Serie A: The 2021/22 story so far (part two)

Chantè Dompig of Empoli sits in disappointment.
Chantè Dompig of Empoli sits in disappointment during the Women Serie A match against AS Roma at Stadio Carlo Castellani on 28 August 2021 in Empoli, Italy. (Photo by Getty Images)

The Serie A women’s league is at its halfway mark. 11 games down and 11 to go. With the league table now taking shape, there is no better time to round up and assess the progress of each side.

The second part of the round-up will focus on those in the midtable and the teams battling for survival at the bottom of Serie A.

Midtable security or relegation dog fight?

There is a four-point gap between sixth-placed Sampdoria and ninth-placed Empoli, who sit just outside the relegation zone. However, a considerable five-point difference between Empoli and the relegation zone exists, suggesting those from sixth to ninth could be battling it out for a midtable position. However, a poor run of form could still see a side drawn into a relegation battle.

Sampdoria

After obtaining the Serie A license of Florentia, Sampdoria will be content will their first season in the Italian top-flight. Perhaps the highlight of their campaign so far was an impressive 3-0 home victory over Inter. With 16 points to their name this term, Sampdoria should be well clear of any danger near the bottom of the table.

Star Player: Yoreli Rincón

Stefania Tarenzi has been pivotal for Antonio Cincotta’s side, scoring five league goals this term. However, the form of Yoreli Rincón cannot be overlooked, with the Columbia international playing key roles in eight of Sampdoria’s goals. With five assists and three goals to her name, Rincón has been a standout player for her side this term.

Fiorentina

Fiorentina will be disappointed to be in seventh place after a positive campaign last season saw them finish fourth. Although, four points from their last two league games will see them enter the winter break in high spirits. Worryingly, Patrizia Panico’s side have been susceptible to bouts of poor form having lost three consecutive games on two occasions this term. They should have enough to avoid a relegation fight, but a run of defeats could see them drawn into a battle for survival.

Star Player: Daniela Sabatino

Undoubtedly, Fiorentina’s standout player this season has been Daniela Sabatino. The current Serie A top scorer has been pivotal with eight league goals to her name this term. Although, Karin Lundin has also played an important role this season, chipping in with six goals in the first half of the season.

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Pomigliano

Although they have the third-worst defence in the league, Pomigliano are have enjoyed a steady campaign. Their most recent league outing saw them beat relegation-threatened Napoli. Despite playing nearly 60 minutes against Napoli with 10 players after Giuseppina Moraca was dismissed, Pomigliano won the encounter in the 83rd minute. The winner came courtesy of a moment of skill from Dalila Ippolito, who displayed immaculate control in the box before poking the ball home. They will be hoping to start brightly in the new year as they bid to look up rather than over their shoulders.

Star Player: Deborah Salvatori Rinaldi

With two goals and three assists, Rinaldi has played an important role in Pomigliano’s season so far. The 30-year-old will need to continue her fine form to ensure her team avoid a relegation battle.

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Empoli

Although they sit above the relegation zone, Empoli have a five-point cushion between themselves and the drop zone. Five points from their last three league games ensure they go into the winter break with an element of confidence. After collecting just a point from their opening four matches, Empoli will be relieved to have thirteen points to their name at the halfway stage.

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Star Player: Asia Bragonzi

Chanté-Mary Dompig has been a key creator for Empoli with four assists to her name. However, Asia Bragonzi has been the standout star for the club, having netted five goals this season, and she will be key in the new year if her side are to stay away from danger.

Can Napoli, Lazio or Hellas Verona avoid relegation?

Those in the relegation zone have been cut adrift from the rest. That means an exceptional run of form is needed in the second half of the season if any of the three sides are to beat the drop.

Napoli

Despite sitting five points adrift of safety, Napoli will still believe they can claw their way out of the relegation zone. Although, two wins in the first half of the season will not inspire confidence.

Star Player: Eleonora Goldoni

Napoli’s league position would have been even more precarious without the goals of Goldoni, who has netted four of her side’s seven league goals this season. To beat the drop, Goldoni will need to continue to find the net, when Serie A returns in 2022.

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Lazio

After winning promotion to the top flight, Lazio seem destined for an immediate return to Serie B. With only three points from their 11 league matches, they face a near-impossible task to remain in the top flight. A 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Hellas Verona gave Lazio their only points of the campaign. Carolina Morace’s side possess the worst defensive record in the league after conceding 36 goals this season, and they will need to shore up at the back if they are to mount a great escape.

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Star Players: Adriana Martín

The solitary goal in Lazio’s only victory this season was scored by Martín, and she has managed to net half of her team’s goals this term. Although, they will have to find a way to cope without her goals in the second half of the season. That is due to the fact that, during the winter break, Martín announced that she would be leaving the club.

Hellas Verona

After finishing in ninth position last term, Verona have endured a torrid campaign this time around. A goalless draw against Napoli resulted in their only point of the season. Without a win to their name and 12 points adrift of safety, Verona are Serie B bound. They have struggled in the final third, having scored the fewest goals in the league this term.

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Star Players: Lineth Cedeño

Amazingly all five of Verona’s goals, have been scored by Cedeño, and though her team may be destined for the drop, her promising performances could see her get a move elsewhere.

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