesy of inform Shadeene Evans from the spot.
Evans was brought down in the box, dusted herself off and rolled the ball into the bottom corner giving Franco no chance.
The victory pushed Jason Eagar’s side to the top of the competition ladder at the turn of the halfway point.
Manly United 0-1 Illawarra Stingrays
In one of the shocks of the round, the Illawarra Stingrays came away with all the points against Manly United at Cromer Park.
Struggling with form in recent times, a first half goal was enough for the Stingrays.
That sole goal came as early as the fifth minute through who else but Michelle Carney.
Carney’s free kick from the edge of the area took a deflection and sent the keeper the opposite direction as the ball bounced over the line.
The win keeps the Stingrays hopes of finals football alive while for Manly, well they are in serious trouble and will need to turn the form around soon.
NWS Koalas 2-3 APIA Leichhardt
Two teams desperate for victories met on Sunday night at Christie Park and it was the away team, APIA Leichhardt, who took the spoils in a five-goal thriller against the North West Sydney Koalas.
Just after the halfway mark of the first half APIA had the perfect chance to hit the front courtesy of a penalty.
Pollicina was bundled over in the box and Georgia Yeoman-Dale stepped up to take the set piece.
Katie Offer saved the penalty and then the follow up from Claudia Cicco, before Cicco squared the ball up for Zoe Halpin who tapped home.
10 minutes from half time the lead was doubled in some style.
It was APIA’s midfield magician Rhianna Pollicina who picked the ball up outside the box and with her back to goal, turned and let fly with a bullet over Offer.
The Koalas responded after the break and Adam Keramea’s side had one back eight minutes into the second half.
Sophie Harding went on a fantastic run through a barrage of APIA players before setting up Tahlia Macri who finished well on the left.
Only minutes later and the comeback was complete.
Nat Tobin this time letting fly from outside the box, her shot coming off the bar before crossing the line, 2-2.
With both teams pushing hard for the winner, it would be APIA who found it in the dying minutes of the game.
Grace Maher whipped in a tasing ball into the box, allowing Julia De Angelis to get onto the end of it to tap home and give Spencer Prior’s team all three points.
Macarthur Rams 0-1 Sydney Olympic
The league leaders Macarthur Rams hosted Sydney Olympic at Lynwood Park in the final match of round 11.
It was the away side that came away with the victory, a sole goal enough for all three points.
Neither side was able to break the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes, going into the sheds locked at 0-0.
It took until the 86th minute for Olympic to break the stalemate, although it really was the home side that gifted them the goal.
It all started with an unexplainable pass straight into the feet of Sarah Yatim who then crossed across goal, only for Hayley Taylor-Young to volley into her own goal.
And it was enough for Olympic to hold on and register a massive win to push them into fourth place on the ladder with a game in hand and opportunity to move into first place should they win it.
BY: NIKOLA POZDER, CHIEF NPL NSW WOMEN’S WRITER