The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players that took part in Round 5 of the A-League Women season.
There were only three games and six teams to choose a team of the week from, but the players that did take the field provided great performances and some of the highlights of the season.
Defenders and Goalkeeper
GK: Mia Bailey (Brisbane Roar)
Yes she conceded twice, but for the first goal the defender basically shot the ball past her. The second was the result of a corner kick that bounced off multiple players and only the referee could instantly spot who scored.
Except for these two moments, Bailey was impressive in her A-League Women debut. She was strong in claiming several crosses, and made an important save from Catherine Zimmerman when Victory looked likely to score.
In a game that remained close until the final few minutes, Bailey was excellent in goals.
RB: Anna Margraf (Brisbane Roar)
She has been a pretty valuable attacking option this season, but Margraf was given the job on Lynn Williams this week.
The versatile 20-year-old was excellent against the US international, and kept her impact in general play to a minimum.
Margraf has already hit the highlight reels with two goals in previous rounds. However, this might have been her most important contribution this season. Brisbane got its first win, and keeping Victory’s attack contained was essential.Embed from Getty Images
CB: Matilda McNamara (Adelaide United)
Mcnamara’s return to form coincided with Adelaide’s best game of the season. She was key to a defence that was up against a fast, mobile, and unpredictable attack.
The central defender was stable at the back and only beaten by an almost perfect one-touch move by Perth Glory. Her headed goal from a set piece gave Adelaide United the lead in its memorable comeback win.
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CB: Jessika Nash (Sydney FC)
Nash has mostly been deployed at right back for Sydney this season but when Nat Tobin was injured, Ante Juric was forced into a reshuffle. This demonstrated Sydney FC’s depth is in the versatility of the squad, and not just the talent. Nash and Sarah Hunter shifted from their usual positions to make up part of a back three.
Wellington Phoenix are a young side, but Sydney’s emergency defence was still solid and composed to close out the game. Nash was excellent in her more familiar role.
LB: Ally Green (Sydney FC)
Green remains one of the competition’s most reliable and consistent performers. She dominates her side of the pitch.
The inexperienced Wellington Phoenix may have not threatened too much going forward but Green was as excellent as ever at left back.
Mackenzie Hawkesby (Sydney FC)
Hawkesby is the league’s in form player. She creates opportunities, turnovers and links the midfield with attack. Against Wellington Phoenix she scored a first half hattrick to help Sydney FC to a 5-0 win.
She has stepped into the role vacated by Clare Wheeler and is a key reason why Sydney FC is still undefeated after five rounds.
Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar)
Gorry returned to the field just over a month ago, but against Melbourne Victory she was really back.
This was vintage Katrina Gorry. She was dominant across midfield, constantly on the ball and knitting the play.
Her ability to finesse the ball in tight spaces is matched by her capacity to fire a long range rocket. Gorry’s shooting directly resulted in Brisbane’s first two goals, one that bounced off the Victory keeper to Larissa Crummer and the other that flew into the back of the net from almost 30 yards.
Gorry is a game changer and a spectacular footballer.
Taylor Ray (Sydney FC)
Ray is essential to the structure of the league’s top side. In her defensive midfield role she gave Wellington’s players no time or space to try and build attacks.
She is in excellent form and provides a strong foundation to a Sydney team known for their attack.
Chelsie Dawber (Adelaide United)
In a merciless performance, Dawber scored a brace as Adelaide came from behind to defeat Perth Glory.
Her first goal was a perfect finish. She was set up by Emily Condon’s run and received the ball on the right of the 18 yard box. Her finish to the far post was inch perfect.
Dawber’s second goal came from a similar spot but was spectacularly different. Adelaide won back possession and the ball was flicked through to her. With no space and a clock ticking to half time, Dawber unleashed a strike into the near top corner.
It was a brilliant performance from the Reds’ number 10.
Emily Condon (Adelaide United)
Gorry and Dawber might have contenders for goal of the week, but Emily Condon’s free kick might just be the pick of the bunch.
Condon lined up from just outside the box and rifled her shot past Morgan Aquino and into the net. It was perfectly struck and perfectly timed to bury Perth’s hopes of a third win in a row.
Prior to that Condon had set up Dawber’s first with a surging solo run through the middle of the pitch. Her pass to the striker was perfect in its timing and execution.
Glory’s defence has been solid in their opening two games. They were unable to control the pace and directness of Emily Condon. She was decisive in this match.
Alana Jancevski (Perth Glory)
In her second start for Perth Glory Jancevski showed why she belongs at this level.
Her penalty might have only just squirmed under Annalee Grove, but all that matters is that she scored it. The 18-year-old also deserves plaudits for stepping up to take the kick despite being the least experienced player in Perth’s attack.
She is more than just a striker though. Jancevski was able to drop deep and try and create for the Glory. Her ability to make space for herself gives makes her dangerous whether trying to find the strikers or lining up a shot herself.
Jancevski went into the season hoping just to get some minutes. She now has two goals in as many games.
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