A finals appearance may be out of reach but the Wander Women will be aiming to finish the season on a high.
The Westfield W-League is always one of the most strongly contested competitions in the country and the 2017/18 season has proven no different.
Margins have been incredibly tight throughout the campaign and every team is capable of beating anyone on the day.
Unfortunately for the Western Sydney Wanderers Westfield W-League squad, it’s been a season where the Red & Black have found themselves wondering what could have been.
After last week’s 2-0 loss to Canberra United, a game in which the Red & Black dominated for large periods, the Wanderers come into Friday's match against Melbourne Victory in eighth positions, nine points adrift of the coveted fourth place.
With just three games remaining in the regular season, it means a maiden finals berth for the Wanderers is effectively out of reach.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for the Red & Black who despite showing plenty of promise and potential, have continually fallen just shy of a result.
All of the Wanderers’ defeats this season have come from margins of only one or two goals, while their sole draw was a game in which they were leading.
In a season of just 14 games, teams can ill afford to go through a rough patch of any sort and apart from a pair of victories against Adelaide United, the Wanderers have been unable to string together a decent rhythm.
Frustrations aside, there have still been plenty of bright sparks from Rich Byrne’s side this season.
American import Lo’eau LaBonta has been one of the standouts in midfield with her all-action performances and is responsible for scoring one of the Wanderers’ goal of the season, a well-timed half-volley in Round 2’s 2-1 win over Adelaide at Marconi Stadium.
Veteran defender and co-captain Ellie Brush has led the team admirably from the heart of the back four, showing plenty of poise and graft in equal measure.
Young goalkeeper Jada Whyman continues to earmark herself as one for the future, with the 18-year-old pulling off a number of her now trademark acrobatic saves throughout the season.
Fellow youngsters 16-year-old Susan Phonsongkham and 17-year-old Rachel Lowe have also shown that they are more than capable of mixing it with the best the league has to offer.
Byrne will be hoping he can hold onto his star performers as the Wanderers aim to see out the season in style.
Friday's match against the Victory is the Wanderers’ final home fixture of the season, with back-to-back away games to Perth and Sydney FC to follow.
The clash against the Victory is the second meeting between the two sides, following Round 5’s 1-1 draw at Lakeside Stadium.
It was a game that the Wanderers felt they should’ve won, having taken the lead just before half-time through Erica Halloway.
Having kept the Victory quiet for majority of the game, the home side would find an equaliser midway through the half and despite having chances to retake the lead, the Wanderers were unable to come away with the three points.
Coming into this match, Melbourne have hit form at the right time with two wins in their last four outings and will be looking for a result to deny the Wanderers the chance to leapfrog them on the table.
With the home crowd behind them and the big stage of a double header at ANZ Stadium, the Wanderers will fancy their chances of doing the business this time around and will be desperate for a result as they try to finish as high up on the ladder as possible.