Kerr, Dowie braces highlight Week 1 in W-League

Tim Grainey November 8, 2016 20
Sam Kerr scored a brace to lift Perth in Week 1. (Photo: Westfield W-League)

Sam Kerr scored a brace to lift Perth in Week 1. (Photo: Westfield W-League)

NWSL players Sam Kerr and Natasha Dowie each registered braces to highlight the opening of Australia’s Westfield W-League 2016-17 season this weekend.

Kerr’s brace came in Perth’s NIB Stadium on Sunday, when the home side Glory defeated Western Sydney Wanderers, 4-2 before a solid crowd of 2,011, powered by two second-half goals by Kerr (Sky Blue FC). Caitlin Doeglas and Rosie Sutton added first-half goals by Perth, countered by tallies from Jo Burgess—the former Australian international who returned to the Red and Black after two seasons off, having retired from the game—and Helen Petinos. NWSL imports Kerr, Alyssa Mautz and Nikki Stanton all played 90 minutes for Perth, as did Mexican international and former NWSL player Arianna Romero. Vanessa DiBernardo played the last half hour for the purple-clad side that she did so well with last winter. American loan players Kendall Fletcher, Alex Arlitt and Paige Nielsen all played 90 minutes for Western Sydney.

On Saturday November 5, Brisbane Roar won at home 2-1 versus Sydney FC before a stand-alone W-League game record crowd of 3,105 at Spencer Park in Brisbane. Allira Toby scored on her Roar debut in the second half with her first touch of the ball on a header and Australian international striker Katrina Gorry scored the winner for the Roar.

[GRAINEY: A look at where NWSL players are headed in Australia this season]

Toby played during the offseason for semi-pro side Brisbane Olympic and last season for Adelaide United. Sydney FC’s Caitlin Foord scored the league’s first goal of the season early in the second half. Maddy Evans, on loan from the Orlando Pride, played all 90 minutes for Brisbane, as did NWSL-tied Australian internationals Alanna Kennedy, Kyah Simon and Foord for Sydney.

On Sunday, Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory 3-3 tied in Adelaide before a strong crowd of 2,013, in an exciting game which included six minutes of injury time at the end of the second half. Stella Rigon and Adriana Jones—who joined from Newcastle Jets this season—and Brazilian defender Monica (on loan from Orlando Pride) scored the Adelaide goals while Dowie (Boston Breakers) scored a brace for the Victory and Selin Kuralay (ex-Florida State and former Matilda) added a third goal for the Victory, who came from behind three times in the match.

The vibrant play of both sides and a point gained can be interpreted as a good sign for both teams; Adelaide managed their first tie (with two wins) in 14 games in their series with the Victory, while Victory scored three times, after only scoring 10 goals all last season—two by Dowie as a late season addition. Monica and the three Chicago Red Stars imports—Danielle Colaprico, Sofia Huerta and Katie Naughton—played the entire match for Adelaide. For Melbourne Victory, NWSL players Samantha Johnson, Bianca Henninger in goal, Christine Nairn and Dowie started the game and played all 90-plus minutes.

Also on Sunday, Melbourne City defeated Newcastle Jets 1-0 at home in front of 633 fans. Marianna Tabain scored an early goal—the 28th of her W-League career and 8th for City—as the reigning champions continued their remarkable string of never having lost a W-League match. Defender Megan Oyster, who played with the Jets last season and was a U.S. youth international, and goalkeeper Kelsey Wys, joined the side on loan from the Washington Spirit. NWSL loan players Lydia Williams in goal, Lauren Barnes and Laura Alleway in defense, Steph Catley and Jess Fishlock in midfield and Erika Tmyrak at forward all started, with Tymrak being substituted out in the 83rd minute and Catley during second-half injury time. Wys, Oyster, Arin Gilliland and Jen Hoy all started for the Jets, with Hoy being subbed out in the 89th minute.

For round 2 next weekend, on Saturday, Nov. 12, Canberra United hosts Melbourne City and Perth is again at home versus Brisbane. On Sunday, Nov. 13, Sydney FC hosts the Harbor City derby versus Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory entertains Newcastle Jets. Adelaide United has the week off.

  • atalba

    The Adelaide United will have a greatly improved season with Sofia Huerta up front!

    • Steglitz49

      Sofia Huerta? The lass who did not understand on which side her bread was buttered.

