Sydney FC have kept their finals hopes alive with a much needed victory on Friday afternoon, defeating a tenacious Newcastle Jets outfit 3-1 at Kogarah Oval.
McCaskill once again showed her ability to outjump taller players, crashing a header off the crossbar from Foord’s cross, while at the other end the Jets showed they were a threat from set pieces when Wright was denied by a goalline clearance from Polias.
It was then time for the substitutes to make their mark.
With just under 15 minutes left, Princess Ibini doubled Sydney’s lead after getting on the end of a cross from Sofia Huerta.
However, the Sky Blues couldn’t shake the Jets off, and another substitute, Libby Copus-Brown, dragged Newcastle back into the contest with a wonder strike from fully 30 yards out, not a bad way to score her first W-League goal.
The Jets even went close to an unlikely equaliser in stoppage time after another set piece, and it was only the cat-like reflexes of Aubrey Bledsoe that prevented them from nicking a point.
Seconds later, Sydney made it 3-1, with Lisa De Vanna making an impact off the bench as she cut the ball back for McCaskill to score her second of the contest.
After the game, McCaskill was quick to praise the quality of her teammates. “It’s always fun to play with such a high level of talent. It makes you better, and it makes us better as a team.”
McCaskill also stated her desire to use the W-League to help her cement a spot in the US national team.
“That’s the goal, just to give them more footage so they can see me play,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sydney coach Ante Juric paid tribute to McCaskill’s versatility.
“I love having someone like that, where I can put them at centre forward, I can put her wide, or I can put her in central midfield. She’s done every job, and done it to the best of her ability.”
The win means Sydney are now two points off a finals spot with four games left. Next week, the Sky Blues have a Thursday night derby against the Wanderers at Leichhardt Oval, while Newcastle meet Perth on Saturday afternoon at No. 2 Sportsground.