Armadale Holds Strong After a Tough Loss
The Armadale Women’s State team played a tough match against ECU last Sunday. A 3–0 loss didn’t quite do the team justice considering the hard work put in by the squad. With no shortage of talent or pressure on the field, Army did not give away the win easily. ECU were able to get their advantage in quick, scoring the first goal with an unexpected lob outside the penalty box in the 13th minute.
The pressure on the field was neck and neck from the get-go, with ECU kicking off only 1 point and 1 place ahead of Armadale on the leader board, now resting 4 points and 2 places ahead of Armadale.
A big nod goes out to the backline, with star defenders Beth O’ Gorman, Amy Clark, Coreena Whyte, Suzy Clark and Sharon Clarke who held strong against the opposition. Suzy was able to win every leg race against ECU, with all three unlucky goals getting in from a generous distance far from the nets. Goal-keeper Cynthia Kuman was well-protected from Army’s tight backline, nevertheless the talented keeper kept on saving goal-after goal as the opposition set up some tough attacking plays.
Suzy Clarke, holding the backline
Defensive duo Suzy and Sharon were able to handle most of the oncoming pressure, allowing for left-defender Amy to move the ball through with confidence. Mid-fielder Hannah Blackman was on the receiving end of these balls more often than not, centralizing majority of the plays.
Striker Joanne Terri setting up an attacking play
Armadale didn’t quite have enough opportunities to score in the first half, instead spending their energy pressing hard on a tough opposition. Towards the end of the first half the team got in few attacking efforts, with Joanne Terri controlling the ball closer to the goals, along with team-captain Kirsty Woods. However, the last intense minutes weren’t enough to get a gain on ECU, with a jovial crowd and a team spirit still intact, the referee blew the whistle with a 2–0 score to ECU.
Mid-fielder Hannah Blackman
The balance of defensive and attacking plays shifted notably when gunner Kate Whiteside joined the field. With every opportunity the striker used her pace attacking ball all the way into the keeper’s hands and brought a fresh slate to the team’s unwavering pressure. However, ECU’s back and forth relationship between the backline and keeper proved unbeatable by Kate’s speed alone. The opposition’s defenders used their keeper thoughtfully, securing the ball in the space between them posed the biggest challenge for the State Army team.
Striker Kate Whiteside eyeing off the ball
In the 3rd minute of the second half, Kirsty lobbed a phenomenal ball from the left all the way to the goals where Coreena thought fast to pull a header—missing only just. Army then got in another unlucky attacking play in the 5th minute and got caught offside just as a ball made its way into the net.
ECU were able to push straight back onto Army’s efforts, laying ball after ball straight into Cynthia’s hands. Beth O’Gorman proved herself integral to the backline here, as she took the game into her own agenda—moving the plays from the defence into the comfortable mid of the attacking half, where Kathy Van Loon appeared to dominate.
Team captain Kirsty Woods
The State league team copped their final blow in the 31st minute of the half, seeing yet another lob from the opposition make its way into the net. Nevertheless, the team spirit appeared unshakable as team talk boosted. Army were able to capitalise on ECU’s overshooting confidence, banking on their slip-ups, however, were found scrabbling for the ball as the opposition’s keeper proved too quick.
All in all, the State League Women’s team put on an epic performance against ECU. The Armadale team have their sights set on their next match against Mandurah, where they are hoping to secure a repeated win.