The big Aussie v Aussie matchup between Colorado and Washington State didn’t disappoint, as Tia Gavin scored her second goal of the season, and it was a cracker. Elsewhere, Murray State set a school record for best start to a conference season and Alabama State put themselves right in the mix for the conference regular season title.
Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)
This week’s results: defeated Towson 2-1 (2OT), drew with James Madison 1-1 (2OT)
Hofstra’s campaign for an at-large national tournament bid took a hit this weekend with a draw against James Madison, but the side remain well in the hunt at this stage thanks to a win against Towson. It didn’t come easy though, as the lowly rated Towson scrapped and held on and forced overtime against the more favoured Pride. Early on, it looked as if it would be smooth sailing for Hofstra as Jenn Buoncore scored in the 19th minute. However, despite outshooting Towson 10-4 in the first half, Hofstra couldn’t find a second goal. It would go on to cost them, too, as an even more lopsided shot count in the second half only served to see the Pride waste a number of chances and Towson score an equaliser in the 75th minute. Thankfully, Hofstra were not punished for their inefficiency as Jill Mulholland netted a winner in the 102nd minute. It was an oddly similar story against James Madison, as Hofstra once again outshot their opponents, this time 19-8. However, this time neither team could score until late, and it was James Madison who opened the scoring in the 82nd minute. You can never count out a team with Leah Galton though, and the English striker tied things up just two minutes later. Overtime couldn’t split them, and it finished 1-1, a result that will surely frustrate Hofstra. Emily Hulbert came off the bench in both games, playing 19 minutes against Towson and a solid 40 minutes against James Madison.
Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)
This week’s results: drew with New Mexico 0-0, lost to San Diego State 2-1
It was always going to be a tough week for Wyoming this week, but the Cowgirls did manage to secure a draw from their first game. Remarkably, Wyoming came out of the gates firing, outshooting New Mexico 8-1 in the first half, but were unable to find a goal. Things really tightened up in the second half, with neither team managing many quality chances and at the end of the day, a draw was always the most likely result as the sides largely cancelled each other out. San Diego State offered more of a challenge to the Cowgirls, and it showed as Wyoming were only able to manage four shots in 90 minutes, compared to the Aztecs’ 12. Despite this, all the scoring came in a 13 minute period early in the game. Angela Mitchell opened the scoring for San Diego State in the 12th minute, before Aussie freshman Annika Clayton steered home Shaina Ashouri’s corner for the equaliser just 8 minutes later. It didn’t stay even for long though, as Mitchell put San Diego State ahead in the 24th minute, and the score remained 2-1 until fulltime. All four available Aussies started both games, with Georgia Rowntree playing the first 45 minutes in both games and the others playing the majority of minutes in both games, with Alisha Bass playing all 200 minutes of game time over the weekend.
Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)
This week’s results: defeated Belmont 1-0, defeated Jacksonville State 1-0
Murray State moved to 5-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play for the first time in their history thanks to victories this weekend over Belmont and Jacksonville State. It was one of the most fortunate victories you’ll see all season against Belmont, too. The Racers had just seven shots to Belmont’s 14, only two of them were on target, and the chance that led to the lone goal came from a deflection off a Belmont defender, an 18th minute goal to Taylor Stevens. Still, Murray State were the side that took their chance, whereas Belmont couldn’t convert on any of their 14 chances. The more dominant Murray State side that we’ve come to see this season was back in action against Jacksonville State. The Racers had 16 shots, and Jacksonville State could only trouble the Racers’ goalkeeper three times throughout the entire match. It did take until the 68th minute for Murray State to break the deadlock courtesy of a goal to Marissa Burroughs, but they were rarely troubled in this one. Nyomi Devine played the full 90 minutes in both games this weekend, whilst Harriet Withers had an oddly quiet weekend, but played 66 minutes against Belmont and 56 minutes against Jacksonville State.
Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)
This week’s results: drew with Washington 1-1 (2OT), lost to Washington State 3-0
Colorado welcomed the two Washington Pac-12 schools to Boulder this weekend, but the guests were less than gracious as the Buffaloes finished the weekend without a win. Colorado perhaps just edged the run of play against Washington, but were left chasing an equaliser early as they conceded a goal to Kimberley Keever in just the 11th minute. Still down 1-0 at halftime, the Buffaloes peppered the Washington goal in the second half, and it paid dividends as Heather Ward scored from a Joss Orejel corner in the 58th minute. 11 shots in the second half for Colorado couldn’t find a second goal, and the game proceeded to overtime. Washington then came out and gave Colorado some of their own medicine, but couldn’t find a winner and it finished 1-1. Things weren’t quite so close against Washington State, an Aussie v Aussie matchup between Alex Huynh and Tia Gavin. The Cougars took their chances early, scoring in the 15th and 17th minutes through Kaitlyn Johnson and Kourtney Guetlein. The Buffaloes outshot Washington State 20-9, but it was Washington State who put their shots out of the keeper’s reach, and there wouldn’t be many goalkeepers in college soccer who could have saved Tia Gavin’s curling effort into the top corner in the 71st minute to seal a 3-0 win for Washington State. Alex Huynh played all 110 minutes against Washington, before playing 53 minutes against Washington State.
