A stunning hat-trick from Kristen Hamilton has maintained Western Sydney Wanderers’ perfect start to the Westfield W-League season, outclassing Brisbane Roar 3-1 on Thursday night.
Hamilton became the first Wanderers player ever to score a treble in the Westfield W-League as Dean Heffernan’s side made it three straight wins in 2019/20.
The American import was the beneficiary of some Lynn Williams brilliance as she scored twice in the first half as the visitors took complete control.
Rylee Baisden cut the deficit not long after the resumption before Hamilton snuffed out any thought of a comeback with a sensational third.
Only some excellent keeping from Roar’s MacKenzie Arnold denied the Wanderers a bigger win, with the Westfield Matildas shot-stopper denying the impressive Williams on a host of occasions.
While the are sitting pretty at the top of the ladder, Roar have now lost their opening two games of the campaign for the first time in five years.
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After falling behind early in last week’s defeat to Melbourne Victory, Roar were desperate to start on the front foot and had two excellent chances inside the first seven minutes.
Carson Pickett tested shot-stopper Abby Smith with a superb strike from distance, before it was the American’s cross which picked out Tameka Yallop, whose header was tipped around the post by the Wanderers keeper.
And just a couple of minutes later the visitors made them pay. And it was their US imports who combined, with Lynn Williams using her pace to drive past the Roar defence before cutting back to Hamilton to finish.
Williams and Hamilton were causing Roar’s defence all sorts of problems, with the former almost doubling the lead with a fierce effort which was palmed over by MacKenzie Arnold.
The Roar keeper then had to be alert on the half-hour mark, racing off her line to clear the danger as Hamilton almost raced onto Williams’ through-ball.
When Arnold made another excellent save down low to her left to keep out Williams’ piercing drive, it appeared Roar would get to the break just one goal down.
But all that changed in the final minute of the half, with the Wanderers’ American contingent combining.
Defender Sam Staab’s long-throw was flicked on by Williams, with the ball falling at the feet of Hamilton who swept the ball in for her second goal of the night.
Amy Harrison went agonisingly close to making it three for the visitors early in the second half before Roar were handed a lifeline on 55 minutes.
Pickett swopped on a defensive blunder by Wanderers skipper Erica Halloway before unselfishly squaring to Baisden to fire into an open goal.
It was the ideal time for Baisden to score her first Westfield W-League as Roar looked to mount a fightback.
But the concession of the goal sprung the Wanderers back to life.
First Williams rattled the crossbar with a thunderous effort, before Hamilton created her own slice of Wanderers history.
And what a goal it was as Kyra Cooney-Cross’ deft backheel found Hamilton, who turned her marker and then fired a rocket past Arnold to complete her treble.
From that point there was only going to be one winner.