Following a reasonably successful first week for the Australians, we move onto Week 2 with several Aussies looking to build on some good early form. This week also brings Nicholls State’s first game of the season, with Kristy Helmers a chance to make her college debut as Jess Coates returns after a season out through injury.
Teagan Micah won Pac-12 Goalkeeper Of The Week for an outstanding performance against San Diego State, but the level of competition is set to increase this week. The Bruins take on a pair of SEC powerhouses as Texas A&M and Florida make their way to Westwood for an early challenge. Teagan will continue to battle for the outright starting spot with Siri Ervik in this week’s games, but her first-up performance will surely fill the freshman with confidence going forward.
Claire Urquhart has already equalled her number of starts from 2015, earning a place in the starting eleven for both games last week as Albany finished their opening two games with a win and a loss. It looks likely that the Great Danes will do the same again this week. Siena are a side that Albany should be able to dispose of, but Syracuse could be too large an obstacle as coach Caitlin Cucchella continues to challenge her side against much bigger schools. Claire played all bar 11 minutes of the first weekend’s action, so expect to see her slotting straight back into Albany’s back four this week.
Beattie Goad started at left fullback in a pair of victories for Stanford last week, and her performances give no reason to suggest she won’t be starting there again this week. Stanford play just the one game this week, against Florida, in another early meeting of two powerhouse teams. Stanford will be favourites for this clash, but will have to be on top of their game to handle Florida.
Paige Hayward banged home a goal and tallied three assists against Texas A&M-Texarkana, and there is every chance this weekend will bring more goals for the Sydneysider. Texas Southern take on another NAIA school this week in the form of University of St. Thomas, where they will be fully expected to take another victory against a much smaller school.
Murray State played just a single game last week after their opener was cancelled, but this week their one-game slate is by design. The Racers take on Chattanooga, and if their first half against Alabama is any guide, they should handsomely win this. Avoiding a second-half implosion will be high on Murray State’s priorities, as last week they let a 2-0 lead turn into a 4-2 loss following a late onslaught by Alabama. Harriet Withers scored both of Murray State’s goals last week and looks to be in excellent form yet again, whilst Nyomi Devine reprised her role in defence from last season against Alabama.
Wyoming started the season with a pair of 2-0 wins and this week they go looking for two more victories. It’s going to be a tough week though, with the Cowgirls travelling to Montana before heading to Iowa for their second game. Iowa will certainly prove the bigger task of the two opponents, but beating Montana will be no small feat on their home patch. Goalkeeper Georgia Rowntree and centre back Alisha Bass were instrumental in Wyoming’s two clean sheets last week, whilst Jessie Gentle and Annika Clayton picked up an assist and a goal respectively last week. With four Aussies in good form at the moment, this is certainly one team to keep an eye on this week.
Nicholls State start their season this week with a pair of games against in-state rivals Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern University. With Jess Coates returning after a season off due to injury, the Colonels are set to partially offset the loss of striker Spencer Valdespino, who graduated after the 2015 season. One player possibly tasked with replacing Valdespino up front will be Australian freshman Kristy Helmers, who could make her college debut this week. Nicholls State will be rank outsiders against Louisiana-Lafayette, but should cruise to victory against Southern University, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Colonels sitting at a respectable 1-1 after their opening weekend.
Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)
This week: v La Salle – 9am, Friday August 26; v Monmouth – 4am, Monday August 29
Massachusetts (Laura Johns)
This week: at UCF – 9am, Friday August 26; at South Florida – 3am, Monday August 29
Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)
This week: v Boston University – 9am, Friday August 26; v Columbia – 3am, Monday August 29
Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)
This week: at Rider – 9am, Friday August 26
Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)
This week: at Green Bay – 10am, Friday August 26; at Milwaukee – 3am, Monday August 29
LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)
This week: v George Washington – 10am, Friday August 26; v Colgate – 3am, Monday August 29
Iona (Kiri Dale)
This week: v Columbia – 6am, Saturday August 27; at Dartmouth – 3am, Monday August 29
Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)
This week: v Chattanooga – 7am, Saturday August 27
Albany (Claire Urquhart)
This week: at Siena – 7am, Saturday August 27; at Syracuse – 5am, Monday August 29
Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)
This week: v Louisiana-Lafayette – 7am, Saturday August 27; v Southern University – 4am, Monday August 29
Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)
This week: v Montana – 8:30am, Saturday August 27; at Iowa – 3am, Monday August 29
Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)
This week: v UNC Asheville – 9:00am, Saturday August 27; v East Carolina – 3am, Monday August 29
Indiana (Julia De Angelis)
This week: at Butler – 9am, Saturday August 27; v Northern Colorado – 3am, Monday August 29
Winthrop (Jai Jackson)
This week: v Coastal Carolina – 9am, Saturday August 27; v South Carolina State – 9am, Wednesday August 31
Troy (Alexandra Huynh)
This week: v Belmont – 10am, Saturday August 27; v Jacksonville State – 6am, Monday August 29
Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)
This week: v Arizona – 10am, Saturday August 27; v Northeastern – 10am, Monday August 29
Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)
This week: at Kansas – 10:05am, Saturday August 27; at Missouri – 10:05am, Monday August 29
UCLA (Teagan Micah)
This week: at Texas A&M – 10:30am, Saturday August 27; v Florida – 8am, Monday August 29
USC (Lulu Pullar)
This week: at Long Beach State – 12pm, Saturday August 27; at Pepperdine – 6am, Monday August 29
San Francisco (Price Keogh)
This week: at Cal Poly – 12pm, Saturday August 27; at UC Santa Barbara – 6am, Monday August 29
Stanford (Beattie Goad)
This week: v Florida – 1pm, Saturday August 27
Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)
This week: v New Mexico – 6am, Monday August 29
East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)
This week: v Tennessee – 8am, Monday August 29
Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)
This week: v St. Thomas – 10am, Monday August 29