- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 28 August 2013
Photo: Olympia's two-goal hero Rani Cavarretta on a run [PlessPix]
(Women’s Southern Premier League, Warrior Park, Wednesday, 28 August 2013)
Olympia Warriors 2 (R Cavaretta 37, 61)
University 2 (L Macgregor 74, 81 pen)
HT: 1-0 Att: 60 Ref: B Cornish
Olympia Warriors: Cook - E Vienna-Hallam, Barker, O’Brien, Wright - Berry, Nettlefold, C Hale (Piesse 68) - Saunders (Massie 82), Fitzgerald, Cavarretta (Subs not used: N Cavarretta, Fleming)
University: George - Scott, Summers, Dunstan, Hoysted (Cox-Haines 68) - Stalker (Cropp 46), Tadros, Macgregor - Bale, Norton, Law
Photo: The title-winning Olympia Warriors squad after the game [PlessPix]
Olympia Warriors took out the 2013 Southern Women’s Premier League title with this 2-2 draw against sixth-placed University at Warrior Park on Wednesday night.
The result saw them finish a point ahead of second-placed NTC to win their second consecutive title.
This was an excellent match and one would never have thought that the two teams were separated by 39 points on the standings.
University put up a magnificent display and coach Harry Booth has certainly got the best out of his team.
Jessica Bale and Elise Norton combined well in the University attack and Bale’s pace down the right caused Olympia all sorts of problems. Olympia moved right-back Eboni Vienna-Hallam to left-back midway through the first half to try and contain the speedy Bale.
Photo: University goalkeeper Mikalha George saves from Olympia's Rani Cavarretta [PlessPix]
Bale then switched flanks, moving from the right to the left to counteract the Olympia strategy.
The University defenders, Madeline Scott, Eleanor Summers, Zanna Dunston and Isabel Hoysted were solid and didn’t give an inch against the speedy Rani Cavarretta and the experienced and skilled Sarah Fitzgerald.
University goalkeeper, Mikalha George, was also reliable and anticipated through-balls well and was able to snuff out attacks by coming off her line.
Olympia’s final pass in the attacking-third often lacked accuracy and this played into University’s hands.
Olympia’s Mady O’Brien almost opened the scoring in the 6th minute, her free-kick scraping the outside of the far left-hand post.
Photo: Olympia's Tess Nettlefold (left) is tackled by University's Michelle Tadros [PlessPix]
Allie Berry had a chance for Olympia after 20 minutes, but her long-range strike cleared the bar.
A minute later, George came off her line quickly to thwart Ashton Saunders, who had been put through after good play on the left by Cavarretta and Fitzgerald.
University persisted, however, and mounted some dangerous counter-attacks, none more so than when, in the 33rd minute, Bale broke clear on the right and crossed to Ellie Law, whose first touch let her down and the chance was gone.
Two minutes later, Cavarretta fired narrowly wide as the female Warriors searched for a breakthrough.
That came out of nowhere in the 37th minute, Cavarretta shooting instantly from range and the ball flashing past an unsighted George and into the far right-hand corner of the net.
Photo: Olympia's Sarah Fitzgerald brings the ball under control [PlessPix]
Cavarretta broke clear down the left in the final minute of the half, but this time her shot flew wide.
Sixteen minutes into the second half, Cavarretta curled a low shot from the left inside the far right-hand post to make it 2-0 and the game and title appeared safe.
University had other ideas, however, and in the 74th minute Lucy Macgregor volleyed a magnificent goal from Eliza Cropp’s corner from the right to make it one goal the difference.
Nine minutes from the end, the unthinkable happened. Bale again showed a turn of speed down the right and was brought down for a penalty, which was calmly and expertly despatched by Macgregor to make it 2-2.
University had one more half-chance before the end, but Olympia held on for the draw and the point they need to collect the championship.
Photo: Olympia's Rani Cavarretta under pressure from two University opponents [PlessPix]
Olympia Warriors coach, John Fiotakis, said:
“Olympia came into the game with three senior girls out due to injury, but we did field a fairly strong team.
“Vanessa Johnson, Milly Jones and Caitlin Nichols were out due to injury and we expect to have a couple of them back in 10 days ready for finals.
“It was a tight game played in good spirit by both teams.
“The refereeing was of good standard and consistent.
“We approached the game knowing that Uni has some good young players and a talented young team that can run all day and are more than capable of upsetting teams.
“Their coach Harry [Booth] has done an excellent job this season with the Uni girls.
Photo: Olympia's Rani Cavarretta (left) tries to outpace University's Michelle Tadros [PlessPix]
“Olympia had a good solid display from Mady Obrien, Mikayla Baker and Eboni Vienna-Hallam in defence, and our midfield, with Allie Berry and Tess Nettlefold, was working hard all night.
“Sarah Fitzgerald was solid up front and Rani Cavarretta caused havoc when ever near the ball and scored twice.
“All in all, a good team effort.
“We missed a few opportunities up front which nearly cost us the game and we conceded a penalty in the last 15 minutes, which looked to be a fair one-on-one with the players trying to win possession of the ball.
“Well done to both teams giving the spectators a great display of women’s football.
“Congratulations to our Premier Women’s team for back-to-back premierships.”
Photo: Olympia's Tess Nettlefold gets the ball away just before she is tackled [PlessPix]
University coach, Harry Booth, said:
“I thought tonight's match was a great advert for Women’s football in Tassie.
“Both teams played quality football - short, sharp passing, with some nice direct balls, too.
“I'm very proud of my whole team. They never gave up and fought for every single ball.
“To draw and almost snatch a win against the top team shows just how far we have come.
“As the coach, it was very satisfying to see.
“Congratulations to Olympia for winning a very tough league.”
Photo: Olympia's Sarah Fitzgerald demonstrates her ball control while under pressure [PlessPix]