The dust has settled for the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens season.
Premiers APIA Leichhardt Tigers have been crowned and know the four teams they’ll take on in the finals series.
Otherwise, Round 22 delivered some exciting contests which rounded off a fantastic season. Let’s get onto the review!
Match of the Round: Gladesville Ravens 0 defeated by Sutherland Shire FA 1
In a dress rehearsal for their semi-final clash next weekend, Sutherland Shire FA snatched second spot in a tense 1-nil result against Gladesville Ravens this afternoon at Christie Park.
Sutherland Shire FA had to survive a late barrage from the home side but Ursula Bratjanscak’s 56th minute tap-in from Jordan Baker’s free-kick was enough for the three points. That confirms them hosting the fixture next weekend and due reward for what was a wonderful first season back in National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition.
The Ravens will lick their wounds tonight. The game played out in a similar fashion to their Round 11 meeting where Gladesville Ravens dominated possession but failed to get on the scoresheet. A maiden finals appearance is wonderful consolation for the side as they see where they can finish up the crucible of finals football.
On a blustery day in the north west, the two sides resembled heavyweight boxers as they sized each other up in the midfields. The best chance fell to Lauren Kendall for Sutherland Shire FA who shot over the bar.
From there, Gladesville Ravens started to find their jab. Emily Diaz won the ball well in midfield before the ball found it’s way to Kasia Wojtowicz in the area. The striker bent her effort wide of the post as the crowd started to find it’s voice.
Next Carlie Ikonomou fired an effort over the bar followed by Diaz, Ravens top scorer this season only could find the side netting despite some of the crowd thinking it had found the back of the net.
Sutherland Shire FA might have been on the backfoot but there was the pace of Jordan Baker which presented a constant threat. She outpaced a Ravens defender to burst into the box and test home keeper Eri Arikawa with a fierce shot.
The chances continued to pile up for Gladesville Ravens. Wojtowicz rampaged down the right to cut the ball back for Zoe Zaczek. Her shot was cleared for a corner that Sutherland Shire FA cleared as they scratched to keep the game at nil-all.
Gladesville Ravens tried their hand from the set piece next. Ikonomou placed a corner right onto the head of Schiraldi whose effort struck the bar then the follow up was swept away by the Sutherland Shire FA defense as the game headed to the break scoreless.
Starting the second half brighter, Sutherland Shire FA broke the deadlock from the set piece. A hush fell over Christie Park as Baker stood over the free-kick. Her effort was direct and fumbled by Ravens keeper Arikawa then Ursula Bratjanscak swept home for 1-nil Sutherland Shire FA.
Bratjanscak tried to repeat the dose on the hour mark. She responded quickest to a knockdown in the box but flayed her effort wide. Sutherland Shire FA had half an hour to hold onto the scoreline to lock up second position.
In the last 30 minutes, much of the play was directed at the Sutherland Shire FA goal. Ikonomou tried her luck from a set piece which bent around the wall but also wide of the post as frustration grew amongst the Ravens faithful.
Twice in the final ten minutes, the ball fell to Ravens sharpshooter Diaz in the box but the striker who has 22 goals this season was unable to find the back of the net. Both her efforts whistled wide of the left post as Ravens fell to a tense 1-nil defeat today.
Speaking afterwards Sutherland Shire FA technical director Jon Long praised
“It was good for the girls to come second. It is a very young team and we knew how they were going to play with how they find the ball to their striker. Next weekend will be a similar game so we know what to expect in the semi-finals.” said Long.
For Gladesvile Ravens coach Albert Disciascio was disappointed to lose this afternoon but remained positive as the side move into the post-season:
“I think we had a fantastic first half but were short of a goal today. We were ready for this contest throughout the week with our training and I think we’re just missing the goal tonight. It is fantastic for the club to make the finals and let’s see how far we can go.” said Disciascio.
Sunday 4th August 2019
Christie Park, Marsfield
Referee: A. Drummond
Assistant Referees: Pale Poxton & Charli Callan
Gladesville Ravens 0
Sutherland Shire FA 1 (Bratjanscak ‘56)
Gladesville Ravens: 1. ARIKAWA Eri, 2. TAYLOR Eloise, 3. SMITH Ashleigh, 5. FISHER Alana, 6. IKONOMOU Carlie, 7. DIAZ Emily, 8. ZACZEK Zoe, 9. SCHIRALDI Annalise, 10. KASHIMA Yume, 11. WOJTOWICZ Kasia, 23. GESTIER Hannah (4. LIDBETTER ‘86)
Unused subs: 14. KINCHINGTON Annabelle, 19. GOLDSMITH Chloe, 24. SEETO Anja
Yellow cards: Diaz
Red cards: nil
Sutherland Shire FA: 1. RYAN Hannah, 2. NISBET Genevieve, 5. MAXWELL Morgan, 6. CHRISTIE Brittany, 8. BESZ Nicole, 9. BAKER Jordan, 11. FARMER Maddison (3. MANOS ‘24), 12. KENDALL Lauren (4. HUTTON ‘79), 19. YEATS Zoe, 22, BRATJANSCAK Ursula, 27. GEORGIEVSKI Isobella
Unused subs: 16. CODMANI Iman, 29. HART Zoe, 38. CODMANI Janan
Yellow cards: Bratjankscak
Red cards: nil
Western NSW Mariners 0 defeated by APIA Leichhardt Tigers 6
APIA Leichhardt Tigers were crowned Premiers in the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition with a professional 6-nil demolition against Western NSW Mariners.
