2017 Week 6 Preview

The last game of the 2016 Southern Conference season was the championship game between East Tennessee State and Samford. Adelaide’s Isabel Hodgson scored the opener just two minutes in, but Samford equalised late in the first half before finding a second half winner to take the title and the NCAA Tournament bid that comes with it. However, the Buccaneers get an early chance at revenge this season, facing the Bulldogs in their opening weekend of conference play. Hodgson and ETSU also take on Chattanooga this week, and if they can pick up the win that their class deserves in that game, it will no doubt go some way to restoring their confidence after falling to four straight losses by two or more goals. Goals have hardly been a problem for Hodgson and the rest of the attack, but better defensive efforts will be required in these two games if they are to start their conference slate on a high.


Isobel Dalton and Teagan Micah will renew “hostilities”, if you can call them that, this weekend.

The Pac-12 games featuring Aussies on both sides get started early this season, withTeagan Micah’s UCLA side heading to Boulder to face Isobel Dalton and Colorado. This particular matchup was played much later in the season in 2016, with Colorado picking up an unexpected 1-0 win on their home patch. Forced to travel to Boulder again, UCLA will be hoping to bounce back from a 1-1 draw against Pepperdine in their last fixture in which they did everything except score a second goal which would have clinched victory. The Colorado attack has swung between both ends of the spectrum wildly so far this season, picking up a pair of 6-0 wins but also finding goals hard to come by. Which Colorado turns up to play could have a major say in just how busy Micah will be in each team’s only game of the week. However, UCLA’s attack will have to be on point if they are to beat the Buffaloes’ goalkeeping tandem of Scout Watson and Jalen Tompkins, who have combined for 7 clean sheets in 9 games to this point.

Meanwhile, Beattie Goad and Stanford remain ready to pounce on top spot in the polls if UCLA do slip up against Colorado. The Cardinal take on a Washington State team which, on the face of it, looks to be doing quite well at 5-1-2. However, a 0-0 draw with Montana this week may have exposed some flaws in the attacking side of the Cougars’ game, and against a Stanford side with six clean sheets in eight games, that’s not something you want being made public in the lead-up to the game. Beattie Goad forms part of that defence in the left back role, but her attacking instincts have already delivered a goal and an assist so far this season, and to see the former W-League champion getting up and down the flank to assist attacking raids would not be a surprise in the slightest.

Murray State had a tough weekend last week, dropping their first points of the season in a 1-0 loss to Saint Louis. Despite this, they will go into their first full weekend of Ohio Valley Conference play this week knowing that they have exactly what it takes to dominate this league, and why not? Their only conference loss in the last two seasons came in last year’s conference tournament, and even then it was a game they could easily have won. The Racers have already knocked off a couple of teams considered better than this weekend’s opponents – Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State – and Harriet Withers rarely goes two weeks without banging home a goal. Throw in Nyomi Devine marshalling the defence, and things are still looking pretty good for Murray State as they look to add to last week’s 1-0 win over Morehead State in their conference opener.

Conference play also kicks off for our two players in the SWAC, and whilst the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey may have disrupted things for Paige Hayward and Texas Southern, conference play is where the Australian senior has shone in recent years. The Tigers could have been considered heavily overmatched in their opening few Division I games, all of which they lost 3-0, but with Hayward up front, there is no reason to think the goals won’t start to flow for Texas Southern, commencing with this week’s games against fellow winless sides Jackson State and and Southern. Priya Gakhar and Grambling State also start their league slate this week, facing perennial conference favourites Howard. However, it’s been a surprisingly good start for Grambling State this season. A win over UC Riverside and an overtime loss to Louisiana Tech have shown that the team may be starting to a corner after some utterly abysmal seasons in recent years – the team has already matched its Division I win total from 2016 and conference play hasn’t even started yet. Gakhar has been coming off the bench in a few games to this point, and surely it is just a matter of time before she notches her first college goal.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: at UMBC – 3am, Monday September 25

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v Temple – 9am, Sunday September 24

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v UCLA – 7:30am, Saturday September 23

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Northeastern – 8am, Friday September 22; v William & Mary – 4am, Monday September 25

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v Chattanooga – 9am, Saturday September 23; v Samford – 4am, Monday September 25

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Cornell – 5am, Monday September 25

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: v Howard – 3am, Monday September 25

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: at Cal State Northridge – 12pm, Saturday September 23; at Cal State Fullerton – 10am, Monday September 25

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: at Delaware – 9am, Friday September 22; v UNC Wilmington – 3am, Monday September 25

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: v Duquesne – 9am, Friday September 22; at St Joseph’s – 3am, Monday September 25

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: at Alabama – 10am, Friday September 22; v Mississippi State – 6am, Monday September 25

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: at Tennessee Tech – 10am, Friday September 22; at Jacksonville State – 4am, Monday September 25

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: v Incarnate Word – 7am, Saturday September 23; v Abilene Christian – 4am, Monday September 25

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: at Florida Atlantic – 9am, Saturday September 23

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: at Arizona State – 12pm, Saturday September 23

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at Cal State Bakersfield – 12pm, Saturday September 23

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: at Morehead State – 8am, Saturday September 23; at Eastern Kentucky – 3am, Monday September 25

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: at Washington State – 11am, Friday September 22;

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: at Southern – 10am, Saturday September 23; at Jackson State – 4am, Monday September 25

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Kansas State – 10am, Saturday September 23; v Kansas – 4am, Monday September 25

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: at Colorado – 7:30am, Saturday September 23

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Samford – 9am, Saturday September 23; v Chattanooga – 4am, Monday September 25

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: at James Madison – 9am, Friday September 22; at Drexel – 3am, Monday September 25

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: at Colorado College – 7am, Saturday September 23; at Air Force – 4am, Monday September 25

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