Warrnambool Rangers' women's team ready to rise to new challenge

UP TO THE CHALLENGE: Warrnambool Rangers goalkeeper Melinda Gabbe says her team is adjusting to being the hunted after winning last year's Ballarat and District Soccer Association championship. Picture: Rob Gunstone
UP TO THE CHALLENGE: Warrnambool Rangers goalkeeper Melinda Gabbe says her team is adjusting to being the hunted after winning last year's Ballarat and District Soccer Association championship. Picture: Rob Gunstone

A COUPLE of losses may have been just the wake-up call the Warrnambool Rangers women’s team needed to get back on track.

Since dropping consecutive matches to Ballarat North United and Sebastopol Vikings last month, the Rangers have bounced back in a big way with comprehensive victories over Bacchus Marsh and Forest Rangers.

Warrnambool goalkeeper Melinda Gabbe wants to see her team continue its rich vein of form when it takes on the higher-ranked Vic Park this Sunday at Jones Oval.

“After having that 5-nil loss, it got everyone back on track,” she said.

“Last year, we got on that winning streak – we had a really good winning streak – and I guess we just sort of get so used to winning, it must’ve got to our heads a little bit.”

It was a far cry from the club Gabbe first walked into four years ago, where losing was the norm as the Rangers found their feet.

But after finishing runners-up in 2015 and taking out the division one women’s competition last year, things have drastically turned around and the Rangers’ new challenge is to get adjust to being the hunted.

“There’s a lot of pressure on us,” she said. “The teams come at you a lot harder now (because) we’re last year’s premiers.”

Gabbe lauded the efforts of the Rangers’ defenders, who have helped keep the team’s goals conceded to nine.

“Some games are a bit quiet (at goalkeeper), some are a bit more full-on,” she said.

“I like a bit of a challenge when they (the opposition) come up to me, but when they keep them away, that’s good too.”