Heroic Moments: Has Victory's new talisman Gielnik forced a power shift in Melbourne?
Two games, two goals in the one week for Emily Gielnik.
On Tuesday night, Gielnik grabbed Australia’s fourth as the Westfield Matildas trounced Chile 5-0 at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Days later, the 26-year-old grabbed her first goal for Melbourne Victory against cross-town rivals, Melbourne City.
It was the game fans had been anticipating for more than two weeks, and thanks to players like Gielnik, the wait was more than worthwhile.
Victory had taken a 1-0 lead in the first half courtesy of an own goal from Gielnik’s Westfield Matildas teammate, Elise Kellond-Knight.
Then, on 65 minutes, Gielnik would latch onto a Natasha Dowie through ball and race towards goal.
With an onrushing defender to her left, Gielnik only had moments to size up the opportunity and try to beat another Westfield Matilda, Lydia Williams.
Gielnik showed her composure and experience to slot the ball past Williams with ease, and send Victory to the top of the Westfield W-League ladder.
All the talk was about City going into Round 3, but now you can’t ignore Victory as we head into the rebel Female Football Round.
Where there’s a Willacy, there’s a way
They say football is a game of inches, and Sarah Willacy would most certainly agree.
Brisbane Roar hosted Adelaide United in a Round 3 clash both sides were desperate to win.
For Brisbane, it would signal two wins on the trot, while three points for Adelaide would put them right into the mix, having played one less game than most of their competitors.
And so on 49 minutes Adelaide goalkeeper Sarah Willacy flung herself across goal to the bottom right corner, denying Yuki Nagasato her maiden Westfield W-League goal.
The ball seemed destined to cross the line, but with her athleticism, Willacy flicked the ball out of harm’s way - or so it seemed.
The parry fell to Jenna McCormick, who lined up from six yards out. The Brisbane crowd were on their feet, waiting for the ball to bulge the back of the net.
Willacy would spoil their party though, sprawling across the goal-line to deny McCormick the opener.
The 23-year-old’s double save proved pivotal in Adelaide’s first win of the 2018/19 Season. Not only did it keep the scores level, but it helped them establish an ultimately unassailable buffer - and to consecutive clean sheets.
Two minutes after Willacy’s heroics, Dylan Holmes threaded a ball through for Veronica Latsko, who grabbed the game’s only goal.
Willacy’s heroics kept her team in the game, and will continue to give Adelaide confidence for the rest of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season.
Kerr gets the ball rolling
It was only a matter of time before Sam Kerr found herself on the score sheet for the 2018/19 Season.
After having a hand in three of Perth’s goals in Round 2, the 25-year-old was amongst the action again in typical Kerr fashion against Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday evening.
With Perth 1-0 up and nearing half-time, Maruschka Waldus tried to shepherd a ball across the byline.
Rachel Hill had other things on her mind though, jostling Waldus and emerging victorious with the ball. From there, the equation was simple: find an unmarked Kerr and watch the rest unravel.
Unravel it did, as Kerr kept her calm, steadied herself with two deft touches, and fired past Jada Whyman into the roof of the net.
On a more gruesome side note, Wanderers defender Georgia Yeoman-Dale sustained a nasty knock following a head clash with Glory's Sarah Carroll.
The 24-year-old came off worse for wear, but thankfully returned - albeit with a bandaged head. Not that she seemed too worried about it after the game.
Vine's banger a strike to remember
In any other week, Cortnee Vine’s strike against Canberra United would undoubtedly be the standout Heroic Moment.
Yet, such is the quality on show in the 2018/19 Season so far, Vine’s goal appears at the bottom of this list.
But let’s not take anything away from the 20-year-old.
With time ticking towards the interval, the Newcastle Jets forward received a seemingly innocuous pass from Katie Stengel on the edge of the box.
Few would have expected what happened next. Rather than taking the touch, Vine let the ball run across her body as she unleashed an absolute cracker with the outside of her right boot.
The ball began off-target, but such was the bend that it flew into the top-left corner, giving Sham Khamis no chance.
The pace, the power, the precision - take a bow, Cortnee Vine.