It has been a difficult season for Lazio Women in Serie A Femminile. This past summer they were promoted back to the top flight and their return has not been pleasant. The Roman side have won just one of their 10 matches in the top flight, which came in their most recent fixture against Hellas Verona Women.
Earlier this season, Lazio lost 4-3 in added time against Napoli Calcio Femminile in a thrilling and entertaining affair. Maddalena Porcarelli denied them from walking away with any points by scoring a game-winner in the 93rd minute. During this match, Napoli goalkeeper Kelly Chiavaro was watching from the sidelines and got her first good look at Lazio. She was kind of enough to give her insight on this fixture, some glaring issues surrounding Lazio Women, and what they need to do to turn their season around.
Congratulations on the win versus Lazio. What were some key takeaways from Napoli’s win over Lazio? What stood out most from both sides?
I think one of the main takeaways from this win against Lazio was our hard work and our drive to continue to look for the winning goal until the very last seconds of the game. Throughout the game, we were down a goal on many occasions but we kept our head up and we continued to play our game.
We knew that they were a very direct team, often looking for the long balls and the counter-attack but instead of changing our style of play to match theirs, we continued to play the ball and to keep the ball at our feet. By playing at our strengths, we were able to come out with the win.
Lazio’s offense impressed me last week. They have very good players offensively and scored a very nice goal. We knew they would use counterattacks to their advantage but it was surprising to see the talent some of the offensive players had.
Lazio’s struggles continue… What were some of the glaring issues you noticed in this team?
I think defensively Lazio isn’t very well organized. As we were able to see, they have the ability to score goals but what hurts them the most is their midfield and their defense.
Which players stood out to you that can make a significant impact this season for Lazio?
Some of Lazio’s best players include Adriana Martin Santamaria, Rachel Cuschieri and Noemi Visentin. They played very well together offensively.
Did you think Napoli could make a comeback when trailing 3-2 and what were your thoughts on the winning goal?
In all honesty, throughout the entire game, I knew deep down that we were going to find a way to win the game. The atmosphere in the locker room and within the team was different and you could feel that even though we were down, we all knew we could get the 3 points and it really showed during the game. Everyone on the field was working really hard and the girls coming off the bench did a great job to keep the energy and the momentum high. It was awesome to see our hard work and perseverance pay off at the last seconds of the game.
In the match before facing Lazio, you had three players sent off. In this match, Lazio were awarded two penalties. Did you ever think: ‘not again’?
Definitely. I have never seen so many penalty kicks awarded against a team I have been part of and it was frustrating to get these calls against us, especially the first penalty kick. That being said, it has come to a point where we expect things to go against us and we have learned to move past them quickly, and to focus on the things we can control.
This game against Lazio really showed us that even though we might be awarded two penalty kicks against us, we can always come back and fight back to get the win. I think a big part of overcoming these obstacles is the mindset we choose to have and going forward it will be important for us to stay calm and to keep working hard no matter what the referee calls during the game.
What do Lazio need to do to turn their season around after getting a glimpse of them this past weekend? Do you think they go back to their previous manager?
I think Lazio showed a lot of grit during this game and they demonstrated that they were able to make nice plays and score some goals. The season is still young and there is still time for things to turn around. I don’t exactly know what the situation is within the team and the staff but I think these two upcoming weeks off for the international break will give them the opportunity to assess what changes need to be done to turn the season around.