2019 Week 1 Preview

Preseason is in the books and it’s time for the regular season to kick off. Over the next 12 weeks, over 330 teams across the US will be playing for their chance to compete for a national championship, with a couple of Aussies among the teams with the best chance to be holding the trophy aloft in San Jose in early December.

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(Feature Image: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)

As per usual, Beattie Goad and #3 Stanford have scheduled some high-level opposition in their non-conference games, starting their season with a cross-country road trip to face #6 Penn State and the always dangerous #11 West Virginia. These early games will provide an excellent litmus test for a Stanford side that lost a number of starters not only to graduation, but to the professional ranks, and how well their replacements slot in could prove to be a barometer for the Cardinal’s season. Goad will most likely be one of those starters, but which position the senior locks down remains to be seen, having been used in a number of roles over the past three seasons.

UCLA are also considered one of the favourites to be there or thereabouts come the pointy end of the season, and with Teagan Micah between the sticks and a solid defence in front of the Australian senior, the Bruins are likely to have little trouble keeping the goals out of their own net. They’ll get their chance to prove that, and also hopefully bang in a few at the other end, as they host Iowa State and regular non-conference opponent Long Beach State on the season’s opening weekend. The Bruins will be hot favourites in both contests this weekend, but will still need to ensure that they come prepared against two teams who will be hungry to grab a marquee victory early in the season. Whilst Micah will no doubt be present in goal for the Bruins, this weekend could also see Matildas midfielder Rachel Lowe make her debut for her new side, however which position that debut comes in remains to be seen as Bruins coach Amanda Cromwell has already stated that the freshman may see some time in defence.

One of the most decorated Australians in college faces a freshman lining up for her first game as Sam Roff and Fairleigh Dickinson take on Sophie Bui and Alabama State in not only an Aussie v Aussie matchup, but an all-Canberra contest as two products of the nation’s capital face off on neutral ground in Edinburg, Texas. Neither team enjoyed much success in non-conference play last year before solid if unspectacular conference seasons led to decent results but no silverware, and both teams will be champing at the bit to get off to a better start this year. For Bui, the Fairleigh Dickinson defence is likely stronger than anything the freshman will face all season in the SWAC, providing a good early test. Meanwhile, Roff will be facing an Alabama State attack eager to improve upon last year’s return of 24 goals and get back to the kind of numbers the Hornets put up in 2017, where they banged home 39 goals on their way to a conference title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

One Aussie has become two at Hawaii as freshman Eliza Ammendolia joins redshirt senior Kiri Dale, and it will be quite an initiation for the former W-League midfielder as #5 ranked USC visit Honolulu for the season opener as part of a three-way tournament that also features San Francisco. USC reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2018, dropping just two games in a 17-win season that saw the Women of Troy fall to eventual national champions Florida State on penalties. Hawaii will no doubt be itching to post a win for the ages, but a solid performance would be a confidence booster in and of itself as the Rainbow Wahine look to set themselves up to reach the Big West conference tournament for the first time after narrowly missing out in 2018. This game will also have some extra meaning for Hawaii assistant coach Rachael Doyle – USC coach Keidane McAlpine was Doyle’s head coach at Washington State before making the move to USC.

La Salle and their Aussie duo of Alyssa Van Heurck and Claudia Jenkins opened last season with a win over Syracuse, and will be looking to open this season with another victory over an ACC opponent as they take on national powerhouse Duke in the season opener. The Explorers will be hoping this is a bounce-back season, having posted 17 wins in 2017 but just 8 in 2018 as their conference title defence proved quite lacklustre. However, the two Aussies could prove crucial as they look to make the climb back up the ladder this season, with Jenkins a rock between the sticks and Van Heurck adapting to her new attacking role with aplomb. A non-conference win over a side like Duke may not have a tangible effect on the conference standings, but it will certainly give the Explorers a marquee victory and provide plenty of confidence going forward.

It’s been a long time coming, but Siena Senatore is finally set to make her return for Southeast Missouri State after two seasons away from the pitch. The redshirt senior from Canberra saw decent playing time in the Redhawks’ preseason exhibitions, and will now look to shore up the team’s defence, either as a member of the back four or shielding the defence in a holding midfield role as Southeast Missouri State start their season with a single game against Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles will be a good test for Senatore and the Redhawks, having compiled a 13-6-1 record in 2018 playing a tougher schedule than what Southeast Missouri State encountered. However, the Redhawks’ preseason form has been solid, winning all three of their games including a 1-0 victory over AAC side Memphis.

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: v Fairleigh Dickinson – 6am, Friday August 23; @ UTRGV – 10am, Sunday August 25

Watch Alabama State v UTRGV

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Northern Iowa – 9am, Friday August 23; v Wisconsin-Green Bay – 4am, Monday August 26

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: v King – 9am, Friday August 23; v UNC Asheville – 9am, Monday August 26

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Alabama State – 6am, Friday August 23; v Miami (FL) – 2am, Monday August 26

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Stetson – 9am, Friday August 23; @ Florida Atlantic – 3am, Monday August 26

Watch Grand Canyon v Stetson

Watch Grand Canyon v Florida Atlantic ($)

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: v USC – 3pm, Friday August 23; v South Florida – 3pm, Sunday August 25

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: @ Monmouth – 8am, Saturday August 24; @ Penn State – 4:30am, Monday August 26

Watch Hofstra v Penn State ($)

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: v Loyola Chicago – 10am, Friday August 23; v Dayton – 4am, Monday August 26

Watch Illinois v Loyola Chicago ($)

Watch Illinois v Dayton ($)

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v Duke – 6am, Friday August 23; v North Florida – 2am, Monday August 26

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: @ Villanova – 6am, Friday August 23; @ Navy – 3am, Monday August 26

Watch LSU v Villanova

Watch LSU v Navy

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ Michigan – 9:30am, Friday August 23; @ Michigan State – 3am, Monday August 26

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: v North Alabama – 10am, Friday August 23; @ Memphis – 10am, Monday August 26

Watch Mississippi v Memphis

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Kristy Helmers, Shauni Reid)

This week: v Mississippi Valley State – 7am, Saturday August 24; v Mississippi Valley State – 6am, Sunday August 25

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: v Saint Mary’s – 10am, Saturday August 24; v Montana – 4am, Monday August 26

Watch North Dakota State v Saint Mary’s ($)

Watch North Dakota State v Montana ($)

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: @ Towson – 7am, Friday August 23; @ George Mason – 8am, Monday August 26

Watch Old Dominion v Towson

Watch Old Dominion v George Mason

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: @ New Hampshire – 9am, Friday August 23

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: v Southern Miss – 5am, Monday August 26

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ Penn State – 9am, Saturday August 24; @ West Virginia – 2am, Monday August 26

Watch Stanford v Penn State ($)

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: @ San Diego State – 12pm, Friday August 23; @ New Mexico – 11am, Monday August 26

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Iowa State – 12pm, Saturday August 24; @ Long Beach State – 11am, Monday August 26

Watch UCLA v Iowa State

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: @ NJIT – 8am, Friday August 23; v Saint Francis (PA) – 4am, Monday August 26

Watch UMBC v NJIT

Watch UMBC v Saint Francis (PA)

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Gardner-Webb – 9am, Monday August 26

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: @ UTEP – 11am, Friday August 23; @ New Mexico State – 4am, Monday August 26

Watch Wyoming v New Mexico State

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