Two Canberra United Academy products are jetting off to Maryland to make their mark in the United States NCAA division one East Conference.
Academy defender Annaliese Grove and former Academy goalkeeper Isy Davy are off to become Retrievers and join the roster at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Country.
The side will be without Grove leading the way in their back line against Wagga City Wanderers FC on Sunday, but her younger sister Sasha Grove said it gave some of the younger players an opportunity to step up.
"We're not too sad about it, we're celebrating it. That's the whole point of the program, we want players to progress and obviously go where they want to go," she said.
"We're really happy to see that but that's obviously giving some of our ressies and some of our younger girls an opportunity to step up ... that's how everyone comes in and starts playing first grade.
"I'm really happy to see her pursuing what she wants to do, especially with Isy. Isy was with us back in the day, playing with us as a keeper so it's nice she has a friend going over there, but we know the amount of work she's put in to the season so far, she's only going to get better moving forward."
United fended off Canberra Olympic FC last round 3-2 after a stale period following their triumph over Canberra Croatia FC - to end their 19 game undefeated streak - in round eight.
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The side has lost three of their last five games, drawn with cellar dwellers Tuggeranong United FC and beaten Olympic to move into fourth spot.
The Academy will host seventh placed Wagga Wagga at Hawker Football Centre from 3pm and will look to build on their win last round.
The striker said the win against Olympic felt good after the stale results in the last four weeks.
"Obviously coming off the loss to Woden and then tying with Tuggas it felt really good, and they gave us a good fight for it but it was just so relieving to finally have that [win]," Grove said.
"Every team we face has really brought us a challenge this season, and we know that [Wagga have] got a really strong defensive line and they've got a lot of physicality, so that's something we have to match.
"I think a lot of criticisms that we get is we're not physical enough because obviously we're a development program, so a lot of the girls are younger, but I think as the season's progressed we've gotten better and we've shown that when we played against CFC."
The NPLW has two clear front runners vying for the premiership, Croatia and Belconnen United FC. Second placed Belconnen sit nine points clear of third place. However, the fight for third and fourth will be a tight finish between four teams.
If both sides continue their winning ways, the two team race for the top spot will likely be decided in round 18, when the pair face off against each other. If Belconnen can take away three points from the encounter, first place would then come down to goal difference, with Croatia leading by nine goals.
Saturday - West Canberra Wanderers FC v Belconnen United FC, 12.45pm Melrose Synthetic
Sunday - Canberra Olympic FC v Tuggeranong United FC, 2.15pm O'Connor Enclosed
Sunday - Gungahlin United FC v Canberra Croatia FC, 3pm Gungahlin Enclosed Oval
Sunday - Canberra United Academy v Wagga City Wanderers FC, 3pm Hawker Football Centre