Hills United FC made their way through to the Football NSW League One Women’s Grand Final after their semi final win while we await who will join them between UNSW FC vs St George FC as the match was abandoned due to an injury sustained by a player.
Let’s get onto the review.
Match of the Round: Central Coast Mariners vs Hills United FC
Hills United FC booked their spot in the Grand Final after their penalty shootout win over Central Coast Mariners at Valentine Sports Park on Saturday afternoon.
Central Coast Mariners put themselves in a strong position to advance after Shai Cooney-Cross scored in the 24th minute before they were pegged back late on. Extra time couldn’t decide a winner so the shootout was needed. Mariners were beaten 3-2 in the shootout with Kaya Hawkinson and Keira Bainsfair both slotted their kicks.
For Hills United FC, it was a resilient performance. It was substitute Kaylie Shannon who equalised in the 85th minute which sent us to extra time at 1-1. Imogen Lane, Juri Hiragawara and Aisling Davidson all scored their penalties while Sarah Easthope’s crucial save saw them through to the Grand Final.
Both Central Coast Mariners and Hills United FC walked onto Valentine Sports Park aiming to be the first side to book their spot in the League One Women’s Grand Final.
It was the Mariners who settled first. Their top scorer Chloe Smith wriggled wide of her marker and shot straight at Hills United FC keeper Sarah Easthope.
Hills United FC responded with a slick team move. Isabella Sciberras cut the ball back to Ellen Berios who fizzed the effort wide of the post.
The Mariners took the lead in the 24th minute. Savannah Murray strode forward and whipped in a cross which Shai Cooney-Cross turned home for 1-0.
They tried to double their delight after the half hour mark. Kaya Hawkinson sent in the cross which defender Sara Piriz volleyed wide.
Hills United FC went close to equalising before the break. Sciberras intercepted a pass and roamed forward before her shot went straight to Central Coast Mariners keeper Kiara Fontanilla.
Coming out of the break, Hills United FC felt just fine. Berios fired wide from a corner then Sciberras had a one-on-one saved by Fontanilla.
As the temperature cooled down, the action heated up in this semi final. Aisling Davidson had a pair of long-range shots taken well by Fontanilla.
Hills United FC found an equaliser in the 85th minute. Bianca Galayini sent substitute Kaylie Shannon through on goal and she found the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-1.
Neither team could find a late winner and the game was off to extra time. Mariners rung the changes to get some fresh legs on the park.
The Mariners had the first chance in extra time. Captain Kaitlin Murphy broke through the defence but her shot went past the left post.
Shannon almost was the hero again for Hills United FC. She made a mazy run into the box but this time her shot was saved by Fontanilla.
After a pulsating 120 minutes of football, it went to a shootout. Hills United FC triumphed after Sarah Easthope denied Kaitlin Murphy from the spot and sent them into the Grand Final.
Saturday 9 September 2023
Valentine Sports Park #2
Referee: Siobhan Gregory
Assistant Referees: Thomas Dale & Stephanie Hilton
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Cooney-Cross ‘24)
Hills United FC 1 (Shannon ‘85)
Central Coast Mariners: 2. Brianna Myers (8. Natalie Davis ‘90), 3. Sara Piriz, 5. Savannah Murphy, 7. Kaitlin Murphy, 9. Kiera Bainsfair, 11. Chloe Smith (17. Derrelle Avery ‘68), 12. Kaya Hawkinson, 15. Rachel Glendenning, 16. Leisel Collins, 19. Shai Cooney-Cross, 20. Kiara Fontanilla
Unused subs: 1. Kyara O’Brien, 6. Jordan Drysdale, 13. Mia Cook
Yellow cards: Myers ‘85
Red cards: nil
Hills United FC: 1. Sarah Easthope, 2. Emma Jackson, 3. Aisling Davidson,4. Leah Tallon, 5. Shailee Bartle (17. Chantelle Trovato ‘72), 9. Imogen Lane, 10. Bianca Galayini, 11. Isabella Sciberras, 14. Ellen Berios (12. Kaylie Shannon ‘72), 15. Cassandra Wheeler, 40. Juri Hiragawara
Unused subs: 16. Bridget Brien, 20. Maddison Edmonds, 22. Zoe Wilson, 31. Ashleigh Heuston-Richardson
Yellow cards: Wheeler ‘81
Red cards: nil
UNSW FC vs St George FC
Premiers UNSW FC and St George FC were locked at 1-1 until the game was abandoned in injury time at The Village Green on Sunday afternoon.
