Graduates double up with striker triple treat
ARGENTINIAN striker Sofia Viarengo stole the show as North-West Graduates sealed back-to-back women’s Premier League titles with a 3-1 defeat of luckless DiamondBacks.
Viarengo was a worthy MVP, scoring a hat-trick and providing the necessary spark in attack that Graduates needed to settle their nerves.
Graduates coach Simon Arthur was beaming with pride for his side, after seeing them reverse a 4-1 loss to DiamondBacks in the semi-final to produce such an emphatic response.
“We had a plan and the team executed it to perfection. The work rate from the whole group was phenomenal,” Arthur said post-match.
“Louisa Jacobson and Em Newbold are the best defensive combination in the league and consistently stopped DiamondBacks, then set up our attacking opportunities.”
“Our strikers worked tirelessly to pressure their defence and our midfield controlled the centre of the pitch.”
It was the perfect start for the historically nervy Bulldog players, with Viarengo knocking home the opener in the first minute.
DiamondBacks struck back just before quarter time with Em Donovan deflecting home a Nicole Geeves penalty corner strike.
The match seesawed through the second and third quarters but again it was Viarengo who had the telling influence, capping a fast break- away with a well-placed finish in the 46th minute.
DiamondBacks’ final roll of the dice saw them remove goalkeeper Ruby-Rose Haywood for an additional field player, but the move backfired with Viarengo getting her hattrick in the 65th minute.
Arthur was adamant that Viarengo’s influence was telling but was quick to recognise the depth of his squad in the premiership.
“Obviously Sofia’s three goals were a highlight but this was on the back of excellent linking up from the strikers,” Arthur added.
“Our first goal early in the match set the tone for the game.”
In the First Grade women’s competition, OHA defeated Derwent 1-0.