It was a less than stellar weekend for the Aussies this weekend, or at least for their teams. No less than three Aussies scored goals in losing efforts over the weekend, but Harriet Withers had a goal and two assists across the weekend to lead Murray State to a pair of wins.
Massachusetts (Laura Johns)
This week’s results: defeated La Salle 1-0 (2OT), drew with Richmond 2-2 (2OT)
Massachusetts continued their steady yet unspectacular progress through this season with a win and a draw to take their season record to 4-3-3. One thing that could not be described as unspectacular is the finish to the side’s win over La Salle which took the Minutewomen to four straight wins. Despite peppering La Salle with 27 shots, the Minutewomen were unable to find a goal until, with her 3rd shot in the second overtime period alone, Julia Weithofer scored with just 46 seconds remaining. The winning streak may have been snapped against Richmond, but the unbeaten streak remains alive at 5 games after a 2-2 draw with Richmond. The Minutewomen weren’t quite so dominant in this one, but in a free-flowing match in which the sides again combined for 40 shots, there was no way we would see another game like the La Salle game where all those shots would be wasted. However, for the first hour of the game it looked as if it would go that way. The first goal came from UMass in the 63rd minute before Richmond hit back with two of their own before a thrilling equaliser came for UMass. With just five seconds to play, Massachusetts’ Megan Burke whipped in a corner and it was met by the head of Icelandic import Rebekka Sverrisdottir for the goal to make it 2-2. Unfortunately, no goals could be found in the 20 minutes of overtime and the game ended all square. Laura Johns started both games this weekend, playing 66 minutes against La Salle and then 48 against Richmond.
Albany (Claire Urquhart)
This week’s results: defeated Binghamton 2-1, lost to New Hampshire 1-0
It was a slightly underwhelming weekend for Albany, as a win against Binghamton that was all too close was followed by a loss to New Hampshire. Albany were expected to easily account for Binghamton, but instead were outshot 17-8 by their opponents and had goalkeeper Alanna Brennan to thank for even being in the game, let alone winning it. Albany did take the lead late in the first half through Alexa Schneider, but gave up the almost inevitable equaliser on a corner in the 69th minute. 4 minutes later though, Albany scored after a free kick deflected into Vivian Vega’s path, and she slotted it home for the winner. An early goal proved decisive for New Hampshire in the weekend’s second game, as Brooke Murphy lashed home a 25 yard shot into the bottom left corner in the 12th minute. Albany outshot New Hampshire 14-6 in the second half, but with only four shots on target for the entire game, the Great Danes were always going to struggle to score, and it proved to be their downfall. Unfortunately, there was no game time this weekend for Claire Urquhart.
Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)
This week’s results: lost to DePaul 4-0, defeated Villanova 3-1
Creighton more or less got the results that were expected this weekend as they had a win and a loss against teams of highly contrasting quality. Against the defending conference champions DePaul, the Bluejays held out their opponents for most of the first half but conceded in the 38th minute to go to the break down 1-0. After failing to register a shot in the first half, Creighton managed nine in the second, but DePaul were far more ruthless in their finishing. A second goal just shy of the hour mark made the score 2-0, but Creighton were still in the game with 10 minutes left. The Blue Demons kicked again though, notching another couple of goals to blow the scoreline out and make the game look a lot less close than it was. Creighton would have their own day in the sun against Villanova, but not before a first hour in which Villanova looked a big chance to win, even taking the lead in the 55th minute. That goal only served to spark Creighton into life though, and three goals in the last half hour gave Creighton their 9th victory of the season. Anastasia McCleary came off the bench in both games but was afforded little chance to make an impact, playing just 10 minutes or so in each game.
Washington State (Tia Gavin)
This week’s results: lost to USC 1-0, defeated UCLA 4-2
It was a mixed weekend for Washington State, but with a win and a loss the Cougars are still sitting pretty at 9-2 for the season so far. In what was a real battle of defences, where neither team looked too likely to score, it eventually came down to a goalkeeping error from the Cougars which was capitalised on by USC’s star transfer from Notre Dame, Morgan Andrews. The 78th minute goal proved to be decisive as USC goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme kept out everything the Washington State attack could throw at her. It was a happier story for the Cougars as they heaped more misery on UCLA’s rapidly deteriorating campaign. Remarkably, the sides each had 15 shots with 7 on target, but Washington State made far more of their chances. The Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals in the 26th and 39th minutes and held that until halftime. They’re not known as the Cardiac Cougs for nothing though, and allowed UCLA two goals in the space of 76 seconds just after halftime to see the game tied at 2-2 with 40 minutes to play. Goals from Kaitlyn Johnson and Kourtney Guetlein put Washington State back in front though, and the game ended at 4-2. Tia Gavin came off the bench in both games, with one particular shot against UCLA of note – a cannon from outside the box was saved by the UCLA goalkeeper, but whispers around the ground suggest it may have crossed the line.
Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)
This week’s results: defeated Tennessee-Martin 4-3, defeated Southeast Missouri State 4-1
Murray State’s attack fired to the tuned of eight goals this weekend, and whilst the defence was slightly leaky at times, the Racers still put together two more wins to add to what is now a more than respectable 7-4-0 record. A fast and furious game against Tennessee-Martin opened the weekend for the Racers, as they jumped out a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes courtesy of Taylor Stevens and Harriet Withers, but they had given up that lead by halftime and the teams went to the sheds tied at 2-2. Withers scored her second of the game early in the second half before UT-Martin again equalised. The Racers were not to be denied, and a 71st minute strike by Marissa Burroughs was enough to get the win for Murray State. Southeast Missouri State weren’t afforded quite the same chances in the second match of the weekend as Murray State dominated. With Harriet Withers assisting on the first two goals, the Racers jumped out to a 4-0 lead by halftime as they utterly shocked the Redhawks. Australian Jenna Collingridge scored to get one back for Southeast Missouri State in the 77th minute but the damage was well and truly done. As well as Harriet Withers’ remarkable exploits this weekend, Nyomi Devine once again played 90 minutes in both games as an integral part of the defence.
Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)
This week’s results: defeated Grambling State 1-0, lost to Arkansas-Pine Bluff 2-1
With two star players out through suspension, what had looked to be a two-win weekend for Alabama State turned into an incredibly testing one, and it showed. Whilst Grambling State were always unlikely to trouble the Hornets, they did prove to be a real nuisance as Alabama State fired 18 shots at them but could only find one goal. That goal did come early, in the 23rd minute, but any side in the SWAC would miss two players of the Lewis sisters’ quality, and it showed as Alabama State just couldn’t find a second goal. Eventually, Grambling State’s inability to find a goal was enough to give Alabama State the win. The match against Arkansas-Pine Bluff may have resulted in a 2-1 loss, but it wasn’t all bad news as Shelbi Vienna-Hallam scored her first goal of the season, a 25th minute equaliser after UAPB had scored just 3 minutes earlier. Unfortunately, in the 62nd minute, Arkansas-Pine Bluff scored again to send Alabama State to their first conference loss of the season.
Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)
This week’s results: lost to UNC Wilmington 2-1 (OT), defeated College of Charleston 5-1
UNC Wilmington have been a surprising side so far this season, but Hofstra were still expected to deal with them in this match between Colonial Athletic Association high-flyers. What happened instead was 80 minutes where very little happened, and then 11 minutes in which EVERYTHING happened. UNC Wilmington opened the scoring in the 83rd minute, but Hofstra were able to score just 4 minutes later through Kristin Desmond to send the game into overtime. Obviously the taste for quick goals was to everybody’s liking though, as Maddie McCormack scored the winner for UNCW just 90 seconds into the extra period to stun the Pride. Hofstra were expected to do more than just bounce back against College of Charleston and did just that, but for the first hour the underdogs were well in it. Matching Hofstra shot for shot and down just 1-0, it took a goal from Leah Galton (who else?) to open the floodgates for the Pride. Three goals followed in the next 20 minutes to take Hofstra to 5-0, and whilst the Pride defence won’t be happy about conceding a late goal, it mattered little to the result. Emily Hulbert made her usual appearances off the bench, only playing 7 minutes against UNC Wilmington before seeing half an hour on the field against College of Charleston.
East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)
This week’s result: defeated Western Carolina 3-1
East Tennessee State continued their perfect start to conference play, defeating Western Carolina 3-1 to move to 3-0 and 8-4 overall. The Buccaneers made it hard for themselves early, conceding an own goal in the 20th minute but they hit back just before the break through Emily McKerlie. ETSU continued to edge the run of play, but made their fans sweat until the 81st minute when Sarah Zadrazil scored the go-ahead goal. Four minutes later, Simona Koren scored the Buccaneers’ third to seal the win to remain one of just two teams with perfect records in the Southern Conference. Still recovering from a rib injury, Isabel Hodgson managed to play a respectable 60 minutes, registering one shot.
Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)
This week’s results: defeated Towson 3-1, lost to James Madison 1-0
Stuck in the middle of the Colonial Athletic Association, Drexel had a win against lowly Towson before losing to more fancied James Madison, and this may be the way many of their weekends go. Surprisingly, Towson took the lead over the Dragons in the 9th minute after a shot deflected in off a Drexel player and was ruled an own goal. It mattered little, as Drexel got on the scoresheet through Danish import Wilhelmina Hauch-Fausboll who headed home in the 16th minute. Hauch-Fausboll followed up with a second in the 65th minute before Vanessa Kara beat the goalkeeper with a one-on-one effort to seal the game in the dying stages. Drexel managed to keep things close against James Madison, but couldn’t find a goal as they narrowly outshot the Dukes 12-11. In the end, a block from a Drexel defender in the 56th minute made its way to the feet of James Madison striker Ashley Herndon, who finished with aplomb for the game’s only goal. Unfortunately, after starting last week, Emma Heckenberg didn’t see any playing time this weekend.
Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)
This week’s results: lost to Austin Peay 2-0, lost to Murray State 4-1
Southeast Missouri State had a decent start to their conference regular season title defence with a win and a draw last week, but things don’t look quite so good now after two losses this weekend dropped them to seventh in the Ohio Valley Conference. In what was an admittedly tough game against Austin Peay, the Redhawks’ attack simply failed to fire as they forced the Austin Peay goalkeeper into just two saves for the entire match. The Governors were slightly wasteful in the first half, but rendered that moot as two second half goals saw them cruise to the win. Murray State were tipped to be an even more daunting proposition, but nobody was expecting the Racers to be up 4-0 inside 40 minutes. Harriet Withers showed no mercy to fellow Aussie Siena Senatore and the rest of the SEMO defence as she assisted on Murray State’s first two goals. Two more goals in the first half had the game finished by the halftime whistle, but Aussie senior midfielder Jenna Collingridge scored a peach of a goal in one of the Redhawks’ few positive moments in the game. Siena Senatore started in both games this weekend, but unfortunately there was no playing time to be found for Maddy Cornell this weekend.
Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)
This week’s results: defeated Air Force 1-0, lost to Colorado College 2-1 (OT)
Wyoming started this weekend at 1-1 in conference play, and remain steady at 2-2 after a win and a loss this weekend. The win came against Air Force, a match in which Wyoming’s tactic of finding good chances bested Air Force’s tactic of finding any chances, as 8 shots on target from 12 led to the lone goal of the game, whereas Air Force had 18 shots but could only get 5 of these on target. Shaina Ashouri continued her great season, scoring in the 55th minute after she picked up a deflection and slotted it home, whilst Georgia Rowntree started and kept a clean sheet throughout the first 45 minutes before being rotated out. Unfortunately, Wyoming’s finishing wasn’t quite so accurate against Colorado College. The Cowgirls outshot their opponents 19-6, but amazingly Colorado College had more shots on target, 5-4. One of those shots on target for Wyoming did belong to Alisha Bass though, whose penalty restored parity late in the first half after Colorado College had taken an early lead. The remainder of the game passed with plenty of shots but no goals, and we moved to extra time. You can’t stop Sarah Schweiss for too long though, and the Colorado College star headed home the winner in the 97th minute. All four available Aussies started in both games, with all bar Georgia Rowntree playing the majority of minutes for the weekend.
Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alex Huynh)
This week’s results: lost to Oregon 1-0, lost to Oregon State 2-0
Colorado came up huge last weekend with a win over California, but that will be all for nothing if they can’t get two wins on this away trip to Oregon.
That was the opening of the preview of Colorado’s weekend. And, as it turned out, Colorado dropped both games on this trip to the Pacific Northwest to severely dent their chances of reaching the national tournament. The Buffaloes can really have no complaints about either result, though. Oregon hung with Colorado for the entire game, and eventually slotted the lone goal of the game in the 74th minute as neither team had many clear-cut chances. In fact, Colorado had just two shots on target for the entire match. Against Oregon State, things were even worse. The Beavers outshot Colorado 17-10, and Colorado didn’t manage to so much as force a corner all game. Oregon State opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark, and scored the sealer with five minutes to play to send the Buffs home winless. Alex Huynh played a full match against Oregon, before playing 81 minutes against Oregon State and registering two shots despite playing in defence. Once again, Kahlia Hogg was out with injury.
Winthrop (Jai Jackson)
This week’s result: lost to High Point 2-0
Despite hanging with High Point for the majority of the game, Winthrop were undone by a slow start to the second half as the Panthers scored two goals in the first seven minutes after the break to take a lead that they would not surrender. Winthrop had found it tough throughout the first half to get anything done in attack and failed to register a single shot, but had also stifled High Point, who could only manage three of their own. After conceding those two goals, Winthrop could still only get one shot on target for the entire match in horrendous conditions which High Point adapted to far better. Jai Jackson came off the bench, and played 41 minutes.
Player Of The Year Points:
3: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
2: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)
1: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State)