Graphic: Alesich Design
Week two of the NPLW saw just two teams – Calder United and Galaxy United – retain their perfect record for the 2017 season, while Southern United and Alamein FC both kicked off their seasons with three points. The quartet are well represented in the NPLW Team of the Week for Round Two, which includes four players who made last week’s squad.
GK: Katie Neville (Heidelberg United)
The former Galaxy United stopper was on form but was unable to prevent South Melbourne from escaping with a 2-0 win. Little could be done about the two goals, but she did more than her fair share with a number of eye-catching saves; reflex stops off Tiffany Eliadis and a Melina Ayres header spring to mind. Her booming distribution will be an important weapon in the Bergers armoury.
LB: Anita Les (Alamein FC)
Given the unenviable task of matching up against the lightning speed of Lia Privitelli, fullback Les was able to effectively nullify her effect on the contest with a solid display on the left flank. Also provided good service with her set-pieces.
CB: Amy Marron (Alamein FC)
While the entire Alamein defence could have featured, it was their American Amy Marron who gets the nod for yet another assured display in the heart of defence. Brave and uncompromising, the Alamein captain gave Caitlin Friend and Brittany Dudley-Smith nothing for the night, with her 30-yard chase down and tackle on the latter one of her personal highlights.
CB: Rachel Binning (Calder United)
It was a solid all-round performance from Calder captain Binning, with the Melbourne City defender earning plaudits from those watching on. Was effective at both ends as she powered home a header from a set-piece to put Calder in front, while she also made an important goal-line block later on in the contest.
CB: Alex Cheal (South Melbourne)
Pitted up against Young Matilda Cortnee Vine, South Melbourne’s skipper was all over the Brisbane Roar forward like a fire blanket, such was the effectiveness of her performance. The contest was littered with tussles between the pair, of which Cheal won the large majority.
RB: Natasha Dakic (Southern United)
While we’ve become more accustomed to seeing Dakic as a centre half, the former NTC product shone in a fullback role against her former side, where she was offered the freedom to push forward and provide an overlapping option on the right. Also assisted her side in keeping their first clean sheet of the season.
CM: Emma Robers (Calder United)
A typically industrious performance from one of Calder’s new additions in 2017. The former Bayside United midfielder worked hard in tandem with her teammates in the engine room and showed her cutting edge with a delightful first half equaliser.
CM: Kristina Hall (Box Hill United)
Box Hill were unfortunate to come away from their match against reigning Premiers Calder United empty handed after a solid 90 minute performance. Central to this was Kristina Hall who put in a determined performance in the middle of the park, stringing together two standout performances to begin the NPLW season.
RF: Kariah White (Galaxy United)
A well-taken goal and assist for the winger marked a solid performance for White as Galaxy battled their way to a comfortable win at home. White broke the game open by suppling substitute Lulu Al-Huneidi with her team’s third goal, before rounding off the result with a cheeky nutmeg finish past Ingrid Phillipe in stoppage time.
ST:Rebecca Saber (Southern United)
Another bright performance from the Southern United forward who has adapted well to her new position on the park. Held the ball up well for her teammates and took her chance well when it came her way late on in the first half.
LF: Melina Ayres (South Melbourne)
While she may not have seen much of the ball, Ayres was deftly clinical to finish with a well-taken brace which gave South Melbourne a derby day victory. Although marred in controversy over a possible handball in the build up, she placed a tidy low into the bottom right for the opener, before dinking the ball over Neville for the second. Were it not for a miraculous save in injury time, Ayres would’ve walked away with the match ball.
Ingrid Phillipe (Bayside United)
Although she saw her goal ultimately breached four times, Phillipe was voted best on for Bayside in their heavy loss to Galaxy United. She helped her side provide a strong rearguard resistance for the majority of the contest before falling away late. She beats out Alamein’s Erin Hudson for a spot on the bench, who also had a solid outing.
Jaimee Williams (Alamein FC)
The third Alamein defender to make the squad, Williams earned a second consecutive start in the NPLW at her new club and is seemingly repaying the faith shown in her by coach Sinisa Cohadzic. Benefitted from having the experienced Marron alongside her and showed she wasn’t afraid to get stuck in with a number of stern tackles.
Mikhaila Bowden (Southern United)
On debut for Southern this weekend, American import Bowden put in a convincing performance from centre back. She was noted for her aerial expertise and her tidy distribution, helping Southern to just their second ever league clean sheet and a handy three points to boot.
Jess Tay (Galaxy United)
Tay becomes the sixth centre back to make the squad for Round Two. She was a standout performer in last week’s win over the Bergers and she continued her form with another commanding display in the 4-1 win over Bayside United. Her leadership has proven invaluable towards United’s strong start to the campaign.
Aneta Komijat (Galaxy United)
The versatile Komijat was deployed as both a defender and a midfielder in Galaxy’s big win over Bayside United. Was one of her side’s hardest workers and covered a lot of ground.
Melanie Camilleri (Box Hill United)
The former FFV Gold Medalist looks to be approaching her best form once again after another solid performance for Box Hill. The powerful striker put in an early bid for Goal of the Year with her 35-yard screamer catching Calder keeper Shanel Camilleri off guard.
Cindy Lay (Calder United)
Deployed as a nine, Lay mightn’t have gotten on the scoresheet herself, but it was her work as the creative lynchpin that earns her a spot in the Team of the Week. Her ability to link up the play to help bring her teammates into the game was invaluable in a closely-fought contest.