2015 Week 2 Preview

With a few players still yet to make their collegiate debuts, we roll on to Week 2 with our fingers crossed that these players will see the field this week. For those that are more settled in, there are plenty of players in good form that will want to see this continue. With Wyoming getting us started slightly earlier than usual this week, let’s take a look at the Week 2 Preview.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: at Hawai’i – 3pm, Friday August 28; v Denver – 3pm, Sunday August 30

After a frustrating 0-0 draw with Montana last week, Wyoming jet off to sunny Hawai’i for matches against the home side as well as Denver. Both of this week’s opponents are coming off two losses last weekend, but in varying circumstances. Hawai’i suffered 2-1 and 5-1 losses to Pac-12 schools Stanford and California respectively, whilst Denver were unable to find the back of the net in 2-0 and 1-0 losses to Air Force and Colorado State, meaning all 3 teams are still searching for a first win. Wyoming should pick up at least one result this weekend, with Denver possibly being the slightly more likely option. All five Aussies saw playing time for Wyoming, and given their performances this should continue this weekend.

Colgate (Dylan Holmes)

This week: v Albany – 6am, Saturday August 29; v St John’s – 1:30am, Monday August 31

Colgate met two strong opponents last weekend and were promptly dealt with as expected by Connecticut and Boston College, so the first game of the weekend, against Albany, should provide the Raiders with an opportunity to bounce back. It won’t be a walk in the park, though, as Albany defeated Davidson last week and almost snuck a win against Campbell. Things will be far tougher against St. John’s, who opened up last weekend with wins over Stony Brook and Towson. With Colgate and Albany both featuring Australians on their rosters, hopefully Dylan Holmes can make her debut against Albany.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Colgate – 6am, Saturday August 29; v Syracuse – 5am, Monday August 31

Albany move closer to home after last week’s North Carolina road trip that saw them come away with a win and an overtime loss, playing Colgate and Syracuse in Syracuse. Albany appear to be underdogs in both matches here, with the Syracuse game especially looming as a difficult one. Syracuse have already dispensed of one team featuring an Australian, defeating Laura Johns and Massachusetts 6-0 last weekend, whilst Colgate will be out to get their season on track after two defeats last week. Like Dylan Holmes, Claire Urquhart is yet to make her season debut, so hopefully the match against Colgate will see this occur for her.

Iona (Kiri Dale)

This week: v Wagner – 6am, Saturday August 29; at NJIT – 3am, Monday August 31

Things didn’t start especially well for Iona, going down to LIU Brooklyn and Vermont last week in matches they would have expected to get at least draws out of. Wagner and NJIT won’t prove to be much easier, either. Wagner’s season didn’t start of well, losing twice on the opening weekend, but they got things on track with a midweek victory over Saint Peter’s. NJIT have also played Saint Peter’s, demolishing them 5-1 in the side’s only match so far this year. Clearly, both of Iona’s opponents have goalscoring ability on their rosters, something the Gaels are yet to show. This could be a difficult weekend for the Gaels, but they are not without a chance in either match. Kiri Dale has yet to make her debut for Iona, so hopefully this week brings about an opportunity for her to show what she can do.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week: at South Carolina Upstate – 7am, Saturday August 29

After going so close to what would have been a remarkable win against Troy last week, Alabama State this week travel to take on South Carolina Upstate. USC Upstate had a less than impressive start to the season, losing their first two matches, but got things back on track with a 5-0 win over Citadel (although it remains to be seen how much a win against Citadel really means). If the Hornets can play this match the way they played against Troy, they’ll be leaving South Carolina with a W. If they play that way. Expect Shelbi Vienna-Hallam to start in defence again for the Hornets.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week: v Southern Mississippi – 7am, Saturday August 29; v Southern – 4am, Monday August 31

Nicholls State start this weekend hosting Southern Mississippi, hoping to add more misery to the Golden Eagles’ season after they escaped with just a draw against lowly Jackson State. Having lost their own first game 2-0 to Louisiana-Lafayette, it is also a chance for Nicholls State to get their own season back on track. The second game of the weekend, against Simone Arthur’s Southern University side, should be slightly more straightforward, with the Jaguars having lost heavily to Texas-Rio Grande Valley and South Carolina State last week. Jess Coates was heavily involved in Nicholls State’s attack last week and expect to see more of the same this week from the senior midfielder.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: v Columbia – 7am, Saturday August 29; v Fairleigh Dickinson – 4am, Monday August 31

Following last week’s tight losses to a couple of powerhouse teams, Hofstra’s level of competition drops closer to the even contest level as they face Columbia and Fairleigh Dickinson. Where the Pride were rank outsiders last week, they would be considered slight favourites in both of these games, although it’s difficult to get a read on Columbia as they actually haven’t played a game yet. Fairleigh-Dickinson, on the other hand, lost 3-0 to Temple last week before setting things right with a 2-1 win over Rider. Hofstra should come away from this weekend with two wins, and expect to see Emily Hulbert getting forward from defence after tallying 3 shots last weekend and notching up a Player Of The Year vote.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week: v Northern Illinois – 8am, Saturday August 29; v Central Michigan – 4am, Monday August 31

After splitting last week’s matches, Creighton come up against a couple of teams whose form is a bit difficult to read. Northern Illinois had a win and a loss last week, but their win was against Division II Lewis, whilst their loss was to North Dakota. On the other hand, Central Michigan have only played one competitive fixture, a 2-2 draw with Oakland. Considering that Creighton have been up and down in their only two matches so far, these fixtures may prove difficult to pick. More importantly, Anastasia McCleary had solid minutes in both games last week and hopefully she can get starts in both games this week.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v Tennessee Tech – 9am, Saturday August 29; v North Carolina State – 3am, Monday August 31

