WSL2 Report by Torben Fink-Jensen
Winter player stocks are looking healthy as, despite having Katie returning from holiday, and Mietta just leaving for a holiday, we thought we might have more than 13 players ready to play. Instead, with Danni and Emily otherwise engaged, but with new recruit Anathasia (Sia) joining us from NSW, we had 12 available. Lara stood up to take over from Katie in goals. This allowed us to essentially swap almost the whole team over once or twice a quarter. After last week's game where we had some challenges implementing our playing approach, this week the players gelled fairly well, which was necessary against a Monash team that had a strong win last week against Richmond Tigers. As seems to be the way, we started strongly and a great team pass from LisaAndo gave Alex a free shot on goal and she scored from a narrow angle. Denise ended up on the right wing with a good pass and managed to slide the ball into the net from a narrow angle at the base of the goal - her first goal! We continued to press before Sarah found some room and was able to lob in from close range making it 3-0. Monash were then able to quickly push back to 3-3, with and Ash preventing a 4th with a strong swim on defence. We started solidly again in the 2nd quarter with Denise finding space and able to shoot home. After that we hit the woodwork a couple of times but weren't able to get much going. Lara made some great saves but Monash still managed two goals to go 4-5 up. We turned the tables in the third as we managed a number of attacks forcing kickouts. A penalty to Phoebe and then another to Alex gave us some good scoreboard pressure. Sia was working hard on defence and giving some good assists including one to Olivia who spotted a gap and shot from range to give us a 3rd for the quarter. Sarah and LisaAndo were bringing aggression to CF and CB as we slowly used our numerical advantage to our benefit. Monash had some strong shooters which gave them the option of drawing our 2nd defender away from their CF, and either shooting or passing into CF. Lara again kept a few goals out at the other end but the quarter ended at 7-7. The 4th was a forward and backward affair as the goals flowed for both sides. Monash were drawing penalties to prevent our drivers scoring, which allowed Alex to notch 2 more goals, and about halfway through, one of their players fouled out. Even though we were 10-8 up, Monash continued to hit the net corners to bring it back to 10-10 with 2 minutes to go. The last 2 minutes gave both teams a goal, and then with 30 seconds left, their goalie came out in the field to try and give them a one player advantage, but we managed a turnover with 10 secs to go and with Alex sprinting down the field, she managed a shot at an open goal from 10m which took an eternity to drift across the line for a last gasp 12-11 win. It felt like a good reward for the team working hard to build synergy, and with Alex delivering 4 goals in the last quarter, she took her tally to 6 in total.
Essendon defeated Monash : 12 – 11
Goals : Alex 6, Olivia 2, Denise 2, Phoebe 1, Sarah 1
BELOW : WSL2 Game Night Photos (courtesy of Torben Fink-Jensen) - see more on our FB page
WSL3 Report by Lisa Murray-Segal
The girls had a scheduled bye this week, following Melbourne Unversity's withdrawal from the WSL3 grade, dropping the enlisted teams down to just 5. It now means they are only guaranteed 4 games this comp, with a 5th game (finals) on offer only for the top 4 sides... so there's some incentive! Their next game will see them play Monash, who finished the Summer State League in 3rd place - but are currently ladder leaders.... a tough one!
MSL5 Report by Lisa Murray-Segal
The men find themselves in a hauntingly similar position to the WSL3 team. A scheduled bye this week and only 5 teams in the comp. They too will face Monash next week who may have finished the Summer comp in 5th place, but are the current ladder leaders!