Heroic Moments: McCaskill treats special fans to Westfield W-League 2019 Grand Final fireworks
Sydney FC’s Westfield W-League 2019 Grand Final win over Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon may not have been possible without the inspirational performance of Savannah McCaskill.
The 22-year-old United States native had a little bit of extra motivation heading into the big dance after she found out her parents were spending almost 24-hours on the plane to see their daughter play.
That motivation must have worked as McCaskill’s sublime header from the unlikeliest of positions restored the lead for Sydney FC and set the tone for the rest of the match.
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Perhaps more important was the context in which it had happened.
In the second minute McCaskill had missed a guilt-edged chance, making a run to the far post and hitting the crossbar from only a few yards out.
Where others players would have buckled, McCaskill soldiered on and was rewarded for her perseverance.
In an article in The World Game, originally posted by AAP, McCaskill was grateful for her parents’ presence in what turned out to be her best performance for Sydney FC.
“I thought my dad was joking,” McCaskill told AAP.
“At first, I was like, ‘There’s no way you’re flying 19 hours out here for one game.’
“And he was like, ‘Yeah, we are’.
“They’ve been able to follow my entire career and have missed very few games.
“It’s just amazing for them to be able to enjoy the moment as well.”
McCaskill’s performance typifies the contribution Sydney’s imports have made during the campaign.
She, Sofia Huerta, Danielle Colaprico and Aubrey Bledsoe have been phenomenal for Ante Juric’s side, pivotal to the Harbour City-based outfit's Championship-winning run.
Mautz finishes season with stellar performance
Considering the outcome of the Westfield W-League 2019 Grand Final, this point may be merely a consolation.
But Alyssa Mautz deserves a mention for her stellar performance against Sydney FC, capped off by her goal on 68 minutes which seemed to draw Perth nearly back into the contest.
Her strike was sublime – the American peeled off her defender and found the top-right corner with one touch.
More impressive were stats throughout the match.
Only Sydney FC’s Ally Green had more touches than Mautz, while the winger whipped in five crosses and took four shots.
Mautz began the season ever so impressively, complementing Rachel Hill and Sam Kerr who went on to develop a telepathic understanding.
A mid-season slump didn’t dampen Mautz’s talent though, as she showed during the Grand Final why she is so highly rated.
Huerta with a forward's finish
When Sofia Huerta opened the scoring in the sixth minute for Sydney FC, many would argue it was the strike that only a forward could display.
And they weren’t wrong.
Huerta’s fourth goal of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season was in fact the goal of a striker, as she spent her nucleus years as a footballer in the frontline.
However, the US international took it upon herself to play in the backline as a means of getting into contention for the US national team.
That move may just pay dividends come June, as Huerta will have a huge case to press.
The 26-year-old claimed four goals and three assists in her first season for Sydney FC and may just have done enough to get on the plane to France.