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MyState Women’s Super League Round 17 Preview

Photos: Solstice Digital

Previews: Dan Thurley

Devonport Strikers vs Taroona FC

 

Date: Saturday August 7

Venue: Valley Road

Kick-off: 12:00 PM

2021 Record
Devonport Strikers: 6-1-5 (fourth in WSL)
Taroona FC: 1-3-9 (seventh in WSL)

Top Scorers:
Devonport Strikers: Jazmin White (12)
Taroona FC:
Eli Cropp, Emma Carbon (3)

Preview:

The Devonport Strikers can break into the top three with a win in this clash, but recent weeks would suggest that Taroona are due a win themselves.

The Strikers are lurking in fourth place on the table, but with two games in hand they could potentially see themselves as high as second when all is evened out. With Launceston United on a bye week, the Strikers could commence that ascent this week with a win that would take them into the top three for the first time since round 10. Although the Strikers know how to find the net, they are prone to leaking a few at the back and a thrilling 4-4 draw against the Kingborough Lions last week summarised their high risk, high reward style of play. They found themselves 3-1 down at half time before going ahead 4-3, only to ultimately draw 4-4.

It is obvious to see how much Taroona have improved recently by looking at their previous results. A 4-2 loss to the Strikers in round 13 was followed by a 2-1 loss, a 1-0 loss and a 1-1 draw last week earning the Pirates their sixth point of the season. The first six games of the campaign saw Taroona concede an average of 5.3 goals per game while a defensive transformation has dropped that figure to 1.8 in the seven games since. The Taroona backline has proven a tough nut to crack lately, but they face a daunting task against a proven goal scorer like Jazmin White who scored a hattrick in this fixture in round 13.

Key Player: Isolina Ottavi, Taroona FC

Ottavi has been the key player on several occasions for Taroona up until this point, and against a risk-taking Strikers team she will play a big role yet again. The Strikers give up plenty of opportunities each game, but so often their victories come from outscoring their opposition. If Ottavi can keep Jazmin White and her supporting cast at bay, the Pirates will be given plenty of chances at the other end. 

 

South Hobart vs Clarence Zebras

Date: Sunday August 8

Venue: Darcy Street

Kick-off: 2:15 PM

2021 Record
South Hobart: 3-2-8 (sixth in WSL)
Clarence Zebras: 12-1-1 (first in WSL) 

Top Scorers
South Hobart: Pishon Choi (5)
Clarence Zebras: Zoe Nichols (15)

Preview:

A win this weekend could see the Clarence Zebras crowned WSL champions with four games remaining, however it would require some favourable outcomes elsewhere.

South Hobart took an early lead against Taroona last weekend but after being brought back level in the 13th minute, they failed to find another breakthrough. They have struggled to find the net at the best of times this season, and up against the dominant Clarence Zebras that task becomes even more difficult. Pishon Choi scored her fifth goal of the season last week but remains one of only five goal scorers in the squad. On a positive note, 2021 has seen South Hobart improve significantly on the defensive side of the ball – they had conceded seven more goals at this stage last year – but with a tough run into the end of the season it will take something special to climb out of sixth place.

Other than a shock 5-1 defeat in round one, the Clarence Zebras have dominated the competition every step of the way this season. That is highlighted by their plus-38 goal difference, nine game win streak, and the opportunity they have this weekend to wrap up the title with four games left. Zoe Nichols and Allie Berry have scored a whopping 29 goals between them which is more than double the amount scored by the entire South Hobart squad. This is not a side that requires any additional motivation, but with the possibility of a title on the cards it is a particularly bad time to be facing the Zebras.

Key Player: Zoe Nichols, Clarence Zebras

Nichols has been one of the competition’s best players and she scores big goals in big games. Though South Hobart do not pose the biggest threat to the Zebras, she will enjoy the prospect of playing at Darcy Street having scored a hattrick on her last visit.

 

Olympia Warriors vs Kingborough Lions

Date: Sunday August 8

Venue: Warrior Park

Kick-off: 2:15 PM

2021 Record
Olympia Warriors: 6-3-4 (second in WSL)
Kingborough Lions: 4-4-5 (fifth in WSL)

Top Scorers
Olympia Warriors: Madison Chambers (8)
Kingborough Lions: Laura Davis (14)

Preview:

The Olympia Warriors and Kingborough Lions battled it out for the first piece of silverware in the Summer Cup earlier this year, but they have both suffered disappointing league campaigns in the months since.

This clash will signal a changing of the guard for the reigning WSL champions. After Bonnie Davies departed earlier this year, Madison Chambers played her final game for the Warriors in a 2-1 loss to the Devonport Strikers in round 15. She scored the Warriors’ lone goal prior to departing for the next exciting chapter of her career with Alabama State University in the US. With two key players and primary goal threats now missing, this fixture will give a sneak peek into who the Warriors will be relying on in the years ahead. Mia Cane is the obvious choice, and Ella McConnon has put her hand up as a potential key player on in her breakout season.

While the Warriors have lost their leading scorer, the Lions primary goal threat has gone from strength to strength in recent weeks. Laura Davis sealed a hattrick in the third minute of stoppage time against the Devonport Strikers in round 16, while Holly Bonnertz-Benn chipped in with her second of the year to become the Lions’ sixth multiple goal scorer. Once again, the issue was in the back half of the field as the Lions conceded four or more goals for the second week running.  The Warriors may not have as many weapons are they used to, but there will be plenty of players lining up on Sunday with the potential to cause the Lions some problems.

Key Player: Laura Davis, Kingborough Lions

With a hattrick in her last game taking Davis to seven goals in her last three appearances, it is hard to look past the contribution she has made to this Kingborough Lions side. Although they haven’t enjoyed as many wins as they would have hoped, Davis spearheads one of the leagues most dangerous attacks and will give the Warriors a few headaches.