Box Hill United’s senior women delivered a polished display to record a 3-1 away win over Geelong Galaxy United in the NPLW opening round.
The game at Stead Park spawned chances galore for Box Hill, who scored through strikers Maja Markovski (brace) and Emma Hubbard. Galaxy pulled one back against the run of the tide through Japanese youngster Kanna Oda.
The Brian Roberts-tutored Box Hill side were at the thick of things early on, with Hubbard and captain Saphri Lines both being thwarted by the opposition goalkeeper Emily Kenshole.
Kenshole was on her toes once again 20 minutes into the first-half, denying Hubbard from inside the box on consecutive occasions.
The hosts had a rare foray forward through Coco Cummins down the right, but her encouraging cross whizzed across the goal frame, with no Geelong player meeting it.
The hosts struggled against Box Hill’s combination play and pace along the wings, which opened the door to the latter’s first goal on 29 minutes.
Markovski was brought down inside the Geelong penalty area while tussling for possession, and the lanky forward rifled into the roof of the net from the resulting spot-kick.
However, Oda’s wonder-strike on 40 minutes brought Galaxy right back into proceedings, as her long-distance dipping left-footer found the target.
The visitors were undeterred, though, and restored their advantage two minutes later when Markovski collected Lines’ feed to tuck home her second of the evening.
Box Hill’s confident showing continued after the break, as Kenshole was pressed into another close-range save. But she could not deny Hubbard from scoring on 57 minutes, who guided home Lines’ pass.
However, Box Hill goalkeeper Alyssa Dall’Oste needed to be alert midway through the second period, confidently rushing out of her line twice to smother the danger when Galaxy threatened on the counter.
Hubbard and Co. continued to be a menace deep into the game, with skipper Lines and veteran wide player Alison Baker both forcing Kenshole to flying stops, while defender Natasha Dakic hit the upright following a corner.
But the scoreline remained unchanged, and Box Hill returned home with three crucial points before facing Bayside United in the next round at Kingston Heath.
Box Hill United starting XI: N Dakic, A Dall’Oste (GK), R Fensom, H Geurts (A Baker 67), E Hubbard (C Storay 75), A Kakazu, M Lantieri-Bartley, S Lines ©, M Markovski, G Norbury (A Ayton 61), E Vatcky