UNSW FC and St George FC strode onto The Village Green looking to complete our Grand Final picture on Sunday afternoon.
The students were on top early in the contest. They had a few half chances before Amanda Levaskevich strode through and crashed a shot against the post.
They continued to pile on the pressure. Margaux Montegut whipped in a free kick on the left which went high and wide.
St George FC held firm and had their first chance in the 19th minute. Kyla Vanderlaan latched onto a cutback and drove one low right at UNSW FC custodian Tiahna Robertson.
The first half was a tight encounter and chances were at a premium. Hayley Marshall lofted in a free kick which found a head but didn’t trouble St George FC keeper Alexandra Hinson.
Late in the half, Montegut and Hannah Beard worked a free kick routine which didn’t amount to a chance as the two teams headed into the break at 0-0.
UNSW FC were quick to challenge in the second half. Levaskevich had an effort crash against the left post before it was swept away.
The students took the lead in the 55th minute. Substitute Hannah Charak turned well before she placed it into the bottom corner for 1-0.
St George FC hit right back to make it 1-1. Morgan Maxwell was on the end of a cushioned pass and finished well in the 58th minute.
Things turned in the game when UNSW FC striker Levaskevich was shown a straight red for a challenge on Hinson who was later substituted for Amy Orphanides.
The substitute keeper was called into action in the 81st minute. Orphanides had to leap high to capture a floating ball which was recycled from a free kick.
It was an anxious end to regular time for both teams. St George FC substitute Mary Moyo was inches away from latching onto a free kick to win the game.
The game was abandoned during stoppage time due to an injury to a UNSW FC player with Football NSW to announce more details on this shortly.
UNSW FC v St George FC Update
The semi-final League One Women’s match between UNSW FC v St George FC will take shape on Tuesday 12th of September at The Village Green with kick-off scheduled for 7:45pm.
The match will recommence from the 93rd minute with 3 minutes of injury time remaining. This was the point at which the match was interrupted and stopped due to injury.
The score is 1-1, if scores are level at full time, the match will proceed to extra time and a penalty shoot-out if scores are level at full time of extra time.
Sunday 10 September 2023
The Village Green
Referee: Lara Hogan
Assistant Referees: Haeun Kim & Gabriella Arcidiacono
UNSW FC 1 (Charak ‘54)
St George FC 1 (Maxwell ‘57)
UNSW FC: 1. Tiahna Robertson, 2. Sara Ferris (6. Miranda Summersby-Mitchell ‘90+2), 7. Amanda Levaskevich, 8. Sonja Murphy, 9. Hayley Marshall (10. Hannah Charak ‘45), 11. Marcella Santos, 14. Jess Mullins, 16. Rachelle Wang (30. Taylor Galea ‘60), 20. Cassandra Christopher, 22. Hannah Beard, 33. Margaux Montegut
Yellow cards: Ferris ‘87, Galea ‘89
Red cards: Levaskevich ‘60
St George FC: 1. Alexandra Hinson (21. Amy Orphanides ‘73), 2. Joanna Minas, 3. Kate Dale, 4. Nicole Besz, 10. Morgan Maxwell (8. Abbey-Rose Cryer ‘82), 11. Kyla Vanderlaan, 16. Emma-Jane Winston (19. Mary Moyo ‘74), 18. Jaslyn Moore (15. Genevieve Russo ‘82), 20. Caitlin Campbell, 23. Maddison Farmer (9. Jordan Baker ‘45), 40. Jasmine Limon
Unused subs: 32. Miranda Myles
Yellow cards: Cryer ‘87
Red cards: nil
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)