It was a big weekend of round ball action as the 2022 Steeline Limestone Coast Football Association Senior Women’s premiership season started and the big teams flexed their muscles early.
A super Saturday of football opened the year with a double header of action at Webb Street and Malseed Park.
The match of the round took place at Apollo where the home side went head-to-head with big rival and reigning premier International.
Being the first game of the season both teams struggled to find their rhythm and string some plays together.
Apollo led by the likes of Sarah England, Zoe Brooksby and Daylia Daylia were not afraid to take the fight to their fancied rivals.
Neither side took a backward step with the battle for possession a tight and scrappy affair during the early stages.
Inter’s midfield did a mountain of work as the likes of Satu Aumo, Ella Doody and captain April Hockey running tirelessly.
But with showers around, their gutsy efforts and attacking runs netted little reward in the tricky conditions.
The defenders dictated terms with Oriana Turner and Brooksby battling away for their respective teams.
Despite the best efforts of the 22 players on the pitch, the scoreboard was locked at 0-0 with little evidence of a breakthrough.
The stalemate continued into the second half as tensions started to reverberate around Webb Street.
However, International finally found a hole in Apollo’s tight defence thanks to Satomi Unayama.
Unayama found some speed and went on a grand run from the midfield and her strike was enough to find the back of the net and send Inter into the lead.
Startled by the sudden breakthrough, Apollo could not mount a fightback with Angela Mcdonough and Nikamwepaw Khin receiving yellow cards instead as Inter held on for a hard-fought win.
Blue Lake women’s new era under the Rangers’ name enjoyed a winning start with the now blue team easily knocking over Millicent.
The Rangers played their first premiership game in their new look blue kits with red and white lines reflecting the team’s previous history and put on a show for the home crowd at Malseed Park.
Captain Aimee Brooks led from the front, getting the ball forward and her team away with two big goals.
These strikes inspired her teammates, who also joined in on the fun to kick Millicent United out of the contest.
The Frost sisters were once again leading the charge and converted on many opportunities setup by their teammates further up the ground.
Chelsea was the most prolific, being the beneficiary twice, while sister Lauren also used her leg speed to find the back of the net once to push the score up to five.
Despite being behind the play for most of the day, it was not all doom and gloom for Millicent with Linda Carter Shepherd scoring a consolation goal.
Senior Women’s soccer returned to Blue Lake Sports on Sunday afternoon where an inexperienced Naracoorte side came up against a purring Gambier Centrals outfit.
The Lions entered the game full of confidence after a pleasing showing at the preseason cup and carried that momentum into their round 1 battle.
Up against a Naracoorte side featuring many beginners, Centrals encountered little resistance moving the ball forward and the goals started flooding in.
Enjoying an extended time on the pitch after spending most of the recent seasons stuck at home, Erin Horsnell made the most of her chance.
Horsnell was unstoppable booting four goals to ensure the orange and blue were well and truly on top.
Olivia Gwilym was another individual the Naracoorte defenders had trouble containing as she sped to hat-trick.
Captain Kiah Connolly and Wanita Robinson both scored multiple goals to complete the 12-goal assault.
Despite conceding double figures on the scoreboard, smiles surfaced on the Naracoorte players’ faces when Steph Brownrigg fired a shot past the Centrals’ goalkeeper to spark wild celebrations.