The 2015-16 Westfield W-League season kicked off this weekend with plenty of familiar names on the scoresheet. Here is how things went across the league:
Adelaide United 2-2 Western Sydney Wanderers
Adelaide United, which finished seventh last season, entertained 2014-15 season bottom side Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday on the first weekend of W-League action in season eight. The two teams shared the spoils at 2-2. Wanderers’ American midfielder Keelin Winters (on loan from Seattle Reign) opened the scoring within the first five minutes and long-time W-League defender Caitlin Cooper doubled the lead 13 minutes later. Adelaide’s fight back was sparked by Sarah Killion (on loan from Sky Blue FC) in the 40th minute. Forward Tiarn Powell deadlocked the game for Adelaide from a 62nd minute free kick. The Lady Reds have a bye next week while the Wanderers take on Brisbane Roar.
Perth Glory 2-1 Melbourne Victory
2014-15 Premiership winners Perth Glory went to Melbourne Victory, who finished tied for second last season, and came away with a 2-1 victory on Saturday. Sky Blue FC loanees and Australian internationals Caitlin Foord and Sam Kerr both scored for the Glory, in the 45th and 69th minutes, respectively. Kerr had a penalty saved by Victory Australian international goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri in the 42nd minute. Laura Spiranovic—who returned to Victory after a year playing in the Victoria state league for Ashburton United—scored for the Victory in the 8th minute. Spiranovic followed-up from a long shot by Washington Spirit loanee Christine Nairn which another Matilda World Cup goalkeeper—McKenzie Arnold—could only parry. Next week, Perth entertains Newcastle and the Victory are the road team in the first Melbourne women’s derby versus City.
Brisbane Roar 2-1 Canberra United
Brisbane and Canberra, long-time rivals who played in two Grand Finals, with Brisbane winning the first crown over United in 2008-09 and Canberra triumphing in an undefeated season over the Roar in 2011-12, started their season in Brisbane on Saturday. Two early goals within three minutes from Tameka Butt in the 8th minutes and newcomer Ruth Blackburn in the 11th minute from Queensland state amateur was all the Roar needed to post a 2-1 victory. Lydia Williams fumbled Blackburn’s tame effort in a mistake which ultimately ended up being the game-winner [HIGHLIGHTS]. Western New York Flash’s Michelle Heyman scored in the 39th minute for Canberra. Kendall Fletcher (Seattle Reign) played the entire match in defense for Canberra while her Reign teammate, Haley Kopmeyer was the winning goalkeeper for the Roar. In Week 2, Canberra hosts Sydney FC and Brisbane is away to the Wanderers.
Melbourne City 6-0 Sydney FC
Melbourne City announced emphatically that they are going to be a serious threat in the W-League when they defeated Sydney FC 6-0 away from home on Sunday. Michelle Betos (Portland Thorns) had a rough time in her debut game for Sydney, surrendering four goals in the first half to a rampant City side. Larissa Crummer scored twice and former U.S. professional league veteran Lisa De Vanna also scored to pace the new club. In addition, City goalkeeper Trudy Burke saved a penalty from Teresa Polias in the last five minutes to preserve the shutout.
Newcastle Jets had a bye week.