Given Sydney's squad boasts Veronica Latsko and Caitlin Foord, you might have been forgiven for thinking that the mercurial 20-year-old would fly under the radar this season.

But you'd have been oh so wrong.

The prodigy who won Young Player of the Year at just 16 has shown no signs of resting on her laurels since and after a less-than-successful spell at Western Sydney Wanderers is back with a vengeance where she made her mark.

Both her goals in the opening half were show-stealers and the mark of her true poacher's instincts.

She'll be understandably frustrated that she left Sydney just before their groundbreaking Championship win and those two goals showed she's not planning on playing a bit role in a title defence.

She linked up progressively well with Foord and Princess Ibini as the match wore on, providing that hold-up play in her central striker role to great effect.

She's clearly developed her strength on the ball over the off-season as well and looks very fit coming into this campaign, with those killer instincts ready to shine.

As an only half-joking Foord said herself, "I had a word with her. I'm not sure why she left."


Jeff Hopkins relied heavily on their high-line to start the match, as we all know at Jubilee Stadium the 12th woman definitely becomes the wind and the Victory coach was hoping to capitalise on that advantage quickly.

But when that backfired dramatically, Sydney were just far too calm under pressure to ever look like shipping three goals.

Victory look to rely heavily on Natasha Dowie's strikes this season, which, while it may be a safe bet, makes the striker a very clear target for opposition defences.

In truth, Dowie looked very isolated at times this afternoon. Melina Ayres burst through at the beginning of the match but faded notably in the second half, while Annalie Longo - despite a solid overall contribution - couldn't provide a consistent enough threat.

The pace of their play was slightly too slow to cause problems for Sydney's defensive line, and although in the second half Victory began to work their combinations, it began to seem a case of too little, too late.

They did create a reasonably steady stream of chances, however nothing that troubled Aubrey Bledsoe. The USA international seemed farly untroubled throughout the game, with the pace of Victory's efforts working clearly in her favour.

The real problem for Victory is now they face an upcoming three match spell at the newly redesigned AFC Women's Club Championship from November 26 onwards.

They have some depth ready to come back into the side over the next few weeks, with Laura Brock (nee Alleway) the highlight. But after a less than impressive opening display, it's not going to get any easier for Victory from here on in.


It's clear to see now how much Ante Juric's ability to re-sign the bulk of his squad early in the campaign and settle the team heading into this season is paying off.

After shaking off the inevitable cobwebs in the opening 10 minutes, Sydney played the best football we've seen so far this season.

Even Shadeene Evans' last minute goal was characteristic of the fluid team play we've come to expect from Juric's team.

You couldn't ask for more than the combinations Foord, Siemsen, Teresa Polias, Sofia Huerta and Chloe Logarzo (just to name drop) were offering by the 20th minute mark. It was sensational football at times, made all the more impressive by the fact they remained so defensively solid simultaneously.

From Victory's perspective, we caught a few glimpses of their own quality there. Dowie is certainly the benchmark for a physical hold-up striker when she gets her back to goal in the box...perhaps that's who Siemsen's been watching?

But they couldn't the match the Sky Blues because they simply don't have that level of talent depth throughout the team. It's a confidence game and Sydney are streaks above the rest of the pack in round one.

The question now becomes, how fast can everyone else catch up?


Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory player ratings

Sydney FC showed how professional they are with a solid performance. Melbourne Victory have a lot of improvement to do if they are to get to where they were last year.


Play Like A Girl: The Greatest W-League Photos Of All Time

To mark the kick-off of the biggest W-League season yet, we've trawled through our archives to present the Greatest W-League Photos Of All Time. It's the latest in our series celebrating female football!