Best internationals of 2019/20 – Morgan Andrews

A late burst of unstoppable form from American midfielder Morgan Andrews saw her transform into one of the best players of the Westfield W-League and earn a share of the golden boot for the  2019/20 campaign.

Perth Glory entered the campaign without Westfield Matildas ace Sam Kerr, and doubts immediately surfaced in regards to which players in Bobby Despotovski’s squad would emerge from Kerr’s imposing shadow.

But Perth went winless through the first ten rounds of the campaign, as on-lookers resigned to the fact the Kerr-less Glory would crawl to the finish line without offering a whimper of a fight or a glimmer of hope that their new era was headed in the right direction.

That was until Morgan Andrews put her team on her back and put an end to the Perth pessimism.

Andrews scored six goals in the last four rounds of the season, bullying any opposition midfielders who stood in her path as she inspired Perth to three consecutive wins through Rounds 11-13 to drastically improve the outlook of Glory’s 2019/20 campaign.

Powerful midfield play was an unmistakable facet of Andrews’ play throughout the campaign but adding goals to her repertoire late in the piece took the American from one of the good players in the league to one of the best. 

Her six goals through the last four rounds – including match-winning braces against Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC in consecutive matches – took her tally to seven for the season and level with Kristen Hamilton, Remy Siemsen and Natasha Dowie for an even split of the golden boot.

Andrews made the Westfield W-League Team of the Week four times throughout the season (Rounds 8, 11, 12 and 13) and was voted Player of the Month for February for her stunning end of season form.

As the 25-year-old’s form lifted her teammates followed her lead, stringing together three wins out of four to end the campaign in seventh place on 11 points.

Andrews emerged as a bona fide star in the final knockings of the campaign she showed the Glory faithful that life after Sam might not be so grim after all.

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Andrews’ first of her seven goals for the campaign came in Round 8 against Adelaide United.

The two sides came into the contest without a win to their respective names but it seemed the Reds were going to break their duck when they took a 2-0 lead into half time.

That was until Andrews assisted Crystal Thomas’ strike to make it 2-1, before drawing her side level from the spot in the 93rd minute of play.

Andrews popped up to score another penalty against Newcastle Jets in Round 11 before displaying her long-distance prowess later in the contest.

Collecting the ball out wide, Andrews dribbled across goal and fired a rocket off the crossbar for teammate Caitlin Doeglas to poke home as Glory went on their way to sealing their first three points of the season.

Buoyed by her best afield display against the Jets, Andrews flew into the remaining three games of the campaign, scoring five more goals to take her season tally to seven.

A thumping header and a penalty from Andrews against the Roar gave Perth back-to-back wins, before Despotovski’s resurgent side travelled to face Sydney FC in a Grand Final rematch in Round 13.

Glory stunned the hosts, registering a commanding 2-0 win thanks to another Morgan brace highlighted by this stunning free kick which won Goal of the Round.

Andrews’ last strike of the campaign was equally impressive as she used an entirely different skillset to launch at the back post and direct a strong header past Abby Smith and into Western Sydney Wanderers’ goal.

It was the fifth goal of a see-sawing contest which put Glory 3-2 behind with less than ten minutes to play; Andrews failed to muster up a third consecutive brace which meant her side ended the season with a loss, but that all-important seventh goal handed Andrews a split of the golden boot – a just reward for her brilliant Westfield W-League campaign.

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