W-League Round 6: Melbourne Number One Heading Into Winter Break
This weekend the last week of play before the Westfield W-League winter break. Heading into Round Six, Melbourne was looking to maintain their position atop the ladder, Sydney was hoping to continue their season long undefeated streak and Canberra was looking to gain momentum heading into next Round’s match with Melbourne.
Melbourne Victory 1 (De Vanna 83’) – 0 Adelaide United
The Narrative: After their big win over Brisbane last week, Adelaide was looking to follow up with a similar upset. Their defensive strategy held strong for almost the full 90 minutes with Melbourne missing plenty of close chances throughout the game. Eventually, the powerful attack of Melbourne couldn’t be denied and they were able to keep their spot all alone on top of the ladder. Despite the loss, Adelaide has continued to be a surprise thus far this season.
The Player: Lisa De Vanna finally found her name back on the scorer’s sheet after a bit of a drought. Her game-winning goal came just in time for Melbourne as there were about seven minutes left in the game. De Vanna may not have the most tallest forward in the women’s game, but she was still able to put home a nice header to secure three points for her squad.
Worth A Shout: With Adelaide backed into their own half for most of the game, Melbourne’s defenders took the chance to get forward into the attack. One shining example of this was Jessica Samuelsson. The Swede never found the back of the net, but did have one effort bounce off the post and another pass just inches in front of the goalmouth.
Perth Glory 0 – 2 Canberra United (A. Sykes 51’, Ochs 90+2’)
The Narrative: Canberra’s offense continues to forge the way for them this season, as their goal total now stands at 10 through just six rounds. As for Perth, their downward slide continues with losing four of their last five games. Considering their current injuries, Perth had three players out this match and with their schedule for the next two rounds featuring away matches to Sydney and Brisbane, things certainly don’t seem to be getting any easier from here on out for Perth.
The Player: Stephanie Ochs has been red hot for Canberra in the past few matches and is a big reason they’ve won three of their last four. Her stoppage time goal sealed up three more points for Canberra and brings her total for the year up to four. The Washington Spirit have to be happy with how her loan to Canberra is going so far.
Worth A Shout: Captain Nicole Sykes cut her hand on a fan in the locker room before the match started. But, after a short delay in kickoff, Sykes was back in the starting eleven and ready to play. Sykes went the full 90 minutes for her squad, and also showed off some incredible mental toughness along the way.
Brisbane Roar 1 (Raso 56’) – 1 Sydney FC (Rollason 5’)
The Narrative: This game was a tale of two halves, with Sydney taking control of the first half and Brisbane battling back in the second. Sydney struck first early in the match, and, after a series of back and forth play, were able to take most of the chances heading into halftime. Sydney couldn’t double their advantage early in the second half after missing an open net, and Brisbane took control. A perfect counterattack helped Brisbane find an equalizer, and despite a few more chances for each team things ended level.
The Player: Hayley Raso had the all-important equalizer in this one, and she probably should have had a few more goals to go along with it. In the first half, most of Brisbane’s offense went through Raso, with three of her shots denied by excellent goalkeeping. While her statistics don’t flash off the page, Raso has had an excellent season thus far for Brisbane and is a big reason for their success.
Worth A Shout: The only other goal in the match came off the foot of Renee Rollason within the first five minutes of the game. Rollason almost book-ended the game with a second goal late in the second half off a fantastic free kick she curled into the box. However, goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, who was in fine form all game long, stopped it.
Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (O’Neill 45’, Cannuli 71’ 76’) – 0 Newcastle Jets
The Narrative: Two wins, two shutouts, two games with three goals each. It seems that Western Sydney has put together a bit of a run. Now sitting fifth in the table, Western Sydney had control for almost all of this game. Despite a controversial non-penalty call for Newcastle while the game was still 1-0, I have to think the Wanderers still would have walked away with three points.
The Player: When Catherine Cannuli gets on the scoreboard, the Western Sydney Wanderers seem to have a much better chance of grabbing points. In the three games Cannuli has scored in during this season, Western Sydney has earned a total of four points. Her late brace, two goals in five minutes, helped the Wanderers ice the win and take home three important points.
Worth A Shout: Third time was the charm for Linda O’Neill. After having two almost point blank shots saved by the keeper, O’Neill finally broke through for the first goal of the match after dribbling past the keeper and passing it into an open net. O’Neill also had the assist on the first of Cannuli’s two goals.
Team Of The Week: Melbourne Victory
Melbourne ends the first half of the 2013-2014 W-League season as the top team in the league. They’re undefeated in their past five games with four wins and one tie. Melbourne leads the league in goals scored this season with 13 goals and have only allowed seven, giving them a goal differential of +8. With stars like Lisa De Vanna and Jess Fishlock leading the way, its no wonder Melbourne is ending the Calendar year in fine form.
Next Year’s Game to Watch: Adelaide United vs Canberra United
There are no more Westfield W-League games until 2014, but the first game to watch out for in the new year is Adelaide vs. Canberra. Adelaide has become quite the defensive stalwart, as they haven’t allowed over two goals in a single game this season. They’ll need to be on their A-game if they want to upset Canberra, who are third in the W-League in goals scored so far this season. Adelaide has kept all of their games close this season, and if any team thrives in the underdog label it seems to be them.
Rachael Caldwell will be graduating from the University of Arkansas in 2015 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and minors in Spanish and Business Management. Rachael played soccer from when she was three until her senior year of high school, where she was the captain of her state championship winning team. While she only plays pick up now, she still passionately follows the game and was contacted by Our Game Magazine via Twitter in 2013. Rachael looks forward to writing more for OGM and also writes about women's soccer on her own blog: rachaelfc.wordpress.com.