Race to be crowned goal queen heats up

The race for the Westfield W-League championship is arguably the most intense in the six-year history of the competition.

The race for the Westfield W-League championship is arguably the most intense in the six-year history of the competition.

Equally so is the contest to finish as the highest individual goalscorer in the competition and claim the Westfield W-League Golden Boot Award.

The four players to earn the coveted top goalscorers award includes, unsurprisingly, some of the great forwards of the modern era. Sydney FC-s Leena Khamis, Canberra United-s Michelle Heyman (twice), Sydney FC-s Kyah Simon and Perth Glory-s Kate Gill all have had their names engraved on the trophy.

This season, seven players are within two goals of top spot at the halfway point of the season. Melbourne Victory-s Caitlin Friend has a lone hold at the summit with five goals, one clear of Western Sydney Wanderers- Catherine Cannuli, as well as Canberra United duo Michelle Heyman and Stephanie Ochs. In touching distance are three further talented players with an eye for goal; Lisa De Vanna, Jodie Taylor and Katrina Gorry.

The league-s best team tally so far is Melbourne Victory with 14. While the Victory have tallied six different goalscorers in their six matches, it is the team from the nation-s capital which boasts the deadliest duo with Ochs and Heyman combing for eight of ten goals thus far.

And Heyman, who knows a thing or two about scoring goals in the Westfield W-League, says her partnership with USA U-23 international Ochs will only get better as the season goes on.

''In training and games we're able to read each other and work well off each other, so it (the one-field partnership) has been good,” said Heyman.

“She loves playing in the middle and I always tend to drift out wide, so we complement each other in a way.''

After winning the competition's Golden Boot in Canberra-s remarkable unbeaten championship-winning season in 2011/12, Heyman scored just twice as United unexpectedly missed the finals.

The upcoming match against top-of-the-table Melbourne Victory after the Christmas break may well go some way to deciding both the premiership and the coveted golden boot award.

5 goals Caitlin Friend (Melbourne Victory)

4 goals Catherine Cannuli (Western Sydney Wanderers), Michelle Heyman, Stephanie Ochs (both Canberra United)

3 goals Lisa De Vanna (Melbourne Victory), Jodie Taylor (Sydney FC), Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar)

2 goals Christina Julien, Rosie Sutton (both Perth Glory), Alexandra Gummer, Tiarn Powell (both Adelaide United), Jessica Fishlock, Enza Barilla (both Melbourne Victory), Nicola Bolger, Emma Kete, Renee Rollason (all Sydney FC), Hayley Raso (Brisbane Roar)