Round 19 of the National Premier Leagues NSW Women’s competition provided a timely glimpse into the exciting quality in the division, with closely-fought contests and some shock results.
Read on for the full breakdown of the weekend’s results!
Match of the Round – Gladesville Ravens 0-3 Macarthur Rams at Christie Park
The winning run continues for the Macarthur Rams after another dominant display on Sunday afternoon at Christie Park, this time the Gladesville Ravens the victim with a 3-0 victory.
Stephen Peters’ team opened the scoring early on through Kelli Brown, while Miku Sunaga and substitute Lara Dipple added goals in the second half.
Bankstown City Lions 1-4 NWS Spirit at Jensen Park
Bankstown City Lions were unable to withstand a rampant NWS Spirit in a 4-1 loss on Sunday evening.
Having been on the end of their first loss in over two months in Round 18, Bankstown would have been looking to quickly bounce back against Spirit.
However, it was the away side who put the Lions on the back foot early when they struck through Ella Abdul Massih’s fine finish in the 3rd minute.
The Lions refused to back down however, and would equalise in the 15th minute after Spirit goalkeeper Mio Nemoto rushed out to prevent a Lions counterattack and the defence was unable to clear the resulting cross, leaving Liana Danaskos to pick up the loose ball and tuck it away into the bottom corner.
Despite the setback, Spirit were quick to respond in the 22nd minute when Rola Badawiya was put through in space to charge through and lead the Spirit counterattack. The No. 10 then proceeded to beat two Lions defenders and cut in to sensationally fire away her first of the day and the away side’s equaliser.
Morgan Roberts was at the heart of the Lions’ second goal in the 56th minute as she spotted a loose horizontal pass through the Lions midfield and played a first-time pass through to Badawiya, who showed her impressive striking instincts by making a smart run beyond the defence to then notch her brace with an assured finish.
Spirit would earn themselves a fourth goal of the day in the 77th minute after Sarah Morgan was impeded in the box and Abdul Massih confidently dispatched the awarded penalty.
Emerging Jets 1-2 Sydney Olympic at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility
The Emerging Jets went down 1-2 to Sydney Olympic in a tense clash on Sunday evening in the Hunter.
With the Jets looking to restore some pride in their badge after a challenging season and much of the squad buoyed by their unbeaten performance for Northern NSW at the National Talent Challenge, they held strong against a quality Olympic side in patchy form of late.
The home side would open in the scoring in the second half when Brinley Gentle’s corner was haphazardly cleared by the Olympic defence, leading to the Jets starlet to take advantage and charge through the opposition for a lovely finish past Courtney Newbon to take her tally to 13 goals for the season. 1-0 to the Jets, courtesy of Gentle.
But Olympic were determined to force themselves back into the match, and had Charlotte McLean to thank when the defender received the ball in acres of space from a free-kick and launched a shot beyond Jets keeper Xanthe Parsons for a triumphant equaliser. 1-1.
Olympic’s ultimate winner was yet another dramatic finish, and occurred off the back of a series of blocked shots that eventually led the ball out to Taylor Ray, who opted to rifle a blistering shot that beat Parsons and made its way into the back of the net.
The result ensures that Sydney Olympic remain in keeping with a top four spot, whilst the Jets remain searching for their first win of the season.
Sydney University 3-0 Blacktown Spartans at Sydney University Football Ground
Sydney University prevailed 3-0 over the Blacktown Spartans in an entertaining clash at Sydney University Football Ground on Sunday.
The fixture presented itself as an important matchup between two sides hoping to steer clear of the relegation zone in the coming weeks.
Sydney Uni have underwhelmed this season whilst the Spartans are in need of a catalyst to lift their campaign, which has since been made all the more difficult by losing star attacker Carleigh Frilles to the Philippine National Team for the Women’s World Cup.
An early back-and-forth of momentum between the two teams in the first half was soon put to bed by Sydney Uni when, in the 20th minute, Taren King delivered their opener via a well-taken header from a corner.
