Division 1 Women's soccer grand final preview
SOCCER: It may seem like a mismatch on paper, but the form guide will go out the window when BITS Sharks and Meteor Rites clash in the Gladstone Division 1 Women's grand final on Saturday.
Meteor Rites finished the regular season as deserved minor premiers after losing only two games all season, but the third-placed Sharks have found form at the right end of the season with a string of positive results.
Despite an 18-point gap on the ladder between the sides, Meteor Rites captain and goalkeeper Jean Van Vegchel says her side won't take BITS lightly.
"When it comes to finals you just don't know how a team will play on the day,” Van Vegchel said.
"The normal season is a lot more relaxed knowing you've got other games to play, whereas the grand final is the very last.
"BITS have come back through the season quite strong - winning their semi final (1-0 against Central) and beating Clinton, so they're not a team to be complacent about.”
Van Vegchel said squad continuity within the Meteor Rites is a bonus.
"We're very fortunate to have a core group of girls together for about nine years now and every one complements each other,” she said.
For BITS coach Grant Nicolson, the key is continuing its recent run of form which has seen them go six games undefeated.
"They've been the benchmark all year and they've given us a couple of touch-ups, but the last two games we've played with them we've drawn so there's a good opportunity for us.
"We respect them but we're not scared of them.”
DIVISION 1 WOMEN GRAND FINAL FACTS
Meteor Rites v BITS Sharks at Sun Valley Oval - Saturday, Sept 9 at 5pm
- Leading goal scorers - Nicole Smith (13 goals from 20 games), Marni Broomham (13 goals from 17 games)
- Last Five: W, W, D, L, W.
- Road to the final: defeated Clinton FC 4-3 on penalties (1-1) in major semi-final
- Leading goal scorer - Alice Harrop (8 goals from 15 games)
- Last Five: W, W, D, D, W
- Road to final: defeated Clinton FC 4-3 on penalties (2-2) in preliminary final, defeated Central 1-0 in minor semi-final.