Although it was ultimately destined to end in Grand Final heartbreak, there was plenty to like about Glory’s Westfield W-League campaign this year.
Here’s our end-of-season wrap:
With key figures Nikki Stanton and Sam Kerr both suspended, a first-up away trip to reigning Premiers Brisbane Roar represented a very tough opening to the season for Glory and yet, in the end, they were unfortunate not to claim all three points.
Youngsters Abbey Meakins, Isabella Foletta and Liana Cook belied their tender years by producing impressive displays, while Eliza Campbell pulled off some fine saves on her club debut and Roar required an 88th-minute effort from Carson Pickett to salvage a 1-1 draw.
The schedule didn’t get any easier for Glory as the Brisbane fixture was followed by another away trip, this time to Canberra United which has proven to be a graveyard for the club’s ambitions in the past.
But again they emerged with a precious point, this time courtesy of an incredible comeback.
Trailing 4-1 with eight minutes to go and down to ten players following Sarah Carroll’s unfortunate dismissal, the visitors looked down and out.
Alyssa Mautz duly grabbed her second goal in as many games to reduce the arrears, however, before 16-year-old Leticia McKenna announced herself on the senior stage with a stunning strike and a last-minute Rachel Corsie own-goal left the sides locked at 4-4 for the second time in as many meetings.
Glory’s opening game of the month saw them secure their first win of the campaign as Western Sydney Wanderers were swept aside 3-0 at Dorrien Gardens.
Sam Kerr opened her account for the year, while Rachel Hill added the other two, including a spectacular, goal-of-the-year-contender chip which crashed in off the underside of the bar.
A week later, this time at nib Stadium, the women turned on the style again as reigning Champions Melbourne City were blown away 5-2.
Kerr’s solo goal was the pick of the bunch and the skipper added another for good measure, with Mautz also bagging two and Rachel Hill rounding out the scoring in a statement win which sent shockwaves around the league.
Kerr added another two goals to her tally in the 2-2 Round 6 draw away at Adelaide United, but if it felt like a point gained at the Marden Sports Complex, it felt like two dropped when Glory ended up recording the same scoreline against Newcastle Jets a week later.
In what was Shannon May’s 100th game for the club, the visitors lost Larissa Crummer to a 26th-minute red card at Dorrien Gardens, but despite producing 25 attempts on goal, the hosts were unable to claim all three points.
They responded in the best possible way, however, once again shining at nib Stadium where two splendid headers from Kerr proved enough to see off Sydney FC.
Although a 2-1 defeat away at Melbourne Victory followed, Glory’s first reverse of the campaign, the women in purple started the New Year by bouncing back once again.
It was a tight affair against old foes Canberra United at Dorrien Gardens, but Kerr’s late penalty ultimately proved the difference between the two sides and all but snuffed out United’s finals hopes.
After another disappointing away loss at Newcastle Jets, Glory knew that a win at Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 13 was essential and the result was never in doubt after Lexie Moreno marked her first senior start by firing home the opener with nine minutes on the clock.
Katie Naughton then popped up with her first goal for the club, Kerr added a brace and Hill also found the net in a 5-1 romp which all but secured a top-four finish.
Curiously, Glory were to face Melbourne Victory twice in the space of nine days and experience a sharply contrasting set of emotions on each occasion.
The Round 14 clash at Dorrien Gardens was a hard-fought, physical affair, with the visitors securing the Premiers’ Plate courtesy of their 2-1 win.
With Glory finishing fourth, the two sides had to do it all again at AAMI Park in the semi-finals and this time Bobby Despotovski’s side rose to the occasion by producing a truly inspired display.
A thrilling first 90 minutes saw the sides locked at 2-2, but the visitors ran away with it in extra-time, Kerr grabbing the headlines with a hat-trick, Hill also getting on the scoresheet and McKenna and May dominating in midfield as 2-2 became 4-2 to Glory.
Alas, the women in purple were not able to reproduce those heroics in the Grand Final six days later as Sydney FC ran out worthy 4-2 winners at Netstrata Stadium.
Kerr’s penalty and Mautz’s second-half strike gave the away side hope, but the Sky Blues were not to be denied.
It wasn’t the end anyone in the Glory camp had scripted and the pain of a third Grand Final defeat will remain raw for some time.
But the positives from the campaign were many and with a crop of hugely-talented youngsters coming through, the future looks very bright indeed.
On behalf of all the players and staff, a huge thank you to the members and fans who have provided such magnificent support once again this year.