PREVIEW: Leaders Western Springs head south for challenging fixture

By Logan Smith

Women’s National League leaders Western Springs may face their most difficult challenge yet, travelling to Dunedin to take on Southern United.

Facing off on Sunday at the Dunedin Artificial Turf, Springs will be looking to make it nine points from a possible nine with another win while Southern will be after an upset to join Springs on six points.

Resounding wins over Central Football and Ellerslie have put Kate Sheppard Cup winners Springs top of the table, scoring 11 and yet to concede a goal.

However, with those two sides in the bottom two places and expected to face challenging seasons, the going is likely to get more difficult for Western Springs from here.

Southern began with a tight 1-0 defeat to Eastern Suburbs on home turf but responded emphatically with a 5-0 away win to the Wellington Phoenix Reserves, with imposing striker Amy Hislop bagging a hat-trick.

An exciting battle between an entertaining Springs frontline and a reliable Southern defence can be expected, with Springs scoring for fun so far and Southern having a very strong defensive record under head coach Kris Ridley that dates to the end of last season.

In particular, Southern will have their eyes on the threat Sofia Garcia poses, not just with her recent form but also given she scored four goals in two games against them last year, including a hat-trick at Seddon Fields.

Main photo: Western Springs striker Sofia Garcia … good record against Southern United. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

However, the visitors should also be wary, for while Southern’s exploits in the final third left something wanting last season, they showed no struggle in smashing five goals past Wellington Phoenix Reserves in a dominant performance.

It promises to be a good match, and perhaps one that could set the winner on path for a strong season.


Southern United

Lauren Paterson, Hayley Julian, Amy Simmers

Hannah Mackay-Wright, Toni Power, Samantha Woolley, Jemma Wilson, Marissa Porteous, Tahlia Roome, Freya Partridge-Moore, Saffron Hare

Rose Morton, Maddy McCormick, Kendrah Smith, Abby Rankin, Katie Mawdesley, Jemma McCormick, Shania McIntosh

Jemma Wilson, Margarida Dias, Amy Hislop, Georgia Kennedy, Zara Pratley, Bee Park, Raegan Potter

Western Springs

Michaela Mitchell, Angelique TuiSamoa

Tiana Hill, Lily Jervis, Jaedeci Uluvili, Helena O’Connor, Arisa Takeda, Megan Lee, Kitty Jacob, Anija Irvine, Charli Dunn

Lily Taitimu, Liz Savage, Jess Innes, Rina Hirano, Rhee Morrison, Lara Colpi

Celia Mayo, Sofia Garcia, Sammi Tawharu, Ela Jerez, Maia Lythe, Cleo Carmichael


Game to be played on Sunday October 8, 2023

Game to be played on Sunday October 8, 2023

Southern United v Western Springs
Logan Park, Dunedin, 12pm

Logan Smith

Logan Smith is a passionate football fan and volunteer, based in Dunedin, covering the Southern League.

More football stories