Canberra Olympic had a trap to avoid against Canberra United Academy, and did so with style, taking no prisoner at O’Connor Enclosed with a 5-0 success. It was the Maddy Whittall show on Sunday, only able to find the back of the net once before this match, the experienced striker scored four times against the Academy.
The home team picked apart their opponent in the first half, taking a four-goal lead in the space of 25 minutes. It started at the 13th minute, a long ball from Alexandra Cook surprised the Academy’s defence but not Whittall, who used her pace to find the back of the net.
Three minutes later, Elke Aitolu struck from distance with an outrageous hit, before Whittall scored her second on a half volley following a corner the defence could not clear. The striker’s first hattrick of the season was complete at the 38th minute, with an almost remake of her first goal, coming from the right side this time.
The Academy was understandably shaken, stripped of the confidence built on their success against the Gunners last week. Their woes would continue after the break. Seven minutes into the second act, Vanessa Ryan found Whittall with a low cross and scoring her team’s fifth goal.
Belconnen United were able to follow suit against Tuggeranong United at McKellar Park, in a much tighter game than anticipated, coming home 2-1. Already missing Keira Bobbin and Steffi Leijins, the Blue Devils were without their captain Talia Backhouse on Sunday.
If that was not enough, they also lost their interim captain Sophia Doumos less than ten minutes into the game, with an injury. The visitors did more than resist well, being dangerous on counter attacks, and made it to the locker room with a goalless encounter.
The solution came, as often for Belconnen United, from goal scoring machine Bessie Riethmuller four minutes into the second half. Served by Marija Rathouski in the box, the striker showed once again her ability to find an opening in small spaces. A twist, a turn, and her powerful left footed effort put her team ahead.
Her counterpart for Tuggeranong took notes, and six minutes later, imitated her to perfection. Following a cross from Charli Gregson, Abbey Hurman skilfully controlled the ball in the box, dribbled past her defender before putting the ball past former teammate Samantha Emms.
The celebrations were short-lived unfortunately for Paulo Romero’s players. At the hour mark, Hattie Cram’s pace proved the difference on the left wing. The forward crossed the ball too close to Amy Wiggan, but the keeper was only able to push it away, and the fastest to react was Pearl Tein, with a poacher’s goal that gave her team the lead, and the three points.
ANU WFC came from behind to get a result at home against the West Canberra Wanderers scoring twice in the second-half to win 2-1. Wanderers led a quarter of an hour in, a corner kick taken by Lauren Hall was cleared first by the ANU defence, then by Claire Joseph’s crossbar, but the quickest to the rebound was Kate Walker. For only the second time this season, West Canberra was ahead.
The goal was a just reward for the Wanderers, who had started the game on the front foot. They managed to keep their lead for the rest of the first half, keeping the University club at bay despite their best efforts. Rob Illingworth must then have found the right words.
A minute into the second act, Edith Fordyce-Croker finally equalized for the home team. Following a free kick taken by Sheridan McElligott, the midfielder pounced in front of Briggs to cut the trajectory of the ball and score her first goal of the season.
She was involved in her team’s second goal ten minutes later, forcing Demi Nikias to make a clumsy tackle in the box, and the referee to point the spot kick. Sofia Chaverra converted it, coolly placing her penalty in the middle of the goal.
Canberra Croatia put on a professional performance to see off Gungahlin United on their turf, the Gunners’ hope to bounce back after their defeat to the Academy last weekend were cut short at the 19th minute, on the way to a 2-0 defeat.
It was Bella Barac who would find the opener. A cross coming from the left found Tatum Mazis in the box, the forward selflessly serving Barac on a platter on the six-yard box line. Emily Kelly could not do a thing when the skilled striker found the roof of the net.
The Gunners tried to react but re-joined the locker room with the one goal deficit. The best opportunity for the home team came early in the second act, when Ginger Oliver faced Lincoln alone. The striker did everything right, staring at the keeper before opening her right foot, but unfortunately for her, the Liberty A-League goalkeeper got superb reflex save out of her bag of tricks to keep her team ahead.
