Week 9 Preview

We’re reaching the final stretch of the conference season, and there are plenty of teams in the hunt for conference regular season titles, or even outright titles for teams that play in leagues with no tournament such as the Pac-12. With a couple of Aussies being moved out of defence and into more attacking roles, it’s looking to be a very exciting end to the season.

Colorado have shot to the top of the Pac-12 standings, charging ahead of blue bloods such as Stanford and UCLA, fuelled by the play of star freshman Taylor Kornieck, but the defence has been a big part of their success. Kahlia Hogg and co. have conceded just one goal in conference play this season, that coming against Oregon State last week in a 3-1 win. This week, they take on lowly Washington in an effort to stay atop the standings before taking on the four California schools in the next four games, of which they’ll be favoured in precisely zero. Washington have given up 11 goals in their last 4 games, so we may yet see Colorado’s attack dominate just as much as the defence has recently. We saw Isobel Dalton get some playing time for the first time in a while last week as well, so we may see one, both, or zero Australians playing for Colorado this week as Kahlia Hogg races the clock in her recovery from a knock that forced her off after 5 minutes against Oregon last week.

East Tennessee State are in a battle royale with Furman and Samford atop the Southern Conference, and this week the Buccaneers take on Samford in an attempt to blow the conference regular season title race wide open. They first have to deal with Chattanooga, which is no easy feat, but the Samford game on Monday morning (Sydney time) will be the highlight of the weekend. Two wins would put them three points clear of Samford and could see the final day game against Furman decide the regular season champion. It would be altogether too simplistic to say that Isabel Hodgson’s move into midfield is the reason for the Buccaneers’ success to this point, but the South Australian has certainly delivered since being pushed into a more attacking role.

Wyoming have one of the easier runs home of any team, with their last four games in the Mountain West all coming against teams lower than them in the standings. Prior to that, they have one more game against a team above them, at San Jose State. Wyoming’s overall record to this point is superior to the Spartans’, but San Jose State are a point ahead in conference play. Alisha Bass’ move back into her original role in attacking midfield seems to be paying dividends as a young defence is becoming far more trustworthy as the season progresses. Allowing Alisha to play higher up the field has seen the junior tallying a couple of goals in the last few games as the attack begins to click more. Annika Clayton and Jessie Gentle have also chipped in with vital supporting roles, whilst Georgia Rowntree has been solid as a rock in goal for the Cowgirls, as the Aussies continue to play significant parts for Wyoming.

It’s feeling a bit like 2015 as Harriet Withers keeps banging in goals, Nyomi Devine remains solid as a rock at the back, and Murray State sit atop the Ohio Valley Conference. It’s a bit closer than last season though, and this week they take on second placed SIU Edwardsville in a must-win game if they are to clinch the regular season title. First up, the Racers take on second-last Eastern Illinois in a game Murray State should waltz away with fairly easily. But with games against the rest of the top 4 to come, the team will be banking on Harriet Withers to add her name to the scoresheet more than a few times not only this weekend, but for the rest of the season.

The biggest game of the SWAC season goes down this weekend, and an Aussie will be front and centre. Texas Southern take on Howard with the two teams tied atop the conference on 16 points after 6 of 10 games. Howard were expected to streak away with the title, so the Tigers can feel very thankful that Mississippi Valley State snagged a draw, and also confident that they can at least do the same. Much will hinge on our very own Paige Hayward, who will yet again be the offensive focal point for Texas Southern in what is their only game this weekend.

Full Schedule:

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: at Ohio State – 10am, Friday October 14; at Maryland – 4am, Monday October 17

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: at Davidson – 10am, Friday October 14; at Rhode Island – 4am, Monday October 17

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: at Arizona – 1pm, Friday October 14

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: at San Jose State – 6am, Saturday October 15; at Fresno State – 6am, Monday October 17

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: at Tennessee Tech – 7am, Saturday October 15; v Eastern Kentucky – 6am, Monday October 17

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)

This week: at Eastern Illinois – 7am, Saturday October 15; at SIU Edwardsville – 5am, Monday October 17

Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)

This week: v Stephen F. Austin – 8am, Saturday October 15; v Sam Houston State – 5am, Monday October 17

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

This week: v Washington – 8am, Saturday October 15

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: at Elon – 10am, Saturday October 15; at William & Mary – 5am, Monday October 17

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: at Chattanooga – 10am, Saturday October 15; at Samford – 5am, Monday October 17

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Sacred Heart – 10am, Saturday October 15; at Bryant – 4am, Monday October 17

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: at Samford – 11am, Saturday October 15

Troy (Alexandra Huynh)

This week: v Coastal Carolina – 11am, Saturday October 15

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: at Mississippi State – 11am, Saturday October 15

Texas (Monique Iannella)

This week: at Iowa State – 11am, Saturday October 15

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: at West Virginia – 11am, Saturday October 15

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: at Oregon State – 1pm, Saturday October 15

Iona (Kiri Dale)

This week: at Canisius – 4am, Sunday October 16

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week: v Gardner-Webb – 4am, Sunday October 16

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: v Northeastern – 10am, Sunday October 16

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: at Arizona State – 12pm, Sunday October 16

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: v Howard – 6am, Monday October 17

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at Loyola Marymount – 7am, Monday October 17

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Vermont – 7am, Monday October 17

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