Nike F.C. Cup semi-final preview: Box Hill United vs Melbourne University SC

It is down to the 2019 Nike F.C. Cup last-four, and Box Hill United’s senior women are up against State League elites Melbourne University on Wednesday (10 July, 7.30PM kick-off).

 

The affair at the CB Smith Reserve is a repeat of last season’s quarter-final, when Box Hill took the laurels 3-0 on penalties (2-2 A.E.T), and eventually finished as tournament runners-up against Calder United.

 

Box Hill, under Brian Roberts’ tutelage, have so far scored 17 goals and conceded just one across three rounds. Their stellar journey was flagged off in Round 3 with a 7-0 thrashing of 2015 champions Boroondara Eagles.

 

Olivia Ellis’ double at the Knox Regional Football Centre was built on by Caitlin Storay, Asuka Kakazu, Saphri Lines and Adelyn Ayton, alongside an Eagles’ own goal. The scoreline could have been different, but for United hitting the opposition goal-frame no less than five times!

 

In Round 4, fellow NPLW outfit Alamein FC were brushed aside 2-0 in extra-time at Wembley Park. After a goalless 90 minutes, Box Hill sprung to life in epic fashion despite captain Saphri Lines’ red card.

 

Box Hill’s gritty display over 120 minutes was underlined by goals from Emma Hubbard and Maja Markovski, while 17-year-old debutant Gabriella Eggleton served up a sterling show between the sticks, making three crucial saves to help her team over the winning post.

 

In the quarter-final, 2012 Cup champions Box Hill faced another tricky test from Eltham Redbacks’ ladies, but made short work of the opposition in an 8-1 victory on home turf.

 

On a wet evening, Lines and Hubbard each netted a double, and defenders Natasha Dakic and Ellis, vice-captain Hayley Geurts and midfield enforcer Storay bagged goal-a-piece.

 

Wednesday’s semi-final opponents Melbourne University are the only State League outfit left in the 2019 edition, and have shown superb form with 12 goals in three rounds and three clean slates.

 

The Carlton-based outfit progressed to the last-four via comprehensive 4-0, 3-0 and 5-0 victories over Old Xaverians SC (Rd 3), Whitehorse United SC (Rd 4) and Preston Lions (quarter-final), respectively.

 

Melbourne University had also clawed their way to the semi-final of Victoria’s premier women’s knock-out competition in 2014, but Bulleen Lions became an insurmountable hurdle, who prevailed 4-0 at the Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.

 

Moreover, Box Hill had got the better of Melbourne University in the 2012 edition – then known as the Pelada Cup – at Wembley Park via a 5-3 Round 4 victory.

 

Supporters wishing to travel to this Wednesday’s clash at the CB Smith Reserve are welcome to do so at the following venue:

CB Smith Reserve,

79 Jukes Road,

Fawkner, VIC 3060. 

 

Images courtesy: Football Victoria

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