US players in Australia: ‘hat-trick’ Hill stars in Westfield W-League

Rachel Hill’s sparkling treble stole the headlines in Round 2 as a string of stars from the United States continued their stellar starts to the Westfield W-League season.

Get the lowdown on some of the American players lighting up Australian shores this summer as the league goes from strength to strength.

RACHEL HILL

Think Sam Kerr is enough of a handful?

Paired with US youth international Hill, the lethal duo is an almost impossible handful for opposition defences.

Brisbane Roar can attest to that after the 22-year-old bagged a poacher’s hat-trick in a 4-1 win at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, adding to the opening-round brace she netted against champions Melbourne City.

Five goals in three matches and seemingly many more to come from the Orlando Pride loanee.

Rachel Hill has made a stunning start to life in the Westfield W-League.
Rachel Hill has made a stunning start to life in the Westfield W-League.

LO’EAU LABONTA

Opened her account in just her second Westfield W-League appearance with a superb fizzing finish in Western Sydney’s 2-1 home win over Adelaide United.

The dynamic Californian midfielder has caught the eye since joining Kansas City in 2016 and looks set to turn heads in Australia judging by her first two appearances in the red and black.

Lo’eau Labonta was excellent in the Wanderers’ win over Adelaide.
Lo’eau Labonta was excellent in the Wanderers’ win over Adelaide.

MAKENZY DONIAK

While LaBonta and the Wanderers denied her side a point, exciting forward Doniak made a bright start to her Adelaide career by netting a debut goal at Marconi Stadium.

The 23-year-old is on loan from North Carolina Courage, who were beaten 1-0 by Orlando in this year’s NWSL final.

Doniak will hope for more fortune with the Reds, where she and fellow new arrival Alyssa Mautz have linked up with compatriots Danielle Colaprico and Katie Naughton.

Adelaide’s Makenzy Doniak chases down her Wanderers opponent at Marconi Stadium.
Adelaide’s Makenzy Doniak chases down her Wanderers opponent at Marconi Stadium.

EMILY SONNETT

The most accomplished internationally of her fellow American imports, the Portland Thorns star is the only foreign player in Sydney FC’s squad.

Sonnett has represented her country on 12 occasions and helped the Thorns finished top of the NWSL in her maiden campaign in 2016.

She scored from the spot on debut for the Sky Blues in Round 1 and, while Ante Juric’s side are yet to register a point, that trend is unlikely to last as the versatile Sonnett fully adjusts to Australian football.

Emily Sonnett was one of Sydney FC's best in the loss to the Jets.
Emily Sonnett was one of Sydney FC's best in the loss to the Jets.

TORI HUSTER

Arin Gilliland starred with a goal and an assist in Newcastle’s impressive 2-0 defeat of Sydney FC, but experienced midfielder Huster could prove most important in the Jets’ push for a Finals Series spot.

Washington Spirit’s longest-serving player won a national team call-up in 2015 and is back for her third stint in the Hunter.

Huster, an Ohio native, knows the competition inside out and will set an important platform alongside Emily van Egmond.

Emerging goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom and Boston Breakers striker Katie Stengel, a former Wanderers loanee, round out a strong American contingent at Craig Deans’ disposal in Newy.

Tori Huster battles for the ball with Sydney FC's Amy Harrison.
Tori Huster battles for the ball with Sydney FC's Amy Harrison.

NIKKI STANTON

Unfortunately, Glory's three points did come at a heavy price with influential US midfielder Nikki Stanton sustaining a broken arm against Roar, an injury that could keep her out of action for six weeks.

Nikki Stanton races clear of Katrina Gorry.
Nikki Stanton races clear of Katrina Gorry.