Calder United is back to its brutal best in the NPL Victoria women’s competition.
The United machine was firing on all cylinders in a 5-0 thrashing of Heidelberg United at Keilor Park Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
That was a far cry from seven days earlier when Calder was forced to do some soul searching after a worrying loss to Box Hill United.
Perhaps that was the wake-up call top-of-the-table Calder needed.
United president Eric Psarianos said the players had “switched back on”.
“They put in some hard work on the track during the week and I think our first 25 minutes today were exceptionally good,” he said.
“They went back to the drawing board and came up with another plan to complement our game.”
Calder United went in for a quick kill against Heidelberg.
Three Calder goals were on the board in the first 16 minutes through Alycia Eicke, Holly Boldiston and Catherine Zimmerman, with Aleks Sinclair and Angela Beard netting in the second half to complete the five-goal drubbing.
Calder was wary of Heidelberg, which is fourth on the ladder and took the challenge right up to United earlier in the season.
But it did not matter who was standing in front of Calder on this occasion – its players were going to find a way.
“The girls were pretty focused today to make amends,” Psarianos said.
“They took the loss as a learning curve and wanted to bounce back.
“They came out and thumped Heidelberg, who are a having a pretty good season.”
Adversity requires leadership – and Calder United seems to be in good hands in that regard.
Outside the guidance of coaches Mark Torcaso and Ian Williamson, Calder’s on-field leaders stepped up and showed the way.
“Emma Robers, Aleks Sinclair, Angie Beard and Golcan Koca – they really led from the front,” Psarianos said.
“They’ve been in the game for a while and are quite experienced.
“They said to the younger ones, let’s bounce back and let’s respond.”
Sinclair set the tone early with her high work rate on the front line.
“She gave us a lot of drive and was getting in behind Heidelberg’s defence,” Psarianos said.
Melissa Taranto and Raquel Deralas combined well in the midfield.
Taranto was a main distributor, while Deralas made a number of advances on the Heidelberg defence.
Defensively, Calder was resolute, with Gulcan Koca and Eicke standing their ground in the heart of the defence.
Calder United is five points clear on top of the ladder ahead of a date with bottom-of-the-ladder Southern United at home on Saturday.