Westfield W-League Round 5 review: Four teams end the weekend tied at the top

Rachel Hill scored her seventh goal of the season, but the Glory still fell to Canberra. Four teams sit at the top of the ladder with nine points apiece.

Westfield W-League Round 5 review: Four teams end the weekend tied at the top
Canberra's Laura Bassett celebrates after scoring a goal against Perth to give her team a 3-1 lead | Photo: Mark Nolan - Getty Images

Three teams were on bye this weekend, but the Westfield W-League still had plenty of excitement to go around. At the end of the round, there were four teams tied for first place with nine points each. With the Australian Women's National Team facing off against China on Monday the league was forced to play its games without some of the best athletes in the country.

The Victory draw with the Wanderers

Natasha Dowie of the Melbourne Victory celebrates after scoring a goal to pull even with the Western Sydney Wanderers at 1 apiece | Photo: Scott Barbour - Getty Images
Natasha Dowie of the Melbourne Victory celebrates after scoring a goal to pull even with the Western Sydney Wanderers at one all | Photo: Scott Barbour - Getty Images

The first half of this game was interrupted by inclement weather with a delay breaking up the match. Before the delay, the Melbourne Victory were on fire with one shot just wide of the net and a second shot denied by the crossbar. After the rain fell and the sun went down it was time for the Western Sydney Wanderers to take control of the game when Erica Halloway finished a solid strike from the corner of the six-yard box following a poor clearance.

The second half started out with a flurry of Melbourne shots, culminating in a goal scored by Natasha Dowie (Boston Breakers) in the 63rd minute. Dowie scored after the Wanderer defense blocked a shot that fortuitously fell to her feet at the top of the six-yard box. Neither team had much of a threat during the rest of the second half and the game ended in a draw. The score was Dowie's third of the W-League season after she scored seven goals for Boston in 23 National Women's Soccer League appearances in 2017. Dowie is an English national, but she has not been called up for the England National Team in recent years.

The draw sees Melbourne and Western Sydney tied at four points each in the standings. The Wanderers will host Perth Glory next weekend while the Victory will travel to Sydney FC.

Canberra upsets Perth to draw level on the ladder

The Perth Glory remain at the top of the table, but a second loss in 2017 has allowed three other teams to draw level at nine points on the season. Canberra United started the game right with an 18th-minute goal scored by Grace Maher. Forward Rachel Hill (Orlando Pride) continued her tear through the W-League as she scored her seventh goal of the season in the 45th minute to bring the Glory level going into half-time. Canberra took the lead twelve minutes into the second half when Amy Sayer hit the top-right corner of the goal with a shot from outside the box. Ashleigh Sykes (Portland Thorns) earned an assist on the play. Rachel Hill had three shots in the 62nd, 63rd and 65th minutes before Canberra broke down the Perth defense and scored another second-half goal to take a 3-1 lead. The goal was scored by defender Laura Bassett, who plays for the England. Bassett (34) last played for England in September 2017 in a victory over Russia. Alexia Moreno tried to help Perth claw back into the game with an 87th-minute goal, but the game would end with a 3-2 Canberra victory. The Glory were missing their star striker, Sam Kerr (Sky Blue FC) due to international duty. Their only two losses have come while Kerr was not in the lineup. 

The victory brings Canberra to 3-0-1, and they will host the 3-0-1 Brisbane Roar next weekend. Perth (3-0-2) will travel to Western Sydney (1-1-2) next weekend. 

Three Americans score as Newcastle beats Adelaide 2-1

Tori Huster is swallowed up by her teammates after scoring Newcastle's second goal en route to a 2-1 victory over Adelaide United | Photo: Mark Brake - Getty Images
Tori Huster is swallowed up by her teammates after scoring Newcastle's second goal en route to a 2-1 victory over Adelaide United | Photo: Mark Brake - Getty Images

The Newcastle Jets are tied at first on the ladder after beating Adelaide United in the last game of the round. The Jets have earned nine points, but they sit in fourth place with the worst goal differential of the teams tied at the top of the standings. The scoring was started by Katie Stengel (Boston Breakers)  in the 32nd minute. Stengel was waived by the Washington Spirit in June, but she was claimed by the Boston Breakers shortly thereafter. Last season she played for the Western Sydney Wanderers during the NWSL offseason. Tori Huster scored a second Newcastle goal just after halftime in the 49th minute. Huster has made 103 appearances with the Washington Spirit since 2013, but she had not played in Australia since the 2014 season. Adelaide tried to make a comeback when Katie Naughton (Chicago Red Stars) scored a quick response in the 51st minute, but there would be no more scoring throughout the game. Red Stars teammate Danielle Colaprico earned the assist on her goal. Naughton has played with Chicago and Adelaide since 2016.

The victory brings Newcastle to 3-0-2 while Adelaide slips to 1-0-3. Adelaide's only victory came when Makenzy Doniak (North Carolina Courage) scored a hat-trick against the Perth Glory. Newcastle will be on bye next weekend while Adelaide will travel to Melbourne City FC