No love lost as Meteors and Clinton set to collide
SOCCER: They've battled hard all season but there can only be one winner come Saturday when Meteors and Clinton collide in the Gladstone Division 1 Ladies grand final.
There's been nothing separating the sides in the head-to-head stakes this season with both sides claiming two wins against each other following a 4-4 draw in Round 2.
Clinton (second place) will head into the decider with slightly better form having most recently defeated minor premiers Meteors 3-0 in the top-two grand final qualifier on August 24.
That result forced Meteors to take the longer route to the decider. But they scraped home last weekend in a sudden-death preliminary final against BITS Sharks where a Josephine Ware goal two minutes before full-time was all that separated the teams.
Ware had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes before popping up at the back post to tuck away a Tori Van Vegchel corner kick.
Despite having to navigate a trickier path to the grand final, Van Vegchel believes it will be an advantage come kick-off at 5pm on Saturday at Clinton Oval.
"Sometimes that's the better way to go around it so you're not losing your mojo going into a grand final after having a week off," Van Vegchel said.
"Having to play the preliminary final already puts that pressure on you.
"There's more riding on that game and it's a harder game mentally and physically to get through because there's more on the line.
"If you don't win that game, you don't get into the grand final.
"We've had to play our hard game and feel the pressure... the grand final will still have very high pressure and stressful but we've already had to go through that."
Van Vegchel is Meteors' top goalscorer this season with 11 goals from 16 games.
Despite playing in a key central defensive midfielder position, she's been banging goals in from set pieces.
"I take the corners and curl it in straight from the corner," Van Vegchel said.
"I've scored seven (goals) straight from corners between both divisions - it's been something I've naturally been good at.
"I do make runs through the middle and CDM is a very versatile position especially in our (4-3-3) formation."
However, Van Vegchel said it would take a team effort, not 11 individual performances, to determine the grand final winner.
Meteors' captain/coach agreed that stopping Clinton's Skye Alexander, who has 23 goals from 16 games, would be key to victory.
"Yes, definitely. And we've got a very strong line-up this weekend and a good game plan," Van Vegchel said.
"I've got about five people who could keep her under wraps."
Victory would seal three-straight Division 1 grand final wins for the Meteors ladies.