Sam Kerr buzzing about chance to take W-League title west

Sam Kerr buzzing about chance to take W-League title west

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Sunday was a special day for Sam Kerr.

The 25-year-old and her Perth Glory teammates shrugged off a form guide that included back-to-back regular-season defeats at the hands of their opponents to knock off newly crowned W-League premiers Melbourne Victory 4-2 in extra time at AAMI Park.

Kerr simply could not be denied against the Victory, dragging her side back to parity after Christine Nairn’s second-minute opener when she turned in a Leticia McKenna cross in the 72nd minute of the contest.

The W-League and NWSL’s all-time goals record holder then turned provider to help put her side ahead in the 86th minute when she played a cross into the penalty area that Rachel Hill headed home to make it 2-1.

Though Victory was able to somehow force extra time thanks to a miraculous goal from Grace Maher in the 94th minute, Kerr then turned on the jets during the extra periods.

She restored her side into the lead in the 97th minute when she dived between Laura Alleway and Beth Mason-Jones to get on the end of a bouncing ball and scoop it into the net, before putting a backflipping-bow on her hat-trick and the result when she turned in another McKenna cross in the 107th minute.

A W-League Champion with Sydney FC in 2012-13, Kerr will now be forced to down her only other W-League side if she is to secure her first piece of silverware with her hometown Glory; the Harboursiders having completed a lower-seeded side sweep on Sunday evening when they eliminated Brisbane Roar from the finals at Queensland’s Dolphin Stadium.

“I don’t normally score in finals so it’s pretty special for me,” a buoyant Kerr said after Sunday’s semi-final.

“I seem to have made a lot of finals and never scored so that felt really good.

“We beat Sydney FC years ago (2016-17) and it was 5-1 and I never scored.

“So, it was just that type of game. It’s not that we’ve lost, or I’ve played bad, I just haven’t scored so it feels really good for my confidence to finally get the monkey off my back in a finals game.

“The first half I thought have kind of struggled. I think when you score goals like that everything kind of goes out the window. I’m happy with my performance but most importantly the teams.

“Obviously, when they scored (to make it 2-2) you kind of, you play games over in your head where you’ve seen that happen teams, but once it went to extra time I felt fine and you could see that I think, in that last little bit we really outran them.

“Once the 15 of the first started I felt fine. I knew we were going to win it.”

Next Saturday will mark Kerr’s – and Glory’s – first appearance in the W-League decider since the 2016-17 grand final, where they were downed 2-0 by Melbourne City.

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Glory has never tasted W-League success in the club’s history, and Kerr struggled to put into words just what bringing a W-League championship trophy across the Nullarbor would mean to her.

“I can’t explain it to you,” she grinned.

“It would be unbelievable. I’ve got to stop myself dreaming and just focus on the game but, yeah, it gives me chills thinking about it.

“It would honestly mean everything, and it would be a dream come true for me and the girls.

“(Sunday’s result gives) huge confidence.

“Before the game, we felt really confident. We’d lost to them twice, but we thought we’d done better every game and could have won the game so it’s a massive confidence booster and anytime you score four goals it’s huge for us.”

Wherever Kerr or her follow Matildas go, of course, questions about the coach-less Matildas soon follow.

However, with a W-League title to be won in less than a week’s time, Kerr made it very clear what was at the forefront of her mind.

“I’ve said it a million times,” Kerr explained.

“The most important thing is for people to be talking about what we do on the field.

“The reason people have talked about the Matildas over the last two years is because of what we’ve done on the field and how great some of the players are and how good role models they are.

“Hopefully, it can go back to football now and we can start rolling onto the World Cup.

“I’ve just been focusing on the Glory. Once I finish with the Glory, I’ll focus on the Matildas but right now Glory is all I’m thinking about.”

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