The Ballarat Eureka Strikers have been defeated for the second week in a row; this time 3-2 away to South Yarra.
The Eureka Strikers started sluggishly. In what was a dour opening 40 minutes, neither team appeared likely to score and the Eureka Strikers lacked their usual intensity in attack; with strikers Lulu Al-Huneidi and Alyson Pym left isolated and lacking support in numbers when attacks were launched.
South Yarra managed to break the deadlock in the 42nd minute when they attacked down the left-hand flank and the Eureka Strikers failed to clear the resulting cross.
The Eureka Strikers sought to regroup at half-time and there was a clear emphasis on committing more numbers forward; they got the outcome they were looking for in the 58th minute when Vanessa Yung got clear wide on the left-hand side and delivered a cross which Nat Barbara delicately flicked passed the South Yarra goalkeeper.
The elation was short-lived at South Yarra found the back of the net again in the 65th minute. The Eureka Strikers fought back hard and were rewarded with a penalty when Tess Meaden was taken down in the 82nd minute. Al-Huneidi put her first round penalty miss behind her and calmly slotted the ball home from the penalty.
At this stage it looked as though the Strikers had salvaged a draw but their hearts were broken when South Yarra scored from a corner in the 88th minute.
The outcome was a frustrating one for the Eureka Strikers. They created far more opportunities than their opponents but South Yarra were much more clinical in front of goals. The Eureka Strikers struggled to adjust to the smaller pitch and throughout the game they did not create enough space to be able to exploit.
Despite this, the younger members of the team; Meaden, Claire Demuth, Barbara, Yung and Erin Plucke coped well with the physical nature of the encounter and increased body contact. However, the lack of experience in the team was a factor.
The Eureka Strikers now have two weeks to regroup before another tough encounter against annual rivals Melbourne University.