Updated: Jul 18
ANUWFC 2 - West Canberra Wanderers 1
ANUWFC came from behind to get a result at home against the West Canberra Wanderers scoring twice in the second-half to win 2-1. Wanderers led a quarter of an hour in, a corner kick taken by Lauren Hall was cleared first by the ANU defence, then by Claire Joseph’s crossbar, but the quickest to the rebound was Kate Walker. For only the second time this season, West Canberra was ahead.
The goal was a just reward for the Wanderers, who had started the game on the front foot. They managed to keep their lead for the rest of the first half, keeping the University club at bay despite their best efforts. Rob Illingworth must then have found the right words.
A minute into the second act, Edith Fordyce-Croker finally equalised for the home team. Following a free kick taken by Sheridan McElligott, the midfielder pounced in front of Briggs to cut the trajectory of the ball and score her first goal of the season.
She was involved in her team’s second goal ten minutes later, forcing Demi Nikias to make a clumsy tackle in the box, and the referee to point the spot kick. Sofia Chaverra converted it, coolly placing her penalty in the middle of the goal.
ANUWFC 0 - West Canberra Wanderers 2
State League 1
ANUWFC 3 - Wagga City Wanderers 3
ROADTRIP! Early Sunday start had us all cramming some hash browns and different types of caffeine. Most of us crammed onto a bus while a smaller contingent went by car. The car ride didn’t have music instead it had a DnD podcast and lots of committee talk. Word from the bus is that whilst some were taking the opportunity for some extra zzz’s, others were diligently studying how to take down Wagga (or just their uni work).
We stopped at a Maccas on the way and learnt Charlotte is approximately 750 cheese slices tall. The average height of the team is approximately 850 cheese slices (Char clearly bringing down the average).
After we arrived the team stepped off the bus with their game faces on (either that or they were trying not to chunder from travel sickness). Tunes were pumping in the change room as we got pumped, with some showing off their dancing and singing skills, and all I asked was that the team show me confidence. We left the change room to warm up and prepare for the start of the game.
The whistle blew to start the game and I’ve come to the realisation that any team I coach, don’t know how to play football for the first 20 minutes of a game. We were low on players, had players playing out of position and players nursing injuries. With only 1 and a half subs I was concerned but determined. Wagga came out swinging, pushing for goals and winning corners. Our defence stood resolute but they managed to break us down in the 17’ and scored. It shook the team and Wagga quickly followed up with another in the 21’. However, that sparked us - we once again remembered how to play football and it became an arm wrestle. We won corners and had opportunities but weren’t able to find the back of the net.
The halftime whistle came and we headed to the change room but I was confident. I reminded the team we can do this and all we needed was confidence and explained a tactical change. Second half kicked off and Wagga scored in 3 minutes but I was actually calm and the team looked determined. We wrested control of the game and dominated possession after that point. Our ball playing was beautiful. Passing and moving unfazed by the pressure Wagga was applying, and a break through ball to Ash F who played a ball off of the Wagga keeper’s face rebounded right back to her feet where she calmly put the ball away in the 60’ 3-1. We continued our control and our dominance grew. In the 72’ Lena was released in behind where she put a cross in to Ash C who made sure the net bulged 3-2. It was at that moment I could have sworn I saw demons in the players eyes as they walked back to kick off with absolute murderous grins across their faces. It was like an anime I could actually feel the tension as our team stared down the opposition daring them to blink. My players looked and felt 12 feet tall. Wagga blinked, and the tranquillisers devoured them.
In the 82’ we were bouncing the ball off each other making the other team ball chase and Ash C received the ball at the same time Jules called her name. Ash C turned and passed the ball without hesitation to where she heard Jules’s voice, Jules at the top of the box took a touch with the goalkeeper sprinting at her and then buried the ball in the back of the net 3-3. The tranquillisers roared!! The game became scrappy as both teams fought for the win! Taylar, Chloe and Liv were a brick wall and akin to Gandalf vs the Balrog wouldn’t let them pass!
The full time whistle blew and we celebrated the draw like it was a win! We are the only team to have walked away with points against the ladder leaders! As this was the Ji’s last game it was a fantastic performance to farewell her. This was one of the best moments I’ve had as a coach and I couldn’t be prouder of the team! We drove home tired but happy knowing that if the game went for another 5 minutes we would’ve won it all, but content we have another chance to get all 3 points when we next face them. LETS GO ANUWFC!
State League 2
ANUWFC 8 - UC Stars 0
State League 3
ANUWFC 3 - Cooma FC 1
The SL3 ladies had a 3-1 win over Cooma. We were one up early in the game after a bit of a scramble in the goalmouth, Isobel calmly side footed the ball past the goalkeeper. A good attack down the right wing resulted in our second to Dorcas who was in the right spot to knock the ball into the back of the net after a fabulous run and cross from Scout.
We controlled the majority the first half with excellent play down the left and right sides that could have seen us go in at half time with more goals.
Our composure dropped off a little in the second after Cooma scored which lifted their intensity. However, after holding firm and getting control of the game again, we created attacking opportunities and chances that went unrewarded. Eventually late in the second half the game was ours thanks to the tenacity of Dorcas to win the ball from the goalkeeper with Isobel slotting home for her second goal. A big shout out to Isobel and Dorcas for stepping into the role in the absence of all our regular strikers.
Overall, it was a good team effort with everyone contributing to the win.
State League 4 Runaways
ANUWFC 0 - Tuggeranong United 1
State League 4 Strollers
State League 5 Braids
ANUWFC 3 - Weston Molonglo 0
Braids went to Weston down a whole lotta players to mid-semester break and injuries. Luckily the Strollers and Kartapillars were there to pick up the slack, both with a bye this weekend.
