Canberra United celebrate after welcoming newest goal scorer

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Canberra United looked to their most experienced goal scorer, Michelle Heyman, in the first half but it was Sasha Grove who then stole the show to record her first A-League Women goal against Western Sydney Wanderers.

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In her third year with the senior squad, 18-year-old Grove has started in all 13 of Canberra’s matches this season.

Her latest match is one she won’t be forgetting anytime soon, when in the 54th minute she received an assist from teammate Nickoletta Flannery that set her up for her first ALW goal.

Canberra head coach, Njegosh Popovic, was unaware of the feat until after the match but had nothing but praise for the young star.

“She’s got speed, she’s got the ability to do repeated runs, and she’s versatile. We’ve thrown her into the midfield, we’ve thrown her in at left-back, and also as a winger up front. So she’s a very versatile player and she has a bright future ahead of her,” he said.

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Teammate, Laura Hughes, had just as much praise for her fellow Canberra local.

“I’m so proud of her. She was given a tough job, obviously she’s been playing fullback for us all season and then she got the chance up front, she did her job and got a goal winner,” Hughes said.

It was records galore for Canberra as Heyman’s brace extended her lead as the league’s leading goal scorer, now sitting on 91 strikes.

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Playing alongside each other for several seasons now, Hughes continues to admire everything she does for the team.

“She works really hard, she just wants to do the best for everyone on the team. Her personality on and off the field just pushes us and gives us energy,” Hughes said.

The result makes it three wins in a row for Canberra, something they haven’t managed in almost two years exactly with their last coming in March 2021.

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They now sit just two points behind a fourth-placed Melbourne Victory, a matchup that may prove to be crucial when they take the field against each other in two weeks time.

If they can keep up their performances, this might not be the last time we see Heyman and Grove on the scoresheet.

Feature image credit: Anthony Caffery Photography

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Grace Buckmaster
Grace Buckmaster
Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Covering Canberra United for the 2022/23 season. Women's sport enthusiast.

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