Box Hill United ladies prevailed over Heidelberg United 2-0 at Wembley Park on Saturday, and versatile defender Olivia Ellis hailed the troops for a collective display.
Ellis scored alongside Emma Langley’s second-half strike to make it three wins out of three meetings for our senior women against the Bergers in the 2019 regular season.
In an action-packed match, Asuka Kakazu missed a spot-kick for Box Hill, while Heidelberg were thwarted by the woodwork thrice over 90 minutes.
After turning in another commanding display on Saturday, Ellis said, “It was a hard-fought win and we had each other’s back, which was great. We fought for each other, especially in the last 15-20 minutes, when it was really intense.
“It was a positive [first] half, so we just tried to continue in the second-half. It’s good to get that 2-0 [victory].
“They were physical. They have got Sidney [Allen] in the middle, but Caity (Caitlin Storay) did an amazing job shutting her down. As soon as Caity took her out of the game, we had so much freedom to play around them.”
The win against Heidelberg put Box Hill within touching distance of fourth position before facing Southern United in the last league outing. However, the side need to rely on other results to get confirmation if they can still make the cut in the top-four. Besides this strong NPLW run-in, Box Hill finished as the 2019 Nike FC Cup runners-up.
Ellis, who joined the ranks earlier this term, reviewed the progress of our youthful squad saying, “We have come so far. The first few games we lost, and from then, we have become disciplined defensively – that has made us so strong.
“We haven’t conceded nearly as many goals in this half of the season as we did in the first half. That’s why we are almost in the top-four, and we deserve to be there.”
The former Melbourne City W-League defender has been a leading light with consistent displays for Brian Roberts’ roster, bagging 23 league appearances and three goals so far.
On her personal progress with a new squad, the 20-year-old added, “It took me a while to get used to the 3-5-2 formation. But I love my centre-backs – Mia [Lantieri-Bartley], Tash (Natasha Dakic) and Rhi (Rhiannon Fensom). They are so strong and always have my back. I can get forward and I know that they’ll be there for me.”
Ellis stated communication as a cornerstone to this understanding, “I like to communicate – the more you talk, the more everyone knows what’s going on. I try to talk to them as much as I can, and let them know what’s happening. That has helped.”