Western United will play its first ever away match in the Liberty A-League Women with a clash against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
Liberty A-League Women Round 2
Wellington Phoenix vs Western United
Saturday, 26 November
Kick-off: 1pm AEDT
Sky Stadium, Wellington
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live and free on 10Play, and on Paramount+
There is one addition Western United’s extended squad with Natasha Dakic coming in and hoping to fight for a place in the matchday squad.
Tyla Jay Vlajnic is in line to appear in the matchday squad for the first time having missed the opening fixture due to international clearance.
Chloe Logarzo will hope to increase her minutes, while Jaclyn Sawicki will be out to make her Western United debut.
Western United squad: 1. Alyssa DALL’OSTE (gk), 2. Stacey PAPADOPOULOS, 4. Jaclyn SAWICKI (c), 6. Chloe LOGARZO, 7. Francesca IERMANO, 8. Jessica McDONALD, 9. Hannah KEANE, 10. Kahli JOHNSON, 11. Emma ROBERS, 14. Natasha DAKIC, 15. Adriana TARANTO, 16. Melissa TARANTO, 18. Aleksandra SINCLAIR, 19. Tyla Jay VLAJNIC, 20. Sydney CUMMINGS, 21. Hillary BEALL (gk), 22. Alana CERNE, 24. Julia SARDO
Last time out
Western United made history last weekend by playing in and winning its first ever Liberty A-League match.
A solitary goal from Jessica McDonald secured a spectacular 1-0 win over reigning Champions Melbourne Victory in front of a bumper home crowd in the inaugural fixture.
Despite a Round 1 defeat, Wellington Phoenix are on a high after creating a piece of history themselves with their first ever match on home soil in Wellington.
A record standalone fixture crowd of 5,213 people welcomed the Phoenix to Sky Stadium, but Melbourne City rose to the occasion to take a 4-1 win.
Wellington entered the Liberty A-League last season and developed strongly with both of their wins coming in the final four matches, though they couldn’t take the side off the bottom of the table.
Key Matchup: Emma Robers vs Betsy Hassett
After impressing in United’s two pre-season friendlies, Emma Robers continued her excellent form in midfield and will need to be at her best again as she meets Wellington’s Betsy Hassett.
The 32-year-old has played in top divisions around the world and has been to two FIFA Women’s World Cups and three Olympic Games with New Zealand, racking up some 128 appearances for her country.
The battle in midfield could be crucial in deciding the contest, with Robers hoping to gain the upper hand once more.
Player to Watch: Jessica McDonald
McDonald opened her Western United account in Round 1 and will be out to continue the goal-scoring feeling this weekend.
The American star was a constant threat to Victory’s defence with her pace, tenacity and ability on the ball and will again be a key part of United’s attacking play.
Words from Mark Torcaso
On what he makes of the challenges that Wellington Phoenix pose
“I actually thought they were quite good at the start of the game. They’ve got a lot of pace, they’re a tricky side.
“They’ll have the advantage playing on their home ground. You can’t take anyone lightly, they’ve got some key players that are going to be really dangerous and we need to make sure we’re on our game.”
On quickly turning the attention onto the next match after the buzz of Round 1
“We moved on from that game straight away. We were happy to get the result obviously, it was good to beat the Champions – we only play them once so taking three points off them is great.
“But it’s in the past now, now we focus on Wellington. Our focus will be to try and get another three points.”
Words from the playing squad – Hillary Beall
On this being the team’s first away trip together
“I always love travelling. Away trips are the best trips, being with the girls and getting to know everyone. I’m excited, I think the girls are excited, everybody loves each other so we’re ready.”
On the feeling amongst the group after the Round 1 win
“I think there was a little bit of extra pressure to get that win against Victory, but I think we’re excited, first away trip and the girls are doing well.”