Updated: Jul 18
NPLW First Grade
ANUWFC 1 - Gungahlin United 3
A week after failing to claim a first trophy, Gungahlin United was back to winning ways at home against the ANU WFC thanks to an in-form Sharon Chao claiming a 3-1 win. A few changes in the team selection did not seem to disturb the Gunners too much. Not in the 11 last week at Deakin, Kaley Tonini, Karen Clarke, Jade Brown, Michelle Wienecke, and Sharon Chao started on Sunday.
After the round of observation between two teams who like to play possession football, the Gunners finally broke the deadlock after the half hour mark. A one-two between Chao and Ginger Oliver ended with a former scoring the goal of the weekend, a superb effort from the edge of the box, in the top right corner.
Sofia Chaverra tried to answer immediately but Tonini was vigilant and instead, ten minutes later, an unfortunate handball from Ailish McDonagh left no choice to Lara Smith but to point to the spot kick. Chao converted from the spot.
The Gunners started the second half on the same rhythm, forcing Claire Joseph to a few saves to keep the status quo. The keeper could not do anything 20 minutes in, when Michelle Wienecke’s cross found Maddie Perceval in the box. The captain’s powerful header was also precise, impossible to parry for Joseph. ANU WFC’s consolation was a cross-shot from Emma Douglas-Oliveira that eluded Kailey Tonini to drop into the net.
Match report courtesy of Capital Football: https://capitalfootball.com.au/news/page/2/
ANUWFC 2 - Gungahlin United 7
State League 1
ANUWFC 3 - Western Molonglo 0
The feeling is...relief! God does it feel good to win.
State League 2
ANUWFC 0 - Wagga City Wanderers 3
State League 3
ANUWFC 1 - Majura FC Strollers 2
State League 4 (derby)
ANUWFC Strollers 2 - ANUWFC Runaways 0
Tensions were high going in to what was surely the closest of derbies in Div 4 derby history. While the Strollers sat atop the ladder with a mind-bending goal difference, the Runaways were right there in second place, with youth, training and a plentiful supply of subs on their side.
The kick off was accompanied by a soundtrack that only added to the tension: The long, high wail of a 2yo abandoned on the sideline by her mother.
Play was fast - as it always is on Willows - and the two teams had an equal share of possession. Defenders on both sides stifled almost every attempt on strike in the first half - though notably keeper CC had to actually do something at one point, sprinting to clear a ball with brilliant timing. After recovering from the shock that CC doesn’t always move at her super casual pace, the Strollers went into half time at nil all.
Fortified with Dhigs’ mandarin supply, the Strollers hit their straps in the second half. It was still a tough battle, and the ball didn’t always stay on the ground, but eventually Harry managed to squirrel away two goals.
Though you’d think this would ease the palpable tension of the match - at least for the Strollers - the victors were far from themselves, stress levels reflecting poorly on a team who usually pride themselves on being a pleasure to play against. It was a match for the ages, but the Strollers will be looking to take the moral high ground next derby.
BY THE NUMBERS
Score: Strollers 2 - Runaways 0
Super Subs: 1 (Thank you Bec!!!)
Overtired Toddlers: 1,000,000….or so it seemed
Strollers playing with injury and/or covid: All of us, pretty sure
State League 5 Scooters
ANUWFC 10 - Weston Molonglo 0
Third time’s the charm at Willows Oval for irresistible Scooters! Willows Oval has been the site of the Scooters only 2 losses of the season thus far in 2023 and the source of broken bones and probable concussions, leading to whispers of Willows being cursed for the teams that played on it. The Scooters bad luck with injuries on Willows was exacerbated further with only 12 players available for a match-up against a potentially tricky opponent in Weston Molonglo FC, a lovely team that was familiar to us from the 2022 season. While they finished bottom in SL5 last season, they had already doubled their win total this season and are a continually improving team not to be underestimated. To help boost our numbers, reinforcements were brought in with the dynamic attacking fullback Stas, the clinical striker Claudia and the pacy hitwoman Josie Scootering into the squad.
The game started brightly for the Scooters with Rose deployed in an unfamiliar role in the number 10 role in centre attacking midfield, but utilising her ball retention skills and vision to create early chances for Emily B and Sophie on the wings, each enjoying the space afforded to them by their opposite fullback and they utilized their blazing pace to fashion chances for themselves in front of goal. However, the Weston goalkeeper was more than up to the challenge and she withstood our early barrage. Not only was the Weston goalkeeper keeping the ball out of her goal, she turned into the provider of Weston’s best chances as she bombed long balls from her hands deep into our half.
The Weston approach initially caught our defence by surprise, not least because the long ball tactic normally utilises a tall striker to contest the high balls. However, Weston went with their own pace instead and while their striker would not win any headers, she unfortunately would also not win any footraces either as she was up against the (relatively) towering and pacy duo of Catie and Emily T who cleared away any sniff of danger that bounced their way. Our wingbacks Stas and Charlotte were industrious throughout the game despite each playing almost a full 90, bombing forward each opportunity they had, whilst making sure to drop back in defence.
