The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players that took part in Round 13 of the A-League Women season, (and some catch-up games).
It was a historic week in the A-league Women. Adelaide United secured their first-ever finals place, Sydney FC all but sealed the title, and Brisbane Roar won their second game of the season.
In all kinds of weather and on almost every day of the week, the players put in some incredible individual performances.
Goalkeeper and defenders
GK: Isabella Shuttleworth (Brisbane Roar)
With Georgina Worth and Mia Bailey both injured, Brisbane turned to another young goalkeeper. Shuttleworth kept a clean sheet against Melbourne City despite her defence being under siege for most of the evening.
She was composed, athletic, and sometimes a little lucky. But she deserved the plaudits after a very promising performance from another up-and-coming player in the A-League Women.
RB: Cannon Clough (Brisbane Roar)
She played left-back, but it was impossible to leave her out of this week’s team, so we’ve put her on the right. Cannon Clough was excellent in defence against Melbourne City.
Her efforts against the in-form Kaitlyn Torpey and City’s other threats were essential to Brisbane’s second win of the season.
The defender’s throw-in allowed Shea Connors’ to cross for Mariel Hecher, who scored the only goal of the game. Clough’s quick thinking helped decide the game.
CB: Nat Tobin (Sydney FC)
The Sydney captain has had a terrific season. She has been the consistent cornerstone of the best defence in the league. Against Perth Glory, she showed her abilities at the other end of the field.
Tobin displayed perfect, and spectacular technique to volley the opening goal from a corner kick.
It was a contender for goal of the week from the center-back who has barely put a foot wrong this campaign.
LB: Courtney Nevin (Melbourne Victory)
Nevin was the best player on the park over 90 minutes against Canberra United. Nevin was sensational as Victory dragged themselves back from 2-0 to salvage a valuable point.
The Matilda’s defender took charge of the left flank and thrived under the pressure. She set up the first goal with a perfect cross and then the second from a corner kick.
Nevin almost scored one herself and took some physical punishment as she nearly lobbed the keeper.
Alex Chidiac (Melbourne Victory)
At the time, it looked like it might be Chidiac’s last game in Victory colours. Her loan deal was up and when they faced Canberra she started on the bench due largely to a hectic and harsh fixture.
Jeff Hopkins introduced the playmaker in the second half and she turned the game. As soon as she touches the ball, Chidiac looks to move forward either by herself or with an aggressive pass.
Her headed goal bought Victory back into the contest. Without her intervention, their season might already be over.
Dylan Holmes (Adelaide United)
Holmes makes her second consecutive appearance in the team of the week. The ex Adelaide captain was once again brilliant in midfield as they surged to another convincing win.
Holmes defends quickly, can carry the ball, and her hold-up play and pass to Chelsie Dawber set up their first goal of the game.
When Dylan Holmes is in form, she is one of the very best central midfielders in the country.
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Mackenzie Hawkesby (Sydney FC)
Hawkesby is a box-to-box midfielder, playmaker, and scorer all in one. Over the course of Sydney’s highly successful season, she has been their most consistent player.
Her corner kick to set up Tobin’s goal was precise and had enough pace on it that the captain needed no extra power behind her shot once she connected.
It was a set play, in harsh weather against a very good side. Hawkesby delivered as she has so often this season.
Chelsee Washington (Canberra United)
Washington makes her first appearance in the Team of The Week. Canberra has had a talented side all season but has found form recently in a too-short season.
The American midfielder scored one and set up the other as Canberra took a 2-0 lead over Melbourne Victory.
She plays with style and pace. Canberra United fans will be hoping she stays on another season at least in the capital.
Cortnee Vine (Sydney FC)
Vine was indisputably the best attacker in the league before the Asian Cup. Since her return, she has shown all the same skills but not scored.
Against Perth Glory, her scoring touch returned. Two goals and some trademark wing play sent a reminder to the competition of what she is capable of.
Michelle Heyman (Canberra United)
In torrential rain, Michelle Heyman put on a vintage display against Newcastle Jets. The conditions were awful for football as the ball and players skidded across the surface.
Heyman did not need to change her style or ambitions despite the weather. She played as she always prefers to, with quick turns, tight ball control, and calm finishing.
Her first goal was a reflex header as the ball pinged around the box. Her second was a work of art.
She stole the ball on the edge of the box and then turned twice in the area to leave the defenders flailing. The finish was placed well into the bottom corner. It was a sublime match from the A-League legend.
Fiona Worts (Adelaide United)
Worts is the most in-form striker in the A-League Women. Her hattrick against Melbourne Victory took her to the top of the scoring charts and her team into the finals for the first time in history.
Worts’ composure and touch created the opening two goals. She met a low cross from Dawber and took the ball around the defender to tuck it away when a first-time strike looked likely.
Persistence and composure resulted in her second goal after Casey Dumont saved the first shot. She kept her feet and her head and placed it carefully inside the far post.
Her third came 11 seconds after halftime. Once again it was a cross from the right, this time she did not need a second chance and buried it along with any hopes of a Victory comeback.
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