Four highly entertaining games of Women’s National Premier League is exactly what the doctor prescribes this weekend, while patiently waiting for the FIFA Women’s World Cup final on Sunday night.
With Canberra Olympic visiting the Canberra United Academy, and Canberra Croatia and Gungahlin United facing each other, Belconnen United could have some extra room at the top of the table come the end of the weekend, should they make it back from a trip to the South with all three points.
Canberra United Academy will host Canberra Olympic on Saturday afternoon at Hawker Football Centre, with a possibility to play a role in the title race. The team coached by Matthew Moore has only been able to take four points out of 30 possible against the team of the top four, winning against Gungahlin and drawing with Croatia.
The players in green have scored in each of the last five games, a streak to keep alive if they want to create an upset on Saturday. Olympic has enjoyed playing the Academy this season: with eight goals scored, and none conceded in two encounters, they have taken the measure of the young team this season.
One player who particularly shone against the fifth best team in the league is Maddy Whittall, who has scored five times in these games. Nicole Begg’s troops have the recipe, they simply need to cook with the same ingredients.
West Canberra Wanderers and ANU WFC, the two teams at the bottom of the table, will battle to avoid the wooden spoon on Sunday at Wanderers Park. If the Wanderers are on three consecutive defeats, they are better off than the University team, who has lost their last seven games.
The last time the ANU got any points in the competition, it was against West Canberra. Coming back from a goal down, Edith Fordyce-Croker and Anna Chaverra responded and ended up giving their team the three points.
The first time the two teams met, Rob Illingworth’s team scored first, only for Lauren Hall to equalise and the two teams to split points. If history repeats itself, expect both teams to find the back of the net on Sunday, and maybe some very cautious celebrations from the coach whose team scores first.
Tuggeranong United will try to slow down Belconnen United at Kambah on Sunday, as well as recovering from the severe defeat conceded last week to Croatia. Paulo Romero’s team caused trouble to the Blue Devils last time they met, losing by the thinnest of margins after coming back from a goal down at McKellar. Talia Backhouse and her teammates are warned, despite Tuggeranong’s sixth spot at the table, of the task ahead.
Kambah was the background of this meeting in Round 5 too, and back then Tuggeranong could not resist the league leader, going down 1-6. Hattie Cram scored that day, her second goal in her new outfit. Now with 12 goals to her name, the winger has grown to be a constant threat, as are Bessie Riethmuller (13 goals) and Backhouse (10).
The game of the round will be played at Deakin between fourth place Canberra Croatia and third place Gungahlin United. The thriller will be all important, three days before first and second Belconnen and Olympic face each other.
The winner of the Deakin match-up will still be in the title race in a week, whereas the loser might wave goodbye to their hopes of silverware.
Advantage Croatia this season in this encounter so far: after an entertaining 2-2 at Deakin that saw Erika Pennyfield’s brace answering Brittany Palombi’s, the Deakin side had taken all three points at GEO, courtesy of two goals either side of the break by Bella Barac and Tatum Mazis. Two points ahead on the table, the Gunners have all intents to even things up in 2023.
Saturday 19 August
Canberra United Academy v Canberra Olympic
Sunday 20 August
West Canberra Wanderers v ANU WFC
Canberra Croatia v Gungahlin United
Tuggeranong United v Belconnen United
|5||Canberra United Academy||18||8||2||8||24||36||-12||26|
|8||West Canberra Wanderers||18||2||2||14||15||60||-45||8|
18 Brittany PALOMBI (Canberra Croatia)
13 Bessie RIETHMULLER (Belconnen United)
12 Hattie CRAM (Belconnen United)
10 Talia BACKHOUSE (Belconnen United), Tatum MAZIS (Canberra Croatia)
7 Isabella BARAC (Canberra Croatia), Olivia GURNEY (Canberra Olympic), Nicole JALOCHA (Canberra Olympic), Charli MITCHELL (Canberra Croatia), Ginger OLIVER (Gungahlin United), Darby WHITELEY (Gungahlin United)
6 Sharon CHAO (Gungahlin United), Tamara COCHRANE (Canberra United Academy), Michelle HEYMAN (Gungahlin United)
5 Keira BOBBIN (Belconnen United), Michaela THORNTON (Canberra Olympic), Madelyn WHITTALL (Canberra Olympic), Own GOALS
4 Jade BROWN (Gungahlin United), Tia BURRIDGE (Canberra Olympic), Maddison CACHIA (Canberra Olympic), Alyssa DI-CAMPLI (Canberra United Academy), Roxie SWART (ANU WFC), Pearl TEIN (Belconnen United), Samantha WOOD (Tuggeranong United)
3 Ella-Rose BROWN (Gungahlin United), Sofia CHRISTOPHERSON (Canberra United Academy), Rhiannon FENSOM (Canberra Croatia), Alyse JENSEN (West Canberra Wanderers), Erika PENNYFIELD (Gungahlin United), Nikita PERRY (West Canberra Wanderers/Canberra Croatia), Reilly YUEN (Belconnen United)
2 Elke AITOLU (Canberra Olympic), Cara CERUTI (West Canberra Wanderers), Alexandra COOK (Canberra Olympic), Rachael CORBETT (Gungahlin United), Lauren HALL (West Canberra Wanderers), Sheridan MCELLIGOTT (ANU WFC), Riley MCQUEENIE (Canberra United Academy), Peri NASH (Canberra United Academy), Alexandra NEALAND (Canberra United Academy), Rainey NILES (Tuggeranong United), Marija RATHOUSKI (Belconnen United), Madeleine STEINACKER (Belconnen United), Zoe TERRY (Tuggeranong United), Kate WALKER (West Canberra Wanderers), Sarah WHITFIELD (West Canberra Wanderers), Kayla WRIGHT (Gungahlin United)
1 Tehya ASPLAND (Canberra Olympic), Latisha BABIC (Canberra United Academy), Jamie BERKELEY (Canberra Croatia), Sienna BIRNIE (Canberra Croatia), Amy BONGIORNO (Canberra Croatia), Jaya BOWMAN (Canberra United Academy), Sofia CHAVERRA (ANU WFC), Natalie DE MARCO (Gungahlin United), Emma DOUGLAS-OLIVEIRA (ANU WFC), Edith FORDYCE-CROKER (ANU WFC), Charli GREGSON (Tuggeranong United), Isabella HINDMARSH (Belconnen United), Isabella HOPKINS (ANU WFC), Abby HURMAN (Tuggeranong United), Ashlyn LEWIS (Tuggeranong United), Sarah MATTHEWS (Tuggeranong United), Ailish MCDONAGH (ANU WFC), Maya OSMOND (Canberra United Academy), Madeleine PERCEVAL (Gungahlin United), Katrina PERIC (Canberra Olympic), Alina ROBERTS (Belconnen United), Vanessa RYAN (Canberra Olympic), Elisha WILD (Canberra United Academy), Juliet WILLIAMS (ANU WFC), Zoe WILLIAMS (Tuggeranong United), Kayla WRIGHT (Gungahlin United), Jasmine ZABEL (Canberra Olympic)