Arsenal Ladies are through to the Continental Cup quarter-finals following their double win this week against Women’s Super League 2 sides Reading Women and Millwall Lionesses.
The Gunners won the group stage with a 100% record beating Chelsea Ladies, Reading Women, London Bees, Millwall Lionesses and Watford Ladies. The competition has been really good as it has allowed Pedro Losa to give game time to a lot of young players that are coming through the impressive youth system.
Losa has used 28 players overall, with only two further players being unused substitutes throughout the campaign, and they were the team’s third and fourth choice goalkeepers Hollie Augustus and Sian Rogers. Development team player from last season Chloe Kelly started three games and got two goals, while Evie Clarke was awarded with a start and came on as a sub once. Taome Oliver, who was also in the development side last season but has now moved on to play for UCLA in the NCAA Division 1 in the USA, also started a game.
The u17 double winners also got a lot of game time with Charlotte Devlin, Chiara Ritchie-Williams, Georgia Allen, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Rianna Dean all involved and even starting games.
Arsenal also welcomed back Vyan Sampson from a long-term injury that prevented her from playing at the u19 Euros in Israel. The cup group stage also allowed the newcomers that were signed in the summer transfer window (Dominique Janssen, Sari Van Veenendal and Marta Corredera) to bed in progressively rather than being thrown at the deep end in the League.
The seven other teams also through to the quarter-finals are: Chelsea, Reading, Manchester City, Liverpool, Notts County, Birmingham and Bristol.
Sunderland are the only WSL 1 team to miss out, as well as the only WSL 1 team to lose in the competition against a WSL 2 side. Reading are the only WSL 2 side to go get through the group stage.
The tournament group stage saw 44 games and not a single match was drawn. According to the rules published in February, the draw made on the first of September is an open draw so Arsenal could meet Chelsea or Reading again in the quarter-finals.
Development team news:
The season will start on the 13th September at home to Yeovil Town at Herts University. They have a pre-season friendly on Tuesday 1st September away to London Bees at The Hive at 6pm.