NPLW Team of the Week: Round 13

by Staff Writers 0

Graphic: Alesich Design

GK: Emily Kenshole (Galaxy United)
The galaxy goalkeeper may only have been called upon twice with any real urgency, but her save from Holly Furphy’s shot with the game 0-0 showed Kenshole’s reflexes and technique. With Furphy rounding three defenders and baring down on a possible ‘Goal of the Year’ contender later in the first half, it was Kenshole again who saved the day with a one-on-one save in an against-the-odds scenario.

LB: Ashleigh Lefevre (Alamein FC)
While juggling the pressure of mid-week games to press her case for a return to the Young Matildas team, Lefevre remains an important part of the Alamein set-up on weekends. Tasked with marking Cortnee Vine on Sunday, the fullback rose to the occasion in style, starving her of the ball and taking the Heidelberg forward’s deadly pace out of the game.

CB: Lisa Fonua (Southern United)
Although she ended on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline, Fonua put in a highly commendable shift down back to keep dangerous duo Rachel Alonso and Cindy Lay quiet. It was just the third time this year in all competitions that Calder have been kept to a goal or less.

CB: Rachel Binning (Calder United)
In a game in which Southern’s defence looked a tough prospect to break, Calder had to ensure they remained tight at their end. Up stepped Binning with a best-on-ground performance to nullify the Southern defence and retain a clean sheet for her troubles. Controlled the game at ground level.

CB: Jess Tay (Galaxy United)
Fast finding herself a staple in our Team of the Week line-ups, Galaxy’s leader from the back Tay beats out a wealth of other defensive options to cement a spot in the team. Handled the technical, crafty game of the NTC to nearly marshal her side to a clean sheet, were it not for a late Kyra Cooney-Cross goal that came with the game already decided.

RB: Zoe Austen (Bulleen Lions)
In the battle for a berth at right back, it’s youngster Zoe Austen – on her starting debut – who earns her spot after playing the full 90 minutes in Bulleen’s first win in three fixtures. Noted for her role in shutting out Box Hill’s attacking outlets, Austen was one of the best performing defensive options on the park alongside Alex Natoli and Emma Littlewood.

CM: Michelle Verzi (South Melbourne)
Verzi’s experience reigned supreme in the midfield battle at Lakeside Stadium. The former Heidelberg United utility helped dictate proceedings for South in a deeper role, allowing Tiffany Eliadis freedom in a more advanced midfield role to create openings.

CM: Sarah Richardson (Heidelberg United)
In desperate need of fight in the middle of the park, Richardson has given Heidelberg the bite to make them an honest test for top four opposition. Fast becoming a fixture in Team of the Week, Richardson’s ongoing good form means the Bergers must be taken seriously by even the NPLW’s high fliers.

LW: Lisa De Vanna (South Melbourne)
With the scores delicately poised at 0-0 at half time in South Melbourne’s fixture against Bayside United, in came De Vanna to break the game open with a double. If there was to be one notable downside of the Matildas forward’s match-winning form, it’s the concern that South may be building a dependence on her ability to win games off her own boot.

ST: Laura Spiranovic (Galaxy United)
The third player to reach double figures on the NPLW scoring charts this season, Spiranovic showed her all-round threat to goal on Saturday. An assist for Whitney Knight was a display of her elite strength and skill, while her goal was a perfect long shot to seize upon the briefest window of opportunity.

RW: Amy Kane (Alamein FC)
While there were a number of noteworthy performers for Alamein FC that unfortunately didn’t make the cut this week – including the combative Anita Les and supersub Cristina Cardaci – Kane played a vital role as Alamein were able to break the Heidelberg net four times across the 90 minutes. Although she only featured for the best part of an hour, a goal was just rewards for the forward that has slowly pulled together a commendable season.


Christina Fonua (Southern United)
The former WPL Goalkeeper of the Year has been in fine form this campaign and it was another solid outing to help Southern restrict opponents Calder to just the one goal. Made some brave smothering saves and was only beaten from the spot. Even then, she was just fingertips away from denying MelindaJ Barbieri from 12 yards.

Stacey Papadopoulos (Calder United)
Papadopoulos has been quietly going about her business this season and has come close to Team of the Week honours on a number of occasions. Featuring as a bombing left back, there has been a good balance in wide areas for Calder this season with new signing Dani Gudelj complimenting her on the other defensive flank with their drive from defence.

Alex Gummer (South Melbourne)
The utility has made a left-back spot her own since making a long-awaited return from injury, but she was required to shuffle across into centre-half to replace Alex Cheal, providing vital experience in her absence. Marshalling a young defence, Gummer was exceptional in shutting out the Bayside attack and showed no sign of rust in a position we’d previously been accustomed to seeing her in from the WPL era.

Marianna Anthony (Alamein FC)
Combining with recent American import Allie Coleman, Anthony is continuing to grow under the responsibility of holding down a centre back role. Amy Marron, Amy Jackson and Jaimee Williams have all been tried in the middle, but Anthony’s recent performances suggest that the Dashers will be sticking with the steadily improving 19-year-old.

Annabel Martin (Galaxy United)
It was nearly the perfect outing for martin. On a clean sheet and with an assist to her name, the galaxy fullback had outpointed NTC tyro Kyra Cooney-Cross all the way to stoppage time. However, keeping Kyra quiet is a difficult task, and the winger’s goal in stoppage time edges Martin to the bench in this week’s team.

Leah Scroggie (South Melbourne)
The final defensive spot goes to right fullback Leah Scroggie who got a chance to prove her worth in the league after a number of solid performances in the cup. The youngster from Cairns played out her first ever 90 minutes in the NPLW in her second ever start as she formed a part of an incredibly young South Melbourne lineup that kept a clean sheet. Bayside’s Jamie Brown in the same fixture can consider herself unlucky to miss out after a strong outing at right back herself.

Alex Amore (Bulleen Lions)
If the Round 13 Team of the Week were to take to the field for a competitive fixture, plenty of responsibility would rest on the shoulders of Amore as the only attacking option on the bench. It was another bright display from the Bulleen forward who is slowly growing in stature in the NPLW.