Well, the dust has settled mostly for the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition with the bright sunshine of the second week on the horizon. Was the first week a fluke or is it a sign of things to come? We’ll find out this weekend. Match of the Round heads south-west to Marconi Stallions vs St George FC.
Match of the Round: Marconi Stallions vs St George FC, Sunday 15 March, 3pm, Marconi Stadium
Looking to build on their impressive opening weekend result, Marconi Stallions host St George FC on Sunday afternoon at The Palace.
Coming into the weekend and feeling just fine, Marconi got off to a winning start with their 8-nil thrashing of Southern Branch FC down in Nowra. St George FC’s off-season was extended an extra week after their washout against North Shore Mariners.
St George FC cooled the jets on their turnaround with the weather last weekend, but now, face a tough challenge headed to south-west Sydney to take down Marconi. They will need a big performance to register one of the biggest scalps of the early season.
Here come the Stallions. Coming into the season, wanting to stamp their mark, Marconi put eight past Southern Branch. Ceyda Cambaz started her season on the right foot with a brace and the balanced attack from Marconi want to make music again Sunday afternoon.
Nepean FC vs Southern Branch FC, Sunday 15 March, 3pm, Cook Park
Nepean FC aim to get right back on the horse against Southern Branch FC Sunday afternoon at their usual fortress Cook Park.
Both sides are coming off losses – Nepean FC were unable to break down UNSW FC and fell to a tense 1-nil loss while Southern Branch FC were tonked 8-nil by Marconi Stallions – so both are ready to get off the mark this season.
The nets at Nepean FC training will be well worn this week after coach Alan Tasses bemoaned their lack of finishing against the Students. It will be down to their main attackers Stefanie Trovato and Brittany Pelle to find the back of the net.
Southern Branch FC hope last week was an aberration with their defense torn apart by Marconi Stallions. Custodian and captain Kiara Rochaix will hopes for an easier afternoon with support from Meredith Cheyenne and Luella Boulton
Sutherland Shire FA vs North Shore Mariners, Sunday 15 March, 3pm, Harrie Denning Centre
Following a false start last weekend, North Shore Mariners head to Harrie Denning Centre to take on Sutherland Shire FA on Sunday afternoon.
Sutherland Shire FA continued to haunt Gladesville Ravens with a whirlwind 3-2 result against the Champions to open their account. Much like St George FC, North Shore Mariners were washed out in their new surroundings and ready to go again.
The home side were a well-oiled machine again in their victory. The link uo play between Jordan Baker and Morgan Maxwell powered the side and the energy of Ursula Bratjancsak on the wing has them set up well to take it to the former NPL1 side.
Barring any adverse weather jinxing by this writer, North Shore Mariners get underway this weekend. As stated in our season preview, they bring experience and plenty of firepower to the competition. Captain Gabe Marzano will lead her troops out on the weekend ready to take the points.
UNSW FC vs Gladesville Ravens, Sunday 15 March, 3pm, Seymour Shaw
UNSW FC welcome Gladesville Ravens to Seymour Shaw for their home opener at 3pm Sunday afternoon looking to continue to pass the early tests.
The Students were the story of the first weekend, defeating Nepean FC 1-nil which is a tough task out at Cook Park. Gladesville Ravens battled hard to draw level but fell to their nemesis Sutherland Shire FA, 3-2 in the Match of the Round.
Gladesville Ravens are the walking wounded headed into the season but the Champions have plenty of spirit which showed in their loss. Emily Diaz upfront is always a threat with her ability to bang goals from anywhere alongside bright cameos from Jamaica Marshall can register a win.
UNSW FC coach Steve Greenwood has been studious in his scouting of opponents this season, so the Students should be well prepared for Sunday afternoon. There is plenty of talent in the squad headed by goal scorer last weekend Darcey Read to make it two for two scalps.
Inter Lions vs SD Raiders FC, Sunday 15 March, 3pm, Valentine Sports Park #3
Roaring into the second week, a jubilant Inter Lions have their first home game against SD Raiders FC Sunday afternoon at Football Headquarters – Valentine Sports Park.
The Lions equaled their win tally from last season in one go after their comfortable 4-nil success against Western NSW FC in Mudgee. SD Raiders FC weren’t so ebullient after their 6-1 loss to Central Coast Mariners at Ernie Smith Reserve.
For a side that scored 14 goals all last year, Inter Lions fired home four in their first fixture. Brittany Duggan, Emily Fenn, Taylah Cooper and Tiarne Schumann found the back of the net and hope for a repeat dose this weekend.
SD Raiders FC are a hardy lot, their opening week loss won’t shake their confidence and the side will be ready to fight for the points. Both Sarah Mandile and Tara Baudana are good striking options and can get them off the duck egg.
Central Coast Mariners vs Western NSW FC, Sunday 15 March, 2:35pm, Pluim Park
It will be the best time to visit Pluim Park in the Autumn sun as Western NSW FC make the coastal trip to take on a goal-hungry Central Coast Mariners to round off the weekend.
Confidence is high on the coast after putting six goals past SD Raiders FC in their opening fixture. In contrast, Western NSW FC were unable to defend their home turf in a 4-nil loss to Inter Lions in the early fixture.
The Mariners set their standards high, and rose to those in their performance last Sunday afternoon. Phoenix Futsal star Iona Snape scored a brace alongside usual suspect Danielle Wise. Coach Dan Barrett has his side well drilled and Pluim Park will be a tough task for anyone this season.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)