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Katie McCabe & Jess Ziu The Standout Irish Players On Opening Weekend Of WSL

Katie McCabe & Jess Ziu The Standout Irish Players On Opening Weekend Of WSL
By Gary Connaughton Updated

The opening fixtures in this season's Women's Super League took place this weekend, with plenty of Irish interest as the teams took to the pitch for the first time.

Some members of Vera Pauw's squad will be battling it out near the top of the table, while others will be hoping to consolidate their place in the division in the months ahead.

After the first few games, there were a couple of standout performers from this part of the world.

Irish players star during opening weekend of WSL

Katie McCabe helped Arsenal to a second-placed finish in the WSL last season, finishing one point behind champions Chelsea. They would also lose out to the same opposition at the semi-final stage of the Women's FA Cup, meaning the Irishwoman will be keen to go one better in both competitions this season.

Arsenal had a very comfortable night in the league's opening fixture on Friday, running out as convincing 4-0 winners over Brighton. McCabe played the full 90 minutes, featuring at left back and putting in an excellent display and getting an 8.4 rating from FotMob.

Considering her recent form for Ireland, it should not have been a surprise to see her carry that level of performance into her club side.

The other Irish standout came in the form of Jess Ziu.

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Having only joined West Ham during the summer, the former Shelbourne star was making her WSL debut in the match against Everton.

She would play a decisive part in the game, providing the assist for Lisa Evans to turn home the winner just before the interval.

Ziu admitted recently that she has started to find her feet in English football after initially finding the going somewhat tough in pre-season. It will be exciting to see what she can do in her debut campaign.

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A number of other Irish players also featured during the opening weekend of the competition. Goalkeepers Grace Moloney and Courtney Brosnan started for Reading and Everton respectively, although both would come out on the losing side in their fixtures.

Both Niamh Fahey and Leanne Kiernan started for Liverpool in their game against Chelsea, with Megan Campbell also coming off the bench after Kiernan picked up an injury. Campbell would make an immediate impact, with Liverpool winning a penalty after one her long throw-ins was handled in the penalty area. The game would ultimately finish 2-1 to the Reds, a fantastic win for the promoted side against the pre-season title favourites.

With Ireland's World Cup play-off against either Scotland or Austria only a matter of weeks away, Vera Pauw will be keen to see her players get as much playing time as possible in the WSL in the games ahead.

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She certainly would have been encouraged by some of the performances she saw over the last few days.

SEE ALSO: Swansea Boss Plays Down Obafemi Being Booed By Home Supporters


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