It was sealed in emphatic style by APIA as they picked up two pieces of silverware tonight. First was the Premiership that was secured off a remarkable 21-game winning streak. Ashleigh Palombi was confirmed golden boot with four goals.
Fitting that her strike partner Georgia Bridges found the back of the net herself that helped her to 23 goals in her maiden season in NPL2NSW Womens. Defender Jennifer Bennett added the sixth goal in what coach Matt Constantini labelled a “professional performance under tough conditions. Plenty of players stepped up to help us be crowned Premiers.”
Western NSW Mariners started the season brightly and briefly sat in the top five. From there, injuries and results cruelled their season which ended with four straight defeats. That allowed them to end up in ninth position for a solid season.
SD Raiders FC 1 defeated by Nepean FC 2
Nepean FC locked into fourth spot, finished their regular season schedule with a 2-1 success against a stubborn SD Raiders FC side today at Ernie Smith Reserve.
Once again, Nepean FC coach Alan Tasses praised the contest as good preparation for their upcoming elimination final against Central Coast Mariners. Stefanie Trovato got both goals for the visiting side in a rampaging first half that helped secure their 15th win of the year.
SD Raiders FC fired back in the second half. Kate Mateffy clawed the score line back to 2-1 with a well-taken penalty to collect her third goal of the season. That concludes what has been a rollercoaster season for SD Raiders FC with a seventh-place finish.
Their coach Terry Gray remained positive with his post-match comments as he beamed with pride regarding how his side “battled hard despite being the walking wounded today. It has me positive and looking forward to next season.” finished the SD Raiders FC coach.
Central Coast Mariners 0 defeated by UNSW FC 2
There was one final big scalp in the season, UNSW FC moved themselves into eighth position after a 2-nil success against Central Coast Mariners today at Pluim Park.
This was the result that UNSW FC coach Alex Nolan had promised was coming for his side. They had battled hard against top five sides without points which changed in the final contest Left back Miranda Summersby-Mitchell scored in the first half to hand them a 1-nil advantage.
Amy Altman doubled their advantage in the second half with a wonderful strike that handed them their fifth win of the season and a solid mid-table finish in eighth. Nolan saw the result and their second half as “good building blocks for next season. Everyone has engaged with the style we want and gained so much confidence.” he said.
For Central Coast Mariners, today was a minor blip as the yellow-and-navy side had confirmed their finals spot last weekend. Coach Dan Barrett will prime his side for their Elimination Final bout against Nepean FC next weekend.
Southern Branch FC 0 defeated by Marconi Stallions 4
The Marconi Stallions went down to Nowra and head back up the highway with a 4-nil victory against Southern Branch FC today at South Nowra Football Complex.
Having had their finals chances extinguished last weekend, Marconi ended their second consecutive season in National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens on a high. The visitors scored in the first half through Jasemin Courtenay.
It finished what has been a fruitful first season for Courtenay in Stallions colours. She found the back of the net 26 times to finish fourth on the Golden boot standings. Jessica Beale chipped in with a pair of goals in a second half glut alongside Demelza Howard to round off the 4-nil result.
Whilst they will be disappointed to miss the finals again, Marconi Stallions did improve their finish on last season, moving up two spots into sixth. I’m sure their target for next season will be to break through into the top five.
St George FC 2 drew with Inter Lions 2
Both St George FC and Inter Lions ended their season on a positive note with a pulsating 2-2 draw to share the points this afternoon at St George Stadium.
Inter Lions after a dismal season gave themselves the perfect start as Kaitlin Harms scored the only goal in the first half to take a 1-nil lead into the sheds. St George FC hit back through Antonio Sarikakis to make it 1-1 in the second half.
From there, both Emily Finn for Inter Lions and Yadira Renfigo for St George FC found the back of the net as the sides heard the final whistle sound for the end of their season, and shared the points. Something for both sides to use to build upon for next year’s campaign to be a brighter one.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)