  • Steglitz49

    Where is the article on the Euro-17 draw? You are losing your edge, EQ, and it shows — in buckets to boot.

    • veritas

      and yet you are always on this site. Clearly, you don’t care so why should EQ.

      • Steglitz49

        Stick to the vino, eh what, there is a good chap.

  • Som Termanni

    Some notes I didn’t spot in the roundup:

    – Foord, in addition to scoring the opening goal, also caught 2 yellows, was ejected, and will miss the Sydney derby next week. Foord’s second yellow was on a pull against Kaitlyn Torpey, a 16-year-old mid for Brisbane who aggravated Foord for most of the match.

    – Caitlin Doeglas’s goal was 18 seconds in, a W-League record, and assisted by a Kerr interception and pass. Paige Nielsen had an assist for W. Sydney.

    – Selin Kuralay came back to MVFC after tearing her ACL in the first match of last season. Melissa Taranto injured her knee at 11′ of this match, which was confirmed post-game to be an ACL tear. Taranto was replaced on the pitch by her twin sister Adriana.

    – Dowie had 7 shots, 4 on frame, and 2 goals, better numbers in all three categories than in any of the 7 matches she played in ’16 for the Boston Breakers.

    – Dowie’s second goal came on a pinpoint cross from Kariah White, who left soccer altogether for AFL for the last two years and was such a late addition to the Victory roster that she played without her name on her shirt. White, on a temporary contract, played 30 minutes as a sub and performed well enough (1 assist, 2 on-target crosses, and some world-class touches, pace, and technique along the touchlines) to likely earn a full-time job.

    – Despite the scoreline, Newcastle controlled the second half of the match against City and forced two apparently fantastic saves from Lydia Williams to keep a clean sheet. (The match audio was broadcast, but it was otherwise not streamed or televised.) The 82 minutes of scoreless offense is an expected, if still likely troubling, development for City considering how they were known for 4-to-6 goal shutouts in ’15 behind Kim Little (gone), Lisa De Vanna (in coaching school), and Laura Crummer. Crummer, who won the ’15 Golden Boot at City, is out for a month on injury.

    • Som Termanni

      One last note: Jacynta Galabadaarachchi, a 15-year-old Mini Matildas prodigy recruited by Man City and who won an FFA appeal earlier this year to play in U15/16 boys’ teams for more equal competition, subbed on for City at 90’+3′. It was her first W-League appearance, and the first appearance of a player born in the 21st century.

      • Steglitz49

        You are trying too hard.

        The draw of Euro-17 has been out for quite a while. get your priorities right.

      • FawcettFan14

        Jacunta Galabadaarachchi is a real name? Wow. At any rate she looks like a talented youngster. I just feel sorry for commentators trying to announce it.

    • Steglitz49

      Confess!!!! you are an Australian. Please. Just won up. It is not a crime. We won’t label you as a deviant. Simply come clear. Sexual orientation not required.

    • Luke

      Great recap!! Keep it up! Don’t listen to Steglitz49!!

      That was a stupid second yellow card by Foord. Totally unnecessarily!!!

    • JL

      City might be hoping that when Yanez is available, she will help with the scoring issues.

      Has there been a matchup that’s produced more red cards than Brisbane vs Sydney? It seems like every other game, a Sydney player gets tossed.

  • WosoFan11

    Hey all, good news, I’ve found a way to watch W-League full match videos! They are on Fox Sports Australia’s website:

    (Maybe this is old news)

    • mockmook

      Brilliant!!!! THANK YOU!!!

    • Bruce

      Made my day. Thanks!

    • JL

      You need a VPN if you don’t live in Australia.

      • WosoFan11

        I live in the USA and I’m able to watch all of the videos without any issues, and I’m not using any sort of VPN. Where are you located? Perhaps your particular location is restricted if you are having issues?

  • john

    Anyone know why Huster stopped playing in Australia? Thanks!

    • Steglitz49

      No. I have looked. She did some studio commentating during the Rio Olympics (together with Joanna Lohman). Maybe that paid well?

  • Steglitz49

    Jessica Samuelsson, Sweden’s super defender, played for Melbourne Victory when they won the WSL in 2014.

    The Melbourne team also contained Jess Fishlock, lisa DeVanna and Steph Catley. Brisbane, who lost, was not short of stars either with Nadine Angerer in goal plus , Elise Kellond-Knight, Katrina-Lee Gorry, 11. Vedrana Popovic and Tameka Butt, among others.