It was a good week for our Pac-12 Aussies, as Washington State and Colorado both picked up big wins to kick off conference play. The biggest result of the weekend, however, may have come in Montgomery where Alabama State knocked off conference favourites Howard where the only boilover bigger than the result was the emotional boilover.
East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)
This week’s results: defeated VMI 2-0, defeated UNC Greensboro 3-1
East Tennessee State started conference play 2 from 2 with clinical victories over VMI and UNC Greensboro. The Buccaneers demolished VMI everywhere but on the scoresheet, with 25 shots only leading to 8 on target, and only 2 goals, which came in the 13th and 60th minutes. The Buccaneers were slightly more accurate in their second match of the weekend, unleashing 28 shots at UNC Greensboro, with 13 on target. It’s no surprise that they managed 3 goals, scoring early on through Simona Koren before notching two more in the second half. UNC Greensboro did manage one of their own, but this game belonged to ETSU. Isabel Hodgson registered three shots, but was forced off after 62 minutes against VMI after copping an elbow to the ribs, The freshman shook it off to play a full match against UNC Greensboro though, tallying another shot in that match.
Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)
This week’s results: lost to San Jose State 1-0 (OT), defeated Fresno State 3-0
Wyoming split a pair of games this week, but to put a positive spin on it, the win was far more convincing than the loss. The Cowgirls were outshot 13-7 by San Jose State, but managed to hold on for overtime courtesy of three saves each from Georgia Rowntree and Cassidy Entsminger. However, they couldn’t hang on for the extra period, giving up the game winner in the 97th minute. The game against Fresno State brought much more positivity, and it was Aussie freshman Annika Clayton who opened the scoring with her first collegiate goal in the 17th minute. Summer Halle added a second just before halftime as the Cowgirls outshot the Bulldogs 7-0 in the first half. Fresno State did manage 4 shots in the second half, but only two managed to trouble the goalkeeper, whilst Taylor Burton added a third goal for Wyoming in the 68th minute to seal the win. Three of the four available Aussies started both games, whilst Annika Clayton did enough against San Jose State to secure a starting spot against Fresno State, and given her performance, she may have secured it for a few games to come.
Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)
This week’s results: lost to UNC Wilmington 3-2, lost to College of Charleston 2-1
Drexel may have lost both games this weekend, but can still hold their heads high after close battles in both. Coming into the game against UNC Wilmington as distinct underdogs, and a slow start from the Dragons proved to be their downfall, with their opponents scoring twice in the first 7 minutes to set up the victory. Drexel got the margin back within one on two occasions, but couldn’t find an equaliser. It was the opposite story against College of Charleston – the Dragons scored in the fourteenth minute but gave up two second half goals and the win despite outshooting their opponents 12-9. Most importantly though, Emma Heckenberg started both games and played a total of 140 minutes. Prior to this weekend, Emma had come off the bench in only five of the Dragons’ games and played a total of 84 minutes.
Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)
This week’s results: defeated William and Mary 2-1, defeated Elon 2-0
Hofstra got their conference title-chasing campaign off to a solid start with two wins against a couple of the better sides in the CAA. First up were William and Mary, and Hofstra showed their intentions early as Leah Galton scored the opener just 11 minutes in. Galton added a second early in the second half, but William and Mary weren’t going to lie down and got one back in the 61st minute. That was as close as they would come, though, as the Pride managed to hold on for the win. Elon also provided a challenger, but Hofstra were slightly more clinical in this one. After taking the lead after a goal line scramble in the 2nd minute, the Pride never let up and allowed Elon just two shots on target throughout the entire game. Leah Galton’s 9th goal of the season just after an hour of play sealed the win for the Pride. Emily Hulbert came off the bench in both games, playing 23 minutes against William and Mary and 33 minutes against Elon.
Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)
This week’s results: drew with SIU Edwardsville 0-0 (2OT), defeated Eastern Illinois 5-0
Southeast Missouri State’s defence came to the fore yet again as they made it 3 consecutive clean sheets in Division I play, and four if you include the game against Division II Union. Unfortunately, in a battle of last year’s conference regular season co-champions, the attack didn’t provide quite the same ruthlessness as the Redhawks were outshot 10-6 in a 0-0 draw. Clearly they were saving something for Eastern Illinois as they smashed 23 shots at the Panthers’ goalkeeper, with 12 of those ending up on target. The Redhawks got things started quickly, scoring twice in the first 6 minutes, but couldn’t find another goal for the remainder of the first half. Two of their own, plus an own goal from Eastern Illinois in the second half led to a massive 5-0 win. Siena Senatore played all 200 minutes this weekend, whilst Maddy Cornell came off the bench in both games and Jenna Collingridge also came off the bench against Eastern Illinois.
Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)
This week’s result: defeated Howard 1-0
In a more than surprising result, Alabama State picked up their first win of the season against conference favourites and defending champions Howard. The Hornets had conceded 27 goals in their previous three games, but Gianna Guyot was huge for the home side, making ten saves. The only goal of the game came just shy of the hour mark courtesy of Aaliyah Lewis, but the final 15 minutes brought the real talking points – four players saw red in two separate incidents in the 78th and 81st minutes to leave each team with just 9 players on the field. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam once again played a full 90 minutes, registering two shots but neither was on target.
Winthrop (Jai Jackson)
This week’s result: defeated Gardner-Webb 2-1
Winthrop showed Gardner-Webb why it’s important to take your chances, as they were outshot 19-12 by the Runnin’ Bulldogs, but scored two goals on five shots on target compared with their opponents’ solitary goal on nine shots on target. Gardner-Webb did take the lead after 13 minutes, but let their guard down for just four minutes late in the first half and that was it. Two goals for Winthrop were enough as Gardner-Webb squandered chances throughout. Jai Jackson came off the bench but came on early and ended up playing 57 minutes.
Albany (Claire Urquhart)
This week: drew with UMBC 1-1 (2OT)
Albany gave themselves a reasonable chance to win against UMBC, but couldn’t quite find the goal to break the tie. They really only had themselves to blame for dropping a lead that they earned in the 76th minute, as just two minutes later they allowed UMBC an equaliser. UMBC only had 2 shots on target for the entire game to Albany’s 9, but at the end of the day each team could only get one past the goalkeeper and the spoils were shared. Unfortunately, Claire Urquhart did not see any playing time in this game.
Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)
This week’s result: lost to Marquette 5-1
Creighton were always going to be up against it in this match against Marquette, but they will still be disappointed with a heavy 5-1 loss. Especially frustrating for the Bluejays will be the fact that they took the lead in the 8th minute through Ylenia Sachau and didn’t concede an equaliser until the 38th. In fact, with 13 minutes to play it was still 2-1 Marquette. A penalty in the 78th minute made the scoreline 3-1 and from there Creighton really just fell apart, conceding another two as they allowed the scoreline to blow out and make themselves look a lot worse than they really are. Anastasia McCleary did manage to get on the field in this game, but played just the nine minutes.
Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)
This week: lost to Saint Louis 2-0
After getting their Ohio Valley slate off to a good start last week, this oddly scheduled non-conference game against Saint Louis unfortunately ended in a loss for Murray State. In what was probably a fair result, the Racers were outshot 16-11, but could only get 3 of those 11 on target. Saint Louis, on the other hand, maybe should have scored more as they put 13 shots on target. As it turned out, though, 2 goals were enough as 28th and 58th minute strikes proved to be decisive. Nyomi Devine and Harriet Withers both played a full 90 minutes, with Harriet managing two shots. However, like most of the Racers’ shots, these were off the mark.
Washington State (Tia Gavin)
This week’s result: defeated Arizona State 2-1
Washington State lost their perfect record last week when they went down to Portland, but bounced right back this weekend with a win over Arizona State. It didn’t come easy though – the Cougars were outshot FIFTEEN TO ONE in the first half, with goalkeeper Ella Dederick making 8 saves. Come the second half, things changed slightly. Two goals in the first seven minutes, both courtesy of Kourtney Guetlein, put things firmly in Washington State’s favour. They made the fans sweat though, as Arizona State got one back in the 66th minute and continued from there to bring wave after wave of attack. The Cougars held on for the win though, and now sit at 8-1. Tia Gavin had 24 minutes off the bench, causing problems for the Arizona State defence but not managing a shot.
Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alex Huynh)
This week’s result: defeated California 2-1 (OT)
California came into Boulder as one of the perceived strongest teams in the nation, but left with their tails between their legs as the Buffaloes snatched a 2-1 win in overtime. After a goalless opening to the first half, the visitors opened the scoring in the 38th minute through Lynsey Hromatko, but Colorado hit back almost immediately as Brittney Stark scored her third goal of the season just 75 seconds later. Despite this flurry of goals, no more were forthcoming throughout the remaining 50 minutes of the game and the sides were forced to overtime. The first 10 minutes couldn’t separate the sides, but in the 106th minute Emily Paxton slotted home the winner for the upset win. Alex Huynh played the full game in defence as Colorado denied star California striker Arielle Ship an on-target shot in the 100 minutes she played.
Player Of The Year Points:
3: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
2: Harriet Withers (Murray State)*
1: Siena Senatore (Southeast Missouri State)
*Harriet Withers’ points come predominantly from her goalscoring performance against Eastern Kentucky in midweek.