Firstly, apologies for the lack of a preview for this weekend’s games – College Matildas is a one-man operation and this one man was incapacitated. And now, onto the football. After last weekend’s exploits from our Aussies, just about anything would be a comedown. However, we still saw some great performances, including a second career goal from Emily Hulbert and more attacking brilliance from Shelbi Vienna-Hallam.
UMBC (Lilly Rydon)
This week’s results: defeated Massachusetts-Lowell 3-1, defeated Hartford 1-0
UMBC came into this weekend needing two wins to keep their hopes of finishing top in the America East conference alive, and that’s exactly what they got, as they dominated Massachusetts-Lowell before fighting their way to victory over current league leaders Hartford. The match against Massachusetts-Lowell saw both sides start slowly before Massachusetts-Lowell actually took the lead in the 52nd minute, which kicked UMBC into gear. The Retrievers scored in the 55th and 59th minutes to take the lead before tacking on a third goal with 20 minutes to play to secure the win. The match against Hartford was also tied 0-0 at halftime, but Hartford dominated the shot count 8-4. The second half was a different beast, however. UMBC had 9 shots to 3, of which four were on target, but most importantly, one shot in the 72nd minute bulged the back of the net to give UMBC the win. Lilly Rydon started in both games, managing four shots against Hartford, but wasn’t able to manage a goal.
Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)
This week’s results: lost to Villanova 2-0, lost to Georgetown 1-0
A tough conference season continued this week for Creighton as they fell in a couple of tough games against Villanova and Georgetown. In both games, the Bluejays had their opportunities to get a win, but on both occasions they fell short. Against Villanova, the Bluejays were outshot 12-9, but managed 4 of their own on target, however it was Villanova who scored in the 34th and 84th minutes to secure victory. The stat line against nationally ranked Georgetown suggests that Creighton may have even had the better of the play, leading the shots 9-7, but with only 3 on target which were all saved by the Georgetown goalkeeper, the Hoyas’ ability to take just one of their chances led to victory. Anastasia McCleary came off the bench in both games, but as has become the norm, played only 10 minutes or so in each game.
Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)
This week’s result: lost to Stanford 3-0
Colorado were always expected to be up against it in this match against Stanford, and that expectation came to fruition on the field as the Buffaloes fell to a heavy 3-0 defeat against Stanford which dealt a blow to their national tournament bid hopes. Stanford weren’t able to open the scoring until the 39th minute, but with Colorado unable to register a shot in the first half, the Cardinal had all the momentum leading into the second half. Whilst the Buffaloes were able to register four shots in the second half, they could only manage one on target (which, interestingly, came from goalkeeper Kate Scheele), whilst Stanford knocked home two more in the 59th and 89th minutes to cruise to a win. Kahlia Hogg started for the Buffaloes and played 79 minutes, and had one header almost make its way into the back of the net, but was cleared by a Stanford defender. Alexandra Huynh was once again out through injury – she remains unlikely to play again in the regular season, but should be back if Colorado reach the national tournament.
Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)
This week’s result: defeated Eastern Illinois 1-0
One game this week for Murray State, and they managed to grab the win to keep themselves in equal second position in the Ohio Valley standings, but they made it harder for themselves than it should have been against second-last placed Eastern Illinois. With Harriet Withers starting and notching up four shots, and Nyomi Devine in defence, Murray State had 20 shots to Eastern Illinois’ 9, with 10 on target to 3. However, the Eastern Illinois goalkeeper was like a brick wall for the most part. In the 84th minute, however, just when it was looking like the Racers’ domination would all be for nought, Pavlina Nepokojova whipped home a free kick for the winning goal which sees Murray State stay right in the hunt for regular season conference supremacy.
Nicholls State (Jess Coates)
This week’s results: lost to Northwestern State 2-1, lost to Stephen F. Austin 3-1
With a game against last-placed Northwestern State this weekend, Nicholls State should have secured at least one win this weekend and kept themselves locked into a conference tournament position. Instead, their expected loss to league leaders Stephen F. Austin was coupled with an upset loss to Northwestern State which leaves the Colonels on the outside looking in at the tournament positions as they now languish in eighth position in the Southland Conference. The stats against Northwestern State suggest that the game was a very even affair, with the shot count being tied at 17 apiece, and Northwestern State leading the shots on target 11-10. However, Northwestern State were able to grab two first half goals, with a couple of long passes landing in perfect positions to tee up their strikers, as they tallied goals in the 22nd and 42nd minutes to grab a 2-0 lead. Nicholls State hit back almost immediately after the second goal to make things 2-1 shortly before halftime, but the second half saw the attacking chances, and the goals, dry up and the game finished 2-1 to give Northwestern State their first conference win of the season. Stephen F. Austin were expected to be a much tougher opponent, and indeed they were, as just a short lapse in play by Nicholls State saw their opponents notch two goals within 46 seconds of each other in the 20th minute to go up 2-0 early on. Nicholls State once again hit back quickly, as they did in the Northwestern State game, scoring just 3 minutes later to bring them back into the game at 2-1. Despite outshooting Stephen F. Austin 11-9, including 5-4 in the second half, it was Nicholls State who conceded the only goal of the second half, a third goal for Stephen F. Austin on the hour mark extending their lead back to two goals, which is how things stayed until the final whistle. Jess Coates started in both games for Nicholls State, but was not able to have the same impact she has had in many games this season.
Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)
This week’s results: defeated Jackson State 2-1, defeated Southern 2-0
Alabama State finally kicked into gear a couple of weeks ago and they kept it up this week, defeating nemesis Jackson State 2-1 before defeating Southern 2-0 to move into third place in the SWAC standings. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam and Aaliyah Lewis combined for the sixth straight game against Jackson State, with Aaliyah setting up Shelbi for the equaliser after Jackson State’s opener before Shelbi returned the favour for the winner just before halftime. Unfortunately, their streak came to an end at that point, but it was of little consequence as both players managed plenty of shots, but two other Alabama State players tallied goals to grab another win for the Hornets.
Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)
This week’s results: defeated College of Charleston 5-0, tied with UNC Wilmington 2-2 (2OT)
An undefeated weekend kept Hofstra well within touching distance of the top of the Colonial Athletic Association standings. First up, Hofstra faced second-last College of Charleston in a game that the Pride couldn’t afford to drop, and they dealt with those expectations beautifully, as goals in the 6th and 7th minute gave the side an exceptional start. The goals were not quite as forthcoming for the next 45 minutes or so, until two more in the 52nd and 56th minutes ended the match as a contest. Then, in the 64th minute, Aussie freshman Emily Hulbert notched her second goal of the season with an shot from just inside the area which went across the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net. A loss to UNC Wilmington in the side’s second game of the weekend would not have proven fatal to their tournament hopes, but it would have let their opponents catch right up and put real pressure on Hofstra. It was UNC Wilmington, however, who scored first, on 32 minutes, but Hofstra hit back 10 minutes later to tie things up, before taking the lead in the 63rd minute. As the old saying goes, though, you’re most vulnerable after you score, and UNC Wilmington scored an equaliser just 90 seconds later. Hofstra outshot UNC Wilmington 30-15 for the game, but couldn’t manage to beat the goalkeeper in the final 45 minutes of the game despite having the run of the play for the majority of the game. Emily Hulbert also started against UNC Wilmington and played the whole 110 minutes, registering two shots.
Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Bridget Sankey)
This week’s results: defeated Eastern Kentucky 1-0, defeated Morehead State 2-1
After splitting last weekend’s matches, Southeast Missouri State stormed back into form this week with two wins that put them alongside two other teams at a game behind the Ohio Valley conference lead. Unfortunately, neither Bridget Sankey nor Maddy Cornell saw game time this weekend, but Jenna Collingridge started in her usual midfield position as the Redhawks fought to victory against Eastern Kentucky. The Redhawks enjoyed attacking dominance in this match, but their shooting was less than impressive, with only four shots on target from the twelve that they had. It took, however, until the 86th minute for Southeast Missouri State to finally knock a goal home, as Breana Beine latched onto a pass and beat a defender before slotting the ball past the Eastern Kentucky goalkeeper for a late winner. Collingridge again lined up against Morehead State, and in a 2-1 win the goals came slightly earlier for the Redhawks, with goals in the 32nd and 38th minutes putting Southeast Missouri State into a commanding position. Morehead State grabbed one back shortly before halftime, and then came out firing in the second half, tallying 11 shots with 5 on target. Southeast Missouri State’s defence held firm, however, and the Redhawks escaped with a much-needed win.
Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)
This week’s results: defeated Fresno State 2-0, defeated San Jose State 2-0
Wyoming moved into top spot in the Mountain West conference, and also secured a conference tournament berth, with two wins this weekend over Fresno State and San Jose State on a trip to Northern California. The game against Fresno State saw the Cowgirls trail in shots 15-9, but with Fresno State choosing quantity over quality and Wyoming choosing the opposite, it was Wyoming who scored in the 11th and 88th minutes, with Kaitlyn Lomsnes scoring on both occasions. Alisha Bass started against Fresno State, whilst Candace Sciberras came off the bench for 2 shots in 71 minutes of play. Against San Jose State, all three Australians started, with Georgia Rowntree back between the sticks from the outset, and Sciberras being rewarded for her good performances. Rowntree kept a clean sheet before being subbed at halftime, whilst Bass and Sciberras both had multiple shots, but it was Lomsnes again, along with Kasey Curtis, who notched the goals for the Cowgirls in their second win of the weekend, with goals in the 3rd minute through Curtis’ penalty, and an empty net goal in the 89th minute for Lomsnes.
Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)
This week’s result: lost to Santa Clara 2-0
It’s been a tough conference season for Pacific this season, and not a lot changed as the Tigers travelled 70 miles down I-205W to take on national powerhouse Santa Clara. With the Tigers unable to register a shot on target for the entire game, the best they were ever going to achieve was a 0-0 draw. Pacific’s defence was breached, however, in the 21st minute as Santa Clara opened the scoring, but the Broncos were wasteful for most of the first period, only managing to get 3 of their 11 shots on target. The Broncos were just as wasteful in the second half, managing eight shots but only getting three on target. One of those three, however, did find the back of the net and secured the win for Santa Clara. Ellie Papalexiou came off the bench once again for Pacific as she continues her efforts to break into the starting side.
Player Of The Year Points:
3: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State)
2: Emily Hulbert (Hofstra)
1: Harriet Withers (Murray State)