The Scooters kept pushing for the lead, with Beth popping up in amazing positions in the opposition box and twice came close to opening the lead. Connor led the line from the start and helped knit our attacking play together throughout the game with her control and nifty footwork, leading to the opposition fouling her just outside the box. Tash’s subsequent freekick was curling and looked destined for the top corner before clipping the post and according to some, curled in across the line but back out. In the 22nd minute, it started to feel like it was just one of those days where the ball doesn’t bounce quite right, shots don’t go exactly where you place them or the keeper is just being incredible. It was looking like Weston was going to be a tough nut to crack and where there’s a tough nut, you use a nutcracker, or in this case, a Josie. Having seen the joy Sophie and Emily B were having out on the wings at the start of the game, Josie was chomping at the bit to have a run at the Weston fullbacks. She quickly found herself through on goal and fired a warning shot just past the post, an early tester whilst calibrating her new shooting boots.
In the 23rd minute, a corner from Tash found Josie alone in front of goal, who applied the simplest of finishes, finally giving us a lead. It was the spark the Scooters needed, as shortly after, a ball across goal from Beth again found Josie in space facing off against the keeper, making it 2-0 in the 25th minute. Keeping the pressure up, Tash swung in another corner in the 27th minute, Weston were able to clear it out but only out to Charlotte who was lying in wait outside the box. There was a certain reckless abandon with which Charlotte made contact with the ball, like she didn’t have a single care in the world as she lashed the ball from 30 yards out with the Weston keeper raising her hands stretching, as if reaching out for help from the heavens above. Her prayers sadly unanswered as the ball crashed over her fingers and into the top corner. 3-0 lead for the Scooters at halftime.
So far we had followed a similar script to our previous game, creating multiple opportunities but not being as clinical as we could be, leaving the door open to our opponents. Last week, it was a 1-0 lead that ended with a 3-1 win for us and whilst we did not let complacency creep in last week, losing a clean sheet with the last kick of the game left a slightly sour taste for the Scooters and we were determined to not let any complacency take hold.
The message was clearly heard by the Scooters in the second half as we immediately went on the front foot as Liv delivered a corner which found Rose who added to our lead in the 46th minute. Another corner that was not cleared very well by Weston led to a shot by Penny inside the box, taking a deflection and giving us our 5th in the 48th minute. Indeed, our midfielders today, Liv, the only outfielder who played the whole 90, Penny, who scored twice, and Tash, who contributed 3 assists, were able to provide a perfect balance of energy, defensive cover and attacking thrust, helping us maintain control throughout the game.
The Scooters dominance from corners was further evident as Tash provided two more assists via corners for Claudia, making her Div 5 debut subbing for us, and then Emily B to score at 67’ and 69’ minutes respectively. Penny showed her vision and class as she emulated Charlotte by chipping the Weston goalkeeper from even more than 30 yards out in the 75th minute. Having seen her fellow teammates score some brilliant goals, Connor was still eager for a goal as she kept making forward runs in support of her wingers even in the dying minutes of the game. As Rose danced past the Weston defenders before hitting the post with her effort, Connor was able to expertly control the rebounding ball taking it down, turning and before, the only suitable way to describe it is: blasting the ball into goal in the 86th minute for the Scooters 9th goal of the day. Almost seemingly aware she was currently tied for the team’s golden boot and having just hit the post earlier, Rose would have the last word for the Scooter’s scoring on the day. Picking up a pass from Emily B, Rose glided with the ball in the Weston half, maneuvering the ball onto her right foot before casually curling the ball from about 30 yards out into the absolute top corner. What a way for the Scooters to hit 10 and for her to get sole lead as team top goalscorer so far.
It is very difficult to nitpick a 10-0 win, but not impossible, especially for me. Let’s see:
The halftime oranges were, and i quote: ‘not sweet and a bit tart’
Elise has not yet been mentioned in this match report, which admittedly is my own fault and thus I am nitpicking it. To be fair, before we had taken the lead and proper control of the game, early Weston long balls did pose a threat to us but Elise was quick to claim the ball and help settle our team down in the early moments. It’s very subtle, but the calmness exuded by Elise in goal has a cumulative effect on the team, helping our backline have confidence and calm, which helps the rest of the team play composed.
The weather: there could have been more clouds.
Overall, a massive shout out to the three subs who helped us out, Stas, Josie and Claudia with 2 out of 3 of them scoring for us! A complete performance by the Scooters who did not let complacency set in at any point and showed a clinical side to our game on the day. Another shout out to the Weston team, who despite the scoreline, never let the game turn messy or rough and were a genuinely wholesome team to play against, their keeper at one point during the game praising Emily B’s shots. Onto the next! Scoot scoot!
Goals: Josie x 2, Charlotte, Rose x 2, Penny x 2, Claudia, Emily B, Connor
State League 5 Braids
ANUWFC 0 - Gungahlin United 3
State League 6 Kartapillars
ANUWFC 6 - Belwest Foxes 1
State League 6 Sharkies