No less than four Aussies got on the scoresheet this week, with Harriet Withers, Laura Johns, Shelbi Vienna-Hallam, and Alisha Bass all finding the net either in midweek games or over the weekend. There was also great news out of Hofstra and Murray State, as both of these sides clinched berths in their respective conference tournaments, marking the first step in reaching the national tournament. Elsewhere, Maddy Cornell was rewarded for her hard work this season with starts in both games for Southeast Missouri State.
Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)
This week’s result: defeated Northeastern 2-1 (OT)
In a clash of the titans in the Colonial Athletic Association, Hofstra nearly threw away a vital win but managed to grab the win in overtime. The game was dominated by the Pride, who outshot their opponents 7-2 in the first half, but it took until the 67th minute for them to open the scoring as Leah Galton set up Jill Mulholland, who slotted home to give Hofstra the lead. Despite Northeastern having just one shot on target for the entire game, they only needed that one as they scored the equaliser with less than five minutes remaining. However, with just that solitary shot on target, Northeastern’s best hope was to draw the game but the Galton-Mulholland combination popped up again and it was Mulholland who scored her second five minutes into extra time to give Hofstra the 2-1 win. With the Hofstra coach reluctant to use the bench in this game, Emily Hulbert was only afforded 8 minutes of play as one of just two substitutes to see any time on the field.
East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)
This week’s results: lost to Furman 3-0, lost to Wofford 1-0
East Tennessee State fell out of regular season title contention with two losses this weekend, but still remain well placed for a high seed in the conference tournament after going down to Furman and Wofford. Stephanie DeVita has been Furman’s danger player all season and she once again delivered, setting up two goals in the first 13 minutes to give Furman an early cushion. East Tennessee State had 23 shots in this game, but couldn’t convert on any of them. Furman, on the other hand, scored 3 goals in 11 shots, with DeVita scoring the final goal with a shot from just outside the area. The Buccaneers were even more dominant against Wofford, but again suffered from an inability to put the ball in the net and were punished for it. Another 22 shots from East Tennessee State couldn’t bring a goal, whilst Wofford had just six. A turnover in a dangerous position gave Wofford a late opportunity which led to the only goal of the game in the 87th minute, condeming the Buccaneers to their second loss of the weekend. Isabel Hodgson played a full 90 minutes against Furman, but was taken off as a precaution after appearing to be injured early in the first half against Wofford. After being given the all clear, Isabel returned to play the entire second half, finishing with 58 minutes of playing time.
Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)
This week’s results: lost to William and Mary 2-0, defeated Elon 2-1 (2OT)
Drexel managed to grab a win this weekend, but they took up almost as much time as they possibly could to get it as they lost to William and Mary before defeating Elon in double overtime. William and Mary never really gave Drexel a chance to win as the Dragons were limited to just a single shot on target. However, the opening goal didn’t come until the 55th minute and even that was ruled as an own goal. The Tribe would get a second goal with 10 minutes to play, but considering they gave up 20 shots, Drexel could be considered lucky not to concede even more goals. The Dragons had a remarkable turnaround in the game against Elon, peppering the Phoenix goal with 30 shots. However, they were even more inefficient than William and Mary had been against them, as Elon took the lead just before the hour mark. But with Elon only managing to get the ball on target twice all game, Drexel only had to take one really good chance to get back on terms, and Vanessa Kara did just that in the 70th minute as she scored the equaliser unassisted. Kara would score the winner in extra time, with another solo effort bringing Drexel a victory that they really needed as not winning after a performance like theirs would have been shattering for the side’s confidence.
Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)
This week’s results: drew with Belmont 1-1, defeated Jacksonville State 1-0
Southeast Missouri State remain unbeaten in their last three games after a draw and a win at home this weekend. Belmont and Southeast Missouri State both gave themselves plenty of chances to score, but didn’t put their shots on target which limited the sides’ ability to score. It was Belmont who broke the deadlock in the 69th minute as Megan Micaela slotted home the opener. The Redhawks hit back quickly though, as Angie Mann scored an equaliser just five minutes later. Despite shots for both teams in extra time, the goalkeepers were rarely tested and the game ended in a draw. The Redhawks had no such problems with scoring early against Jacksonville State, scoring through Lauren Kaempfe in just the 5th minute. It was a good thing they got that goal early, as they managed just two shots on target for the entire game. Jacksonville State did little better though, managing to test the goalkeeper only three times. Maddy Cornell had two rare starts for Southeast Missouri State, whilst Siena Senatore started against Belmont and Jenna Collingridge came off the bench against Jacksonville State.
Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alex Huynh)
This week’s result: lost to Stanford 2-1
Colorado got off to a flying start this weekend against powerhouse side Stanford, but were eventually reeled in as their national tournament hopes all but vanished after a 2-1 loss. With all three goals in the game coming in the first 18 minutes, it was Aussie junior Alex Huynh whose free kick forced a Stanford defender to direct the ball into her own net to give the Buffaloes an unexpected 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, Alex’s free kick was to be Colorado’s only shot of the entire match. Stanford equalised just six minutes later through Tegan McGrady, before Mariah Lee gave the Cardinal the lead inside the 20 minute mark. Stanford had plenty more chances to extend their lead, taking 14 shots, but had just five shots on target from those 14. Alex Huynh played a full 90 minutes for Colorado in this game.
Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)
This week’s results: defeated Alcorn State 9-0, lost to Mississippi Valley State 5-1
Alabama State went from dishing out a hiding to copping one themselves this weekend as they slipped off the pace in the race for the SWAC league title. Alcorn State were never going to be a match for the Hornets as they started the game with just nine players (although that’s been a regular occurrence lately) and Alabama State went up 5-0 inside 40 minutes, including a goal from Aussie senior Shelbi Vienna-Hallam. The Hornets then tacked on four more goals in the second half for yet another smashing that the Alcorn State players didn’t deserve, but hopefully yet another result like this will make the school’s athletic department take the program seriously in the future. Mississippi Valley State proved to be a different challenge altogether. In what was expected to be a tight game, the play followed the script for the first hour or so, as Mississippi Valley State took a 1-0 lead into the break before Aaliyah Lewis netted an equaliser in the 55th minute. As the game progressed though, Mississippi Valley State found another gear and scored four goals in the last half hour to finish with a 5-1 win. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam had a goal in the Alcorn State game and played a full game against Mississippi Valley State.
Washington State (Tia Gavin)
This week’s result: lost to Arizona 1-0
Washington State had a rare stumble in what has been a top-notch season so far as they went down 1-0 to Arizona. It was a very open game, with the teams combining for 37 shots, but in the end the Cougars had the vast majority of the chances but just couldn’t put the ball in the net. Arizona’s goal came in the 36th minute from a corner, one of 12 chances that the Wildcats had, of which they put six on target. Washington State, on the other hand, had 25 shots and 9 on target, but Wildcats goalkeeper Lainey Burdett was up to the task on each occasion. Tia Gavin came off the bench for Washington State, but played just three minutes.
Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)
This week’s results: defeated UNLV 2-1, lost to Nevada 1-0
It was a mixed weekend for Wyoming on their trip to Nevada as they defeated UNLV but went down to Nevada. The Cowgirls went down 1-0 to UNLV in the 21st minute, but came out firing in the second half. Aussie sophomore Alisha Bass scored the equaliser in the 48th minute off an assist from Laurel Ramer, before Shaina Ashouri gave Wyoming the lead in the 68th minute. UNLV fired shot after shot at Wyoming but could not find an equaliser and Wyoming claimed a 2-1 win. The game against Nevada proved to be a far more cagey affair as Wyoming could only manage 5 shots for the entire game, whilst Nevada managed 10. It was Nevada who managed the only goal of the game just before halftime, as Georgia Rowntree managed to save a shot but couldn’t keep out the follow-up effort from Erin Saxton. Once again, all four available Aussies started, with Alisha Bass’s goal being the highlight.
