Western United will make more history in its first ever Liberty A-League Women Final, taking on Sydney FC with a place in the Grand Final on the line.
Liberty A-League Women Semi-Final
Sydney FC vs Western United
Sunday, 16 April
Kick-off: 5:45pm AEST
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live and free on 10Play, and on Paramount+
Mark Torcaso has named his extended squad for the Semi-Final and will welcome Emma Robers back into contention.
The No.11 missed the final match of the season against Western Sydney Wanderers with a knock to her ankle but will be ready to make her return in midfield for this crucial clash.
Chloe Logarzo is named in the extended squad and will be given every opportunity to prove her fitness while also playing a key role off the field for the group.
Western United squad: 1. Alyssa DALL’OSTE (gk), 2. Stacey PAPADOPOULOS, 4. Jaclyn SAWICKI, 6. Chloe LOGARZO, 7. Francesca IERMANO, 9. Hannah KEANE, 10. Kahli JOHNSON, 11. Emma ROBERS, 13. Danielle STEER, 14. Natasha DAKIC, 15. Adriana TARANTO, 16. Melissa TARANTO, 19. Tyla Jay VLAJNIC, 20. Sydney CUMMINGS, 21. Hillary BEALL (gk), 22. Alana CERNE, 23. Angie BEARD, 24. Julia SARDO
Last time out
Western United closed out the regular season with a strong showing two weeks ago, defeating Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1.
Hannah Keane scored either side of half-time to secure herself the Golden Boot and United the three points, helping the Green and Black end the campaign on a high.
Sydney FC continue to set the benchmark in the Liberty A-League, just pipping United to a third straight Premier’s Plate.
The Sky Blues’ squad is littered with talent, headlined by a plethora of attacking talent in Cortnee Vine, Princess Ibini and Madison Haley.
Sydney FC have played in every single Liberty A-League Finals Series and advanced to the Grand Final nine times, winning the Championship on three occasions.
Key Matchup: Hillary Beall vs Jada Whyman
Finals football is always a tense affair and this one could come down to the performances of two of the best goalkeepers in the league on either side.
Hillary Beall has been outstanding for Western United in her first ever season as a professional No.1, starting every single match and making a number of crucial contributions at the back.
The American has commanded her area and shown incredible shot-stopping capabilities making her an incredibly difficult obstacle to pass for opposing attackers.
Jada Whyman has been similarly effective for Sydney, maintaining her consistency as one of the competition’s leading goalkeepers for a number of years.
Both keepers will be desperate to hold onto a clean sheet and give their attacking teammates the best possible chance to win the game at the other end of the pitch.
Player to Watch: Angie Beard
Angie Beard is one of a number of players in Western United’s squad that comes into this game with the experience and know-how in cutthroat finals matches.
Having captained Melbourne Victory to a Liberty A-League Championship in 2021, Beard will know all about how to lead her team at the business end of the season.
Since joining Western United halfway through the season, Beard has had a significant impact on the team both on and off the field and will be crucial for United on both sides of the ball in this game.
Words from Mark Torcaso
On the mood and feeling in the group heading into an historic maiden finals campaign
“Everyone’s buzzing. As a group, collectively we’ve done a great job and we’re going into this weekend very prepared and we’re ready to go.
“It’s a huge achievement for us as a club. To finish second in our first season and play finals football is important for us. The players have been excellent all year and the staff have been amazing.”
On facing Sydney FC again after two tight battles in the regular season
“Sydney’s probably one of the strongest sides in the comp, if not the strongest. We’ve done our homework, we’ve beaten them and they’ve beaten us, so for us it will be putting together what we’ve worked on for the last two weeks.”
Words from the playing squad – Jaclyn Sawicki
On her personal sharpness and how she can use her experience in big games
“I’ve been progressing really well and feeling good. I’m ready to go and I know I’ve got the right people around me to support me.
“I’ll be trying to use that experience and the pressure that comes with the big games. Hopefully leading by example and playing with some composure and keeping that calmness.”