History is on the line when Adelaide United Women host Western Sydney Wanderers Women in the Reds’ final Westfield W-League match of the regular season at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.
Since the competition’s inception Adelaide has never played finals football.
But that could change if the Reds prevail in their must-win game and favourable results fall their way to sneak into the top four.
Adelaide lie fourth on the table – one point clear of fifth-place Canberra United Women, who have an extra game in hand.
Acting captain Mallory Weber said she is honoured to have assumed the responsibility at the pointy end of the campaign following the departure of skipper Dylan Holmes to Sweden.
“Obviously I wish Dylan (Holmes) was still in the position because she brings so much to our team,” Weber, 26, said.
“(But) to be able to step in and bring my leadership and experience to the last few games, which are probably the bigger games of the season, I’m quite excited about it.”
The United States forward said the anticipation about the biggest clash in the club’s history had been palpable amongst the group all week.
Adelaide look set to play in front of a record-breaking Westfield W-League crowd for a standalone fixture, and Weber believed that was an impressive achievement in itself.
“It’s definitely a must win and to be able to just be in that position given Adelaide’s past,” she said.
“For the girls to be able to play in a game that actually is basically a win or go home to even give ourselves the chance is massive but also super exciting.
“… You can just feel how excited the team is to have a huge fan base and just a pitch that’s as nice as Coopers is, brings even more excitement to the game.”
The Wanderers have found form over the last month, winning three of their last four games.
Despite having little to play for other than pride, Weber expected the sixth-ranked visitors to pose a real challenge.
“They’ve just been getting better as time goes on,” she said.
“We were pretty upset with the draw back at their place which kind of has put us in this position for this game to be a must win.
“But I think we’re expecting the same thing from them, just that high pressure, that quick transition and they’ve got some speed on the wings.
“I think we need to be a little better on the ball than we were against Brisbane (last week).”
Sunday, 21 March vs Western Sydney Wanderers Women
Westfield W-League 2020/21 – Round 13
Kick-off 3.30pm ACDT
Gates open 2.30pm ACDT
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports, ABC
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App