Plenty of news this week, as Jess Coates was named to the Southland All-Conference First Team, whilst Shelbi Vienna-Hallam was named to the SWAC All-Conference Second Team. Harriet Withers was also named to the Ohio Valley All-Newcomers Team. In other news, Southeast Missouri State grabbed a share of the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title and also the right to host the conference tournament. But that wasn’t all the news this week; there were 11 teams playing.
Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)
This week: lost to San Diego 1-0, lost to BYU 4-0
It’s been far from an easy season for Pacific, and unfortunately there were two more losses this week. It must be said, however, that the Tigers have showed a fighting spirit in all their games that has seen them hang with much stronger teams for far longer than would generally be expected. The game against San Diego was a case in point – the Toreros outshot Pacific 11-6, with 5 shots on target to 2, but could only manage one goal as the Pacific defence scrapped to keep the game tight. League leading BYU were another matter, though. The Cougars were able to notch an impressive 29 shots, and with a count that high, eventually the goals will flow, and they did, with two goals either side of halftime leading to a 4-0 win. Ellie Papalexiou played in the San Diego game, notching one of the Tigers’ two shots on target, but unfortunately did not get on the field against BYU.
Nicholls State (Jess Coates)
This week’s results: defeated Southeastern Louisiana 4-2, lost to Sam Houston State 2-0
Aided by Abilene Christian’s ineligibility for the post-season, Nicholls State came into this week with their conference tournament spot sewn up, but still had the chance to move up in the standings. The Colonels came out firing against Southeastern Louisiana, with Spencer Valdespino scoring the first of her FOUR goals in the 15th minute, before Southeastern Louisiana tied things up 3 minutes later. Valdespino scored with 42 seconds left in the first half, before Jess Coates tallied an assist on the hat-trick goal in the 54th minute. A minute later, Valdespino scored her fourth, and whilst Southeastern Louisiana got one back with 27 minutes remaining, but that was the end of the scoring. With a chance at 5th place in the conference on the line against Sam Houston State, the Colonels weren’t quite up to the task against the second placed Bearkats. Whilst Nicholls State hung with SHSU for over an hour, two goals in the final 25 minutes were enough to consign the Colonels to a defeat, but their spot in the conference tournament was already well and truly assured.
Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)
This week’s results: defeated Arizona State 2-0, defeated Arizona 3-1
With no conference tournament in the Pac-12, Colorado continued on with their league schedule, still in desperate need of wins to ensure that they reach the NCAA Tournament. To that end, they came up with two huge results against Arizona and Arizona State. The Buffaloes got off to a flyer against Arizona State, scoring within the first 5 minutes. The game stayed remarkably even for the remainder of the first half, and continued in the same vein in the second half until the 75th minute when Colorado notched their second. The game against Arizona was far more eventful, with both teams being awarded penalties in a game that Colorado dominated for the most part. The first penalty of the game went the Buffaloes’ way in the 6th minute and was duly converted, before the home side added a second shortly after halftime. Things looked pretty well set for Colorado until they gave away a penalty in the 72nd minute which Arizona converted. Things were a little dicey for a while, but Colorado sealed the win with a third goal in the 88th minute to improve their chances of sealing an NCAA Tournament berth dramatically.
Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)
This week’s result: defeated Colorado State 4-1
Wyoming needed a win to ensure a second place finish and a bye through to the semi-finals of the Mountain West conference tournament, and it came in a game against rivals Colorado State, with the match nicknamed “The Border War”. It was more akin to the Anglo-Zanzibar War, however, both in terms of duration and in terms of the domination of one side as Wyoming comprehensively defeated the Rams. Kaitlyn Lomsnes got the scoring started in the 7th minute, as Candace Sciberras set the Canadian freshman up for a shot that the Colorado State goalkeeper got her hands to but couldn’t deal with. Alisha Bass scored the second goal, following up a rebound from a Lomsnes shot in the 37th minute. Wyoming put away a third in the 40th minute, before two of the three Aussies combined for the side’s 4th in the 48th minute, as Bass tallied an assist on Sciberras’ goal. Georgia Rowntree played the second half in goal and unfortunately conceded a late goal, but also had 4 saves in 45 minutes of game time.
Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)
This week’s result: defeated Xavier 1-0
It’s been a tough conference season for Creighton, but they finished the year on a high note, knocking off bottom team Xavier 1-0 in the final game of the season. The Bluejays completely dominated their opponents, but despite leading the shot count 7-3 at halftime, the score was tied 0-0 at the break. Creighton came out after the break firing though, and scored just five minutes after the break for the only goal of the match which secured the win. Unfortunately, Anastasia McCleary didn’t see any playing time in this game. There was some rather surprising news from Omaha in the days following the game, as Creighton coach Bruce Erickson resigned after 16 years at the helm.
Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)
This week’s result: defeated Alabama A&M 2-1
Alabama State have been riding an incredible winning streak lately, but for 75 minutes on Saturday it looked like they were done with that as a 20th minute Alabama A&M goal remained the only score of the game with 15 minutes to go. Enter Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (and, of course, Aaliyah Lewis, because that’s how it goes at Alabama State). Firstly, in the 77th minute, Shelbi set up Aaliyah for the tying goal, and 5 minutes later, Shelbi was on the end of a Kayla Edwards pass to send Alabama State into the lead, which they held onto for the final 8 minutes of the game to keep the streak alive and see them hold onto 3rd place in the SWAC, meaning that they face the easier, on paper, of the two first round matchups in the conference tournament.
Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)
This week: at Tennessee-Martin – 11am, Saturday November 1
With 3rd place in the conference on the line, Murray State travelled across the border to Tennessee to take on UT-Martin knowing only a win would be enough to grab the easier of the two first round matchups in the conference quarter finals. Things didn’t exactly go to plan for the Racers though, with the teams heading into the break tied 0-0 and the shot count saw UT-Martin ahead 9-8. The Skyhawks piled on the shots in the second half, but with the help of a Harriet Withers assist, Murray State tallied the only goal of the game in the 59th minute to take third place in the Ohio Valley conference. Nyomi Devine also started for Murray State, playing in defence.
Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Bridget Sankey)
This week’s result: defeated SIU Edwardsville 2-1
Southeast Missouri State and the band of Aussies needed a win in order to secure a share of the Ohio Valley regular season title, and whilst it was a little bit of a bumpy ride, they got the desired result courtesy of an 85th minute winner. The Redhawks opened the scoring in the 25th minute, and with 20 minutes left they were still ahead and looking at a share of the title. SIU Edwardsville had other ideas, however, and in the 75th minute they notched the equaliser which would give them an outright title. As time wound down, Southeast Missouri State were able to eventually find a winner with 5 minutes remaining to grab a share of the regular season title. Perhaps equally as important, owning the head to head with SIU Edwardsville means Southeast Missouri State will host the conference tournament. Jenna Collingridge started for the Redhawks, whilst Maddy Cornell came off the bench.
UMBC (Lilly Rydon)
This week’s result: lost to New Hampshire 6-5 on penalties (1-1 AET)
Lilly Rydon’s college career finished in the most heartbreaking way possible, as UMBC went down on penalties in the America East tournament semi-finals after being 1-0 up with 10 minutes to go. UMBC broke the game open early with an 8th minute goal from a corner. Despite constant bombardment from New Hampshire, UMBC were able to keep their lead until halftime, but with New Hampshire tallying 13 shots to 2 in the second half, it was only a matter of time until an equaliser was found, and it came in the 82nd minute. Extra time was a far more cagey affair, and it became almost inevitable after a while that the game would go to penalties. And it did, but even then it took sudden death in the shootout to split the teams, with New Hampshire prevailing. Lilly started for UMBC, but was not called upon in the penalty shootout.
Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)
This week’s result: defeated Towson 3-0
Hofstra got their Colonial Athletic Association tournament charge off to a cracking start, demolishing Towson 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals. The Pride got off to a cracker of a start, with Leah Gaiton scoring after just two minutes, but there was no scoring for the remainder of the half, leaving the game fairly even at 1-0, although Hofstra would have been a little disappointed to not lead by more. Never fear, however, for Leah Gaiton scored twice in two minutes to notch a hat-trick and put Hofstra up 3-0, and that’s how the game finished. Emily Hulbert played 62 minutes in defence, tallying a single shot.