By Joan Grey
Vroom! It’s Round 11 and six teams are in the race for a top-four finish to qualify for the Women’s National League.
Eastern Suburbs lead on points in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League, though with postponed matches in the mix, chasing teams have games in hand.
Game of the week
Eastern Suburbs and Western Springs are set to collide on Sunday, and while the stats favour Suburbs, it could be a tight race. Start your engines.
Suburbs have won all but two in the sides’ last ten encounters.
In the last four years, whenever these teams revved their engines against each other, there has always been a decisive winner, and never a draw.
The Lilywhites will be fueled by their 3-0 triumph in their April encounter against the Hoops. That match has been Springs’ only loss this season.
Springs, despite having played fewer games, boast the most goals scored in the 2023 Women’s Premier League, having scored 27 goals across eight matches.
Player to watch
Centreback Marisa van der Meer has joined her Wellington Phoenix teammate Chloe Knott at Auckland United.
Van der Meer was a key member of the New Zealand sides at the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay and last year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
She was also part of the New Zealand squad at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Van der Meer has re-signed with the Phoenix for the next A-League season.
The Ellerslie and West Coast Rangers showdown is shaping up to be a highly competitive match; just two points separate the two teams.
Both teams have shown their quality this season, but I think Rangers’ impressive defensive prowess will be their foundation for success on Sunday.
I’m tipping Rangers to achieve their sixth clean sheet of the season and win by two.
… one more thing
The Auckland United v Northern Rovers game has been transferred to North Harbour Stadium, Albany.
Games to be played on Sunday July 2, 2023
Eastern Suburbs v Western Springs
Madills Farm, St Heliers, 1pm
Auckland United v Northern Rovers
North Harbour Stadium, Albany, 1pm
*Transferred from Waikaraka Park, Onehunga
Hibiscus Coast v Hamilton Wanderers
Stanmore Bay Park, Whangaparaoa, 1pm
Ellerslie v West Coast Rangers
Michaels Ave Reserve, Ellerslie, 3pm
Friends of Football writer Joan Grey loves playing and writing about football. She plays football for Franklin United.