It's pretty quiet out here at this time.

Union's Women Win the League

7-1 Victory in Potsdam Confirms the Title

Sun, 12. May 2024
Union's Women Win the League

1. FC Union Berlin’s women’s team secured the Regionalliga Nordost title with a 7-1 win over 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam II on Sunday afternoon. Sarah Abu Sabbah set the tone with four goals including a first half hat-trick, joined by Athanasia Moraitou, and Lisa Heiseler who bagged a brace, on the scoresheet.

1. FC Union Berlin: Wagner – K. Orschmann, Becker (59. Blaschka), Niesler (71. Rurack) – Sakar, Heiseler, Frank, Moraitou, Bach (71. Metzker) – Abu Sabbah, D. Orschmann (84. Görsdorf) 

1. FFC Turbine Potsdam II: Thiele – Krumbholz, Stritzke (84. Helmke), Dommasch, Häring – Weltz (84. Ressel), Robitsch – Gnädig, Bibossynova (74. Gärtner), Bretschneider (74. Hoppe) – Lemke 

Goals: 0-1 Moraitou (9.), 1-1 Bretschneider (25.), 1-2 Abu Sabbah (27.), 1-3 Abu Sabbah (28.), 1-4 Abu Sabbah (40.), 1-5 Abu Sabbah (55.), 1-6 Heiseler (69.), 1-7 Heiseler (90.) 

Attendance: 98 

The sun shone beautifully over the pretty Sportforum Waldstadt, there was a queue for the bar in the little clubhouse that serves not only as a refuge from the blazing sun, but also a shrine to the memories and victories of this fine Women’s footballing institution.

There was a sense of celebration in the air, the Union players coming out of the changing room as one, forming a line so everyone got a handshake, they cried out then their goal. Not the title, though they would soon have that in the bag with another superb performance in a season that has seen the stores of superlatives run dry, but Aufstieg.

Yes, the title is nice, but it will be considered largely irrelevant if they don’t achieve promotion.

That was the furthest thing from their minds, however, as they started the first half with typical intent. Latoya Bach, in for the injured Naika Reissner on the left, harried and chased Turbine’s excellent right-back, Vanessa Krumbholz while Celine Frank, sitting in midfield alongside Athanasia Moraitou and Lisa Heiseler, was  at her snapping, dogged best.

Union radiated calm, Marie Becker, at the heart of the beack three with Katja Orschmann and Charleen Niesler either side of her turned Turbine’s striker, Nathalie Bretschneider with glacial calm. Dina Orschmann executed a flicked pass to Lisa Heiseler, behind her in midfield, with balletic perfection.

But though they were enjoying themselves they were also relentless in their pursuit of the goal. Athanasia Moraitou bent an effort just past the top corner early on, and Union took the lead after Dina Orschmann caught Turbine napping at the back, finding Sarah Abu Sabbah with a pass she was not of a mind to turn her nose up at, finishing easily.

But things weren’t all going Union’s way, and Turbine were determined opponents, equalising soon after having capitalised on a rare moment of slackness in the Union lines.

Union weren’t having that. Their top scorer was on fire, but it was Moraitou who bagged Union’s second with a fantastic, dipping, left footed drive from distance that left Turbine’s keeper, Anna Thiele, with no chance. Abu Sabbah would make it three shortly after rounding Thiele before claiming her second with a bullet header, rising to meet Moraitou’s excellent deep cross from the left, before making her hat-trick with a wonderful lob that was as cheeky as the grin plastered across her face as she wheeled away in celebration.

They came out for the second half early, forming a circle as the warm applause, and bellowed cries of the couple of hundred Unioner flocking the little six-stepped stand along one touchline washed over them. Their faces were straight, they were focussed. And it showed.

Abu Sabbah made it five when she robbed Thiele with a determined lunge out on the left, finding her feet quickly enough to stroke the ball home into the now empty net.

Union’s skipper, Lisa Heiseler wasn’t going to miss out with the celebrations already breaking out in the stands. She scored Union’s sixth with a typical, drive from the edge of the box before settling things with almost the last touch of the game with a brave header from near the penalty spot. She had been superb as ever  in midfield, and her brace was more than deserved.

At the final whistle the players came together in front of the fans as the realisation settled in of what they had achieved. Ailien Poese and Jenny Zietz were doused in freezing water, sprayed joyously by delighted players, the spring in their step belying the 90 minutes of work in the baking heat they’d put in.

They know that the hard work is still to be done, and that if they don’t win the playoff for the 2. Liga then this title will mean little, and the Cup final against a Viktoria side who will be determined to get a certain revenge, is looming. But for that briefest of moments they could revel in their win.

They will sleep tonight as Regionalliga Nordost champions.