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Cardiff Met Ladies kept up their recent domination of the Welsh Premier Women's League again this season, being crowned as League Champions for the third time in four seasons.
The university side, managed by Kerry Harris, set a blistering pace from the start, winning all of their opening nine matches, and led the league throughout the entire campaign. Although they had to come through a difficult finish, in which they suffered defeats to PILCS and Swansea City in their last four games, it was not enough to prevent them keeping hold of the title due to a vastly superior goal difference over the Swans.
Cardiff Met midfielder Sophie Scherschel told Women's Soccer Scene that the club was delighted at finishing on top once again, saying: "We're thrilled to have won the Welsh Premier Women's League for a second consecutive season and the third time in four years. Everyone at the club has worked particularly hard for this title, on and off the pitch, so it's good to see the commitment paying off."
Sophie also admitted that it was getting harder to win the league each time. "The standard of the league is, without a doubt, improving year on year," she observed. "You can tell that just from the results throughout the league.
"There isn't a fixture you can look at and predict the result, because the competition within the league is closer than ever. The pure fact that it came down to the last game of the season and then settled on goal difference shows the high level of competition within the league."
Nevertheless, Sophie is also quietly confident that they can make it a hat-trick of titles next season. "We have to go into each season believing we can come out as Champions," she said. "It is this belief that motivates us, week in week out.
"As a university side, we see changes between each season as some players graduate and we then get an intake of new players. This has its advantages but can also be detrimental to the side.
"Going into next season, we are not losing many players, so it will be good to add some strength to the side whilst keeping the core squad together and progress on this season's work."
Winning the league also means that Cardiff Met will have another chance to play in the UEFA Women's Champions League, during the qualifying group stages in August.
"This will be the club's third time in Europe and the previous two trips have definitely taught us a lot," says Sophie. "We have learnt plenty about European football and how it works. We know, leading up to this year's competition, what we need to improve on and how to use our strengths to our advantage.
"Winning our last game against Oriense (the group winners) in last year's qualifying tournament has definitely given us the belief that we can go further in the competition. With a decent draw and the right preparation, we don't think that qualification is out of our reach."
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