(Featured Image Credit: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)
Claudia Jenkins (Junior, La Salle, Adelaide)
Having served her apprenticeship as a freshman, Jenkins stepped into the starting role between the sticks in 2018 and immediately became one of the most crucial members of the La Salle squad. Jenkins finished the 2018 season with an impressive save percentage of 0.788 and a goals against average of 1.248, a number that was skewed significantly by a number of penalties and own goals that also contributed to La Salle finishing with a middling 8-8-1 record after finishing 17-4-2 in 2017 and reaching the NCAA Tournament. However, with Jenkins back between the sticks for 2019, the Explorers can remain certain that there will always be at least one player on the pitch that they can rely on, with the South Australian remaining assured in goal throughout the 2018 season.
Teagan Micah (Senior, UCLA, Brisbane)
Not many college players can say they’re coming off a World Cup campaign, but Micah is one of two players on the UCLA roster to have travelled to France in June, alongside Canadian midfield sensation Jessie Fleming. Whilst Micah may have not made an appearance as the third goalkeeper in the Matildas World Cup squad, the experience will nonetheless done the UCLA custodian the world of good and helped to prepare her for leading the Bruins in their quest to return to the College Cup after reaching the national championship game in 2017. Micah has finished in the top 50 in the nation for clean sheets in all three of her college seasons to date, and has also improved her goals against average from 0.96 in her freshman year to 0.74 in her junior year. Whilst the senior will no doubt be aided by a rock-solid UCLA defence, Micah’s own ability helps to make the Bruins an incredibly tough proposition for any opposing forward line.
Teresa Morrissey (Freshman, Rhode Island, Melbourne)
A member of the Young Matildas’ squad in 2018, Rhode Island have picked up a player with not only potential but the ability to step in immediately if need be in Morrissey. The Victorian has suffered injury troubles in the past, but clearly has class between the sticks and will surely compete for the starting spot at Rhode Island, even if her only competition for the position, junior Julia Freeman, started in five games last season. As well as her experience with the Young Matildas, Morrissey has also made over 40 appearances for the Senior NTC side in NPL Victoria, and despite playing in a young side that often found themselves overmatched against more experienced opposition, demonstrated her class on a regular basis to earn national honours.
Grace Watson-Carr (Freshman, Hofstra, Sydney)
Watson-Carr may not have featured in 2018 as part of a roster that featured five goalkeepers and included two seniors, but the starting berth will now go to one of three players, none of whom have seen any playing time at the college level. An occasional member of a Sydney Olympic side that reached two NPL 2 NSW grand finals in 2017 and 2018, picking up a championship in the latter, Watson-Carr does possess high-level experience, and also helped Sydney Olympic to a reserve grade title in 2018 alongside their first grade success. Being an underclassman goalkeeper on a roster that includes a redshirt junior in the same position rarely bodes well for a player’s minutes, but Watson-Carr will come into this season on level pegging with her rivals for the starting berth as all three goalkeepers on the roster look to make their first appearance in 2019.