by George Rahovitsas
Following a resounding 12-0 thumping of Southern United on Wednesday, the ‘Bergers’ women side needed to bring that same intensity to their clash against the undefeated top of the table Calder side.
Unfortunately, it was a disastrous start for the girls that saw them concede within the opening minute of the game. Having to play from behind against an in-form Calder team was far from ideal. But, as they have for the entirety of the season thus far, the girls dug in and began to launch their own attack and haul themselves back into the contest.
The brilliant duo of Garcia and Allen combined brilliantly for the latter to finish her spectacular run with a near miss from point blank range. To add insult, Calder would recollect possession and charge forth with a counter-attack of their own that caught the Heidelberg girls off guard and leave them 2-0 down within the opening 17 minutes.
But even that wasn’t enough for the ‘Berger heads to drop. Following up from a brilliant display on Wednesday and her first goal, Steph Galea showed why she is the co-captain of this side. Willing her team forward, Steph bagged her second goal of the season to bring the contest alive in a game that began to look like it would fall out of the ‘Bergers’ reach.
Visibly lifted, the Bergers got on top and could very well have restored parity but for some misfortune in front of goal, and went in trailing 2-1 at the half time break.
The second half brought much of the same intensity that the first half ended with. Once again, the girls fought tooth and nail to bring this game back into their favour. As she has done so often already in this, Melissa Garcia was on hand to score, capitalising on Galea’s build up play, to power home her 11th goal of the season, and level the scores.
Sensing a major upset brewing, the ‘Bergers attacked with fervour, their ferocity threatening to derail Calder’s undefeated season. However, having withstood the Heidelberg onslaught, Calder gradually regained some composure, and the game was now in the balance.
With less than 10 minutes left on the clock, Heidelberg conceded a contentious penalty which was duly put away by Zimmerman to give the Calder forward her second goal of the match, and give her side the lead again. Despite the desperation of the ‘Bergers to again draw level, time was not on their side, and Calder walked away victorious after a pulsating affair.
After a disappointing result, the take-home message for the Heidelberg women is they now are beginning to believe that their best football can match it with any of the top sides, and they are capable of being serious title contenders this season.
Coach Bill Mihaloudis was philosophical after the match.
“Our poor start cost us, and we talked about stepping it up after half time, which to the girls’ credit, they did. In the end, had we just didn’t have enough composure for long enough, or else the outcome might have been a bit different. We’re still developing as a side, so we’ll keep getting better as the season goes on.”
Heidelberg United FC 2 (Galea 22’, Garcia 68’) – 3 Calder United FC (Zimmerman 1’, 81’(pen), A. Taranto 17’)
Heidelberg United 2 – 2 Calder United
*** Special mention:
To Heidelberg United’s Under 16s girls team that won their first game of the season, defeating Calder United 2-1. Well done!