Team of the Week, presented by Bunnings Warehouse – Round 9

Brisbane Roar were the big winners once again in Round 9 as the Queenslanders ramped up the pressure on Sydney FC on top of the Westfield W-League table.

The Sky Blues got a victory of their own, edging Adelaide United 2-1 on Sunday afternoon before the Roar thumped Perth Glory 4-0 in the final fixture of the round.

Perth played twice in Round 9, picking up no points after Western Sydney Wanderers edged Alex Epakis' side 1-0 on Thursday night.

Melbourne Victory travelled to face Newcastle Jets on Saturday afternoon and won 2-0, collecting their third win on the bounce to surge into third on the Westfield W-League table.

There were plenty of top performances produced in the Round 9 fixtures - read on to see who made it into the 4-4-2 formation of our Team of the Week, presented by Bunnings Warehouse.
 

READ: Westfield W-League Save of Round 9 - Lily Alfeld
MORE: 
Westfield W-League Goal of Round 9 - Olivia Chance

Goalkeeper

Gabriela Garton - Melbourne Victory

Gabriella Garton saved every shot she faced against Newcastle Jets, keeping out a strike force led by Tara Andrews to hold onto a clean sheet in Melbourne Victory's 2-0 win on the road.

Garton had three saves to make throughout the afternoon but made sure each one mattered. The pick of the bunch came just before half-time when Andrews lashed a close-range shot at her near post; Garton was alert to push the ball wide as Victory took the two-goal lead into the break and held it until the final whistle.

HIGHLIGHTS: Garton keeps Andrews and co. out as Victory preserve clean sheet

Defenders

Winonah Heatley - Brisbane Roar

It was a busy afternoon for Brisbane Roar right-back Heatley, who had a game-high 110 touches in her side's 4-0 drubbing of Perth Glory.

The defender attempted six tackles, won eight of nine duels and made three clearances throughout the evening. Heatley could have added a goal of her own to Brisbane's tally in the first half, sparking a chance from an excellent interception and whipping a cross toward goal which ended up brushing the underside of the crossbar rebounding away from danger.

REPORT: Gielnik, Crummer amongst the goals as classy Roar thump Glory
REACTION: Crummer’s 758 days of pain eradicated with one emotional goal

CHANCE: Heatley hits the crossbar as Brisbane heap pressure on Perth

Caitlin Cooper - Western Sydney Wanderers

A composed display in the heart of defence and a decisive impact in attack from Caitlin Cooper helped Western Sydney edge Perth Glory 1-0 on Thursday night.

Cooper played 40 passes at a game-high accuracy of 90% from all 22 starters in the contest. The centre-back enjoyed a 100% success rate in tackles and duels, whilst helping her side get over the line with a marauding run through midfield in the first half, dribbling through the middle of the park and feeding Julie-Ann Russell for the only goal of the game.

Cooper run sets up Russell to finish

Kayla Morrison - Melbourne Victory

Morrison has demonstrated her aerial prowess in defence this season for Victory but thundered in an excellent back post header to kickstart the Melbourne club's 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday.

The centre back patrolled the defence with notable diligence when Newcastle upped the ante in the second half, and ultimately proved too solid for Jets top-scorer Tara Andrews to breach.


Angela Beard - Melbourne Victory

A faultless performance from the left back helped Victory cruise past the Jets on Saturday.

Beard misplaced just one of her 38 passes on the night, and dominated her side of the pitch throughout 90 minutes of high energy and aggression.

Angela Beard
The Victory captain was near-perfect on the ball as her side beat Newcastle 2-0

Midfielders

Teresa Polias - Sydney FC

Teresa Polias makes the Team of the Week for the sixth time this season after yet another dominant display for the Sky Blues against Adelaide United on Sunday afternoon.

The midfielder assisted both of Sydney's goals from corner routines on either side of half time, displaying the precision to drop the ball on the head of Adelaide 'keeper Annalee Grove for Remy Siemsen and Cortnee Vine to attack.

Polias whipped in five crosses throughout the 90 minutes, won three of five tackles and five of eight duels to go along with three clearances and one interception as the Sky Blues held on to register a 2-1 win over Adelaide.

GOAL: Polias assists Siemsen opener

Clare Wheeler - Sydney FC

89 touches and 64 passes helped Clare Wheeler boss the centre of the park for Sydney FC against the Reds.

Wheeler was everywhere for the Sky Blues, playing two key passes and lashing three shots on goal from distance which continued to trouble Annalee Grove in goal for the Reds. 

Olivia Chance - Brisbane Roar

The New Zealand international has been one of Roar's most consistent players in 2020/21 and chose the perfect time to score her first Westfield W-League goal.

And it was worth the wait too, with her venomous strike giving the keeper no chance, while she added an assist as well in a player of the match performance at Lions Stadium on Sunday night.

WATCH: Chance hits a screamer

Kyra Cooney-Cross - Melbourne Victory

The young Australian international issued another reminder of her undeniable talent in Victory's 2-0 triumph over the Jets. 

Cooney-Cross set up Morrison's headed opener on eight minutes with a great cross, hit the woodwork with a venomous effort and created four chances for her teammates in a sparkling performance. 

 

Forwards

Emily Gielnik - Brisbane Roar

There is arguably no more in-form player in the Westfield W-League right now than Gielnik, who scored her seventh and eighth goals of the campaign in the 4-0 demolition of Glory.

Her first strike - from barely two metres inside Glory's half - will take some beating in the race for the Goal of the Season.

And if it wasn't for Glory shot-stopper Lily Alfeld, Gielnik could have had a couple more goals to her name on the night.

WATCH: Gielnik scores from almost halfway

Melina Ayres - Melbourne Victory

Ayres did not add to the brace she scored against the Jets a fortnight ago but delivered another excellent performance.

The forward's vision around the penalty box was sublime, as shown by her threaded assist for Catherine Zimmerman. Ayres was a considerable threat throughout and on another occasion, she could very well have added her name to the scoresheet.

REPORT: Newcastle Jets 0-2 Melbourne Victory
REACTION: Hopkins outlines 'where the big improvements can be' as surging Victory eye top-four finish