Calder United will play for a spot in a second consecutive NPLW Victoria Grand Final on Saturday afternoon when it meets FV Emerging in the semi-final.
Calder United vs FV Emerging
Saturday, 3 September
Kick-off: 1:00pm AEST
Veneto Club, Bulleen
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on NPL.tv
Season so far
Calder United clinched the NPLW Victoria Premiership before the final round of matches, lifting the plate for the second straight season after also winning it in 2019.
Mark Torcaso’s side finished the season with a 1-1 draw against Alamein FC last weekend, ending the campaign three points clear of Heidelberg United, who take on Bulleen Lions in the other semi-final.
A stunning season saw Calder concede just seven goals in the 21 regular season matches, which ranks as the best defensive record that the NPLW Victoria competition has seen since its first year in 2016.
Natasha Dakic, who on Friday won Calder’s Best and Fairest award, has led the defence at centre-back with fellow new Western United signing Alyssa Dall’Oste also having a superb season in goal.
As well as having the best defence in the league, Calder’s 52 goals scored were also unmatched, with Raquel Deralas leading the way on seven.
Calder enters the finals in remarkable form, unbeaten in five matches and boasting 14 wins in 16 games, a run that ultimately propelled the team to the top of the league.
FV Emerging actually defeated Calder United the last time the two sides met, with a first-half strike earning a 1-0 win at Keilor Park Recreation Reserve.
Prior to that, though, Calder had beaten Emerging twice during the regular season, with 4-0 and 5-0 wins in Rounds 2 and 9 respectively.
Alana Cerne scored excellent long-range goals in both wins and will be hoping to make an impact again after a breakout year in the senior team.
Coached by soon-to-be Western United Liberty A-League Women Assistant Coach Helen Winterburn, FV Emerging have defied odds to make the NPLW Victoria finals for the first time.
In similar fashion to Calder United, Emerging found a run of positive form at the crucial time heading into the end of the season as they ended the campaign with four straight wins, and five victories in six – the first of which was against Calder in the previous meeting.
Winterburn has done an outstanding job with the young team, beating every single team in the league across the season.
Captain Sarah Cain, who scored the winner against Calder in July, has top scored with eight goals, while 18-year-old Silver Bell Morris has stood out at centre-back.
Images via Jack Dilks