The first weekend of State League Women's action is in the book with four entertaining contests headlined by Southern District Raiders taking on St George FC in our Match of the Round.
MATCH OF THE ROUND – Southern Districts Raiders 2 (Caridad and Holzheimer) defeated St George FC 1 (Nicopoulos)
Two first half strikes were enough for an energetic SD Raiders to register an impressive 2-1 victory against a lethargic St George FC.
The Raiders signalled their intent early in the first half with their pressing game forced St George FC into a few errors at the back which their attack almost profited from.
Stephanie Conejeros-Berjerie had Raiders first attempt within the first sixty seconds but scooped her effort high.
Raiders got the reward for all their running in the 7th minute when Dominique Caridad stormed through the midfield with a mazy run to finish past Peta Koinis for 1-nil.
It was double delight for the home side after 15 minutes when Conejeros-Berjerie deflected a wicked cross into the path of Brittany Holzheimer to hammer into the net.
St George FC worked their way into the contest with a few efforts included a free-kick that tested Karrinda Moodley but was gathered safely.
Saints found their way back into the game on 35 minutes when a slick cutback was duly thumped home by Marissa Nicopoulos to make it 2-1.
Spurred on by the goalSt George teed-up several long range efforts to try catch out Moodley but they all flew harmlessly over the bar. Both teams headed to the sheds with the score at 2-1.
Once again SD Raiders started off brightly with a set piece effort right after the restart. Caridad stood over the ball and directed it high.
As the game continued to open up, SD Raiders almost had their third when Rhea D'Mello clipped a pass into the path of Holzheimer whose effort kissed the post and out.
Goalscorer Nicopoulos tried to claw St George FC back into the contest with two efforts in the 59th and 66th minute but couldn't fire past Moodley.
The Raiders should've been out of sight in the 72nd minute after they got a penalty call for a tackle in the box. Caridad stepped up but sprayed it wide.
The clock continued to tick, as St George FC poured forward to find an equaliser but Moodley was up to task included a double save in the 86th minute.
Coach Catherine Cannuli had a late cameo and helped her side to see out the game and bank their first three points of the season.
Afterwards Cannuli praised the spirit and effort of her team.
"Most of these girls have come up from park football so to get three points was great especially with two early goals"
Cannuli also enjoyed being back on the park. "Football is in my blood and what I loved doing, so it was great to get back on there for the last fifteen minutes."
St George coach Carlo Tini was disappointed in his side's slow start.
"It wasn't our day today – we started out slow allowing the two goals but worked back into the contest. The ball just wasn't going in so it is back to the training field for next week," said Tini.
SD Raiders 2 (Caridad '7 and Holzheimer '15)
1 MOODLEY, 3 Karrinda, HAMMOUD, 4 Sasha, D'MELLO, Rhea, 5 MOIO, Caterina(BITTNER '23(CANNULI '73)), 6 HANKIN, Brooke, 10 CARIDAD, Dominique 11 MONTI, Nicole, 15 KROPE, Courtney, 22 HOLZHEIMER, Brittany, 28 CONEJEROS-BERJERIE, Stephanie and 35 IGNJATOVIC, Natalia
Subs not used: 16 RICHA, Nestass, 30 MUSCAT, R and 36 HANCOCK, R
Yellow cards: Ignjatovic
Red cards: nil
St George FC 1 (Nicopoulos '35)
2 MANIAS, Kylie, 3 GARDNER, Lauren, 4 MOORE, Taylor, 5 SMITH, Carla, 6 BENNETT, Amy, 7 MANSOUR, Renee,(CHEN '60) 9 NICOPOULOS, Marissa, 10 STANTON, Vanessa,(YOUNG '60) 16 SUTHERLAND, Loren,(SARIKAKIS '79) 23 KOINIS, Peta and 29 ROBINSON, Beth
Subs not used: BOGALJEVIC, Talia
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Parramatta FC 0 defeated by Western NSW Mariners FC 7
Western NSW Mariners FC have thrown down the gauntlet in the first round with their seven goal thrashing of Parramatta FC.
New recruit Sammie Wood bagged herself four goals in the rout to shoot to the top of the goalscorer table.
It was a chastening experience for a Parramatta FC squad that has rebuilt through the off season and still needed time to gel.
Tayla Lloyd, Jess Salomoni and Morgan Sherman got themselves on the scoresheet for Western NSW Mariners to round out the display.
Gladesville Ravens 0 defeated by APIA Leichhardt Tigers 2
APIA Leichhardt got their season off to the perfect start with a 2-nil away victory at Peel Park.
Dana Buttigieg and Christy Ferreyra both tallied in the first half for APIA Leichhardt.
It was the perfect start for APIA Leichhardt in their quest to move up the leagues in the next few seasons.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2 defeated by UNSW Lions 4
It was a winning start to life in State League for UNSW Lions in a thrilling contest.
Georgina Goulding bagged a brace for the Lions as Amanda Amberg and Rachelle Godman added the other two.
Mount Druitt got themselves on the scoreboard twice to please the home fans but it wasn't enough to take home the points.
It was a good afternoon for new UNSW coach Renato Jalen with a successful afternoon all round for the Lions.
Source FNSW -By Justin Davies, State League Women's reporter