2018 Week 8 Preview

As conference play ramps up, a number of teams featuring Aussies find themselves in intriguing positions heading into crunch time. Meanwhile, Lorena Bugden and Monique Iannella face off in a game that could have serious implications in the Colonial Athletic Association.

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(Featured Image Credit: The Southern Conference)

The Colonial Athletic Association delivers yet another Aussie v Aussie matchup as Monique Iannella and Hofstra face Lorena Bugden’s William & Mary side. Iannella has been one of the best performed Aussies this season, as well as a mainstay of a Hofstra side that has won three of its first four games to sit just three points out of top spot, whilst William & Mary sit right on the edge of the conference tournament spots, but also just three points behind Hofstra in second spot. However, Hofstra have a game against league leaders Northeastern prior to this game, whilst the game against Hofstra is William & Mary’s only contest of the week. With just two weeks of conference play following this game, getting the three points in this one will be imperative for both teams – for Hofstra, in a quest for the regular season title; for William & Mary, in their attempt to return to the six-team conference tournament after missing out in 2017.

La Salle were expected to be among the leaders in the Atlantic 10, but with only the outstanding performances of Claudia Jenkins keeping the Explorers from giving up buckets of goals in conference play to this point, the 2017 conference champions have a bit of work to do if they are to remain in the top eight and secure a conference tournament spot. Fortunately, after a run of tough games to start conference play, the Explorers this week play the bottom two teams in St. Bonaventure and Rhode Island. Whilst finishing at or near the top of the league this season may be out of the Explorers’ reach, a solid run home could still deliver a decent seeing for the conference tournament in their quest for a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Wyoming are looking to atone for last year’s fairly dismal end to the season, and will need to keep picking up points at regular intervals if they are to maintain their current spot in the conference tournament spots in the Mountain West. The Cowgirls kick off their week by hosting the second-placed Colorado College, where a win would draw them level with the Tigers. Wyoming will be fully expected to pick up a win against Air Force in their second game of the week, and if the Cowgirls can secure a minimum of four points from their two games, it would go a long way to securing a conference tournament berth. With Caitlin Pickett in solid form up front of late and her fellow Aussies providing excellent service from midfield, there is no reason why they can’t bounce back from last week’s loss to Boise State and return to the form that saw them win the previous two games.

Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State are flying in conference play after a dismal start to the season, sitting pretty in second spot at 3-0 after three conference games. However, this week’s two opponents will bring a far tougher challenge than the Buccaneers have faced to this point as they go on the road to face Samford and Chattanooga. Perennial league contenders Samford sit atop the league table with 10 points after 4 games, whilst Chattanooga sit just two points behind East Tennessee State with 7 points from 4 games. Whilst this weekend won’t define the conference regular season title race, it could very well go a long way to determining which teams reach the conference tournament. With the Buccaneers coming into the weekend in good form, these games certainly appear eminently winnable, something that wouldn’t have been said about a team that came into league play with a 1-7 non-conference record.

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: @ Ohio – 6am, Friday October 5; v Kent State – 4am, Monday October 8 

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Vermont – 9am, Friday October 5; @ Maine – 4am, Monday October 8 

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Utah Valley – 3am, Saturday October 6; @ Seattle – 7am, Monday October 8

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

This week: v Washington State – 7:30am, Friday October 5; v Washington – 7am, Monday October 8

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v UNC Wilmington – 8am, Friday October 5; v Delaware – 5am, Monday October 8 

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: @ Samford – 9am, Saturday October 6; @ Chattanooga – 5am, Monday October 8

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Bryant – 4am, Monday October 8 

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen) 

This week: v Troy – 9am, Saturday October 6; @ Texas State – 4am, Monday October 8 

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v UTRGV – 12pm, Saturday October 6; v Cal Baptist – 7am, Monday October 8

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: v Long Beach State – 3pm, Friday October 5; v UC Davis – 2pm, Monday October 8

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

This week: v Northeastern – 9am, Friday October 5; v William & Mary – 4am, Monday October 8

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ Maryland – 9am, Friday October 5; @ Rutgers – 4am, Monday October 8

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v St. Bonaventure – 9am, Friday October 5; v Rhode Island – 4am, Monday October 8

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: @ Arkansas – 9:30am, Friday October 5; v. Missouri – 5am, Monday October 8

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ UTSA – 5am, Monday October 8

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

This week: @ McNeese State – 10am, Saturday October 6

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v Denver – 10am, Friday October 5; @ North Dakota – 5am, Monday October 8

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: @ Middle Tennessee State – 9am, Saturday October 6

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Tennessee Tech – 10am, Saturday October 6

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: v Mount St. Mary’s – 3am, Monday October 8

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: @ Oregon – 10am, Friday October 5; @ Oregon State – 9am, Monday October 8

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: @ Oklahoma State – 10am, Saturday October 6 

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: v James Madison – 6am, Friday October 5; @ Charleston – 4am, Monday October 8

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Arizona State – 10am, Friday October 5; v Arizona – 9am, Monday October 8

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout) 

This week: @ Chattanooga – 9am, Saturday October 6; @ Samford – 10am, Monday October 8 

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: @ Hofstra – 4am, Monday October 8

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

This week: v Colorado College – 7am, Saturday October 6; v Air Force – 5:30am, Monday October 8

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