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Rachel Corsie: Playing at Hampden has given me some of the best moments of my career – I hope the Women’s Scottish Cup semi-finalists experience the same

The Scotland skipper reflects on her Hampden memories, such as scoring a last-minute winner, as the national stadium prepares to host its first-ever women's domestic games.

Scotland skipper Rachel Corsie celebrates scoring a last-minute winner at Hampden. Image: Shutterstock.
Scotland skipper Rachel Corsie celebrates scoring a last-minute winner at Hampden. Image: Shutterstock.

Hampden hosts the Women’s Scottish Cup semi-finals this weekend for the first time and I hope all the players embrace the experience.

On Saturday, Motherwell face Rangers at the national stadium, before nine-time winners Glasgow City take to the hallowed turf on Sunday to play last year’s victors Celtic.

To play at Hampden is an amazing opportunity and one I feel lucky to have had many times during my Scotland career.

The national stadium is now the women’s team’s home, alongside the men, which benefits us greatly as we look to progress on the international stage.

Scotland Women first played at Hampden in October 2012 in a European qualifying play-off match against Spain and, now, in hindsight I can appreciate the significance of the occasion more than I did back then.

Mintlaw’s Kim Little scored Scotland Women’s first-ever goal at Hampden in 2012. Image: SNS.

It was early on in my international career and I was probably naïve, so didn’t quite realise how important these milestones are for the growth of the women’s game.

I do remember it being an incredible experience. It was one of the first instances of Scotland becoming so close to reaching a major tournament through the play-offs.

It wasn’t to be for us in 2012, though, as after the 1-1 draw at Hampden, we were beaten in the second-leg in Spain – but one of my standout memories of the national stadium is our World Cup send-off in 2019.

That was a special day at Hampden in front of a record crowd.

A crowd of 18,555 came to watch us as we beat Jamaica 3-2 and, for me, it was the Tartan Army who made the experience what it was for the squad. It was a completely different feeling of support and the sound around the ground was on a different level.

It felt like the whole nation was behind us ahead of our World Cup debut.

Scotland Women celebrate after scoring against Jamaica at Hampden in 2019. Image: SNS.

A lot of times, as players, we feel a responsibility to try and make sure we get people along to games and we try to spread the message, but we didn’t have to do that against Jamaica – the support felt very organic.

A lot of the best memories of my career are collective experiences, but there is an individual moment at Hampden which I look back on with so much pride.

In October 2021, I scored a last-minute winner as we beat Hungary 2-1 in a European qualifying match. It was an absolute dream for me to see my header hit the back of the net.

It’s difficult to even find the words to explain how it felt. To score for your country is already incredible, but to score for Scotland at Hampden was sensational.

It’s something I’ll never get tired of watching and I know in 20 or 30 years’ time, I’ll look back on it and still feel the same.

Rachel Corsie directs her header towards goal at Hampden. Image: SNS.

Players should bask in chance to triumph at Hampden

The Scottish Cup semi-finalists have an opportunity to make their own Hampden memories this weekend and my advice to them would be to go out and enjoy it.

It’s the first-ever women’s semi-finals at Hampden so lap the experience up. Some of the players might never get this chance again, so they absolutely must make the most of it.

It should be two really exciting contests.

Motherwell will go into their clash with Rangers as underdogs but their place in the final four is a just reward after a really good season.

Although they didn’t make the top six in SWPL, the cup competitions are a chance for teams, who might not always be favourites to lift silverware, to do something really special, and Motherwell will be aiming to do just that at Hampden.

It’s a top of the table clash with the other semi-final and it’ll be close. Celtic are the current holders of the cup, but City have a strong record in the domestic competition.

SWPL 1 title race opens up as Glasgow City falter

This time last week Glasgow City were on the cusp of extending their advantage at the top of the SWPL 1 table to 11 points, but now they are only two points clear following defeats against Celtic and Rangers.

From a Glasgow City perspective, it’s been a really disappointing week.

In both defeats, City conceded within minutes of scoring. Leanne Ross will be analysing that and dishing out some stern words to her players.

The title race has been blown wide open and the top three all have to play each other again before the end of the season, so there are more exciting games to come. There are still plenty points to be gained or dropped.

You want the title race to be competitive and hopefully it does go down to the wire. It helps the women’s game gain more attention and mainstream media visibility.

At the other end of the table, it’s been a really positive week for Aberdeen as they secured back-to-back top-flight wins for the first time this season.

Aberdeen Women celebrate with Bayley Hutchison after she netted the winner against Dundee United. Image: Stephen Dobson/Shutterstock.

They’ve moved eight points clear of Hamilton, who they beat on Sunday, and are up to ninth in the table following their win over Dundee United on Wednesday night.

The Dons need to walk before they can run, so should aim to consolidate being safe from relegation rather than catching Spartans in eighth, but they’re in a good place just now after a difficult season.

It was great to see Bayley Hutchison net her 89th and 90th goals for Aberdeen against United in what was her 100th appearance for the club.

That goal return is really impressive and it’s really nice to see young players like Bayley hit milestones like that. It’s something she should take a moment to reflect on and enjoy.