The first minutes of Michelle Heyman this season with the Gunners brought a boost to her team, with Sharon Chao’s attempt inches over the crossbar. This was the moment picked by Canberra Croatia to seal the fate of this game. Brittany Palombi’s corner kick found Barac at the far post. Her volley was saved by Kelly, only for Mazis, barely onside, to finish from point blank range.
Sunday 25 June
Canberra Olympic 5 (Whittall 13’ 25’, 38’, 53’, Aitolu 18’) Canberra United Academy 0
ANU WFC 2 (Fordyce Croker 46’, Chaverra 54’ (p)) West Canberra Wanderers 1 (Walker 16’)
Gungahlin United 0 Canberra Croatia 2 (Barac 18’, Mazis 66’)
Belconnen United 2 (Riethmuller 50’, Tein 60’) Tuggeranong United 1 (Hurman 56’)
|5||Canberra United Academy||11||5||1||5||13||21||-8||16|
|7||West Canberra Wanderers||11||1||1||9||7||36||-29||4|
11 Bessie RIETHMULLER (Belconnen United)
8 Brittany PALOMBI (Canberra Croatia)
7 Tatum MAZIS (Canberra Croatia), Charli MITCHELL (Canberra Croatia)
6 Hattie CRAM (Belconnen United)
5 Talia BACKHOUSE (Belconnen United), Kiera BOBBIN (Belconnen United), Ginger OLIVER (Gungahlin United), Michaela THORNTON (Canberra Olympic), Madelyn WHITTALL (Canberra Olympic)
4 Maddison CACHIA (Canberra Olympic), Olivia GURNEY (Canberra Olympic), Nicole JALOCHA (Canberra Olympic), Roxie SWART (ANU WFC)
3 Isabella BARAC (Canberra Croatia), Tia BURRIDGE (Canberra Olympic), Sharon CHAO (Gungahlin United), Alyssa DI-CAMPLI (Canberra United Academy), Rhiannon FENSOM (Canberra Croatia), Erika PENNYFIELD (Gungahlin United), Darby WHITELEY (Gungahlin United)
2 Elke AITOLU (Canberra Olympic), Ella-Rose BROWN (Gungahlin United), Rachael CORBETT (Gungahlin United), Sheridan MCELLIGOTT (ANU WFC), Alexandra NEALAND (Canberra United Academy), Rainey NILES (Tuggeranong United), Nikita PERRY (West Canberra Wanderers), Marija RATHOUSKI (Belconnen United), Madeleine STEINACKER (Belconnen United), Pearl TEIN (Belconnen United), Kate WALKER (West Canberra Wanderers), Sarah WHITFIELD (West Canberra Wanderers), Reilly YUEN (Belconnen United)
1 Tehya ASPLAND (Canberra Olympic), Latisha BABIC (Canberra United Academy), Amy BONGIORNO (Canberra Croatia), Jaya BOWMAN (Canberra United Academy), Jade BROWN (Gungahlin United), Cara CERUTI (West Canberra Wanderers), Sofia CHAVERRA (ANU WFC), Sofia CHRISTOPHERSON (Canberra United Academy), Tamara COCHRANE (Canberra United Academy), Alexandra COOK (Canberra Olympic), Natalie DE MARCO (Gungahlin United), Emma DOUGLAS-OLIVEIRA (ANU WFC), Edith FORDYCE-CROKER (ANU WFC), Charli GREGSON (Tuggeranong United), Lauren HALL (West Canberra Wanderers), Isabella HINDMARSH (Belconnen United), Isabella HOPKINS (ANU WFC), Abby HURMAN (Tuggeranong United), Sarah MATTHEWS (Tuggeranong United), Riley MCQUEENIE (Canberra United Academy), 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), Samantha WOOD (Tuggeranong United), Jasmine ZABEL (Canberra Olympic), Own GOALS