Natasha Dowie may be in seventh heaven but her pride is firmly focused on the collective as Melbourne Victory went top of the Westfield W-League ladder on Friday night.
Seeing off title rivals Perth Glory 2-1 at AAMI Park was an impressive feat and Dowie played a part in both goals, scoring in the first half with a brilliant individual effort before ensuring Christine Nairn’s shot/cross crossed the line although the goal was indeed credited to Nairn.
REPORT: Victory sink Glory
Dowie’s seventh goal of the Westfield W-League season takes her to within one strike of Golden Boot leader Sam Kerr but it was clear in Dowie’s post-match interview she was 100 per cent focused on the team’s position instead.
“It was so tough,” Dowie told Fox Sports after the final whistle.
“We had a great start to the season then had back to back losses, poor performances from us, to come up against a Perth Glory team that are so strong and to show the kind of performance and resilience we did today, I’m so proud.
“I really am [proud] of this team and we know need to kick on from here, this is massive for us and there’s still a long way to go but a really good performance, I think we deserved it.”
Victory’s second goal had a tinge of controversy around it after replays showed the ball travelled across the baseline in the lead-up but the statistics revealed a dominant performance from the home side.
Jeff Hopkins’ side recorded 21 shots on goal, compared to 12 from Glory, with 10 of those requiring Perth goalkeeper Eliza Campbell to attempt a save.
In addition to an almost 50% shot accuracy, 12 of Melbourne’s attempts came from within the penalty area, suggesting that perhaps the score line should have been more comfortable.
Dowie said while she was comfortable with their attacking threat, defence was the key aim coming into this encounter, a test they ultimately passed.
“We take pride in not conceding goals,” Dowie said.
“We’ve got goals in this team from all over the park so we know we’re going to score but the last few weeks we’ve given teams goals.
“We can’t do that at this level, they’ll punish you and I think at the back today we were solid, one lapse of concentration and they punished us but luckily we held out and got the three points.”