Plenty of Aussies are starting to hit their straps, with all bar two players having now seen playing time this season. Hopefully Dylan Holmes and Kiri Dale can get on the field soon, as both clearly have the ability to assist their teams. Let’s take a look at all the Aussies – everyone bar Jai Jackson and Winthrop have games this weekend.
Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)
This week: at George Washington – 5am, Saturday September 5; at Rutgers – 3am, Monday September 7
Drexel go on the road this week hoping to keep their solid record so far this season intact. George Washington have also started the season solidly, with 2 wins and a loss so far, so this game may just show where each team is at this season. Rutgers have already played against two teams featuring Aussies this season, coming away with two wins, so it will be up to Emma Heckenberg and Drexel to destroy the Scarlet Knights’ perfect record in those games. Emma Heckenberg played just a token few minutes last weekend as she made her debut, so hopefully the floodgates will open for the Victorian freshman.
Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)
This week: v Morehead State – 7am, Saturday September 5; v Drake – 5am, Monday September 7
Wyoming are undefeated so far this season, securing draws in all 3 matches so far this season, but now comes the time to start getting wins on the board. Last season, the Cowgirls tripped up against Morehead State and can’t afford to do the same this season in what will no doubt be another close match. It is a little tough to judge Drake’s form – they have allowed themselves to be used as cannon fodder for some strong teams early on in the season. Annika Clayton has come off the bench for solid minutes so far this season, whilst the other four Aussies have all been starting recently, so Wyoming are a real team to watch at the moment.
Massachusetts (Laura Johns)
This week: v Central Connecticut State – 7am, Saturday September 5; at Yale – 4:30am, Monday September 7
Massachusetts, along with Emily Hulbert’s Hofstra, take on Central Connecticut State and Yale this weekend. It has not been a good start to the season for Massachusetts, but there were signs of true fight in the 1-0 loss to nationally ranked Rutgers last week. Time will tell if that was simply a one-off, but if they can bring a performance that sees them only concede a single goal to Rutgers, results aren’t impossible to come by this weekend. Laura Johns’ minutes rose from 41 across two games in Week 1 to 53 minutes against Rutgers, and hopefully this will continue against Yale and Central Connecticut State.
Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)
This week: v Nebraska-Omaha – 8am, Saturday September 5; v South Dakota State – 6am, Monday September 7
After demolishing Northern Illinois 4-1 last week, Creighton this week come up against another side who defeated the Huskies in the form of Nebraska-Omaha. That game aside, Nebraska-Omaha have had a mixed season and Creighton will be favoured to improve their own record to 4-1. South Dakota State may prove to be a tougher proposition as they have already run high-flying Iowa State close in one game this season and won their other two. Still, Creighton will not be without their opportunities to win this game. Anastasia McCleary is enjoying a solid senior season so far and there is no reason to expect this not to continue this weekend.
Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alex Huynh)
This week: v Cincinnati – 8:30am, Saturday September 5; v Iowa State – 5am, Monday September 7
Colorado hit form last week with a 4-0 win over New Mexico, and they’ll need to continue in the same vein if they’re to get past Cincinnati and Iowa State. Cincinnati are undefeated in their last 3 games without conceding a goal, whilst Iowa State knocked off #10 ranked Pepperdine in a boil over last weekend to continue their own good start to the season. The Buffaloes’ attack will have to be at its best to score the goals they’ll need in order to secure wins this weekend, as both opponents this week have more clean sheets than your parents’ linen closet. Kahlia Hogg has dropped back into a more defensive role at times this season, and alongside Alex Huynh it may be the Buffaloes who keep the clean sheets this weekend thanks to their Aussies.
Washington State (Tia Gavin)
This week: at Montana – 9am, Saturday September 5
Washington State gave everyone a fright as they laboured to a 2-1 win over Boise State last weekend, but that may have just been the jolt they needed going into this game against Montana. Montana looked to be starting the season well, with a draw and two wins, but we were and truly smashed in a 6-2 loss to Utah Valley and there will need to be a vast improvement to give the Cougars a scare. Tia Gavin only saw 15 minutes of playing time last week, so hopefully we’ll see a return to the solid minutes she was afforded two weeks ago.
Albany (Claire Urquhart)
This week: v Marist – 9am, Saturday September 5
Claire Urquhart made her debut for Albany in the side’s 5-0 demolition of Holy Cross in midweek, and the side should be confident of grabbing another victory this weekend against a struggling Marist side. Marist have not played a tough schedule and yet only have one overtime win to show for their 3 games, whereas Albany have compiled a 2-3 record, with one of those losses being a 4-3 overtime loss to Campbell. Claire Urquhart came off the bench for the first time in her college career last game, and hopefully that performance was enough to get her more minutes this weekend.