The Braided Strolling Katerpillars? (Workshopping that name) held most of the possession, field position and chances in the first half. But as one of our players said at half time, I think we are allergic to scoring goals, with the score at nil all.
To be fair to our players a very uneven pitch, a windy day, and playing together for the first time added to the difficulties.
In the second half it seemed to open up on both sides as tired legs set in. But it stayed even, until, with 20 mins to go, Holly was able to get in front of a defender and bury one in the back of the net.
Nevinka was moved from defensive midfield to left forward and found herself at the end of a through ball with just the keeper to beat, but she pushed it wide. We nearly regretted it a second later when Weston had a counter attack with a shot with just GK Madeline to beat. But Madeline was reliable as always.
Keeping our slim 1-0 lead, Nevinka then put things right getting on the end of another through ball and slotted it home this time.
Holly got another at the back post that she put away near the end. Finishing the game 3-0 to the Braided Strolling Katerpillars.
State League 5 Scooters
ANUWFC 2 - South Canberra FC 1 Another week, another 2-1 victory with the Scooters going 2-0 up before unfortunately conceding late in the game to make for a slightly nervier finish. However, the Scooters still looked assured in possession and solid in defence and with half the Scooters squad currently away, a win at this point of the season and avoiding any injuries is a major positive. In need of some quality depth, attacking full back Stas and the pacy winger Jes were brought in from Div 6 and so too the ever reliable Josie fresh off a 4 goal performance in Div 4.
Starting in goal for the Scooters, Connor provided a safe pair of hands and a steady presence at the back as she claimed loose balls authoritatively before booming her kicks down the pitch for our forwards. Playing keeper on the hard surface of Willows is always a concern, thankfully our defence did an amazing job limiting South Canberra’s opportunities as centre backs Kirsten and Tash, both nursing and overcoming slight ankle injuries, put in strong performances at the heart of our defence. Zoe, upon her return from a trip to the UK, showed no sign of rust as she went straight into right back and was her usual composed self, taking on players 1:1 and consistently defending her opposite number well. The Scooters usually start games with a quiet confidence that builds as we play our football and quickly create chances, this game against South Canberra was no different as we pushed forward from the onset. Early through balls from Josie excelling in an unfamiliar centre attacking midfield role found Sophie and Gini through on goal in the opening exchange of the game, only to see some excellent last ditch defending and goalkeeping thwart us. Beth came close on two occasions following in at the back post but just missed before seeing an early shot on goal saved by the keeper. Sarah, Saf and Penny in midfield were doing an excellent job throughout the game preventing any counters and helped to recycle possession to help us keep the pressure on South Canberra. As the first half kept ticking by and the Scooters advances proving futile each time, there was not any panic and we trusted that our play would eventually break down the stubborn defence of South Canberra. A corner flying high in the South Canberra box was not properly cleared and bounced off the arms of the opposition. Stepping up to the plate and the pressure, Tash had nerves of steel and ice in her veins as she coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner. 31 minutes in, 1-0 Scooters. Stas and Jes helped provide us with energy and width when they came on, with Jes taking on a defender each chance she got and creating opportunities for us down the right. As we kept pushing for a second, it felt almost like we were lining up outside the South Canberra box waiting to shoot, with Kirsten pushing all the way up from right back having another shot on target (back to back games!). However, similar to last week, we weren’t able to find the finishing touch for our efforts.
Going into the second half, Gini donned the gloves with Connor spearheading the attack. Within 10 minutes of the second half, a corner from Tash found Connor who scored in her third game in a row, with Tash providing a tenth assist of the season. 2-0 Scooters. Pressing for more, the Scooters kept up the pressure. Having started the game at her usual left back position, before suddenly tasked with playing centre back for half of the first half, Claire was unleashed onto the left wing. An amazing through ball from Josie found Claire one on one with the South Canberra keeper, bringing it back onto her stronger right foot and striking it clean and true. It took an amazing effort by the keeper to prevent Claire rubbing it into Catie’s face on the video call after the game.
The Scooters looked largely comfortable but not complacent against South Canberra throughout the game as our midfield worked tirelessly throughout to drop back and our defence looked composed and confident, playing out from the back each chance they got. It would be easy to ask the defenders to just clear the ball away anytime they had the ball. In fact, it might be unfair to challenge the defenders and place extra undue pressure on them to take extra touches and try to pass it out and retain possession as much as possible. More touches means more risk, more risk means more pressure and more pressure means more mistakes. The reason we ask defenders to take more touches is because pressure makes diamonds. A backpass leading to an own goal, a mistake for sure, one that has happened before, one that will happen again. A mistake no one player is responsible for, after all whose responsibility is it to prevent a goal being conceded?
We make a mistake, we learn and we move on. The biggest mistake would be to start being afraid to make any mistake at all. That is why what happened next is likely thus far my favorite moment of the season.
It takes bravery for any player to ask for the ball at any point in the game at any place on the field, it takes an even more unbelievable amount of bravery for a keeper, who has just conceded from a mistake, to ask for the ball to help her defender under pressure. That’s exactly what I heard from our captain Gini deputizing in goals, say to her centre back as South Canberra pushed forward smelling blood in the water. The Scooters rallied to see out the last 10 minutes of the game with Stas coming close to making it comfortable for the Scooters, another amazing effort from the South Canberra keeper denying her. Another week, another solid 2-1 win, 3 points supporting our stay in the top 4. Scoot Scoot!
State League 6 Sharkies
ANUWFC 2 - Belwest Foxes SC 3
State League 6 Kartapillars