There are certainly some tests coming this week for the Australians as conference play continues. LSU have the toughest game of the week against top 5 team South Carolina, whilst Colorado take on Washington State and Harriet Withers looks to get back into goalscoring form as Ohio Valley play begins.
Caitlin Cantrill and LSU have an early test in their conference slate this week, taking on RPI #5 South Carolina in their first game of the weekend. LSU have compiled a reasonable 6-4 record through their ten games so far, but South Carolina are sitting at 8-0-1, the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation and defeating RPI #9 Clemson earlier in the season. The second game of the week for the Tigers involves a trip to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt in what should be a very even matchup, with the Commodores sitting at 5-4 through their first nine games. Caitlin Cantrill has been coming off the bench for the most part so far this season, and a solid outing against South Carolina would go a long way to ensuring even more minutes will come the young midfielder’s way.
Ordinarily, Drexel v Hofstra would be an Aussie v Aussie matchup with Emma Heckenberg taking on Emily Hulbert, but with Emily not featuring recently for Hofstra, it unfortunately may not come to pass this week. However, with Emma playing a complete game last start for Drexel, there still may be plenty of reason to keep an eye on this contest.
Last season, Colorado v Washington State was a game that featured Tia Gavin, Kahlia Hogg, and Alexandra Huynh. Since then, Tia has returned to Australia and Alex has transferred to Troy. But Kahlia is still there, and has been joined by Isobel Dalton. With these teams separated by just two positions in the RPI rankings (Colorado 44th, Washington State 46th), this game could be a high-scoring thriller or the teams may cancel each other out. For the neutrals, the former would be preferred, but as long as Kahlia is starting at centre back for Colorado, a clean sheet for the Buffaloes would be ideal.
Paige Hayward has been one of the few shining lights for Texas Southern, but as the Tigers move into conference play, the competition level should even out for Paige and her teammates. This week, they take on Alabama A&M and Alabama State. The Tigers demolished both opponents in the regular season last year, defeating Alabama State 6-1 and Alabama A&M 3-1, but Alabama State knocked Texas Southern off in the tournament last year. Alabama State will have an Australian on their side too, with 2014 Player Of The Year Shelbi Vienna-Hallam now a student assistant for the Hornets.
Teagan Micah has won two of the first five Goalkeeper Of The Week awards in the Pac-12 and could take the outright lead with a strong performance this week for UCLA. It might take something extraordinary as the Bruins only have one game this week, against Arizona State, but Teagan is in fairly extraordinary form at the moment. Arizona State have put together a 5-2-1 record so far and average over 2 goals per game, so Teagan should certainly face more than a couple of shots from a potent Sun Devils attack.
Can you believe it’s been 18 days since Harriet Withers scored a goal? Admittedly, that’s only been two games for Murray State. It’s been a tough start to the season for Murray State, but they have played a difficult schedule. With the conference slate starting a game against Morehead State and the Racers coming off an undefeated league season in 2015, things are set to improve for the team and Harriet could be right amongst the goals again. Nyomi Devine has been ever-present for the Racers and will continue to be a rock at the back for the Racers.
LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)
This week: at South Carolina – 9am, Friday September 23; at Vanderbilt – 4am, Monday September 26
Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)
This week: v Stony Brook – 9am, Friday September 23; at Florida Gulf Coast – 3am, Monday September 26
Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)
This week: at UC Santa Barbara – 10am, Friday September 23
UCLA (Teagan Micah)
This week: v Arizona State – 12pm, Friday September 23
East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)
This week: at The Citadel – 5am, Saturday September 24; at Mercer – Monday September 26
Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)
This week: at Eastern Illinois – 6am, Saturday September 24; at SIU Edwardsville – 5am, Monday September 26
USC (Lulu Pullar)
This week: v Arizona – 8am, Saturday September 24
Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)
This week: at Boise State – 8am, Saturday September 24; at Utah State – 5am, Monday September 26
Indiana (Julia De Angelis)
This week: v Minnesota – 9am, Saturday September 24; v Wisconsin – 3am, Monday September 26
Texas (Monique Iannella)
This week: at Baylor – 9am, Saturday September 24; at Oklahoma – 4am, Monday September 26
Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)
This week: at Mercer – 9am, Saturday September 24; at The Citadel – 4am, Monday September 26
Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)
This week: at Drexel – 9:30am, Saturday September 24; at Delaware – 3am, Monday September 26
Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)
This week: v Hofstra – 9:30am, Saturday September 24; v Northeastern – 3am, Monday September 26
Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)
This week: at Washington State – 10am, Saturday September 24
Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)
This week: v Alabama A&M – 10am, Saturday September 24; v Alabama State – 4am, Monday September 26
Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)
This week: at Abilene Christian – 10am, Saturday September 24; at Incarnate Word – 4am, Monday September 26
Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)
This week: at Kansas – 10am, Saturday September 24; v Iowa State – 4am, Monday September 26
Iona (Kiri Dale)
This week: at St Peter’s – 2am, Sunday September 25
Winthrop (Jai Jackson)
This week: v Radford – 3am, Sunday September 25
Stanford (Beattie Goad)
This week: v Oregon – 12pm, Sunday September 25
Troy (Alexandra Huynh)
This week: v Louisiana-Lafayette – 4am, Monday September 26
Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)
This week: v Morehead State – 4am, Monday September 26
Albany (Claire Urquhart)
This week: v Massachusetts-Lowell – 6am, Monday September 26