Colgate (Dylan Holmes)
This week: v South Carolina – 9am, Saturday September 5; v Providence – 8am, Monday September 7
Colgate put together a very tough non-conference schedule this season, but it may be starting to backfire a bit as they have kicked off the season with a 1-3 record. Things don’t get much easier with games this weekend against South Carolina and Providence. Both sides are 4-1 so far this season, with South Carolina going 2-1 against power conference sides, whilst Providence are 1-1 against power conference sides, splitting results against Syracuse and Cincinnati. Colgate, on the other hand, have played three power conference sides, losing all 3 games. They did manage to run St. John’s close, though, which bodes well for the future. Dylan Holmes is yet to see playing time this year, and maybe the South Australian freshman could be what the Raiders need to get some big results this weekend.
Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)
This week: at Yale – 9:30am, Saturday September 5; at Central Connecticut State – 2am, Monday September 7
Hofstra travel up to Connecticut this weekend for a tournament involving Yale, Massachusetts, and Central Connecticut State. As Yale have only played one game so far this season, a 4-1 loss to Arkansas, reading their form is a little difficult, but Hofstra would be considered favourites on paper. Central Connecticut State, formerly home to Aussies such as Nikola Deiter, Erin Herd, and Leah Blayney, have two wins from two games this season, but both against slightly lower levels of opposition than Hofstra will provide. Two solid performances should see Hofstra come away with two wins, and Emily Hulbert will no doubt be a large part of those performances as she generally is for the Pride.
Nicholls State (Jess Coates)
This week: at Mississippi State – 10am, Saturday September 5; at Louisiana Tech – 4am, Monday September 7
Nicholls State look to keep their undefeated run going this weekend against Mississippi State and Louisiana Tech, and have a real chance to do so. Mississippi State have already succumbed to a loss to a team featuring Australians, falling 2-1 to Murray State, and whilst they have the tag of “power conference team”, they are well and truly down the bottom of the SEC and Nicholls State will have a real chance to win this one. Louisiana Tech won their first two games this season, but had two losses last weekend which brought them back down to earth slightly. These matches could both go either way, but Jess Coates and her combination with Spencer Valdespino could be game changers on both occasions this weekend.
Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)
This week: at Northern Arizona – 12pm, Saturday September 5; at Grand Canyon – 5am, Monday September 7
Alabama State are slowly coming into form, and in the team’s first ever trip to Arizona, they face a couple of challenging teams that will show how far they’ve come since that first 5-0 loss to Georgia State. Northern Arizona are yet to win a game, but have scheduled a tough schedule so far which included Arizona and UNLV. Interestingly, Grand Canyon have been one of those opponents, with that game finishing 3-2 in favour of Grand Canyon. This long away trip will prove to be a challenge for the Hornets, with Northern Arizona possibly being the team’s best chance of getting a result. Having Shelbi Vienna-Hallam playing in front of the back four should definitely assist the side, but she is tasked with shielding a defence that is short on specialist defensive players, which may make things tough.
East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)
This week: v Navy – 3am, Monday September 7
East Tennessee State picked up a midweek win against Eastern Kentucky, but Navy will provide a far sterner test for a Buccaneers team that is finding some form. Navy have had 2 wins and 2 losses this season, but managed to find two goals in a 4-2 loss to nationally ranked Connecticut. Isabel Hodgson has just about cemented the right back spot as her own already for East Tennessee State, and hopefully the South Australian can continue to perform in both defence and attack as she has done so throughout this season so far.
Iona (Kiri Dale)
This week: v Towson – 4am, Monday September 7
Iona unfortunately went down 6-0 to Hartford in midweek, and now come up against a Towson team that is not highly regarded, but has scrapped their way to a draw and win in the last two games, and ran St. John’s close in a 1-0 loss before that. Iona have only managed one win so far in their five games this season – a 3-0 win over lowly Wagner. They will need to start winning games like this one, or at least scraping draws, if they are to make something of this season, but it doesn’t look likely at this point. Kiri Dale is yet to make an appearance for Iona – maybe a shake-up involving the young Queenslander is required.
Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)
This week: at Tennessee – 4am, Monday September 7
Just the one game for Murray State this week, and it comes against their second SEC opponent of the season in the form of Tennessee. Don’t think that this will be like their game against Mississippi State, which they won 2-1. Tennessee are undefeated so far this season, and whilst two of those have been draws against teams they should have beaten, they also drew with national powerhouse Virginia Tech. A lot of what happens today will depend on which Murray State team turns up, and also which Tennessee team turns up. Harriet Withers has been in cracking goalscoring form lately, whilst Nyomi Devine has been playing complete games in defence. These two Aussies will be integral to Murray State getting a result in this game.
Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)
This week: at Louisville – 9:30am, Tuesday September 8
Southeast Missouri State have had a truly mixed bag of results, with a win, a loss, and a draw so far this season. This game against Louisville will be their toughest so far, though. Louisville also have one of each result, but against some tougher competition than what Southeast Missouri State have faced, and this one could be a tough game for the Redhawks. Jenna Collingridge has made a successful comeback from injury, whilst Siena Senatore is starting in defence. Combine this with Maddy Cornell’s impact off the bench and the Aussie contingent at Cape Girardeau is really starting to make a name for itself.