Nicole Reidsmith produced a golden strike to keep Waratahs’ season alive on Sunday as they triumphed 3-2 over Olympians in a thrilling minor semi-final.
Reidsmith slotted the match-winner about seven minutes into the first period of golden goal extra-time.
“It was from a scrappy corner and Nic was on the spot to get a tap in,” Waratahs coach Josh Worpel said.
He said it was pleasing to know they can dig in and find that extra effort, but thought they were probably a bit lucky.
“Towards the end of regular time I thought Olympians had it over us,” he said.
“I thought going down to the last five minutes they were going to sneak a goal.”
But some good scrambling defence denied them, and the two sides remained locked at 2-all.
“Lara (Taggart) made a few good saves there at the end and we were able to clean up her pads,” Worpel said.
His instructions to his side going out for extra-time were to try and play man on man.
It worked well, with Waratahs really pinning Olympians in their half and forcing them to go long to try and clear it from their half, which then opened up opportunities for intercepts.
“We didn’t give them an easy out,” he said.
He said it was a see-sawing contest, both sides having periods where they were on top.
“Defensively we were good again,” he said.
They were a bit poor in the first half allowing Olympians too many circle penetrations and conceding too many corners, but made up for that in the second half.
“The second half we fixed that up. We started making tackles outside the circle and limited their short corners,” she said.
He thought they also moved the ball pretty well but when they got it up front the play seemed to break down.
“Our midfield wasn’t working through or they were getting isolated with Dana (Constable) or someone. Nine times out of 10 she would shut it down,” Worpel said.
Constable scored both of Olympians goals and was “unbelievable” coach Andrew Farmilo said.
“She was fantastic. Her and Em (Chaffey) at the back were brilliant,” he said.
They didn’t let much past them, Farmilo noting that they (Olympians) also hardly turned the ball over at the back.
Olympians were brave in defeat, and while disappointed with the outcome, Farmilo thought they played well and was happy that they took it right to Waratahs.
They just “probably didn’t create enough opportunities”. Aside from those final few minutes of regular time they weren’t able to put Waratahs under any sustained pressure.
“We wanted to be really good defensively, and we were that, but it probably meant we lacked a bit in attack,” he said.
“I thought our midfield controlled their midfield, we just in attack probably didn’t get enough quality ball.”
He said the plan going into extra-time was to attack more. Accordingly he pushed Chaffey back up front to “be a bit more creative”.
But they never really got the opportunity to.
“They just put us under the pump in that first bit, and we didn’t get the ball we wanted,” Farmilo said.
Waratahs will now play Flames in the preliminary final after they went down to South United 6-nil in the major semi-final.