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W-League Round 12: Kerr hat trick not enough for Perth

Sam Kerr is close to a bittersweet double of leading NWSL and the W-League in goals but reaching the playoffs in neither. (photo: Perth Glory)

Westfield W-League Week 12 action—Perth’s chances for the playoffs are remote after 4-4 home tie against Canberra.

Only three games were played this week with byes for Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC.

Perth Glory 4 Canberra United 4

In the most important match of the Westfield W-League’s Round 12, Perth and Canberra put in maximum effort in a match that was vital to both sides’ attempt to make the four team playoffs, as Canberra entered the game 1 point behind the top four and Perth 3 points out. Perth and Canberra ended in a 4-4 draw in front of 1,369 fans in Perth on January 20, which left Canberra in better position to still make the semifinals. Perth is effectively out of the playoff running as they are now three points behind joint third Newcastle and Melbourne City but have only one game left in the season—next week at home against eighth place Western Sydney—compared to Newcastle’s two and City’s one, while fifth place Canberra has two more games remaining.

Sam Kerr, who was traded earlier this week from Sky Blue FC to the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL, scored a first half hat trick and extended her league leading goals tally to 11, while American teammate Rachel Hill (Orlando Pride) scored the other Perth Glory goal and is second in W-League scoring with 8. Incredibly, after Hill’s goal in the 22nd minute, Perth had a commanding 3-0 lead but Canberra replied with three of their own by halftime, while Kerr had scored her third to give the Western Australian side a narrow 4-3 lead at the break. For the visitors, Australian international Ashleigh Sykes scored a brace and now has four goals on the season and 41 in her W-League career—all with Canberra in 10 seasons—while Australian youth international Grace Maher scored her second of the season. Norwegian international Elise Thorsnes scored Canberra’s equalizer and the only goal in the second half in the 62nd minute from a free kick by English international Laura Bassett. Thorsnes now has five goals on the season, tied for the team lead with Australian international striker Michelle Heyman.

Kerr is now the W-League’s second all-time leading goalscorer with 51 goals, surpassing Brisbane Roar’s Tameka Butt who has 49 goals (one this season). Kerr now trails only Canberra’s Michelle Heyman, who has 62 goals in her career. Perth and Canberra are tied for the team lead in goals with 22, which will be small consolation to either team if they don’t make the playoffs.

For Perth, Amanda Frisbie (Boston Breakers), Nikki Stanton (who also went to the Chicago Red Stars from Sky Blue FC in the Sam Kerr trade this week), Costa Rican international Raquel Rodriguez (Sky Blue FC), Hill and Kerr all played ninety minutes.

For Canberra, goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer (Seattle Reign) and defender Toni Pressley (Orlando Pride) played the entire match.

Melbourne City 0 FC Brisbane Roar FC 0

Brisbane Roar went home from Melbourne with a point in a goalless draw at City on January 21, in front of a crowd of 3,170 that was held before a men’s A-League match between City and Adelaide United.

For City’s NWSL loanees, Lauren Barnes, Lydia Williams and Jess Fishlock (all Seattle Reign). Rebekah Stott (Sky Blue FC) and Steph Catley and Alanna Kennedy (both Orlando Pride) played the entire match, while Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit) started and substituted out in the 71st minute for Larissa Crummer (Seattle Reign).

For Brisbane, NWSL loanees Hayley Raso (Portland Thorns), Carson Pickett (Seattle Reign) and Celeste Boureille (Portland Thorns) all played 90 minutes. 

Western Sydney Wanderers 1  Melbourne Victory 1

On January 19, in a battle at the lower end of the table, home side Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory deadlocked 1-1 in front of a W-League/A-League doubleheader crowd of 2,859. Sixteen-year-old rookie midfielder Rasamee Phonsongkham scored her initial W-League goal in the first half for the Wanderers, while Boston Breakers’ English international loanee Natasha Dowie scored her sixth goal of the season for the Victory. Dowie has accounted for half of her team’s goals this season.

Both games between the clubs ended in 1-1 score lines this season, taking Victory’s all-time series with the Wanderers to a 4-5-1 (W-D-L) mark.

American Lo’eau LaBonta (on loan from the Utah Royals) played the entire match for Western Sydney as did former Houston Dash defender Ellie Brush, who plays in the Australian Women’s Football League in the off-season with Greater Western Sydney Giants.

For Melbourne Victory, Kristen McNabb (Seattle Reign), Christina Gibbons (Sky Blue FC) and Dowie all played 90 minutes.

Brisbane Roar tops the W-League table with 22 points, Sydney FC is second with 19, Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City are joint third on 17 points but Melbourne City has played one game more than the top three sides, who all have two league games remaining. Canberra United is fifth, one point out of the playoffs on 16 points, while Perth is still in sixth on 14 points but with only one game remaining. Melbourne Victory, is in seventh with 11 points while Western Sydney is eighth on 8 points and Adelaide ninth with 7 points.

Tim Grainey is a contributor to Equalizer Soccer.  His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham.  Get your copy today.

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey

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