November 7, 2010

Familiar Faces in Aussie W-League

The Australian Westfield W-League began play this weekend and there are several faces familiar to US soccer fans that dot the rosters for various teams.

Ashleigh Gunning, who has spent time in WPS camps, plays for Adelaide. She was in the starting lineup facing Newcastle and their goalkeeper, none other than Boston Breaker keeper Allison Lipsher. Lipsher got the best of Adelaide on this day, gaining the shutout as Sasha McDonnell scored two late goals to lead Newcastle to a 2-0 victory. Newcastle's roster also features Niki Cross, who has spent time with FC Gold Pride, Boston, and Saint Louis in WPS. Cross was injured in training and did not play in the first match.

Meanwhile, Sydney got two goals from Matilda star and former Chicago Red Star, Heather Garriock, in their 4-2 victory over the Brisbane Roar. Lydia Vandenbergh, also a Red Star, started for Sydney after spending last season for Central Coast Mariners, which dropped out of the league.

Canberra United defeated Perth 4-1 led by a hat trick from Michelle Heyman, who led the league in goals last season as a Mariner. Lydia Williams, who spent time with Chicago, played goalkeeper for Canberra. Washington Freedom defender Alex Singer started for Perth.

Finally, Kendall Fletcher of Sky Blue FC and formerly with Saint Louis Athletica, is on the roster for Melbourne, which had a bye week. Fletcher, like Vandenbergh, Heyman, and USWNT goalkeeper Jill Loyden, played for Central Coast last season.

Information for this story was obtained from the Official Website of the Westfield W-League. Follow W-League action at http://www.w-league.com.au/.