Jessica McDonald will live in the Western United history books with a number of incredible moments in her guest stint with the Green and Black’s inaugural Liberty A-League Women team.
With the American star heading back home this week, we look back at her best moments for Western United.
Inaugural goal in Round 1 win against Melbourne Victory
Everything was set up for McDonald in Round 1 of the Liberty A-League season.
Coming in as United’s star international recruit, McDonald’s first game would come against Melbourne Victory, a club she represented almost a decade prior.
A tense opening half meant that a match-winner needed to show themselves in the second half, and there was no better source for the Green and Black.
As Hannah Keane’s saved shot spilled openly in the box, McDonald applied the finish and the celebration to match in front of Western United’s raucous home crowd at City Vista Pavilion and Sports Field.
It was a moment that will go down in Western United history forever, and yet another big-time moment in a career full of them for McDonald.
Long throw-in opens up remarkable Adelaide comeback
Incredibly quick, strong, dangerous in the air and deadly with her feet, McDonald made herself one of the most feared attackers within the white lines of the football pitch.
But her impact outside of the pitch also turned into a weapon for Mark Torcaso’s side.
McDonald’s long throw-ins doubled up as extra set pieces for United and came to the team’s aid in Round 3.
Down 1-0 against Adelaide United on the stroke of second-half injury time, McDonald flung a throw-in towards the penalty area, resulting in Hannah Keane’s lay-off for Sydney Cummings’ equaliser.
That gave United a lift at the end of the match and McDonald would go on to win a corner that produced Emma Robers’ winner, one of United’s most memorable results so far this season.
Late penalty win against Melbourne City
Western United had played out a gruelling, entertaining, frantic 90+ minutes against Melbourne City at AAMI Park.
Chloe Logarzo had scored a screamer off the bench to have United leading 2-1 with the final whistle approaching, and Kahli Johnson won free-kick near the corner flag on United’s right-wing.
Everyone in the ground might have expected McDonald to hold the ball in the corner when Logarzo played the free-kick to her, but the No.8 had other ideas.
McDonald decided she wasn’t done and burned a City defender before winning a penalty for a hand ball in the box, allowing Logarzo to tuck home from 12 yards and add another goal to the scoreline.
It was a moment that demonstrated McDonald’s immense competitiveness and desire to play until the final whistle to achieve the maximum outcome from the game.
Shining performance in final match in Hobart
McDonald left arguably her best for last in Green and Black, producing a superb display in her final game against Brisbane Roar in Hobart last weekend.
It had been a difficult opening to the game for United but McDonald remained a constant outlet on the right-wing, consistently being able to get United playing on the front foot.
Seeking a goal just before half-time, McDonald set up Hannah Keane to find the net and produced another superb assist for Tyla Jay Vlajnic after half-time.
Those two goals earned United another win and capped McDonald’s outstanding three months with the Club as she celebrated with her teammates and with the fans in Hobart after the match.