NPLW Team of the Week: Round 15

by Staff Writers 0

Graphics: Alesich Design

GK: Emily Shields (Bulleen Lions)
The Bulleen shot-stopper was in vintage form to deny a slew of Southern chances, ranging from reflex stops to dealing with Mikhaila Bowden’s free-kick prowess. She rode her luck at times, with a number of her saves tipped onto the post and out, but it was a thoroughly deserved clean sheet to help earn her side a point.

CB: Grace Abbey (Heidelberg United)
It was the tall timber at the back that helped Heidelberg United secure a point against Box Hill in a hard-fought fixture. Abbey was a standout, making a number of clearances off the line and putting herself in the mixer to win aerial duels. Complemented well by another player who also features in this round’s Team of the Week.

CB: Mia Lantieri-Bartley (Senior NTC)
It was a resolute defensive display from an NTC team that had fashioned just two clean sheets prior to Sunday’s twilight fixture against Bayside United. Lantieri-Bartley was at the centre of their defensive structure and played a big role in the 3-0 result.

CB: Lisa Fonua (Southern United)
Making her second Team of the Week appearance in a fortnight is the steely Fonua who kept Bulleen’s chances to a bare minimum. The defender was in good form against the Lions to help her side to a clean sheet.

LDM: Aimee Medwin (South Melbourne)
Thriving in a midfield role, Medwin didn’t let the setting at AAMI Park overawe her as she put in a commendable display in the win against Alamein FC. She did it all, from influencing the play in an attacking sense, to dropping back to cover for Alex Gummer at left back in a fluid display of football.

RDM: Tessa Sernio (Bulleen Lions)
The Bulleen skipper was a crucial cog in Bulleen’s defensive structure, seamlessly slotting back when required from her midfield role. She was kept on her feet to try and keep Southern’s dangerous attackers Candela Ferreyra Bas and Bec Saber as quiet as possible.

CM: Kristina Hall (Box Hill United)
Noted by some as the best-on-ground in the draw with Heidelberg, Hall is one of six midfielders in a stacked TOTW centre. The American covered Olympic Village on Saturday, before making her punditry debut in the FFV’s coverage of Alamein vs. South Melbourne on Sunday.

CM: Jess Au (Southern United)
The former Calder United creative force has fast adapted to life at her new surroundings, stringing together a series of solid performances for her new side. She was amongst the best once again for Southern in a midfield role and came close to scoring a deciding goal, but hit the post.

AM: Natalie Martineau (South Melbourne)
Last year, the Victorian top-flight heavily missed the spark that all-action Canadian Natalie Martineau offers. Her form with South this campaign has been testament to this as she helped her side win the midfield battle against Alamein FC. She grabbed the assist for the second goal with a good squaring ball for Caitlin Greiser.

AM: Enza Barilla (Calder United)
Barilla was at her industrious best as Calder fashioned a draw against Galaxy United on the weekend, with her drive and hard work preventing the opposition from influencing the game through the midfield. She won plenty of contested ball in the engine room and was purposeful with her use of the ball.

ST: Melina Ayres (South Melbourne)
Two goals for Ayres marked a return to the goalscoring form that carried South Melbourne to the heights of the NPLW at the beginning of the season, until she took a backseat with the introduction of Lisa De Vanna. It’s her first multiple haul in seven fixtures and puts her four goals clear atop the Golden Boot standings.


Bethany Mason-Jones (Calder United)
The second keeper spot came down to two strong performers to come out of the same fixture, pitting Galaxy’s Emily Kenshole against Calder’s Mason-Jones. It was the latter that gets the nod after a good all-round performance against top opposition, with her highlight a one-on-one save against Laura Spiranovic.

Stacey Papadopoulos (Calder United)
The second Calder player to feature on the TOTW bench, the dangerous fullback wasn’t afraid to attack her opposition fullback, taking the game on and winning a number of free-kicks in dangerous areas as a result of her supreme dribbling skills.

Rita Mankowska (Heidelberg United)
Alongside Abbey, Mankowska was noted for her composed performance at the heart of defence to repel Box Hill attacks. The skipper moved well laterally to cut off attacks from all directions and showed every bit of her experience in the game to marshall her side towards a result.

Liana Iaconis (Bulleen Lions)
The utility put in a strong showing in defence, and put her body on the line on multiple occasions minimise the work that Emily Shields had to do. Was ably supported by her midfielders, with the aforementioned Sernio putting in a shift, as did Eleni Fakos, who has been a quiet achiever in 2017.

Leia Varley (Senior NTC)
Like Lantieri-Bartley, Varley played a big role in keeping Bayside to nil. She beats out Sienna Fogarty for a spot on the bench, who was voted as Bayside’s Player of the Match.

Laura Spiranovic (Galaxy United)
While she didn’t get her name on the scoresheet, Spiranovic was Galaxy’s most threatening attacking threat in the draw with Calder. She used her physique and guile to cause headaches for the opposition defence and assisted Galaxy’s only goal with a nicely executed switch of play.