East Tennessee State go from hot favourite to rank outsider in the space of two days this weekend. First up, the Buccaneers take on Tennessee Tech, fresh off a 2 win season last year and 2 losses last week. Expect East Tennessee State to roll in this one if they put a solid performance together. In the second game, however, they face ACC school North Carolina State, who took #10 ranked Pepperdine to overtime in a loss last weekend, and defeated Elon during midweek. Isabel Hodgson has already started to cement a spot in the starting lineup, and a couple of big performances this weekend could really make a spot her own.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: v Evansville – 9:30am, Saturday August 29; v Northern Colorado – 4am, Monday August 31

After going close to making it 2 wins from 2 last week with a 3-3 draw against Northern Iowa, Southeast Missouri State will have to be at their best to defeat an Evansville side that will surely be desperate for a win after two 3-2 losses last week. Clearly both teams have no problem putting the ball in the back of the net, so this could be an absolute goalfest. Northern Colorado, on the other hand, do things the other way, losing to Colorado College 1-0 before defeating Air Force 1-0 last week. Siena Senatore and Maddy Cornell are beginning to form a solid part of the Redhawks defence, and after leaking 3 goals last week, will want to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again this weekend.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: at Fairfield – 9:30am, Saturday August 29; v Stony Brook – 1am, Monday August 31

It was a mixed bag for Drexel last week, defeating Villanova and losing to Buffalo in 1-0 scorelines. This week, they come up against Fairfield and Stony Brook and will have eyes locked on getting wins in both. Fairfield also split their results last weekend, but against Maine and Wagner, not opponents on the same level as Drexel’s. Stony Brook, on the other hand, lost both of their games, against St. John’s and Sacred Heart. A decent performance against St. John’s will give Stony Brook confidence, but Drexel need to be winning these games to give themselves confidence leading into the conference schedule. Emma Heckenberg didn’t feature last week, but hopefully she is given a chance in one or both of these matches.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: at Arkansas-Little Rock – 10am, Saturday August 29; at Arkansas State – 4am, Monday August 31

Murray State pulled off a great win last week, defeating Mississippi State, and will take the confidence from that win into this trip to Arkansas. Arkansas-Little Rock came away with a win against lowly Tennessee Tech, but lost 1-0 to Belmont, whilst Arkansas State lost 2-1 to a Southern Mississippi team that has already drawn with Jackson State this year, and only defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 1-0. Two wins is a non-negotiable outcome for Murray State this weekend, and given last week’s result, it should happen. Nyomi Devine should start in defence again, whilst hopefully Harriet Withers can notch another goal after last week’s effort against Mississippi State earned her two Player Of The Year votes.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alex Huynh)

This week: at BYU – 11am, Saturday August 29; v New Mexico – 5am, Monday August 31

Colorado started the season undefeated with a win and a draw last week, but BYU will make it very difficult for the Buffaloes to keep that unbeaten streak alive. Already, BYU have defeated California 2-0 in their only match of the season, whilst New Mexico will be a solid challenge as well. The Lobos started off with two close losses, but these were to #1 Florida State and #15 Texas Tech, before notching up a 1-0 win over New Mexico State. Expect both of these to be a couple of the closest games of the weekend, with Colorado a solid chance in both, especially with a solid defence that features Alex Huynh and a potent attack featuring Kahlia Hogg, both of whom are starting and seeing solid minutes.

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: v Rutgers – 3am, Monday August 31

Last week’s 6-0 loss to Syracuse doesn’t bode well for Massachusetts, as they come up against an even tougher opponent in the form of nationally ranked Rutgers. Rutgers have two wins from two games, including a 1-0 win over Emily Hulbert’s Hofstra side, and sadly this could well be another heavy loss for Massachusetts when last week’s result is considered. Laura Johns has come off the bench in both games so far for Massachusetts, but would probably like more minutes than the 31 and 10 she’s received so far.

Southern (Simone Arthur)

This week: v Nicholls State – 4am, Monday August 31

Southern started the season with two heavy losses in Texas last week, and things don’t appear to be getting any easier in this Aussie v Aussie matchup against Jess Coates’ Nicholls State side. Nicholls State also suffered a loss in their opening fixture, 2-0 to Louisiana-Lafayette. However, 2-0 to Louisiana-Lafayette pales in comparison to the kinds of losses Southern took last week, and this could be a torrid affair for the Jaguars. Simone Arthur is yet to play this season for Southern, but hopefully that will change this week.

Washington State (Tia Gavin)

This week: at Boise State – 5am, Monday August 31

The second biggest Aussie sporting story on the US west coast (thanks a lot, Jarryd Hayne), Tia Gavin opened up her college career with a couple of barnstorming performances last weekend, notching a goal and assist, and both Tia and Washington State will look to continue their good form this week against a Boise State side that has lost 2-0 to Samford and 4-0 to Ole Miss in its first two games. No excuses for Washington State this weekend, this game is a must-win if they are to prove they are the real deal this weekend – the Cougars can’t afford any slip-ups in these perceived “easy” games. Tia Gavin has come off the bench  in both games so far, and whilst her early form may seem to warrant a starting spot, she is obviously doing very well coming off the bench, picking up 3 Player Of The Year votes for last week’s efforts.

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