Westfield W-League Recap: Perth And Western Sydney Notch Monumental Wins

[dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap] recap of the action in the Westfield W-League, featuring the back story to the games, the players who made the difference, team of the week, and a look ahead to the match ups you don’t want to miss from Rachael Caldwell.

The Games

Newcastle Jets 0 – 1 Sydney FC (Spencer 28’)

The Narrative: Sydney FC keeps on rolling and stays undefeated with a win against a Newcastle Jets side that has struggled to keep its record at the .500 mark so far this season. While Newcastle has shown itself to be a much-improved side over last year’s squad, they still can’t seem to post consistent results. The home side had plenty of chances to not only equalize but take the lead in this match but couldn’t find the finishing touch. One goal was enough for Sydney but they will need to find more than one source of offense as the season continues. Next up, Newcastle faces Western Sydney and Sydney meets fellow unbeaten Perth in one of the premier matches of the regular season. 

The Player: Jasmyne Spencer’s one-woman offensive show continues to work for Sydney FC this season. With the lone goal in this match Spencer has five goals in five matches and has extended her scoring streak to three straight games. While Spencer hasn’t had much help in the goal-scoring department so far, which could hurt Sydney in the long run, there certainly doesn’t seem to be any problems right now. Spencer doesn’t seem to be showing signs of stopping anytime soon as defenses are still struggling with her speed.

Worth A Shout: It’s been a while since a keeper got a shout out and Casey Dumont definitely deserves one for her performance this week. With only a one-goal cushion to work with, Dumont turned away a flurry of Newcastle attacks as they pushed for an equalizer in the second half. Dumont got a hard-earned shutout for her efforts, her third of the season.

Perth Glory 3 (Zadorsky 14’, Gill 61’ 80’) – 0 Canberra United

The Narrative: This was the biggest test of the season so far for Perth and they showed that their undefeated record is not a result of their less than intimidating schedule thus far. Hanging three goals on Canberra as well as earning the shutout is seriously impressive and this was Perth’s first win against Canberra in eleven tries. Unfortunately for Canberra, they hasn’t been able to earn wins against any of the top teams so far this season, falling to both Perth and Melbourne this year. Up next, Canberra will look to bounce back with a win against Adelaide and Perth has a date with unbeaten Sydney.

The Player: Unlike Canberra, Perth was able to finish the chances it created in the match and as usual Kate Gill was there finishing those chances. One goal was a penalty and they other was simply an insurance goal for Perth, but the brace put Gill at ten goals for the season. Let this player of the game award be a friendly reminder that Gill has only played five matches so far, and a two goal a game average is relatively ridiculous. Gill’s scoring streak sits at three games.

Worth A Shout Two goalkeeper shout outs for this week, as Mackenzie Arnold kept Canberra from converting any of its early chances in the match to hold onto the clean sheet, her first of the season. Keeping a squad with the likes of Michelle Heyman, Stephanie Ochs, and Ashleigh Sykes off the board is a feat in itself, and without her early saves this game could have been Perth’s first loss of the season.

Brisbane Roar 1 (Butt 45’) – 2 Western Sydney Wanderers (Beard 30’, Own Goal 55’)

The Narrative: Let’s all give Western Sydney a round of applause. Coming into this match on the heels of allowing ten second half goals last time out cannot be an easy task. Despite this, Western Sydney not only grabbed the first goal of the match but also managed to find a game-winner after Brisbane had come back and tied the match. Unfortunately for Brisbane, this loss is being dubbed by the media as one of the biggest upsets in the history of the league and their less than excellent season continues. Things could continue to go downhill when Brisbane plays Melbourne next week, as Western Sydney faces Newcastle.

The Player: Hannah Beard hasn’t had the most glamorous W-League experience in the two seasons I’ve had the opportunity to cover the league. It seems that Beard has seen some rough times on some less than stellar squads, but one thing remains the same: Beard is a hard-working player that will absolutely fight for 90 minutes. That was once again on display today, and Beard also put home a much-deserved goal for the Wanderers to give them their first win of the season. 

Worth A Shout: Michelle Carney notched the assist on Beard’s goal, and played an excellent game from start to finish. Carney’s been nothing but consistent for this struggling Wanderers squad this season, and as one of the veterans on a young team she’s no doubt a big part of their turnaround from last week’s 10-1 disaster loss to Perth. 

Melbourne Victory 4 (Nairn 29’, Jackson 60’ 86’ 89’) – 0 Adelaide United

The Narrative: Melbourne put on quite a display against Adelaide and walked away with three well-earned points. Melbourne has recovered nicely after falling to Newcastle to start the season and seems to be hitting their stride. The opposite could be said for Adelaide as they continue to sit at the bottom of the table as the only win-less team in the league. This isn’t the same defensively organized squad we saw last season, and Melbourne certainly showcased that with their offensive outburst. It won’t get any easier for Adelaide as it faces Canberra next, and Melbourne matches up with Brisbane. 

The Player: Amy Jackson’s goals weren’t exactly the prettiest, and when you compare them to Nairn’s goal, it’s just not even fair, but the forward was simply in the right place at the right time and never gave up on the play. Three goals in thirty minutes isn’t something to scoff at and Jackson earns player of the game not just for her well-poached goals but also for her hustle all game long. Considering how dominant Melbourne was in this match, its surprising Jackson didn’t have more.

Worth A Shout: Christine Nairn’s goal was absolutely worth watching on repeat for hours. I will neither confirm nor deny that I did this, but you definitely should do so (and in fact, you can click here for video of the goal). Nairn has fit in incredibly well with Melbourne in her first W-League season and if Jackson hadn’t exploded for three goals in this match she’d more than likely be the player of the game.

Team of the Week

Perth Glory

Perth earns my team of the week honors for the second week in a row as their win streak now sits at five in a row. The Glory has done away with any lingering questions about its defense with its excellent start to the season and has outscored opponents by a total of 20 to four. With its shutout win against Canberra this week, Perth looks like the favorite for not only the regular season title but to take home the grand finale at the end of the season. They still have to make it past fellow unbeaten Sydney FC but all signs point to success for Perth this season.

Next Week’s Game to Watch

Perth Glory vs Sydney FC

Next week the lone two unbeaten teams in the league are set to face off and certainly it won’t be a game to miss. After Perth’s off-season shopping it’s certainly not shocking it’s been as successful as they’ve been this season, with a wealth of attacking power. On the other hand Sydney’s success has been a bit surprising when considering all of its off-season losses, but they’ve continued to post positive results. The winner of this game will be considered the lead runner for this year’s grand finale and will have a sizable lead on the rest of the table.