Stocky’s Scribbles: Good enough for a Gig

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With a ‘nothing to lose and everything to gain’ mentality, the U17 NTC Girls outplayed a laggard Heidelberg United Women’s side coasting home to a 3 goals to 2 win at Darebin today and securing their first win of the SportsMart Victorian Premier League season for 2014.

Words and images by Craig Stockdale

Winger Janna Lawson scored a brace while Noel Boersma chipped in for the remaining NTC goal.

After a torrid affair on Monday night against Sandringham, the youngsters certainly ‘upped the ante’ to prove that they are worthy of a gig in this league. Right from the moment the girls entered the arena, there was air of confidence that saw them control the majority of possession for the game right across the pitch.

Led by the experienced Australian U17 players of Goad and Stockdale, the NTC Girls turned on a football lesson that resulted in a comfortable win that really did not reflect the difference between the sides on the scoreboard at the close of play.

Jaime Brown once again lined up between the sticks while coach Montemurro led with Giulia Sepe, Maddy Stockdale, Jade Feakes (Big Bird) and Anabel Martin down back.

In the engine room, the formidable twins – Melissa and Adriana Taranto were swanning around playing keepings off with Beattie Goad who had the ball on a string all day.

Up forward, Janna Lawson, Tamara Balmaceda and Alexi Garcia were running amok all day and looking to attack right from the start.

Coach Montemurro talked about the need for the NTC Girls to start the game well and only 3 minutes into the game, a combination of smart, piercing passes ended up with one of the Taranto twins (not sure which one as I can’t tell them apart) smashing a beautiful right footer into the cross bar.

This set the tone for the day as the NTC Girls controlled the play out of defense and transitioned it smoothly through midfield to the runners up forward who were bombarding the goal line most of the first half.

The NTC defensive line was solid with Stockdale and Feakes controlling play and utilising their defensive wingers Sepe and Martin to create opportunities for the midfielders and forwards.

Both Sepe and Martin were outstanding in continuously repelling the Heidelberg forward thrusts while Stockdale muscled up and nullified the potency of star striker Eleni Fakos’s advances restricting her from taking any shots on goal apart from a free kick late in the first half.

Beattie Goad, fresh from her stint with the Melbourne Victory Women’s, played an absolute stunning game leading from the front in midfield and when moved to the wing, opened up the Heidelberg defensive line with some awesome crosses that resulted in goals to the NTC.

Due to enforced recovery from the W league season, Goad played her first full game and was adamant she would dictate the tempo of the game bringing her team-mates into the play with sharp delivery and great creativity.

At the 25th minute mark, Goad streamed down the left wing and pulled the trigger on a left footer that ricocheted off a sea of legs into the path of Janna Lawson who slotted the ball past the Heidelberg keeper for the first major of the game. 1 nil to the NTC and worried looks were on display from the Heidelberg bench.

Under loud instruction, Heidelberg continued to push forward on several occasions and at the 44 minute mark, they were able to capitalise on a loose formation in the NTC defensive line that allowed the opportunistic Julia Nicolaci to pounce and finish past the outstretched dive of Jamie Brown to register the Berger’s first major and level the scoreline at one all.

Spurred on by the celebrations from Heidelberg, the NTC Girls swung back into action and right on the half time whistle a nice passage of play through the midfield by the twins that saw another Beattie Goad pass hit the feet of Janna Lawson, registered the second major for NTC crashing into the back of the net and providing a nice buffer leading into the half time break.

With an unlimited number of rotations allowed for NTC games, coach Montemurro cleverly utilised his stellar bench of Jaimee Williams, Sky Jenson, Edith Fordyce-Croker and Noel Boersma to freshen up the second half.

Within minutes of the restart, Goad once again cut open the Heidelberg defensive line creating an opening for Noel Boersma to run onto the ball and slot home goal number three for the NTC Girls. Spectators on the sidelines echoed the style of football played by the NTC Girls today using words as cohesive, team orientated and unselfish football that yielded solid formations and well-structured set plays across the pitch. Every player contributed to the game style today and can be very proud of their efforts to run and chase for the entire game.

Just when the game looked like peetering out, the NTC defensive line allowed Melanie Camilleri from Heidelberg the opportunity to weave through and around the keeper to slot an easy second goal that wobbled the legs of a few supporters on the sidelines.

The NTC defensive line managed to withstand the unrelenting pressure from Heidelberg over the last 5 minutes as the Berger’s were desperate to square the score line only to run out of time in the end and provide a well-earned win to the young NTC Team.

Coach Joe Montemurro was delighted with the young NTC Girls efforts on the day and believes the team will only get better as every game progresses into the season. The style of football played is important to the coach and not necessarily the result but he admitted that it is always nice to walk away winners in a contest where NTC dominated possession for the majority of the play.

“We deserved this win today and once we tighten up some of our structure, we will be able to apply pressure on the more experienced teams during the year,” Montemurro said.

With the three points tucked away today, NTC will now move up the ladder and prepare for their next game against Monbulk Rangers at Darebin next Saturday April 12th at 3pm. Suggest you come down and see some of Victoria’s best U17 girls talent take on the might of Emily Hulbert, Emma Heckenberg and crew from Monbulk.

It should be a ripping game so come over next Saturday to DISC in Darebin.

A special get well message to the NTC Girls captain Jessica Pitts, who last Monday night against Sandringham received a very heavy knock to the head that saw her badly concussed and treated over night for whip lash and neck injuries. The girls and supporters wish you a speedy recovery Jess and look forward to your return in the very near future.

NTC U17 Girls 3 (Lawson 25 & 45, Boersma 48) defeated Heidelberg United 2 (Nicolaci 42, Camilleri 80)

NTC U17 Girls: 1. Jaime BROWN (GK), 2. Giulia SEPE, 4. Jade FEAKES, 6. Adriana TARANTO, 8. Melissa TARANTO, 9. Tamara BALMACEDA, 12. Alexi GARCIA, 13. Anabel MARTIN, 14. Maddy STOCKDALE,
18. Beattie GOAD, 19. Janna LAWSON

Subs: 3. Jaimee WILLIAMS, 5. Sky JENSEN, 11. Noel BOERSMA, 17. Edith FORDYCE-GOKER, 20. Lucinda KOLITSIS,

HEIDELBERG UNITED: Alexandra BOGDANOVSKI (GK), 2. Melanie CAMILLERI, 3. Maria TSOLACOS, 4. Michelle VERZI (c), 5. Angie RASSIAS, 6. Renee ZAIRIS, 8. Eleni FAKOS, 10. Elise KYRGIOS, 11. Penny BAKOPOULOS, 12. Julia NICOLACI, 13. Marie VOUTHAS.

Subs: 14. Dijana JOSEVSKA, 38. Ebru HASAN, 32. Eily TORRE, 31. Abbie POBJOY, 24. Irene TERZOPOULOS.

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