Despite a hard-fought campaign by Thorns FC on-loan players Emily Sonnett and Caitlin Foord, Sydney FC's quest for their third club championship fell just short as back-to-back-champion Melbourne City completed their Westfield W-League Grand Final three-peat with a 2-0 victory over the Sky Blues. With Foord sidelined on an injury, Sonnett marked the sole Portland player on the pitch, earning her third-straight start at center back and playing the duration of the match.
Following just her first W-League season, the 24-year-old U.S. international entered the contest seeking her second domestic title within just four months, and consistently put pressure on her opponent throughout the game.
Sydney FC nearly claimed the match's first goal as Lisa DeVanna found space within the box just past the eight minute mark, but her shot from the top of the six unfortunately fell just wide of the upright.
Sonnett stymied a would-be breakaway with sheer speed in the 32nd minute but City soon capitalized on a defensive miscue by Sydney, and despite Sonnett's leaping effort to redirect the ball with her head, Jess Fishlock's ball fell in the net for the opening goal.
The Sky Blues saw opportunities in the 43rd, 49th and 51st minutes but Melbourne keeper Lydia Williams put on a clinic between the posts, denying chance after chance. Attempts on goal continued to heat up throughout the second half but Sonnett remained strong off the line, knocking a loose ball away from danger with a sliding challenge in minute 67.
The match's second goal came in the 75th as Fishlock knocked a long free-kick that was initially tipped off the crossbar by Sydney's Aubrey Bledsoe but converted by a charging Jodie Taylor.
Despite strong efforts in the final 15 minutes of play, Melbourne City proved tough to hold off a late Sydney FC comeback and claim their third title in three years.