The Ballarat Lady Devils celebrated the final round of the Football Federation Victoria women’s state league one season with a Tessa Curtain hat-trick on Sunday.
Level at half-time against South Yarra, the Blockbuster Lady Devils scored four times in the second half on the way to a 4-0 victory at Fawkner Park.
Two goals came from the boot of Curtain, who scored another with a header.
Claire Beale rounded out the scoring for the visitors.
“It sets us up for the finals. It gives us a lot of confidence,” coach Rick Romein said.
“The girls were very good. It could have been 10-0 but their goalkeeper had a blinder in the first half.”
The Lady Devils demonstrated their intent early with their aggressive attacking style of play.
Julia Antonelli had the first real opportunity of the game when her header from Jaz Emselle’s cross hit the bar in the fifth minute.
Fifteen minutes later Emselle found the back of the net only to be adjudged offside.
It was a sign of things to come.
The Lady Devils had 15 shots in the first half but were unable to score, with the South Yarra goalkeeper pulling off a number of fingertip saves.
Ballarat’s luck changed three minutes into the second half when Curtain latched onto a half clearance to place the ball into the top corner.
Curtain doubled the lead 60 seconds later when she lobbed the goalkeeper from 30 yards.
From there the Lady Devils never looked back.
Claire Beale extended the lead in the 73rd mark when she attacked a corner from Olivia Ortiz.
Ortiz was the provider again in the 82nd minute mark when her corner was met with a strong header from Curtain, who rounded out her hat-trick.
The game gave Romein the opportunity to experiment with the team’s set up.
Millie Martin was solid as she deputised for the injured Beth Taylor in the centre of midfield.
Julia Antonetti looked sharp up front in the absence of Montana Faull.
The Lady Devils now have a week to prepare for the first final against Altona City, although Altona City will be promoted to the Victorian Women’s Premier League regardless of the outcome.
This will be the fifth time the two sides have met this season and the Lady Devils will be keen to square the ledger after Altona knocked them put of the Pelada Cup on penalties in round two.
The development squad had a decisive 18-0 victory in the reserves game, with Morgan Purdie netting five.
The tally means they have scored a remarkable 100 goals for the season.