Round 12 Match Review
Round 12 saw us face the FFSA NTC side at the VALO Football Centre on Tuesday night.
The match started off with end to end play as both sides looked to go ahead early, with Chrissy Panagaris having the first shot on goal of the game just 4 minutes in, however it was hit straight at NTC goalkeeper Evelyn Goldsmith.
However as the game settled down, it became a real midfield battle, with neither side able to create any clear cut chances on goal.
Kelsey Zafiridis made a darting run through midfield in the 27th minute and was brought down inside the penalty area, with referee Garry Powers pointing to the spot with no hesitation.
Panagaris stepped up and dispatched the spot kick into the bottom left corner with power to put MUWFC up 1-0 with her 15th goal of the season to extend her lead at the top of the WNPL Golden Boot standings.
Just 8 minutes later and Stella Rigon, who had recovered from an ankle injury sustained in last Friday night’s game against Fulham, delivered a pinpoint inswinging corner and found the head of Lauren Steer, who expertly steered the ball into the back of the net, to score her first WNPL since returning from injury to make the score 2-0.
Half Time came around and coach Marie Spagnoletti was pleased with her sides first half effort, but wanted more, and made some small tactical changes, while NTC made 3 of their 4 substitutions in a bid to get back into the game.
The 2nd half began with MUWFC pressing the NTC side very high, forcing the young defenders into error after error, which very nearly materialised into a goal in the 55th minute, when the ever-dangerous Rigon whipped what can only be described as a delicious ball into the box from the left, which NTC reserve Goalkeeper Erin Murphy spilt inside the 6 yard box, however Panagaris’ toepoke somehow managed to go over the crossbar.
Only 3 minutes later and the pressure paid off, with an inswinging Shelly Kuhar corner resulting in a goalmouth scramble and Captain Ebony Kyriacou managed to get a toe in and poke the ball into the back of the net and score her 2nd goal in 4 days, and take back bragging rights over Lauren Steer and Nicole Calder in a private scoring battle between defenders.
The following 15 minutes saw Spagnoletti make all 4 substitutions, with Steer, Rigon, Panagaris and Kristy Moore all taking their leave, with Nicole Calder, Chanel Todino, Elle Pirintzis and Roxy Dodd all getting 20+ minutes of game time.
The forward pressure continued as we looked for a 4th goal, and it very nearly came in the 82nd minute when Roxy Dodd played a perfectly weighted through ball for Kelsey Zafiridis, however her shot flew just over the crossbar.
It wasn’t until the 84th minute when MUWFC custodian Kelly Barltrop was forced into her first meaningful save of the night, when NTC broke through down the right and a decent shot across goal drew a good low diving save from Barltrop, who was forced to concede the corner.
With stoppage time approaching, the pressure finally forced a 4th goal, with Rachael Quigley gathering the ball in an attacking position, beating her defender and slotting the ball past the keeper with a delightful shot across goal.
Coach Marie Spagnoletti was extremely pleased with her teams performance, and the 2nd half was a truly dominant performance, as this team looks like they’re hitting peak form as we come into a tough 3 weeks ahead with Salisbury Inter next Friday, followed by Adelaide City (Cup Quarter Final) and West Adelaide.
WNPL Round 12
MUWFC 4 (C. Panagaris 28′), (L. Steer 36′), (E. Kyriacou 58′), (R. Quigley 90′)
FFSA NTC 0
VALO Football Centre