Mariners Women in action on Unite Round opening night

Central Coast Mariners Women are in action on the opening night of Unite Round on Friday evening, taking on Wellington Phoenix at 7:45 at Leichhardt Oval.

Following a day of girls’ grassroots football activity at Leichhardt, Melbourne Victory take on Perth at 5pm, before the Mariners are in action at 7:45pm.

The Mariners come into the game on the back of a 0-0 draw with Sydney FC. It was another solid defensive display from Emily Husband’s side, who did have the better chances at the other end too, but just couldn’t find the breakthrough.

Wellington have lost ground on the top two in recent weeks with a run of just one win in their last five, including back-to-back defeats. Last time out, they were beaten 2-1 by Brisbane Roar.

The Phoenix are now fourth with 16 points, a win for the Mariners would take them to within a point of Wellington with a game in hand, so this is a real opportunity to make a step towards the top six in the Liberty A-League.

Previous meeting

The previous meeting between the two sides back in November proved to be a historic day for the club, our first home victory since rejoining the A-League.

It was poetic that Mariners Academy product Annalise Rasmussen provided the all important moment with an emphatic finish in the 76th minute.

A fantastic counter attack that started with Izzy Gomez, before Wurigumala advanced down the right and picked out Rasmussen who arrived in the box and fired into the roof of the net.

Players to watch

Nominated for the Liberty A-League Player of the Month award, Chinese International forward Wurigumula has been a sensation since joining in the pre-season.

Her spectacular December was highlighted with a match winning performance away to Canberra United, with a double including a goal of the season contender securing us the 3-0 win.

Incredibly technical with an eye for the perfect pass or the top corner, the 27-year-old will be keen to set Leichhardt alight.

When at their best, Wellington have proven to be dangerous right across the park this season. Despite a couple of tough moments over the past few matches, Rylee Foster has again been nominated for player of the month and will put up a stern test for our forwards tonight.

Mariana Speckmaier has also had a strong start to the season, with the Venezuelan international already finding the back of the net three times this season.