Western product Ellie Carpenter wins her first W-League championship

WINNER: Ellie Carpenter picked up her first W-League winners medal on Saturday night playing. Photo: NEWCASTLE HERALD
WINNER: Ellie Carpenter picked up her first W-League winners medal on Saturday night playing. Photo: NEWCASTLE HERALD

She may have already built herself an impressive resume, having represented Australia at the Olympics and FIFA Women's World Cup and being the youngest footballer to play and score in the American National Women's Soccer League, but there's one thing that's eluded former Western NSW Mariners junior and Cowra product Ellie Carpenter - a W-League championship.

On Saturday night, however, she picked up her first winners medal, after Melbourne City defeated Sydney FC 1-0 in the grand final.

Coach Rado Vidosic was full of praise for his team following the title-clinching result.

"I would like to look at it as a reward for six months of hard work and sacrifice," he said.

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"I think at the end we deserve both the premiership and championship.

"I am happy for the girls, I am happy for the club, I am happy for everyone involved."

Played at Melbourne's AAMI Park, Carpenter wasn't playing in the her usual spot in the back line, with Vidosic picking the Cowra native on the right side of his four-player midfield, his team playing in a 3-4-3 formation.

City, the undefeated premiers, found the back of the net early when skipper Steph Catley's left-wing effort was fumbled into the net by Sky Blues keeper Aubrey Bledsoe with a quarter of an hour on the clock.

The American shot-stopper redeemed herself by blocking two Emily van Egmond shots before half-time but City's rock-solid defensive line, who conceded only five goals in 14 matches all season, held strong.

The Sky Blues caused plenty of problems in the second half and Veronica Latsko's shot was hacked off the goal-line by Carpenter, as she excelled in defence and attack in the tight affair.

Carpenter, alongside Kyah Simon, both threatened to extend City's lead with long-range efforts as the match wore on, while Sydney FC's best chance fell to Princess Ibini but the substitute's well-struck attempt was superbly saved by Lydia Williams in the City goal to close out the clean sheet.

The win is City's fourth championship in five years, since the club made its W-League debut.

Vidosic said it was an exceptional feeling to see his team prevail in the end-of-season showcase.

"It is reward for all the years you work in this industry," Vidosic explained.

"Whether it is winning something with W-League or winning something with A-League, it is always difficult and not many people can say they have won things.

"So I am happy and I wish it never stops."

No fans attended the match, as it was played behind closed doors due to the threat of coronavirus.

The result came as the FFA is deciding on how to complete the A-League season.