Central face off against Capital for semi berth
A semifinal berth is on the line for the Central women's team when they play Capital in Wellington tomorrow.
After their first win against South, 5-4 last week, and two draws, Central need another win to secure a spot in the playoffs.
Both Central and Capital have five points on the southern conference table behind leaders Mainland, so a win could decide who goes through as the second qualifier.
"Otago can't make it and Mainland are guaranteed," Central coach Simon Lees said. "Really it's a case of do or die this weekend given that Capital's last game is at home to South, they're pretty much guaranteed to pick up three points."
So Lees wants a win tomorrow to give themselves every chance.
"They [Capital] lost last week. They'll be feeling a little bit under pressure over the expectation they should comfortably beat us.
"That's not the case. It's important for us to go down there and do the business."
Lees has the luxury of having a regular keeper, with Courtney Norman back from suspension, and fortunately it is the same week her replacement Ruby Tufuga is unavailable.
Aside from that, it is the same squad and they have the scoring weapon of Emma Boyack.
Boyack is second on the golden boot charts, having scored seven of the side's 10 goals, so if she is on form, Central should do well.
Lees was confident they can score the goals, so they just have to make sure they keep out the Capital strikers. "The girls trained really, really well both sessions, a different level of intensity . . . everyone's really really focused and determined and this is the opportunity to finish off a good season," Lees said.
This will be the fifth game between the two sides this year, following the draw and three pre-season games, where Manawatu won two and lost one.
Central and Capital drew nil-all in the first round in Palmerston North.
Central (from): Courtney Norman, Jane Barnett, Leah Gallie, Coral Seath, Hollie Cleaver, Chelsea Aim, Rhonda Bridges, Emma Boyack, Karin Ingram, Emma Rogers, Rosie Missen, Jess Green, Jess Oulaghan, Catherine Pretty, Mikaela Boxall, Kim Nottingham.
Capital (from): Cushla Lichtwark, CJ Bott, Evie Millynn, Maxine Cooper, Kelsi Rutene, Hannah Wall, Emily McColl, Kennedy Bryant, Megan Robertson, Lucy Stotter, Emily Stotter, Renee Bacon, Hope Gilchrest, Emma Rolston, Cara Chung, Anna Wittmann-Wenzel.