Winthrop (Jai Jackson)
This week’s result: defeated Campbell 1-0
Winthrop picked up a huge upset win this weekend as they knocked off Campbell, one of the more fancied teams in the Big South conference. It was by no means a smash and grab victory either, as whilst Campbell did outshoot Winthrop 13-9, the Fighting Camels had just one shot on target throughout the game. Winthrop, on the other hand, had three shots on target and more corners than Campbell as well. Eventually the only goal of the game came in the 75th minute via Emily Crick as Winthrop proved to be more than nuisance value for a Campbell side chasing a conference regular season title. Jai Jackson started for the second game in a row, and played the entire 90 minutes again too.
Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)
This week’s result: lost to Providence 3-2
In a game that was billed as a tight encounter, the event did not disappoint at all as Creighton just fell short of a comeback win against Providence. Lauren Sullivan opened the scoring for Creighton in the 12th minute, but Providence hit back with two goals of their own in 3 minutes around the half-hour mark to go into the break 2-1 up. The Friars tacked on another one in the first ten minutes after the break to leave Creighton in a bit of a hole, down 3-1 with 35 minutes to play. Sullivan picked up her second in the 68th minute, but despite eight shots to four in the second half, the Bluejays couldn’t find an equaliser and a thrilling match ended 3-2 to Providence. Anastasia McCleary came off the bench to play 10 minutes for Creighton.
Massachusetts (Laura Johns)
This week’s result: defeated Rhode Island 4-2
After demolishing Davidson 4-0 in midweek, Massachusetts again slotted four goals in a slightly closer contest (on the scoreboard, at least) against Rhode Island. Early on, it didn’t look good for the Minutewomen as they gave up a goal in just the second minute as the lowly Rhode Island side sparked early thoughts of a boilover victory. It wouldn’t last though, as Massachusetts scored three goals in the next 25 minutes to take a 3-1 lead into halftime. The third of these was scored by Aussie junior Laura Johns, who turned home a deflected corner. Rhode Island didn’t let the barrage get them down, and six minutes after halftime they made the score 3-2 and it was game on once again. However, with 16 shots on target to their opponents’ 3, it was always likely that Massachusetts would extend their lead again, and they did so on the hour mark, as Jackie Bruno headed home for the final goal of the game. Laura Johns’ goal came as part of a 37 minute performance off the bench.
Albany (Claire Urquhart)
This week’s result: defeated Vermont 2-0
Albany snapped a three game losing streak with a much-needed 2-0 victory over Vermont. The Great Danes outshot Vermont 21-4, with the Catamounts only managing 2 shots on target all game. Albany, on the other hand, had ten shots on target but both of their goals came in a five minute span just after the hour mark as Kelly Kempf and Mariah Williams both scored on assists from Kiana Rugar. Unfortunately, Claire Urquhart did not get any playing time in this game.
Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)
This week’s result: defeated Tennessee Tech 2-1
Murray State continued on their merry way atop the Ohio Valley Conference, moving on to 7-0 in league play with a 2-1 win over second placed Tennessee Tech. It wasn’t an easy game by any stretch, but the Racers did what was required of them to maintain their unbeaten record against conference opponents this season. Remarkably, the Racers were outshot 16-12, but scored two goals on three shots on target whilst Tennessee Tech could only muster a single goal from their 9 attempts on target, and even that came from a goalkeeping error. Harriet Withers was involved on both of Murray State’s goals. In the 19th minute, the sophomore forward slid a pass through to Taylor Richerson who converted from close range. Then, in the 57th minute, Harriet played a ball into Taylor Stevens who reached the ball just before the goalkeeper to put the Racers up 2-0. Mackenzie Miller did get one back for Tennessee Tech in the 70th minute, but their profligacy in front of goal meant that the Golden Eagles stood little chance of grabbing a share of the spoils and eventually the game finished 2-1. As well as Harriet Withers’ 2 assist effort, Nyomi Devine played 90 minutes in defence for the Racers.
Player Of The Year Points:
3: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
2: Laura Johns (Massachusetts)
1: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)