This week’s round of Women’s State League football certainly had plenty of talking points. An incredible top of the table clash saw the Western NSW Mariners lose their position at the pointy end of the ladder for the first time this year.
Mt. Druitt Town Rangers FC vs Gladesville Ravens (Match of the Round)
Despite an early morning shower, Popondetta Park was prime for what would be an extremely entertaining clash between Mt. Druitt and Gladesville, with both teams vying to establish themselves in the top half of the table.
Early play saw Mt. Druitt focus on threading lofted balls behind the Ravens back four, but Gladesville goalkeeper Heather Madgwick demonstrated keen awareness, constantly out of her box to clean up.
It was the Ravens that had the best opportunities, largely through the pacey Noelle Loyzaga up front, who had the measure of her centre-back. Mt. Druitt goalkeeper Emma Davies made good saves to deny Gladesville an opener.
In the 17th minute, Lisa Fressard for Mt. Druitt launched a beautiful shot from outside of the box, but Madgwick made an athletic diving save to the bottom right corner.
Five minutes later, Brooke Conroy played a delightful through ball to Stefanie Trovato who found herself with only the keeper to beat. Her shot went straight into the thankful arms of Madgwick.
The game continued to open up in dramatic style. After twenty one minutes of end to end football, Gladesville took the lead. Noelle Loyzaga, a constant menace, was played in behind a very high Mt. Druitt backline and left them for dead. One on one with the keeper she calmly slot the ball into the back of the net.
Mt. Druitt did not seem deflated and the game did not slow down an iota. Immediately attacking the Ravens goal, Madgwick was again forced to come off her line to close down the Mt. Druitt strikers. This time she was not as timely and took down Kristy Hope outside of the box. She was lucky to evade a straight red, picking up only a yellow. The freekick was on target from Taryn Rockall, but saved.
Mt. Druitt did not relent. Moments later, Trovato found herself in front of the goal, but Madgwick saved – making the best of her second chance. The next minute it was Hope and then Trovato again. Heather Madgwick made save after save to compensate for lacklustre defending from the Ravens. Eventually, as the half wore on, both sides fatigued and at half-time the Ravens held a fragile lead.
A light drizzle enveloped the field at half-time but amidst frosty breaths the game only picked up pace in the second period. That being said both sets of defenders lifted and chances on goal were more limited.
Paige Vansaarloos and Ashleigh Smith for the Ravens read the game superbly and made a number of crucial interceptions. Rockall for Mt. Druitt led from behind and remained perennially cool in possession, when playing out from behind.
Then in the seventy third minute disaster struck for the Ravens. Trovato broke through Gladesville’s defence on a superb solo dribble. Her shot was saved sharply by Ravens goalkeeper Madgwick. However the keeper then fumbled the ball with her hands outside of the box. Mt. Druitt put the ball in the net, but the referee did not play advantage and it was called back for a freekick.
Madgwick received her second yellow and was sent off. Lauren Scaramuzza came on, replacing winger Eleanor Jones, to take up goalkeeping duties and made a superb save to deny Rockall’s freekick.
The resulting corner saw Scaramuzza make another brilliant save and then Isabella Breukelaar cleared off the line. The Ravens maintained their lead, only just, but were a player down and without Madgwick, who had kept them in the game so far.
Gladesville parked the figurative bus, defending with their whole team in their half. Mt. Druitt changed to three at the back, allowing an extra player to push forward.
Finally, in the eighty-fifth minute, the Rangers were rewarded for their efforts. Taryn Rockall stepped over a freekick just outside the box and placed it perfectly into the top left corner. It was a mercurial shot, met by jubilation from the stands, after a frustrating hour and a half for Mt. Druitt. Now the momentum was firmly in their favour and a win looked well on the cards.
Just a minute later, Conroy put what appeared to be a winner for Mt. Druitt into the back of the net, but a late offside flag stymied the celebrations from the sidelines.
A few moments later, Fressard played a magnificent long through ball to Ashleigh Jones, who fired a shot just wide of the target. The full time whistle stifled their hopes of a come from behind victory.
An extremely entertaining 1-1 draw came to an end.
Mt. Druitt Town Rangers FC 1 (Taryn Rockall 85’)
Gladesville Ravens 1 (Noelle Loyzaga 21’)
Sunday, 31th of May, 2015
Popondetta Park, Emerton
Gladesville Ravens : 16. Isabella Breukelaar, 8. Kate Butler-Howell, 9. Natalie Cesarone (23. Amanda Holmes), 20. Eleanor Jones (1. Lauren Scaramuzza 73’), 17. Noelle Loyzaga (13. Alex Beattie 79’), 3. Rebecca Kundrat, 21. Heather Madgwick, 29. Ashleigh Smith, 5. Paige Vansaarloos, 4. Chanel Murray-Baptista (10. Danielia Fierro 66’), 14. Madeleine Paslis.
Substitutes Not Used: 15. Pragya Goswami
Yellow Cards: Heather Madgwick 24’ / 73’
Red Cards: Heather Madgwick 73’
Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC : 1. Emma Davies, 6. Taryn Rockall, 16. Natasha Vaccari (13. Monique Murray 75’), 12. Stefanie Trovato, , 14. Brianna Trigg, 9. Lisa Fressard, 5. Kristy Hope (23. Jessica Stricek 66’), 10. Brooke Conroy, 11. Jazz Lundt (18. Ashleigh Jones 63’), 22. Melinda Martin, 3. Melanie Murray
Substitutes Not Used: 26. Beth Watling, 4. Katherine Bacha,
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Western NSW Mariners FC vs Bankstown City FC, 1-5
Coming into Round 8 the Mariners had secured maximum points from every game. They looked simply unstoppable. Bankstown City meanwhile had lost only once; to the Mariners.
This fixture had all the ingredients of a Women’s State League classic, and didn’t fail to deliver. Though perhaps not in the way expected. Despite a long away trip to Glen Willow Stadium, Bankstown City stole first place from the Mariners with a dramatic and dominant 5-1 victory. City now lead the table on goal difference, with both sides poised on eighteen points.
Southern Districts SFA vs Parramatta FC, 0-3
After an inconsistent start to the season Parramatta have been the absolute opposite in the past few rounds. They achieved yet another 3-0 victory this week, taking on the Southern District Emeralds away at Ernie Smith Reserve.
This has brought them into the top four, just a point behind St. George FC. Conversely the Emeralds have sunk to their sixth loss of the season and do not look like winning anytime soon.
St George FC vs APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 5-2
Unfortunately for the Tigers they are well and truly establishing themselves as the “bye” of the competition. Having lost every game to date they can find a little bit of solace in the fact that they were able to score two goals for the first time this season.
Nevertheless, they continue to be overrun by their competition and appear a class below the rest of the league. St. George will be disappointed to have leaked goals in defence but satisfied with their offensive efforts.
Georgia Koinis continued her fine vein of form, picking up a hattrick. Alongside Parramatta, St George appear to be the strongest candidate to chase down Bankstown and Western NSW at the top of the table.
Source FNSW Website- by Daniel Palmer, Women’s State League Reporter