By Chris Harris
Laura Harvey wants to cap a year to remember with one more crucial victory on Wednesday.
The Arsenal Ladies manager has led her team to the domestic treble in 2011 - a haul that includes the inaugural Women's Super League title - and they have a chance to book their place in the last eight of the Women's Champions League when they face Rayo Vallecano at Meadow Park.
A win or a goalless draw would be enough to send Arsenal through and, having experienced so many highs in the past 12 months, Harvey is determined not to end a hectic 12 months on a downer.
"We're all really looking forward to having a break and we want to go into that break in a good mood, in a celebratory mood, after getting ourselves into the Quarter-Finals," she told Arsenal.com.
"For a club like ours that is the minimum standard now. We expect ourselves to be in the last eight of the Champions League every year and if we can do that we'll be extremely happy. If we don't we'll be devastated."
Women's football had something of a facelift in 2011 with a new top flight and a new calendar. Summer football is now the norm for Arsenal Ladies and, as a result, Harvey and her squad have had to squeeze four competitions into seven months of football. The imminent winter break will be very welcome.
"We had a little breather in June when the World Cup was on but I feel massively for the England girls because they probably haven't had a break for over 18 months now," said Harvey. "It has been a hard slog but that's what you get by being successful and getting into the Champions League.
"If you asked me whether I'd prefer a long break and not be in the Champions League then my answer would be no. We want to be in this competition, we want to be as successful as we possibly can be, and we've had a magnificent 12 months.
"It has been absolutely superb, it has totally outweighed all our expectations and we want to try and finish 2011 on a high."
The second leg will take place at Boreham Wood FC on Wednesday, November 9, kick-off 2pm. Entry to the game is FREE.Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source