A-League Women Team of the Week: Round 11

The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players that took part in Round 11 of the A-League Women season, (and some catch-up games).

Seven games have taken place since the last Team of the Week was announced. Adelaide United and Perth Glory both played twice over four days, while Victory and The Jets played twice since Tuesday.

There were records broken, and history made In the A-League Women’s. Choosing just 11 players from an action-packed round was a huge challenge.

Goalkeepers and Defenders

GK: Lily Alfeld (Wellington Phoenix)

There were some big wins in the last week. None were more historic than Wellington’s first in their history. The 3-0 win was a true team effort but made possible by some outstanding individual moments.

Despite being the losing side, Canberra United attacked from the start to the final whistle. Alfeld was a huge reason why they were unable to score. Her leadership has been priceless for The Phoenix this season and she deserved a clean sheet in their maiden victory.

RCB: Matilda McNamara (Adelaide United)

Adelaide played two games in the last four days. The first was a 1-0 loss to Perth Glory, the second was an 8-2 thrashing of Brisbane Roar.

McNamara was one of their best performers across the two games. She is unfussed and unhurried defensively, and danger from set-pieces. She scored a headed goal from a corner in the big win.

CB: Mackenzie Barry (Wellington Phoenix)

Three teams recorded clean sheets, but none of the winners faced an attacking siege-like Wellington.

The Barry/Kate Taylor partnership has been one of the Phoenix’s strongest assets all season. From the first game, they have looked comfortable without the ball and classy with it. Both players are happy passing or dribbling out of defence, and are excellent in one vs one situation.

Barry was up against Michelle Heyman for large parts of the match. Although she was tested, she was equal to the enormous challenge.

When Taylor was off injured, Barry continued to stand strong and help ensure the 3-0 win for her side.

LCB: Kate Taylor (Wellington Phoenix)

She was massive when the game was still close in Wellington’s win. She went off injured at half-time after a committed effort to score but was perfect while on the pitch.

Kate Taylor has no obvious weaknesses as a footballer. She is only lacking experience and possibly some physical strength that will likely develop.

But her defensive instincts and timing are already superb.

Midfielders

Kyra Cooney-Cross (Melbourne Victory)

Cooney-Cross has been used in a few roles this season. Against Western Sydney, she moved to the right-wing and had a dominant game. She scored once and had two assists, but was a constant threat throughout.

Her ability to carry the ball infield and thread defense-splitting passes is still one of her best assets. She also sent a reminder that she can shoot off either boot when a left-footed effort from range came crashing off the woodwork.

She was truly back to her best.

Mie Leth Jans (Perth Glory)

Perth Glory ended the weekend with a 4-0 loss to Melbourne City. They started it with an amazing 1-0 victory over Adelaide United.

Leth Jans was exceptional in the must-win encounter. She worked hard defensively and scored the decisive goal with a strong header.

When Perth was down to 10 players, she was tireless in her chasing. In possession she was calm. Leth Jans was a key reason for the win.

Rhianna Pollicina (Melbourne City)

Pollicina has been one of the most improved players this season. She has now scored five times for Melbourne City and is crucial in her role of linking midfield with the strikers.

Her goal against Perth Glory opened the floodgates in a tight, scrappy contest up to that point.

She brought down the ball on her chest and accelerated as it hit the ground. The finish was as good as the control and it was buried into the bottom corner.

 Dylan Holmes (Adelaide United)

Holmes is a complete midfielder. She can do a bit of everything slightly better than most players and is a tireless runner from box to box.

She directly set up two goals for Adelaide in the 8-2 win against Brisbane. When she sees an opening she has no hesitation in taking advantage. Holmes’ curling cross into the box bent beyond the defenders and to the foot of Fiona Worts. It was a spectacular assist.

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Forwards

Holly McNamara (Melbourne City)

McNamara went to the Asian Cup as the queen of assist in the A-League Women. She has returned as a newly prolific goal scorer. One goal in the last round was followed up by two very well taken goals in this one.

Her chip over the keeper to seal the game was beautifully done. She is a player with incredible potential. At just 18 she is already one of the best players in the competition.

Chelsie Dawber (Adelaide United)

There is a feeling of inevitability when Dawber is on the ball. She is going to either get a shot on target or set up a chance for a teammate, likely Fiona Worts.

Following the loss to Perth Glory, Adelaide had to win against Brisbane away from home.

Dawber gave them the perfect start when she latched onto a loose ball to hammer home the opening goal.

She was directly responsible for two more goals. A well-hit shot was spilled for Worts to tap in. Later she put in an early cross along the ground for Worts to finish off once more.

Cyera Hintzen’s tireless efforts for Perth Glory on Thursday earned an early nomination for this spot. However, the strike force that scored six between them cannot be ignored.

Fiona Worts (Adelaide United)

The English striker had a goal controversially disallowed in the loss to Perth Glory. She returned to the field with a vengeance on Sunday afternoon. Worts scored five goals against Brisbane Roar to equal the record set by Hannah Wilkinson and Kate Gill.

The best was probably a solo run down the middle of the field and left-footed finish. It was one of the season’s best individual performances.

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