Coolum girls set for the big game
The Coolum Under-13 (1) Girls soccer team blew Maroochydore away on Saturday with an incredible four-goal burst in the opening 10 minutes.
The first goal came when Claire Glackin found Larissa Crummer with a pin-point pass. Larissa centred the ball and followed it in to be on hand to smash home a rebound off the keeper.
Coolum’s second was another fine example of following the ball in after a shot, with Tijana Ljubisavljevic pouncing on a spilt ball from the keeper and slotting it home.
The third goal was an excellent header by Kahla Mawby from Larissa’s cross. Soon after, Larissa broke free before cracking a splendid finish past the keeper.
After the initial onslaught, Coolum slowed down slightly and the defenders had some of the play.
Maddison Hunter was sensational out wide, finding plenty of space on the wing and never backing down from a challenge.
Although it was no longer one-way traffic, the next chance fell to Coolum. A terrific pass back to the edge of the box found Tijana, who scored with a beautifully placed shot.
With a 5-0 half-time lead, Coolum had one foot in the grand final.
Maroochydore defended stoutly during the second half, but Megan Rowley broke through courtesy of an enormous shot from the half-way line that eluded the keeper.
An attack down the wing and a great cross eventually opened up Coolum’s defence, with Grace Wilkins making a spectacular diving save in goal to block the initial shot, but Maroochydore were on hand to grab the rebound.
It was an impressive effort from Grace, who showed great reflexes and agility to even reach the first-time strike – most keepers would not have got anywhere near it.
Kasey Furnell was dynamic in the second half, creating plenty of chances, while Freya Dodd showed plenty of determination and skills in the midfield.
The backline trio of Leilani Purchase, Kristen Boshammer and Hayley Tye was tremendous in defence and when they won possession, they were the starting point for much of the team’s play, with their passes typically finding a Coolum player in the midfield to launch another attack.
With a heavily stacked Maroochydore defence, it was proving harder to find a way to score, but Claire supplied a beautiful ball across the face of goal, with Kahla sliding in to get a foot on the ball and send it into the net.
Kasey then finished one of her wide raids with another square pass that again found Kahla in place to finish.
Some ping-pong of the ball around the Maroochydore goal mouth came to an end when Kasey latched onto the bouncing ball and cracked it past the keeper to give Coolum a final 9-1 scoreline over Maroochydore.
Finals football can be unpredictable, so it was great to see the girls play so well and score an impressive victory, which propelled Coolum straight into the grand final in a fortnight’s time.