Box Hill United senior women’s midfielder Alison Baker said she was pleased with how the team stuck to the plan in their 3-1 win over Geelong Galaxy United in the NPLW opening round on Saturday.
Box Hill dominated the game at Stead Park in the campaign’s first away fixture, where strikers Maja Markovski (brace) and Emma Hubbard scored to clinch full points.
Veteran Baker also played a cameo role late in the second-half, threatening with her dangerous crosses from the flank and forcing the opposition goalkeeper Emily Kenshole to a diving save.
Looking back at the Round 1 clash, she said, “We came out the way we wanted to play, which was very disciplined and passing [the ball] around [nicely]. But credit to them (Galaxy United) – they played a good defensive structure and we struggled sometimes to get through the way we usually do.
“Around the wing, there was a lot of space that we didn’t necessarily capitalise on inside the box, but that’s the result (opening win) we were hoping for.”
Reviewing her teammates’ comprehensive performance, the utility player added, “We played the way we wanted [to], which was to possess [the ball] and not panic and kick it.
“Although at times it seemed there was a little ping-ponging around, but we settled into it in the second-half and took away the points. But we could have finished with a few more [goals].”
Box Hill ladies play three away games in the first four rounds of NPLW fixtures, and the player of Canadian-Australian descent said each game needs to be treated on its own merit, and further highlighted the hearty support of our fans in challenging encounters on the road.
She explained, “[It is difficult] for a lot of the girls – they have to drive an hour-and-a-half [and] they are not used to that. But we came in with the right mentality and everyone was really focused before the game. So, it’s the best way to start the season.
“You want to come in every time, take each game as it comes and go as hard as you can. It’s always going to be hard because the other team (home team) has all their supporters. But we had a good crowd here, considering how far it is [to Geelong]. So that really helped us as well.”
It is a long season, and the former South Melbourne midfielder said the team needs to continue progressing, “The two things we could have done better today – maybe it was our passing. We did not warm up on this ground, so it was hard to see, and the ball was moving quite slow.
“So, it is about getting the passes right, gelling and getting into a rhythm. And the other thing is finishing [from] our chances.”
The ladies next face Bayside United at Kingston Heath (March 2), and Baker expects a tough midfield battle. She said, “That is going to be a game that will be won in the centre of the park, because they (Bayside) have some good central midfielders.
“But that’s what we are going to have to do – win it in the middle of the park and keep playing down the line like we usually do.”