UNI SURGE PAST UNITED TO MOVE TOP
University moved into top spot in the Grange Women’s Division 1 competition thanks to a comprehensive 4-0 win over Wollongong United at Ian McLennan Park on Sunday night.
The students got out to the best start possible, scoring through Rhianna Brown in just the 5th minute after her free-kick bundled into the back of the net off several bodies.
University almost doubled their lead just two minutes later but United were able to scramble clear off the line following a corner.
Wollongong United’s first real chance of the game came through former University forward Kristen Gorgieski when she ran through on goal in the 13th minute. With the ball skidding away from her, the cutback looking for a teammate was blocked and the students were able to clear.
University Captain Elise Battin threatened in attack and her strike in the 16th minute rebounded off the post. Then just three minutes later, Lisa Prior tried the spectacular when her bicycle kick attempt was tipped over the bar by an acrobatic save from United goalkeeper Aaliyah Sigabalavu.
In the 38th minute, University grabbed their second when Zoe Kalos got onto the end of a deflected pass from Battin to finish across her body into the far bottom corner.
It almost went from bad to worse for United when a poor goal-kick fell to Lisa Tolson but her effort from range was saved by Sigabalavu.
The second half was quite like the first with University dominating the ball and field position.
This opened up the game and in the 57th minute Lucy Crighton thought she had University’s third but her shot rebounded off the post to go out for a goal kick.
University’s third eventually came when Prior’s deep free-kick bounced in an awkward spot for Sigabalavu, forcing a stop out of the goalkeeper. The ball then fell to Tolson on the six-yard box for an easy tap-in to put the students up by three.
United didn’t offer too much in attack in the second half with their only chance coming through Gorgieski again when she ran through one-on-one. A heavy touched forced the ball away from her feet and Hannah Farrugia was able to rush out and save.
The game was then put beyond doubt in the 74th minute when a bouncing ball was finished off by Kalos again, with her volleyed shot found the bottom corner.
It was smooth sailing from there for University as they push past Albion Park at the top of the competition table with the 4-0 win over Wollongong United.
Despite the win, University head-coach Brod Crighton rued some missed opportunities throughout his sides attacking third.
“The girls played well. Just a little bit worrying for other teams if we get it right in the final third, a lot of the balls run away to the keeper, a lot of the balls through the middle as well. We just have to get the weight on our passes right and once we get that right we’re going to score a lot more goals,” Mr Crighton said.
“We stick to our game-plan each week, we push the ball around and make sure we’ve got options by keep moving off the ball and if we keep doing that we work our way up the park,” he added.
The win for the students sets up a top of the table clash next Sunday August 16 against second placed Albion Park who suffered their first defeat of the season to Woonona.
As for Wollongong United, they still sit in third spot on the ladder. They face newcomers Warilla at Macedonia Park next Sunday.
University FC 4 (Brown 5’, Kalos 38’ 74’, Tolson 63’)
Wollongong United 0
University FC: 1. FARRUGIA Hannah, 2. BROWN Rhianna, 4. POLHILL Pimwadee, 5. KALOS Zoe, 7. BATTIN Elise, 8. KLENKA Jinneecka, 9. PRIOR Lisa, 10. PAGE Chantal, 11. STEWART Kya, 12. HEDDITCH Annalise, 14. CLARK Lilliana, 15. MORRELL Amy, 16. CARTER Lexi, 18. CRIGHTON Lucy, 19. NIELSEN Bethany. 21. TOLSON Lisa.
Wollongong United: 1. SIGABALAVU Aaliyah, 2. WAGNER Rilee, 4. PRESTON Cassandra, 5. SHARROCK Tanika, 6. POPVIC Dajana, 7. CALDERON Veronica, 8. JOVANOVSKI Jada, 9. SOLEVSKA Crystal, 10. BARRAZA Cristina, 11. GORGIESKI Kristen, 13. MCKENZIE Teisha, 14. WARDLE Rikki-Lee, 15. SANDS Brittany, 17. FIELD Maya, 18. BARRAZA Angelica, 19. PETKOVSKA Cassandra.
Interchange rule applied
Date: 9 August 2020
Venue: Ian McLennan Park
Referee: Graheme Charker
Assistant Referees: Club
Report by Nathan Turner, on Twitter @nathanturner23_
Photo courtesy of Richie Wagner