The race heats up as Western NSW Mariners and APIA Leichhardt Tigers are locked on points after round 17 in another exciting round of action which produced 25 goals this weekend.
Match of the Round: Mt Druitt Town Rangers 0 defeated by APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3
A Christina Ferreyra hat-trick has propelled APIA to equal top of the State League Women's ladder with a 3-nil win at Popondetta Park this afternoon.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers started the game in their traditional fast manner as they almost opened the scoring in the fourth minute when a corner caused chaos in the box and wasn't swept home.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers responded with Elouise Winter stung the palms of APIA goalkeeper Courtney Halpin with her eighth minute effort.
Christina Ferreyra was a menace all afternoon for the Tigers as she worked a nice opening in the 13th minute but fired it wide.
As the game reached the 20th minute APIA started to get into their rhythm as Koo Barbi was on the end of a well worked move which was saved well.
They continued to probe the robust Mt Druitt defense as Lucy Gilfedder went close with a flick header from a corner with the pressure mounting.
APIA got their reward for their dominance in the 23rd minute when Ferreyra burst down the right and nestled her shot in the bottom corner for 1-nil.
Three minutes later they doubled their lead. Marie Sim Sing slid in a well timed ball for Ferreyra to move onto and slot home to make the lead comfortable.
Nubia Lopez involved herself in the action for the Town Rangers and tried to put in a teasing ball but there was no one there to stick a foot out as APIA got to halftime unscathed.
Town Rangers had a chance to reduce the deficit just after the break when Lopez was felled in the area. Lisa Fressard stepped up but cracked the spot kick against the crossbar as it stayed 2-nil.
Ferreyra heaped further pain on the home side in the 76th minute when Clare Munro produced a delightful cross for the forward to finish off the hat-trick.
The home side continued to fight until the whistle with Lopez and Brianna Trigg having chances to get themselves on the scoreboard. The courageous work of Hapin denied the two and maintained a clean sheet.
Afterwards APIA coach Matteo Maiorana was happy to collect three points in a tough game.
"We were missing four players and know it is a struggle here so to get three points is good. We suffered a few injuries which doesn't help though" said Maiorana.
On Ferreyra's hat-trick today. "She was brought to the club to score goals and she has produced that for us especially in the absence of our other forwards today" finished Maiorana.
Town Rangers coach Danny Abboud was once again pleased with the effort against one of the competition heavyweights.
"When you play more experienced teams it is tough but we competed well while developing some youngsters in our side"
"It isn't about the result all time and we are sticking to our core values of developing players" finished Abboud.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 0
BARTLE Shailee, CONROY Brooke, LOPEZ Nubia(MURRAY '83), FRESSARD Lisa, REA Ashley, TRIGG Brianna(WELLFARE '87), VACARRI Natasha, MANNA Melinda, TALBOT Toni-Rae(McNAMARA '79), MARTIN Melinda and WINTER Elouise(BACKA '73)
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 (Ferreyra '23, '26 and '76)
HALPIN Courtney, SCARLATO Samantha, GILFEDDER Lucy, CLOUT Erin(GRAY '83), FERREYRA Christina(FRANCIS '77), URKANCI Filiz(KING '40), BARBI Koo, SIM-SING Marie, MUNRO Clare, CARMICHAEL Nicole(POLETANOVIC '74) and LIMNOIS Analise
UNSW Lions 1 drew with Western NSW Mariners 1
The batte between first and third ended up in a score draw which cost Western NSW Mariners sole possession of first position.
Samantha Wood got the Mariners off to the perfect start as she headed home well in the first half as they attacked quite well.
UNSW Lions responded in the second with Rachelle Godman equalising with a headed effort as they pushed forward but neither side could find a winner.
Both coaches praised their sides efforts as tonight might serve a precursor to the action happening in the finals series.
Gladesville Ravens 6 defeated SD Raiders 1
Gladesville have produced the shock result of the weekend to keep themselves with a sniff of finals football with a 6-1 thrashing.
Isabella Breukalaar starred with a hat-trick in a clinical finishing performance from the Ravens which coach John Cook had predicted for weeks.
Young midfielder Isabell Hatton added a goal to her tally with Brownyn Peddley and Hoy Gibbons rounded out the scoring.
On a forgettable afternoon for the SD Raiders, Stephanie Conejeros-Berjerie produced the lone strike to get the visitors on the board.
Parramatta FC 0 defeated by St George FC 13
St George had their shooting boots on and piled on the misery with a double digit victory over Parramatta FC at Melita Stadium.
Marissa Nicopoulos had a day out with six goals to her name while Taylor Moore and Tijana Ljubisavljevic scored braces.
Amy Bennett, Lily Chen and Lauren Gardner added the other three goals to finish off a wonderful day for the Saints.
The win keeps the Saints within five points of the fourth placed SD Raiders and firmy still in the hunt for the finals.
Source FNSW -By Justin Davies, State League Women's reporter