Moreton Bay United will take on The Gap this weekend in the second of two National Premier League Women’s Semi Final matches.
SEASON SO FAR
Moreton Bay United have been one of the strongest teams in the 2019 NPLW season, finishing in second place on the ladder with 56 points.
Across their season, the team recorded 18 wins, two draws and four losses with their longest winning streak lasting 11 matches.
But their recent form has provided mixed results. Over their last five games, Moreton Bay United scored two wins, one loss and one draw against upcoming Semi Final opponents The Gap.
Meanwhile, The Gap’s recent consistent form has been instrumental in their journey to the Semi Final. The team started the 2019 season strong and after winning the 2018 Premiership, it was clear they had something to prove.
Across the season, they recorded 15 wins, four draws and five losses, leaving them to finish strongly in third place on the ladder.
In their last five matches, they scored crucial wins against teams like Lions FC, Brisbane Roar/QAS and Eastern Suburbs in their Final Series clash.
The teams’ two clashes across the season were intense matches with close scores. Their first meeting was in Round 9 and resulted in a close 3-2 win for Moreton Bay United after Rhianna Pollicina scored in the 60th minute.
Similarly, the two teams’ second clash in Round 22 was just as intense but provided a different outcome.
Moreton Bay United had the upper hand for the majority of the match, leading 2-1. But a penalty goal in stoppage time from The Gap’s captain Ruth Blackburn led the match to end in a 2-2 draw.
Going into the Semi Final, Moreton Bay United have the slight edge but The Gap are known to cause disruption and could easily do the same this weekend.
Rylee Baisden has been one of the most consistent players throughout the 2019 season. Rounding out the regular season on an outstanding 33 goals, Baisden finished in first place for the Golden Boot. Along with Tegan Riding, Baisden earned herself an incredible 10 features in Team of the Week across the NPLW season.
Another key player for Moreton Bay United’s front line is Meaghan McElligott. She scored 19 goals across the regular season and finished in seventh place for the Golden Boot. While her efforts earned herself three appearances in Team of the Week, it’s her skill and pace on the ball that has been instrumental for her team this year.
Similarly, Ali Schaefer has been a great strength for Moreton Bay United’s midfield. Scoring 10 goals across the season for her team, Schaefer also earned herself an impressive seven nominations in Team of the Week. The midfielder will be a key asset in this weekend’s Semi Final.
Ruth Blackburn has been one of the most consistent players for The Gap. She’s scored 17 goals across the NPLW season but it’s her leadership skills as captain that has been key in The Gap’s journey to the Semi Final. Her efforts earned herself an incredible seven Team of the Week appearances.
Another strong midfielder for The Gap is Laini Freier. Also having scored 16 goals across the season, Laini has been a key force for her team. She’s featured multiple times in Team of the Week and will be one to watch this weekend.
Similarly, Laini’s twin sister Sharn Freier has been a consistent player for The Gap’s front line. Snagging 13 goals across the NPLW season, she also earned herself an impressive five appearances in Team of the Week.
Moreton Bay United v The Gap
Sunday, 15 September, 4:30pm
Words: Vivien Topalovic