2018 Week 2 Preview

With a number of Aussies coming up with match-winning performances last week, there are plenty of teams looking to keep perfect records alive or build on momentum generated from an upset result. La Salle and Wyoming in particular will once again be looking for their Aussies to fire after outstanding starts to the season.

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(Featured Image Credit: Rand Bleimeister)

Wyoming got their season off to a flyer last week courtesy of some well-timed goals from Australian pair Annika Clayton and Caitlin Pickett, and the Cowgirls will be looking to extend their perfect start to the season in their only game of the week as they host Northern Iowa. Like Wyoming, Northern Iowa played South Dakota last week, but could only manage a 0-0 draw whereas Wyoming stormed home to a 4-2 comeback victory courtesy of Clayton’s second-half brace. With fellow Aussies Indiana Asimus and Jessie Gentle also playing solid minutes, the Cowgirls are once again looking to be a sure bet if you’re searching for Aussies to watch even in the post-Georgia Rowntree and Alisha Bass era.

Ashleigh Lefevre and Illinois travelled to North Carolina last week and put the entire nation on notice after running the Tar Heels close before knocking off Duke in a 2-1 victory, and the Illini will look to build off that momentum as they play a couple of games closer to home. Making the short drive to Chicago to play DePaul in their first game of the week, Illinois will face a Blue Demons team that may have lost its opener to Southern Methodist, but flexed its offensive muscle in a 7-0 win over lowly UMass-Lowell to round out the weekend. The Illini then round out their week by hosting Northern Illinois, a side looking to bounce back from a 3-0 loss in their opener against Milwaukee. If Lefevre and Illinois can put together performances like the ones they did in the opening weekend, they’ll certainly be a better than even-money chance to end the weekend on a 3-game unbeaten run.

Claudia Jenkins and Alyssa Van Heurck both made solid impacts last week as La Salle opened their 2018 campaign with a pair of wins, but this weekend’s opponent is a bit of an unknown entity as Manhattan are yet to play a game in 2018. The Jaspers did pick up 10 wins in 2017, but eight of those victories came in league play, where they play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, a far weaker league than the Atlantic 10 which La Salle won last season. The Explorers will still have to play to their potential to get the win, but come into this game as prohibitive favourites, particularly with Jenkins in good form between the sticks and the La Salle defence unlikely to give up a high number of shots.

Claire Urquhart and Albany came up with a pair of wins last week on their cross-country trip to Arizona, but play far closer to home this week with road games at comparatively nearby Boston College and Colgate. Both teams will provide a significant challenge to the Great Danes, with Boston College coming off a pair of wins over Quinnipiac and Northeastern, with the latter a perennial challenger for the Colonial Athletic Association. Meanwhile, Colgate fell 2-1 in a tight one against #8 Virginia last week, showing that they will by no means roll over. It will also be interesting to see how many minutes Claire Urquhart sees this week, having only played in one of the two games last week, playing 46 minutes against New Mexico State.

Beattie Goad and Stanford opened up their season with a dominant 5-0 win over UC Davis, and the Cardinal are poised to bang in the goals once again as they take on one of their local rivals in San Francisco. Stanford won last year’s encounter 8-0 as part of a four-game in run in which they scored 26 goals without conceding, and this year’s Cardinal side hardly looks less potent on offence. Beattie Goad snagged an assist last week in the win over UC Davis, and if the Stanford offence continues to fire on all cylinders, expect to see the junior have plenty of chances to tee up teammates from out wide not only in this game, but throughout the season.

Stanford’s title rivals UCLA face a far tougher challenge this week, making the cross-country trip to play fellow championship contenders Penn State. The Bruins may have picked up the win over Long Beach State last week with a final minute goal, but will need a far more polished performance to get by the #3 team in the nation, who defeated the always-strong West Virginia 1-0 and demolised Duquesne 6-0 in the opening week of the season. However, with Teagan Micah already showing her penchant for coming up with big saves at vital times, Penn State’s offence won’t have things all their own way in this one in what could be one of the games of the regular season.

We also have the potential for a couple of Aussie v Aussie matchups this week, as Jodie Burchell has the chance to make her debut against Gaby Bentley and Old Dominion. These two sides have plenty of history as former conference rivals prior to Old Dominion’s move from the Colonial Athletic Association to Conference-USA, and if Burchell was to make an impact on debut in a game like this it certainly would be a memorable one. We could also see Shelby Milton take the field for St. Francis University against a UMBC side coached by Australian first-year head coach Vanessa Mann, and whilst the pair obviously wouldn’t face each other on the field, it certainly provides another little point of interest in an early-season game. 

Full Schedule:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: @ Charlotte – 9am, Saturday August 25; @ Wofford – 4am, Monday August 27

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Boston College – 7am, Friday August 24; @ Colgate – 3am, Monday August 27

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ South Dakota – 4am, Monday August 27

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v Missouri – 5am, Sunday August 26

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Columbia – 7am, Saturday August 25

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: @ Tennessee Tech – 9am, Saturday August 25

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Lehigh – 2am, Friday August 24

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: v Jacksonville State – 9am, Saturday August 25; @ Gardner-Webb – 3am, Monday August 27 

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v Houston Baptist – 9am, Saturday August 25; v Northern Arizona – 12pm, Monday August 27

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: v Boston University – 9am, Friday August 24

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: @ DePaul – 7am, Friday August 24; v Northern Illinois – 5am, Monday August 27

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v Manhattan – 8am, Friday August 24

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: @ Liberty – 8am, Friday August 24; v Texas State – 4am, Monday August 27

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: v Tennessee-Martin – 6am, Saturday August 25

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: at Mississippi Valley State – 9am, Saturday August 25; v Prairie View A&M – 4am, Monday August 27

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v Weber State – 4am, Monday August 27 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Towson – 9am, Friday August 24; v Old Dominion – 8am, Monday August 27

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: v Illinois-Springfield – 9:30am, Saturday August 25 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: v UMBC – 6am, Friday August 24; at Loyola Maryland – 6am, Monday August 27

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: v San Francisco – 1pm, Saturday August 25

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: @ San Diego State – 12pm, Saturday August 25; v Abilene Christian – 10am, Monday August 27

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: @ Old Dominion – 9am, Friday August 24; v Longwood – 3am, Monday August 27

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: @ Penn State – 6am, Sunday August 26

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Elon – 9am, Friday August 24; v Belmont – 3am, Monday August 27

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: v Virginia – 9am, Friday August 24; v Coastal Carolina – 4am, Monday August 27 

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Caitlin Pickett)

This week: v Northern Iowa – 8:30am, Saturday August 25

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