(Featured Image Credit: Greg Carroccio / Sideline Photos)
Annika Clayton was the undoubted star of the week as the senior continued the trend of Australian midfielders banging in goals for Wyoming following the graduation of Alisha Bass after the 2017 season. Down 2-0 just after halftime, Clayton scored the game-tying goal in the 64th minute. The Cowgirls scored just two minutes later to take the lead, before Clayton rounded out the victory, doubling the lead with just over 15 minutes to play. The Cowgirls found the going slightly tougher in their home opener against Utah Valley in their second game of the week, but managed to eke out a 1-0 overtime victory to preserve their perfect start to the season, with newly arrived Geelong freshman Caitlin Pickett picking up the winner in overtime to tally her first college goal in just her second game. Newcastle freshman Indianna Asimus also featured in both games of the first week of her college career, starting against South Dakota before coming off the bench against Utah Valley.
La Salle pair Claudia Jenkins and Alyssa Van Heurck also enjoyed an excellent first week of the season, with Jenkins perhaps pulling out the moment of the week in the Explorers’ 1-0 win over Syracuse. With the Explorers up a goal after Madison Bower’s early strike, Syracuse were gifted a chance to equalise after a foul in the box resulted in a penalty for the Orange. But Jenkins stood tall to deny penalty taker Taylor Bennett and maintain her side’s lead, with the Explorers holding on to secure the 1-0 victory, with Van Heurck playing 24 minutes off the bench in her first college appearance.
The Explorers enjoyed a far more comfortable victory in their second game of the week against UMBC. Jenkins once again kept a clean sheet, making four saves, whilst Van Heurck picked up the first goal of her college career as the Explorers jumped out to a 4-0 lead before halftime on their way to a comprehensive 5-0 win, scoring on all bar two of their shots on target to start their campaign to return to the NCAA Tournament on a high.
Teagan Micah also came up big between the sticks as UCLA laboured in putting Long Beach State away in their opening game of the season. Although the junior made just two saves, they proved to be vital as the Bruins scored the only goal of the game with just two seconds left on the clock as Hailie Mace managed to beat the goalkeeper with the last kick of the ball for the 1-0 victory.
Beattie Goad made a solid start to her junior year as Stanford dismantled UC Davis 5-0 on the road in the opening game of their title defence. The two-time W-League champion secured a starting berth for the Cardinal, playing 79 minutes and putting the ball on a plate for Tierna Davidson to head home Stanford’s second of their five goals as the defending champions outshot their opponents 20-1 in the dominant victory.
Finally, we saw six players make their Division I debut this week, with Ashleigh Lefevre, Tessa Calabria, and Lauren Featherstone joining the aforementioned Alyssa Van Heurck, Indianna Asimus, and Caitlin Pickett in seeing their first minutes at the top level of college play. Lefevre and Illinois led North Carolina early in the piece, but were ultimately chased down by the Tar Heels in a 3-1 loss, but the Illini had clearly grown in confidence and used that momentum to secure a come from behind win over #3 Duke, with Lefevre coming off the bench in both games to see over an hour of playing time across the weekend. Calabria got the start in her debut against North Dakota in a 3-0 loss, playing 61 minutes, but came off the bench in Nicholls State’s loss to Grambling State, registering a pair of shots on target in her 46 minutes in the Colonels’ 1-0 defeat. However, Featherstone’s debut was the most pleasing to see from a neutral standpoint, with the redshirt freshman having been through injuries, an academic redshirt in 2017, and a last-minute transfer in her 12 months in college before finally seeing her first playing time, tallying 20 minutes of action off the bench in North Dakota State’s 4-1 win over Green Bay.
Akron (Freyja Murray)
This week: lost 2-1 to Morehead State
Freyja Murray did not feature for Akron in their loss to Morehead State.
Albany (Claire Urquhart)
This week: defeated Arizona 1-0; defeated New Mexico State 3-1
Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany in their win over Arizona, but came off the bench to play 46 minutes in the Great Danes’ victory over New Mexico State.
Chicago State (Sarah Clark)
This week: drew 2-2 with Youngstown State; lost 3-1 to Cleveland State
Sarah Clark did not feature for Chicago State in either game this week.
Colorado (Isobel Dalton)
This week: defeated Air Force 3-0; drew 0-0 with Colorado State
Isobel Dalton came off the bench to play a solitary minute in Colorado’s win over Air Force, but did not feature in the draw with Colorado State.
Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)
This week: drew 1-1 with Rider; lost 2-1 to Rutgers
Emma Heckenberg did not feature for Drexel in the draw with Rider, but came off the bench to play 33 minutes in the loss to Rutgers.
East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)
This week: lost 1-0 to George Mason
Isabel Hodgson played the full 90 minutes in East Tennessee State’s loss to George Mason.
Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)
This week: defeated Marshall 1-0; lost 1-0 to Providence
Sam Roff picked up where she left off last season, playing the full 90 minutes in both of Fairleigh Dickinson’s games this week as the Knights’ stingy defence conceded only a solitary goal over the course of the weekend.
Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)
This week: lost 3-0 to Florida Gulf Coast; lost 3-0 to Chattanooga
Hannah Allen did not feature for Georgia Southern in either of the Eagles’ games this week.
Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)
This week: lost 2-1 to Gonzaga (2OT); lost 1-0 to Washington State (OT)
Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon in either game this week as the Lopes fell to a pair of heartbreaking overtime losses.
Hawaii (Kiri Dale)
This week: lost 4-0 to Texas A&M; defeated Bowling Green 1-0 (OT)
Kiri Dale did not feature for Hawaii in the loss to Texas A&M, but came off the bench for a 20-minute cameo in the Wahine’s overtime win over Bowling Green.
Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)
This week: defeated Bucknell 1-0; lost 1-0 to Fairfield
Monique Iannella came off the bench in both games this week, playing 39 minutes against Bucknell and registering a single shot on target in 51 minutes in the loss to Fairfield. Reserve goalkeeper Grace Watson-Carr did not feature for Hofstra in either game this week.
Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)
This week: lost 3-1 to North Carolina; defeated Duke 2-1
Ashleigh Lefevre came off the bench in both games this week, playing 40 minutes against North Carolina and 36 minutes in the upset win over highly-rated Duke.
La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)
This week: defeated Syracuse 1-0; defeated UMBC 5-0
Goalkeeper Claudia Jenkins kept a pair of clean sheets to start the season, playing all 180 minutes and coming up with a penalty save in the win over Syracuse. Alyssa Van Heurck came off the bench to make her first two college appearances, playing 24 minutes in both games and tallying La Salle’s fourth goal in the 5-0 win over UMBC.
LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)
This week: lost 2-1 to Villanova (OT)
Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in their overtime loss to Villanova.
Marshall (Laura Farrelly)
This week: lost 1-0 to Fairleigh Dickinson; drew 2-2 with Army
Laura Farrelly did not feature for Marshall in either game this week.
Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)
This week: lost 3-0 to North Dakota; lost 2-1 to Grambling State
Tessa Calabria started against North Dakota to make her first collegiate appearance, registering a single shot in 61 minutes. Calabria came off the bench against Grambling State, tallying 2 shots in 46 minutes, both of which were on target. Kristy Helmers came off the bench in both games, playing 26 minutes against North Dakota and 14 minutes against Grambling State. Tenille Harberger did not feature for the Colonels in either game this week.
North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)
This week: match abandoned v Wisconsin due to weather; defeated Green Bay 4-1
Lauren Featherstone finally made her long-awaited collegiate debut, playing 20 minutes off the bench and tallying a single shot in North Dakota State’s win over Green Bay.
Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)
This week: drew 1-1 with East Carolina; defeated Mount St. Mary’s 3-0
Gaby Bentley came off the bench for Old Dominion to play 20 minutes or so in the draw with East Carolina, before starting against Mount St. Mary’s but only playing 13 minutes.
Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)
This week: lost 2-1 to Evansville
Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in their loss to Evansville.
St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)
This week: drew 2-2 with Radford; lost 3-2 to Canisius (OT)
Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in either game this week.
Stanford (Beattie Goad)
This week: defeated UC Davis 5-0
Beattie Goad started for Stanford in their win over UC Davis, playing 79 minutes and delivering the assist on the Cardinal’s second goal.
Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)
This week: defeated New Mexico 2-0; defeated Pepperdine 1-0
Demi Koulizakis came off the bench in both games this week, playing 32 minutes and registering two shots against New Mexico before playing 39 minutes and tallying a single shot on target in the upset win over Pepperdine.
Towson (Jodie Burchell)
This week: lost 2-1 to South Florida (OT); lost 2-1 to Stetson
Jodie Burchell did not feature for Towson in either game this week.
UCLA (Teagan Micah)
This week: defeated Long Beach State 1-0
Teagan Micah played the full 90 minutes between the sticks for UCLA in the win over Long Beach State, keeping a vital clean sheet with two saves as the Bruins scored the game-winner with just two seconds remaining.
Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)
This week: lost 3-0 to Kennesaw State; defeated UNC Asheville 1-0
Kate Swartwout got the start against Kennesaw State, playing 62 minutes before coming off the bench against UNC Asheville to play 18 minutes.
William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)
This week: lost 2-1 to Maryland; lost 2-1 to Dayton (OT)
Lorena Bugden did not feature for William & Mary in either game this week.
Wyoming (Indianna Asimus, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Caitlin Pickett)
This week: defeated South Dakota 4-2; defeated Utah Valley 1-0 (OT)
Annika Clayton was the saviour for Wyoming in their opening game, scoring two goals in the Cowgirls’ comeback victory before playing 78 minutes in the overtime win over Utah Valley. Caitlin Pickett tallied the overtime winner against Utah Valley in a 53-minute effort after playing 63 minutes against South Dakota, whilst Indianna Asimus started and played 40 minutes against South Dakota before making a 24-minute cameo off the bench against Utah Valley. Jessie Gentle also started both games, playing 45 minutes against South Dakota and the entire 93 minutes in the win over Utah Valley.
Player of the Year Votes:
3: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
2: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
1: Teagan Micah (UCLA)