Soccer: Melville City women have mixed weekend in cup finals

MELVILLE City enjoyed mixed results in the Football West Girl’s and Women’s Cup Finals yesterday with the Under-14s storming to victory over Joondalup City and the State League team slipping up against Northern Redbacks.

Melville supplied two of the six grand final contestants and it was the first time the girls and women’s cups shared the day out, with a 500 strong crows packing the sidelines at Grindleford Reserve in Balcatta.

The Melville Under-14s squad finished the season third on the First Division ladder behind cup opponents Joondalup City, but reversed its fortunes with a last-minute goal to secure the silverware 2-1; Sophie Patience and Mathilda Richards the goal scorers.

Fifth in the Premier State League, the Melville City senior squad was beaten 5-0 by league leaders Northern Redbacks.

The Redbacks boast an experienced arsenal of state and Perth Glory players and supplied five lessons in finishing to the young Melville side.

Stephanie Simmonds and Laura Waltman impressed for Melville while Australian School Girls standout Lucy Jerram was starved of the ball and had a quiet game by her standards.

Despite the result, senior coach Gabby Walker-Ortega said she could not be prouder of her squad’s performance this season.

“My girls range in age from 14 to 20 and we’re essentially a development squad playing in a high performance league,” she said.

“We finished runners-up in the Night Series competition and again in the Cup and we’ve been in the top four in the league for the entire season.

“No other team has been as consistent and I’ll always take consistency over silverware with a squad as young as this.”

Walker-Ortega conceded nerves likely played a role in the senior squad’s heavy Cup loss.

“It was a good learning experience for us, we were playing on a big stage against W-League players and even an Irish international,” she said.

“In high pressure matches experience will usually win out over youth and that’s what happened.

“We’ll take it and learn from it; the girls are obviously quite hurt but at their age you bounce back very quickly and as a squad they have a very bright future ahead of them.”