The 2023 Premiership battle intensifies, and the finals football fight continues in the National Premier Leagues NSW Women’s competition with round 19 upon us.
Some cracking matches are scheduled as we also get a step closer to the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicking off next week!
Bankstown City Lions v NWS Spirit
The action kicks off Sunday afternoon at Jensen Park as the Bankstown City Lions host NWS Spirit.
Bankstown suffered defeat for the first time in over two months on Sunday when they went down 2-1 to the Macarthur Rams in a nail bitter.
They have a number of players unavailable for selection and the in form Alexia Karrys-Stahl will be next to join that growing number.
Matt Costantini has great belief in this squad and a win here could be what does it to get them right in the top four race, a loss, and finals may be slipping away.
After a disappointing defeat against APIA Leichhardt, Spirit bounced back against Sydney University in style.
They are comfortable in third place at the moment on the ladder and Tiana Gauci’s team is clawing their way toward finals football.
Despite not scoring on the weekend, Rola Badawiya had a hand in all three goals and was an important part of the Spirit machine moving forward.
They split the points in round six with a 1-1 draw.
Emerging Jets v Sydney Olympic
Sydney Olympic make the long trip north to Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility to face the Emerging Jets.
Last week’s break came at the right time for the Jets who found themselves in a poor patch of form, conceding 14 goals in two games.
Brinley Gentle continues to be the go to, the most prolific Jets player with 12 goals this season.
Inconsistency has hurt Olympic over the last few weeks, two wins and two losses in their last four games.
They weren’t able to back up their massive win against the Northern Tigers when they were convincingly beaten by Bulls FC Academy on Sunday.
Nothing less than a victory will be expected by George Beltsosthis weekend, in particular with a full fit Taylor Ray motoring the midfield and the in form Sarah Yatim.
Olympic won the first match 5-1.
Sydney University v Blacktown Spartans
Uncharacteristically, it’s 12th, Sydney University, taking on 13th, Blacktown Spartans at Sydney Uni Football Ground.
Uni suffered their ninth loss of the season on Saturday at the hands of NWS Spirit by a comfortable 3-0 scoreline.
There is enough quality throughout the squad to be sitting in a better position, Taren King, Gabrielle Peak and Cushla Rue just some of the names that should be making a difference.
A win here for Uni would all but confirm their safety in the competition against a direct rival.
The Spartans had the week off last Sunday to regroup after four straight losses in the league, their last win coming at home against Manly United on the 4th of June.
A win here puts them just a couple points away from Uni and within striking range but most importantly, it would be massive in the relegation fight.
The Spartans won the first clash between these two and are looking to do the double.
Illawarra Stingrays v Bulls FC Academy
At Macedonia Park on Sunday evening the Illawarra Stingrays host Bulls FC Academy.
Finals are just about getting away from the Stingrays although mathematically they’re still in the battle.
A loss against the fourth placed Bulls would mean that their finals chances are done, meaning there is a lot on the line for the South Coast side.
Only one win in their last five has really hurt them, in particular last week’s late loss to the Gladesville Ravens.
We’ve been waiting for it and it looks as though the Bulls have hit their straps at the right time of the season.
Five games without defeat for Jaime Gomez’s team and a massive win against Sydney Olympic on Sunday means they sit in the top four.
Bryleeh Henry is finally in the squad and supported by Aideen Keane, they look very dangerous in the front third.
It was the Bulls that came away with victory earlier in the season, winning 2-0.
Gladesville Ravens v Macarthur Rams – Match of the Round
The match of the round takes us to Christie Park on Sunday as the Gladesville Ravens host the Macarthur Rams.
After four games without a win, the Ravens went down the South Coast and took the spoils in a tough away trip against the Illawarra Stingrays.
The win kept their finals hopes alive as Jess Wootton scored her fifth of the season.
They’ll need their striker firing again against one of the most stubborn defences in the league on Sunday.
The Rams’ run continues and it stretches to eight straight wins now with the APIA Leichhardt and Sydney University record of 10 in a row in their sights now.
Stephen Peters’ team was in fine form Sunday where it was tough to decide who was the best, their high press caused great issues for Bankstown City in the first half and the same will be expected here.
The Rams won the first game by the odd-goal courtesy of veteran Leena Khamis.
Northern Tigers v Manly United
It’s derby time at North Turramurra as the Northern Tigers host Manly United on Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers were one of those that enjoyed the week off last week but will be desperate to get three points here.
A tough run with injuries and players unavailable have meant that Jake Stephenson’s team have struggled to put it together of late.
They need a win here to stay in the hunt for finals football.
Manly seemed to turn it around over the last month and even came close to hurting the league leaders APIA Leichhardt on Sunday.
Confidence has most definitely lifted, in particular with Daisy Arrowsmith starting to find the net regularly for United.
It was a Northern Tigers win in round 6 as they took the points with a 3-1 victory.
APIA Leichhardt v Football NSW Institute
The league leaders APIA Leichhardt host Football NSW Institute on Sunday night in the final game of the round at Lambert Park.
It will be a big week for APIA who host Sydney University in the Sapphire Cup on Thursday night.
Spencer Prior’s team has managed to get themselves back on track with two straight wins after three games without a win.
Ash Crofts has been in dazzling form, scoring 18 goals in as many games for APIA and leading the team from the front.
The Institute have found themselves very stretched to say the least over the last month.
It has coincided with some poorer performances of late but they could have some of their star youngsters back for this one to potentially hurt their more favoured opponents.
A tight 2-1 win got APIA over the line last time and they would take that again.
By – Nikola Pozder