Round 15 of the Women’s State League again featured a host of important fixtures as UNSW hosted Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC while Western NSW Mariners FC welcomed top of the table APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC and SD Raiders FC travelled out to St George stadium to face St George FC.
Match of the Round
UNSW vs Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC
In what was a highly entertaining game Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC staged a remarkable second half comeback to draw 3-3 with UNSW as they fought back from 3-0 down.
UNSW entered the game knowing a win would keep the pressure on top of that table APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC while Mt Druitt needed all three points to keep their slim top four hopes alive.
UNSW started the better of the two teams as they looked to assert their dominance over Mt Druitt.
UNSW’s first chance fell to Yadira Rengifo but she hit her shot straight at Mt Druitt goalkeeper Toni-Rae Talbot, before UNSW Japanese midfielder An Nagayoshi tested Talbot again with a shot from distance which Talbot did wellto parry away.
Mt Druitt’s first shot on target came 13 minutes in as Stefanie Trovato saw her fierce drive test the hands of UNSW goalkeeper Tiana Milisavljevic.
Mt Druitt began to play their way back into the contest after soaking up the early pressure applied by UNSW as Trovato began to cause the UNSW backline some headaches with her movement and strength.
Trovato forced a tidy save from UNSW keeper Milisavljevic in the 22nd minute after she toe poked a shot from a tight angle before she blazed over a few minutes later after being slid through.
The game was now back and forth as the dangerous Rengifo for UNSW was put through after 31 minutes but lobbed her shot over the crossbar.
The breakthrough did though eventually come as Rengifo put UNSW 1-0 up after 34 minutes by volleying home from inside the box after the Mt Druitt defence failed to clear the ball.
This goal came against the run of play as Mt Druitt were experiencing their best patch of the contest, and it got worse for Mt Druitt just before half-time as UNSW went 2-0 up.
A defence splitting pass put the pacey Christine Lucantonio away as her speed took her away from the Mt Druitt defence before she clinical slotted the ball into the far corner.
Mt Druitt faced an uphill battle to get themselves back into the contest as the second half commenced and after 48 minutes this only got tougher as they went 3-0 down to UNSW after Rengifo grabbed her second of the contest as she outmuscled the Mt Druitt defenders off the ball and calmly placed her shot into the corner.
UNSW went searching for a fourth as they kept pressing forward in numbers, Mt Druitt though did snatch a goal back in the 64th minute as Jessica Thorley tucked home what seemed a consolation goal from a corner. This goal did though give Mt Druitt some much needed confidence as they attempted to push and harass UNSW in possession and hit them on the counter.
The game then took another twist as Mt Druitt scored a second after 74 minutes as Trovato tucked home a rebound to finally get her name on the scoresheet and put Mt Druitt well and truly back into the game.
The game was now stretched as UNSW continued to push for more goals while Mt Druitt now buoyed by two goals went in search for an unlikely equaliser.
This equaliser duly arrived for Mt Druitt as in the 82nd minute Trovato converted her second goal of the match after getting in front of her defender and sliding it home.
UNSW and Mt Druitt both pressed for a late winner as Mt Druitt ended the contest with ten as Trovato received her second yellow after catching UNSW goalkeeper Milisavljevic late but in the end both teams could not be separated as UNSW saw a crucial three points snatched away late from them by a determined and resilient Mt Druitt team.
UNSW coach Renato Jelen conceded his team should have tightened up in the second half and that the dropping of three points may come back to hurt them in their pursuit of top spot and APIA.
Mt Druitt on the other hand will take much confidence from their fightback and display over the 90 minutes as they created plenty of chances and showed a real fighting spirit to come back from 3-0 down.
UNSW 3 (Yadira Rengifo 34’,48’, Christine Lucantonio 41’)
Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC 3 (Jessica Thorley 64’, Stephanie Trovato 74’,82’)
Sunday July 16th 3pm, David Phillips Complex
UNSW: 3.Charlotte Bridson, 4.Tara Casserly, 22.Heidi Cummings, 5.Donna Helm, 23.Alice Kriesler, 10.Christine Lucantonio, 20.Emma Mccarthy, 1.Tiana Milisavljevic, 33.An Nagayoshi, 34.Yadira Rengifo, 36.Miranda Summersby-Mitchell
Unused Substitutes: 13.Madeleine Karavotas, 17.Andrea Olrich, 25.Ramona Spicer, 7.Ashlee Sutherland
Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC: 4.Katherine Bacha, 16.Alexandria Colosimo, 6.Brooke Conroy, 5.Olivia Fraser, 23.Lisa Fressard(3.Brittany Duggan 72’) 12. Stephanie Trovato, 13.Ashley Rea, 15. Semira Tanea(14.Jessica Thorley 55’), 9.Diana Lombardo, 1.Toni-Rae Talbot, 31.Brianna Trigg(29.Monique Donovan 60’)
Unused Substitutes: 27.Stephanie Lagudi, 19.Isabella Lamalfa
Yellow Cards: 6.Brooke Conroy 90’, 12.Stehanie Trovato 21’
Red Cards: 12.Stephanie Trovato 90’
Western NSW Mariners FC 0 vs APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 (Lucy Gilfedder 10’),Sunday 16th July 3pm, Proctor Park
In a tight contest only one goal separated the Western NSW Mariners FC and APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC as a 10th minute strike by Lucy Gilfedder was all that separated both teams.
In a hard-fought game both teams had its fair share of chances with the Mariners unable to convert while APIA recorded a crucial three points after the disappointment of their loss against St George FC in their last outing.
APIA, with the victory, kept a five point buffer between them and second placed UNSW while the Mariners now sit fifth a point outside the top four with SD Raiders FC and St George FC sitting just above them.
St George FC 1 (Lauren Gardner 74’) vs SD Raiders FC 0, Sunday 16th July 3pm, St George Stadium
St George FC recorded another crucial win as they won a tight encounter against a spirited SD Raiders FC outfit 1-0 as a second half penalty converted by Lauren Gardner proved to be the difference.
In a game where chances were at a premium both teams controlled moments of a contest which was quite even throughout.
SD Raiders will see this as a lost opportunity to cement themselves in the top four as they were unable to finish off the chances that presented themselves.
St George with the three points have now jumped into third and have well and truly put themselves in the mix for a top four birth.
-By Sebastian Kalos