A stunning extra-time goal from Tayah Mastalerz lifted Denmark A to the Great Southern Soccer Association women’s division one trophy after a stunning final against Mt Barker on Friday night.
It was late into the second period of extra time before the two teams were separated after the scores were nil after 90 minutes.
Denmark shot from the blocks in the early stages, narrowly missing a shot to take an early lead.
Another narrow miss saw Denmark have all the momentum, but a steely defensive effort from Mt Barker prevented them from finding the back of the net before the end of the half.
Mt. Barker coach James Morris gave his players a rousing boost at half-time before heading back onto the field.
Another chance presented itself for Denmark, but Brigette Rockwood-Turner’s great defensive pressure prevented a golden opportunity.
Mt Barker had to absorb a lot of pressure from Denmark’s forward play but they started to regain control in the second half.
Prolific goalscorer Libby Morris opened an angle and attempted a shot from outside the box but it sailed wide and both sides all went straight into overtime.
As the game was played in wintry conditions, several players experienced muscle cramps on the ground.
The cup final seemed destined to go to a penalty shootout to decide the result as both sides were still unable to score in the first half of extra time.
Minutes from time the ball was played from behind to the left side of the floor, Mastarlerz dribbles around their defender, slices into the box and scores a wonderful goal to secure the trophy in an amazing way.
Denmark earned another penalty shortly after and, despite failing to convert, ended up 1–0 after the final whistle.
Manager Mike Garland said his Denmark squad has exceeded his expectations after a 10-player exodus earlier in the season.
“You have far exceeded my expectations,” he said.
“Early on in the season some of them got promoted and played in Perth in the NPL (National Premier League) as all we knew was we were losing players.
“With the young group we had I thought it might be a big effort to finish in midfield but I give credit to the girls tonight.”
Garland praised his side’s determination and chemistry in a trying affair.
“They[digged deep]and always have been,” Garland said.
“Mt. Barker and Denmark play very different styles of football, so it’s difficult for either side to beat the other.
“We have a history behind us and most of these girls played at juniors which is why we have always been so good.
“It’s a nutritional system, I think we have 150 juniors playing in Denmark and probably 90 of them are girls.”
Mt Barker’s Tiffany Parsons was named Player of the Final for outstanding performance on the pitch, while Mt Barker goalkeeper Alanna Gatley was named Player of the Tournament.
Denmark will now focus on the final game of the GSSA league competition against bottom-placed Bayswater, while Mt Barker will take on eighth-placed Sonics.
With Denmark two points behind leaders Mt Barker, they will need to win their last game and rely on Sonics to anger their rivals if they are to clinch the league and cup double.