Sunderland keeper enjoys clean sheet

Rachael Laws (centre) with Hayley Sharp and Keira Ramshaw
Rachael Laws (centre) with Hayley Sharp and Keira Ramshaw
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GOALKEEPER Rachael Laws had one of her easiest afternoons of the season for Sunderland Ladies.

But she said a clean sheet was the perfect way to sign off a campaign in which the Black Cats have lost only one of their 18 games.

“The ability to win games we might have drawn or lost, has been one of the keys to our success,” she said.

“And we knew that winning the game against Millwall was the most important thing – because if we won, we were champions.

“When you’re thinking like that, it’s all about scoring goals.

“But, at the same time, we knew it was important to be strong in defence and, from my point of view, it’s really nice to end the season without us conceding because it has been a few games since we’ve done that.”

Laws, whose form won her a senior England call-up this season, was not overly extended in the Millwall game, although she had to be on her guard in the early stages before Kelly McDougall’s 17th-minute goal settled Sunderland down.

“Millwall gave us a game,” she said.

“But I’ve always said that when the defence does it job well, there’s not a lot I have to do and that was the case in this game – we defended really well and that gave us the platform to go forward and get goals.”

The WSL1, which awaits Sunderland next season, is no stranger to Laws.

She even has a championship medal from last season after a successful loan stint at 2013 champions Liverpool.

Taking into account Sunderland’s four successive titles, she now has five championship medals in four years – and is looking forward to the next challenge!

“I know how tough WSL1 is from experience,” she said.

“But I also know that we’ve played really well this season and we deserve our chance to compete in it.”