Sydney crowned champs as Kerr tastes defeat
THE pain of last season has been wiped away as Sydney FC lifted their third W-League trophy on Saturday.
A rousing 4-2 triumph over Sam Kerr's Perth Glory ensured the highest grand final score of all time, a cracking end-to-end contest punctuated by a brace to the outstanding Savannah McCaskill and more screamers than one could poke a stick at.
Heading into this instalment of the premier fixture in the women's domestic calendar, these two teams shared the extraordinary agony of having been on the losing end of the past four championship-deciders.
This time, however, Ante Juric's Sky Blues vanquished their visitors via a masterclass in quality finishing.
It sent the Glory home to the west without a maiden title, meaning Bobby Despotovski's side have finished runners-up three times in the past five seasons.
There was action from the off and McCaskill might have scored within two minutes had she not rattled the crossbar off Princess Ibini's cross.
Four minutes later she turned provider and dinked back for Huerta, who took a settling touch and struck it sweet and straight into the top corner.
Perth were under the pump early, as Ibini slashed Sky Blue-hued holes down the left and Glory players practically fell over themselves trying to contain Caitlin Foord.
But Kerr was omnipresent - a cutback here, a just-wide header there - as she tussled with fellow Matilda Alanna Kennedy.
Halfway through the first stanza, Matildas superstar Kerr won a penalty off her Chicago Red Stars teammate Danielle Colaprico.
Kerr recovered from the challenge, walked to the spot and rolled the ball past a diving Aubrey Bledsoe and into the bottom left corner.
Teresa Polias pinged forward one of her many pinpoint passes, and if Foord's ball into the box was sublime, McCaskill's first-time header was pure genius.
Utilising the forward momentum, the 22-year-old US international, aware of Eliza Campbell drifting seductively off her line, leapt and lobbed delicately over the goalkeeper's head.
After the break, Ibini dribbled past several purple shirts and forced Campbell into a diving save from outside the box while Kerr and attacking partner in crime Rachel Hill tried to make magic up the other end but couldn't find the target.
The same couldn't be said for McCaskill, who struck again just after the hour.
The forward from South Carolina lay in wait as Colaprico whipped in a corner and watched as Huerta hooked it back in.
When the ball flew back her way she raced onto it and swung her boot through.
That would have iced the victory had Perth not come back for more.
Kerr returned to the halfway mark gesticulating wildly, geeing up her comrades to get back in the game.
They duly obliged, as Nikki Stanton curled in a clever corner and Alyssa Mautz chipped it brilliantly just out of reach of Bledsoe's outstretched fingertips.
Suddenly it was game on, but clearly Sydney didn't get the memo.
There was scarcely time for the restart before the hosts had restored the two-goal cushion, this time through Chloe Logarzo, who rifled in an absolute belter from outside the box that gave Campbell no chance.
But the afternoon soon went south for Logarzo when she hit the deck and immediately screamed out in pain, though was able to walk gingerly off the field.