Big Moments: Hodgson’s cracking finish in front of record crowd
Isabel Hodgson demonstrated immense composure in front of a record-breaking crowd at Coopers Stadium, scoring a vital equaliser in Adelaide United Women’s eventual 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers Women.
There was huge anticipation ahead of the Round 14 game back in March, not just in the context of the Reds’ season, but more broadly for women’s football and women’s sport.
The aim of course was attempting to break the attendance record for a standalone W-League regular season game.
“Going into the game I think we had a lot of nerves because it was a big game,” Hodgson said.
“It was obvious that we needed to win that if we wanted to have a chance to make finals.
“I think knowing that there was going to be a lot of people there made those nerves a bit more of an excitement. Not every day you get to play in front of that many people.”
After an anxious start, the Reds would concede inside four minutes and perhaps somewhat overwhelmed by the sense of occasion.
But once the nerves settled, they started to grow in confidence and dominated the contest.
In the 18th minute, Hodgson equalised, expertly controlling Mallory Weber’s cross before confidently placing her finish into the bottom corner and sparking jubilant scenes.
“Obviously conceding early was not the way we planned to start the game,” she said.
“But I think the most important thing was that we still had the crowd there, we still had the fans behind us.
“When that ball came to me in the box, I barely remember it. I just kind of remember being like, ‘put it in the back of the net, do not miss this’.
“And then once I scored it was just the best feeling, hearing that crowd roar and then from then on they just weren’t quiet. They were so loud, they were so behind us.
“Scoring that equaliser, we just felt like we were going to win this game and I think the crowd believed that as well.”
Adelaide scored twice in the second-half to claim a memorable win in front of 5,159 spectators – beating the record and also bookending United’s most successful season to date.
The momentous game is one that will stand the test of time for the 25-year-old.
“I think once we got those couple of extra goals and we were really playing some great football,” she said.
“There were shots and opportunities coming left, right and centre.
“It was probably one of the most fun games I’ve played. Once we were ahead it was just fun to be out there – fun to get goals, the crowd around you.
“And even just when I came off and I was on the bench, just being there I could just feel the energy the crowd was giving off and it was probably one of my favourite games of football I’ve ever played.”