Westfield W-League Team of the Week - Round 6

Western Sydney Wanderers produced the performance of the season in the derby, two rivals could not be separated, while the Melbourne City juggernaut rolled on. 

Another stacked weekend of Westfield W-League action brings the festive season even closer, and has given the team at w-league.com.au a real selection headache as we decide the best XI from Round 6.

We've gone with a 4-3-3 formation to house the finest contenders. Disagree with our selections? Let us know on Twitter!

Goalkeeper

Casey Dumont (Melbourne Victory)

Casey Dumont’s outstanding form continued as she recorded her first clean sheet of the season against a Brisbane Roar side who have hit their straps in recent weeks.

The 27-year-old made six saves in total, and claimed two crosses; the highlight being her superb recovery to deny Hollie Palmer’s rebound after she had already saved Rylee Baisden’s rifled shot.

She also made a brave save smothering at the feet of Tameka Yallop - one that will not show up on the stats sheet. Hayley Raso, Katrina Gorry, Yallop and Baisden piled the pressure on the Premiers' goal but nobody could beat the commanding Dumont.

WATCH: Dumont makes an amazing recovery to make the double save.

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Defenders

Natalie Tathem (Brisbane Roar)

The right-back played more like a winger against Melbourne Victory, offering attacking width as Baisden drifted inside while Roar hurried forward.

Tathem kept Victory’s US attacker Darian Jenkins pinned back in her own territory and showed her quality on the ball throughout Saturday morning’s match at Epping Stadium.

The 24-year-old’s sturdy showing in defence capped an impressive performance as she won three of five duels and made two clearances and two interceptions.

Brisbane Roar Melbourne Victory
Brisbane Roar's Natalie Tathem jostles for position with Melbourne Victory left-winger Darian Jenkins.

Emily Menges (Melbourne Victory)

Victory were under the pump against a Brisbane Roar side chasing all three points, and Menges barely put a foot wrong in a commanding display.

She was composed in possession, leading her team in touches, and put her body on the line to preserve the Premiers’ first clean sheet of the season, racking up five clearances and four interceptions. 

The 27-year-old American did earn a yellow card for her 26th-minute efforts in pulling down Raso to help her team regain their shape, but she left little margin for error in an otherwise faultless display against a dangerous Roar attack.

Emily Menges
Emily Menges kept the dangerous Hayley Raso at bay during Melbourne Victory's 0-0 draw against Brisbane Roar.

Kaleigh Kurtz (Canberra United)

Not even an incessant nose bleed could keep Kaleigh Kurtz from dominating in defence for Canberra United on Sunday afternoon.

The United centre half threw a blanket over the dangerous Mary Fowler as she rendered Adelaide’s attack virtually useless for the 90 minutes, making a team-high 47 passes, four clearances and two interceptions in a safe defensive display.

Kaleigh Kurtz
Kurtz showed composure and confidence in United's defence against the Reds

Steph Catley (Melbourne City)

The league leaders extended their winning run to five games on Thursday evening with a 1-0 win over Perth Glory, in which the Australian vice-captain was by far the most influential player on the field.

It was a moment of quality of Catley – a delicious free kick that had Glory 'keeper Eliza Campbell beaten and clattered off the underside of the crossbar – which saw Kyah Simon and Rebekah Stott combine for a scrappy winner at ABD Stadium.

Catley amassed a match-high 117 touches of the ball (Perth had just two players with over 60 touches), delivered a match-high 11 crosses, attempted more tackles (four) than any other City player and had three shots on goal. Imperious from the Westfield Matilda. 

REPORT: City bolster top spot with narrow victory over Perth

 

How to watch

Midfielders

Haley Hanson (Melbourne Victory)

A complete performance from Melbourne Victory’s tireless midfielder Haley Hanson was a key component to the home side earning a goalless draw against Brisbane Roar.

As the Queenslanders’ probed in Victory territory, Hanson seemed to cover every blade of the Epping Stadium turf, winning seven of 12 duels and racking up four clearances, four interceptions and three tackles.

The 23-year-old American used the ball intelligently, making the second most passes on her team (37) at a strong 78.4% success rate, including three chances created as the Premiers responded to Roar’s onslaught.

REPORT: Victory dent Roar's momentum as Finals Series contenders stay deadlocked

Melbourne Victory's Haley Hanson worked her sock off during the midfield battle against Brisbane Roar.
Melbourne Victory's Haley Hanson worked her sock off during the midfield battle against Brisbane Roar.

Denise O'Sullivan (Western Sydney Wanderers)

Irish international O'Sullivan is on a seven-match guest stint with the Wanderers, which is fantastic news for Westfield W-League opposition. 

The midfielder was majestic against Sydney, tirelessly setting the platform for the club's best-ever Westfield W-League performance.

Denise O'Sullivan
Denise O'Sullivan

Kyra Cooney-Cross (Western Sydney Wanderers)

Westfield Matildas great Michelle Heyman lauded Cooney-Cross as 'one of the next big things' after watching the 17-year-old dismantle Sydney on Friday and it is impossible not to be thrilled with the potential of this exciting young attacker. 

She might still be a teenager but the former Melbourne Victory starlet put on an absolute clinic against the reigning Champions, doubling the Wanderers' advantage in the sixth minute and scoring an incredible third from long range to sink the Sky Blues on the cusp of half time. 

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Forwards

Lynn Williams (Western Sydney Wanderers)

This was an individual performance that will haunt Sydney fans for years to come. 

Williams was near unplayable at Bankwest Stadium. Her pace and trickery helped the Wanderers mount an unassailable three-goal lead before the break, and the North Carolina Courage forward needed no invitation to get on the scoresheet herself in the second with two crisp finishes. 

And she could have had more two, were it not for the heroics of Sydney 'keeper Aubrey Bledsoe.

REPORT: Williams hits double as five-star Wanderers crush Sydney FC


Kristen Hamilton (Western Sydney Wanderers) 

Kristen Hamilton put on a sparkling display as the Wanderers hammered the Sky Blues 5-0 on Friday night.

The American striker assisted two of her side’s five goals of the game, linking up efficiently with Williams as the Wanderers put on a ruthless showing in front of goal.

Kristen Hamilton
Hamilton and Williams proved too hot for Sydney to handle

Leena Khamis (Canberra United)

Canberra United attacker Leena Khamis produced an individual moment of brilliance which highlighted her fantastic performance in Canberra's attack as they earned a hard-fought win on the road over the Reds.

The veteran scored a delightful half-volley from outside the box in the first half which put her side in front and she only grew in confidence from there, winning eight duels and laying three tackles as she committed her body to United’s cause and led her side to victory on the road.

Khamis strike a Canberra highlight
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