2019 Week 6 Preview

(Image Credit: Stanford Athletics)

Only two teams received first place votes in the Pac-12 preseason coaches’ poll, and those teams just happen to be the two featuring Aussies – Beattie Goad’s Stanford outfit, and a UCLA side featuring Rachel Lowe and Teagan Micah. With conference play starting this week, both sides will be out to prove that they are deserving of those votes, but it won’t be easy, particularly for Stanford, who face USC in their only game of the weekend. USC sit just one spot below the second-placed Cardinal in the national poll, having compiled a 7-0-1 record to this point, including a win over Florida State on the same weekend that UCLA picked up a win over the Seminoles. With Stanford having just eked out wins in their last two matches, this game on the road will be a significant test, and it will also be interesting to see what kind of playing time Beattie Goad sees. The senior played just 15 minutes off the bench against Santa Clara last week, but prior to that had regularly played significant minutes and even started four games. The return of players like Sophia Smith from injury certainly makes competition for playing time far more intense, but Goad has certainly staked her case for more minutes than she received last time out.

Teagan Micah and Rachel Lowe are flying high at the moment, with both players receiving Matildas training camp call-ups for next week’s camp in Sydney. However, prior to that camp they have one more game against California at home. The Golden Bears are 8-1 to this point, but almost all of their games have come against in-state mid-majors, meaning that whilst they have played some solid opponents, they are yet to face a true test outside of the Portland side that defeated them 2-0 in their last start. However, it is highly unlikely that Teagan Micah will face the same cruisy day that saw the senior not forced to make a save against Hawaii, with the Golden Bears averaging over 5 shots on target per contest. It may be in attack that UCLA need to be at their absolute best though, with Cal sitting in the top 15 in the nation for fewest goals conceded, and that is where Rachel Lowe comes in. Lowe tallied two shots on target and an assist in a career-high 48 minutes against Hawaii, and if the freshman can reprise that form before heading to national team camp, it will provide UCLA with an additional strike weapon that perhaps was not expected to emerge until deeper into the season.

Grand Canyon have struggled in non-conference play so far this season with just one win, but the Antelopes are starting to look better with Sandra Hill back in the lineup. With just one game remaining before league play commences, this match against Omaha looms as an opportunity to find some form against a team that has also secured just one victory to this point. Tabbed to finish fifth in the WAC by the league’s coaches, Grand Canyon are in the kind of position that will see them require a good start to a conference slate that consists of just eight games, as there won’t be many chances to make up ground if they are to qualify for the six-team conference tournament. A little bit of confidence could go a long way in helping the Antelopes do just that, and a win in this one could be just the tonic.

Big 12 play kicks off this weekend, with Demi Koulizakis and Texas Tech having posted the equal-best non-conference record of the ten teams in the league. That makes their first-up game against Oklahoma State especially tasty, as the Cowgirls are the team with whom Texas Tech share that honour. In a league that is expected to be incredibly tight, this game could prove decisive even at this early stage, but it could also be a chance for Demi Koulizakis to make a significant impact against a high-level opponent. The senior is one of a number of attackers playing an integral rear gunner role behind the dominant Kirsten Davis, with the former W-League player tallying a pair of goals and three assists to this point. Davis can almost be guaranteed to bang home the opportunities when presented them, so there will be no shock if Koulizakis tallies at least one more assist this weekend.

Indianna Asimus’ goals have kept Wyoming’s season steady so far, and the Cowgirls faithful will be looking towards the sophomore to keep scoring as the team looks to defend its Mountain West Conference regular season title. With this weekend’s second game coming against a New Mexico side with whom Wyoming shared the title last season, securing a good result here will be crucial to the team’s chances going forward, and this is where Asimus could be integral to their fortunes. Each of the sophomore’s goals have been crucial for the Cowgirls, with three of the sophomore’s four tallies helping her team force overtime and the other proving to be the game-winner in a 2-0 win over Southern Utah. Ex-teammate Caitlin Pickett had a penchant for scoring goals at vital times for Wyoming, and it may be the case that Asimus is taking over for the now-departed Victorian.

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: @ Grambling State – 9am, Saturday September 28; @ Arkansas-Pine Bluff – 4am, Monday September 30

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Western Illinois – 4am, Monday September 30

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: v Western Carolina – 9am, Saturday September 28

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Merrimack – 2am, Monday September 30

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Omaha – 8:30am, Saturday September 28

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: v Drexel – 8am, Friday September 27; v Elon – 2am, Monday September 30

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ Iowa – 11am, Friday September 27; @ Nebraska – 4am, Monday September 30

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: @ Richmond – 6am, Friday September 27; v Duquesne – 3am, Monday September 30

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Georgia – 9am, Friday September 27; v Texas A&M – 4am, Monday September 30

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: v UTEP – 9am, Friday September 27; @ Florida International – 3am, Monday September 30

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: @ Mississippi State – 9am, Friday September 27; v Auburn – 5am, Monday September 30

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

This week: v Abilene Christian – 7am, Saturday September 28; v Incarnate Word – 4am, Monday September 30

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: @ Utah Valley – 9am, Sunday September 29

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Louisiana Tech – 7:30am, Saturday September 28

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: @ Dayton – 9:30am, Friday September 27; v George Washington – 3am, Monday September 30

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Austin Peay – 10am, Saturday September 28; @ Murray State – 4am, Monday September 30

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ USC – 6am, Sunday September 29

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Oklahoma State – 10am, Friday September 27; v Oklahoma – 4am, Monday September 30

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: v California – 12pm, Saturday September 28

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: v Albany – 4am, Monday September 30

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v East Tennessee State – 9am, Saturday September 28

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: v San Diego State – 8am, Saturday September 28; v New Mexico – 5am, Monday September 30

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