The second half saw Sydney Uni maintain their positive energy from the first stanza, leading to their next goal in the 57th minute when a Uni cross deflected inadvertently off of two Blacktown defenders and into the back of the net. 2-0 to the home team.
Blacktown were left to rue their own errant defensive work when an under hit back pass was sniffed out by Talia Kapetanellis and finished easily by the No. 27.
3-0 the final result, with Sydney Uni savouring a much-needed three points to push themselves further away from the relegation zone and consigning their opponents to second-last on the First Grade ladder and bottom of the Club Championship standings.
Illawarra Stingrays 3-0 Bulls FC Academy at Macedonia Park
A huge result for the Illawarra Stingrays saw them triumph 3-0 over an in-form Bulls FC Academy side at Macedonia Park on Sunday evening.
With the Stingrays reeling from a loss at home to the Gladesville Ravens last round, and Bulls FC continuing to shine in the NPL NSW Women’s competition with the return of Aideen Keane from injury adding to their stack of quality options going forward, this was gearing up to be a fascinating fixture.
The Stingrays were ruthless in their pressing and ensuing spotting of an opportunity for a counterattack with their opener. Danika Matos would eventually be the ultimate goal scorer after stealing away with a loose ball generated by a tackle from Michelle Carney and driving at the Bulls defence to place a scorching long shot into the back of the net for 1-0.
Fans at Macedonia Park would have felt elated after the Stingrays added a second goal a few minutes later when Kaelah Austin seized on Trudy Simmons’ palmed intervention of a low Sasha Grove cross to extend the lead for the home team.
The final goal of the day for Illawarra would arrive late in the second half when Matos returned the favour for Carney by putting the ball on a platter for the onrushing veteran to make no mistake in delivering goal number three for the Stingrays.
Northern Tigers 1-1 Manly United at North Turramurra Recreation Arena
Rivals Northern Tigers and Manly United shared the spoils in Sunday evening’s derby clash at North Turramurra Recreation Area.
The derby arrived at a critical moment in both teams’ seasons, with the Tigers looking to overcome their injury woes and United wanting to back-up their good form prior to the loss to APIA in the previous round.
An entertaining first half played out in brisk conditions as both sides sought to show their worth in attack and put on a show in a traditionally well-contested rivalry.
Manly began the happier of the two however when they took the lead in the 37th off the back of some patient build-up from defence to attack, the goal arriving through Kahli Johnson superbly picking out Caitlin Jarvie for a run down the left wing and a successive squared pass to an onrushing Daisy Arrowsmith, who beat the Tigers defence to make it 1-0.
The Tigers refused to leave the home fans without something to savour even as the match moved closer to the final minutes, and had one last trick up their sleeve to undo the Manly’s control over the match.
Ella Tonkin was the ultimate hero for the Tigers as she powerfully headed in from a floated Hannah McNulty free-kick to ensure that the two sides could not be separated at the end of the match.
APIA Leichardt 1-0 Football NSW Institute at Lambert Park
A tight 1-0 win over Football NSW Institute ensures that APIA Leichardt remain at the top of the ladder at the conclusion of Round 19.
The final match of the round saw two sides on near-opposite sides of the ladder coming up against one another with different agendas in mind.
FNSW Institute had goalkeeper Tahlia Franco to thank for denying APIA in the early stages, as she bravely rushed out to prevent a through-on-goal Ashlie Crofts from securing the opener for her side.
FNSW Institute were able to craft good chances of their own throughout the match, most notably in the 52nd minute when Sienna Saveska attempted the audacious from just outside the 18-yard box by chipping APIA goalkeeper Sophie Magus, although the resulting shot skimmed just wide of the far post.
As the match went on it appeared that the two sides would not be separated, but APIA were able to secure an extraordinary late winner when Natasha Prior ghosted through the Institute defence and guided a corner home with a well-managed header.
APIA appear to have returned to the exceptional form that saw them become league leaders in the first place this year, whilst FNSW Institute are now three matches without a win.