Shoot-out specialist Casey Dumont helps Mariners make history

Central Coast Mariners Women advanced to the semi-finals of the 2023/24 Liberty A-League Finals Series, winning on penalties against Melbourne Victory.

In their return season to the competition, Emily Husband’s side have made history becoming the first Mariners team to win a Women’s Finals match.

Bianca Galic slotted home the winning penalty but it was Casey Dumont who will be remembered as the hero. She saved two penalties, and scored her own in the shootout, following a strong performance in the 120 minutes prior.

The win tees up a HUGE Double Header at Our Paradise next Sunday (April 21st), as Husband’s side will host Sydney FC in the semi-final first leg at 5:45pm, following our final home Isuzu UTE A-League match of the season against Adelaide United at 3pm.

The hero on the day Dumont, may only have had to make one save in the 90 minutes, early on from Lia Privitelli, but was strong, brave, composed and reliable whenever the Mariners needed her, whilst her teammates at the other end of the pitch enjoyed the best chances of the game.

Kyah Simon fired over the bar on 32 minutes before Bianca Galic saw a shot deflected wide in the first half, before two glorious opportunities went begging in the first five minutes after the restart.

Less than a minute into the second half Simon fired over at the back post before Wurigumula also blazed a chance over the crossbar from close range.

Victory’s best effort of the second half came through their biggest threat of the game, Alex Chidiac, but she couldn’t find the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The Mariners finished strong as they looked for a winner in the 90 minutes, substitute Peta Trimis headed over from a Simon cross on 88 minutes, before Simon herself then saw a good opportunity blocked a minute later, after a teasing delivery from Izzy Gomez.

End-to-end extra time

Victory came out strong at the start of half time and should really have taken the lead through Rachel Lowe who failed to nod home a golden opportunity, before Dumont was called upon again, this time standing strong at her near post to beat away Chidiac’s strike.

At the other end, Wurigumula glanced a header wide before the extra-time interval. An end-to-end 15 minutes of football followed as both sides went for a win to avoid the dreaded shootout.

On 108 minutes, Lowe advanced into the box after a neat one-two with Chidiac, Dumont dived at her feet and got a touch on the ball but it was still destined for the back of the net but for a goal-saving clearance from Gomez.

Four minutes later, a sublime through ball from Simon put Wurigumula in one-on-one with Courtney Newborn but the Victory stopper stood tall to make a double save from our number nine.

The hosts then broke down the other end of the field, Dumont was beaten by lively substitute Kurea Okino but Jazmin Wardlow got back to make a miraculous block to deny the Japanese forward.

In the final moments, both sides went close once more as Annabel Martin’s in-swinging cross flashed just inches wide post before Okino saw a low shot saved by Dumont.

Shootout glory for the Mariners

Lowe stepped up first and fired into the top corner, with Dumont diving the right way but having no chance of saving. Our keeper made an immediate reply herself, slotting home to make it 1-1.

Chidiac fired home Victory’s second, before Faye Bryson answered to make it 2-2.

Dumont made her first save from Victory’s Alana Murphy, guessing right and palming away. Wurigumula then slotted home put us 3-2 up.

Dumont saved again from Paige Zois, giving Galic the chance to win the tie and she did so, coolly finding the bottom corner to make Mariners history and spark wild celebrations.