Washington State (Tia Gavin)
This week’s results: defeated Utah 1-0, defeated Colorado 3-0
Washington State kept their stellar season going with two shutout victories on the road this weekend. First up, they played Utah in a game that saw the Cougars play a game of “score early and hang on”. A looping header from Kaitlyn Johnson in the 9th minute was enough to give Washington State a win as they could only get 4 shots on target for the entire game. Fortunately, Utah could only get five on target and goalkeeper Ella Dederick was up to the task on all occasions. Then came the game against Colorado, where Tia Gavin faced off against fellow Colorado’s own Aussie, junior defender Alex Huynh. A slightly leaky Washington State defence gave up 11 shots on target to Colorado, but once again Dederick was up to the task. Two goals in three minutes early on from Kaitlyn Johnson and Kourtney Guetlein put the Cougars out to an early lead, and with Dederick appearing to turn herself into a human wall of some sort, two seemed to be enough. But Tia Gavin was having none of that – a curling effort from the top left corner of the box into the top right corner left Colorado goalkeeper Scout Watson with zero chance, and took the score to 3-0, which is how the game finished. That goal came as part of a 29 minute cameo off the bench for Tia, after playing just 7 minutes against Utah.
Winthrop (Jai Jackson)
This week’s result: lost to Coastal Carolina 5-1
Winthrop were always the underdogs in this game against Coastal Carolina, but nobody quite expected the Chanticleers to rack up five goals in an absolute drubbing. After going down 1-0 on the 15 minute mark, Winthrop really shot themselves in the foot as they gave up a penalty just three minutes later, which was duly converted by Coastal Carolina’s Darbie Kelley. A third goal before the half-hour mark for Coastal Carolina meant the game was slipping away from Winthrop’s grasp at a rapid rate, but a goal in just the second minute of the second half gave the Eagles life. Unfortunately, that was as close as the Eagles would come, as Coastal Carolina once again scored two quick goals in the 73rd and 74th minutes to seal a 5-1 win. Jai Jackson came off the bench for Winthrop as usual, but was limited to just 27 minutes in this match.
Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)
This week’s result: lost to Delaware 1-0
Drexel slipped to their second consecutive loss and to a 1-4 record in conference play with this loss to Delaware in a match they had more than their fair share of chances in. Unfortunately, despite outshooting Delaware 6-5 in the first half, the Dragons couldn’t actually test the opposition goalkeeper but some good work from the defence kept the score tied at 0-0 going into the break. Delaware did eventually break the deadlock in the 58th minute as Drexel’s attempts to stop Natalie Zelenky could only last so long as she buried her 9th goal of the season. Drexel did manage to test the Blue Hens’ goalkeeper three times in the second half, but the game fairly petered out and finished 1-0. Emma Heckenberg’s topsy-turvy season continued as the freshman saw 22 minutes of playing time, registering a single shot.
East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)
This week’s results: drew with Mercer 1-1 (2OT), defeated The Citadel 8-0
East Tennessee dropped their first result of the conference season with a draw against Mercer, but remain undefeated at 5-1 thanks to an 8-0 dismantling of The Citadel in their second match of the weekend. All the scoring came in the early parts against Mercer, as the Buccaneers went down 1-0 in the 13th minute despite dominating the play. East Tennessee State bounced back quickly though as a 21st minute goal from Molly Collinson tied things up. East Tennessee State dominated throughout the match, outshooting Mercer 19-7 but somehow couldn’t find another goal. To be fair, they didn’t give themselves as many chances as they should have, with only 7 shots on target. Perhaps they were saving their goals for the second game of the match, as the Buccaneers scored four goals in the first 10 minutes to put the result out of The Citadel’s grasp early on. An own goal in the 38th minute took the score to 5-0, and then, just for good measure, ETSU knocked home another three in the second half to give the side an 8-0 win on Senior Day. Isabel Hodgson played all 110 minutes against Mercer, but with some of the seniors being given more of a run on their big day, played 45 against The Citadel.
Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)
This week’s results: defeated Southern 6-0, defeated Jackson State 2-0
After last week’s slightly underwhelming performance in a loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Alabama State hit back in the best way possible with two solid wins. The Hornets were always expected to put Southern to the sword, but a 6-0 win is a turn-up for the books in anyone’s language. Aaliyah Lewis opened the scoring in the 10th minute, before Aussie senior Shelbi Vienna-Hallam headed home for the Hornets’ second seven minutes later. Souhern were able to keep Alabama State out for the remainder of the first half, but the Hornets came out firing again in the second half. Larissa White scored just two minutes after the break, before Aaliyah Lewis added her second in the 53rd minute. Ariela Lewis and Mooregan Elder added to the Jaguars’ misery later in the second half to give the Hornets a 6-0 victory. Beating Southern 6-0 is one thing, but beating James Madison is another story entirely. In a match that saw the two sides combine for 38 shots, it was Emily Fleming who did the damage for Alabama State. The Canadian freshman scored twice in the first 15 minutes of the second half, assisted both times by Ariela Lewis, to give the Hornets a vital victory as they continue their hunt for the SWAC regular season title. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam played 90 minutes in both games, scoring the second goal against Southern.
Massachusetts (Laura Johns)
This week’s result: lost to George Washington 1-0
Massachusetts managed to keep things close as underdogs against George Washington, but in the end they couldn’t quite manage to get the win and saw their record fall to 4-5-3. It was a very even contest for the majority of the first half, but as things wound down, George Washington scored the only goal of the game as Nicole Belfonti directed a corner home in the 41st minute for the only goal of the game. Massachusetts found chances hard to come by in the second half as they chased an equaliser as they were only able to get three shots away in the final 45 minutes. Laura Johns came off the bench but only saw 22 minutes of playing time, managing to register one shot on target.
Player Of The Year Points:
3: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State)
2: Tia Gavin (Washington State)
1: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)