2019 Week 8 Preview

Defensive players are shining bright at the moment, with Sam Roff, Claudia Jenkins, and Teresa Morrissey flying high. Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch, Demi Koulizakis will be looking to get Texas Tech’s attack firing again.

(Image Credit: Larry Levanti)

Fairleigh Dickinson are flying high atop the Northeast Conference standings, a point clear of second placed Bryant with a game in hand. With Sam Roff leading the defence, the Knights have given up just one goal in their four games to this point, leading to four wins to start league play. The New Jersey-based side faces St. Francis University this weekend, a team with whom the Knights have forged a healthy rivalry this season, and also known in Aussie circles as the former home of Illawarra Stingrays defender Shelby Milton. The Red Flash sit just three points behind Fairleigh Dickinson at this stage, shaping this fixture as a crucial contest in the battle for conference supremacy. Fairleigh Dickinson follow this up with a Sunday game against mid-table Robert Morris, who have split their four games straight down the middle with two wins and two losses. Whilst both of these games are eminently winnable for Roff and the Knights, they also represent potential banana skins, and the entire team will need to be at their best if they are to go six from six to start conference play.

Demi Koulizakis and Texas Tech are the first side in the Big 12 to reach ten wins for the season, but sit two points off the lead in conference play heading into a crucial week in league action. The Red Raiders’ opponents this week, West Virginia and Kansas, look set to be tricky opponent. However, both are winnable games for Texas Tech, and they will need to win both if they are to capitalise on their game in hand and jump back to the top of the Big 12 standings. It will take a return to non-conference form for Koulizakis and the Texas Tech attack to do so, though. The Red Raiders averaged three goals per game coming into league play, but have tallied just one goal per game in conference action. Eventually, that low scoring average will catch up with a team, so expect the Aussie senior to come out looking hungry for goals.

Meanwhile, Claudia Jenkins and Teresa Morrissey remain more concerned with their goals against average than scoring average as they look to help their respective teams move up the table in the Atlantic 10. La Salle are likely going to need Jenkins to do everything but stand on her head against Saint Louis, a team that has already banged home 16 goals in five wins this season. With the Explorers defence not exactly locking down opposition attacks, it has often been Jenkins keeping them in contests. It looks likely little will change this week as the team from Philadelphia looks to gain some ground on the top teams in the Atlantic 10.

Meanwhile, a combined 15 saves across two games from Teresa Morrissey last week somehow still wasn’t enough to secure Rhode Island a first conference win. However, that is often the end product when a team’s attack averages just 0.6 goals per game. Despite this, the Rams may have a chance against a Fordham side that has tallied just 11 goals in 14 games this season and leaked 26. With Morrissey in outstanding form between the sticks, this may be Rhode Island’s best chance to secure a result in conference play at this early stage. With a game against fellow winless side St. Bonaventure next week, there is a real opportunity for the Rams to put together a sequence of positive results, starting this week.

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: @ Alcorn State – 8am, Saturday October 12; @ Mississippi Valley State – 5am, Monday October 14

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Cal Baptist – 7am, Friday October 11; @ UTRGV – 11am, Sunday October 13

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: @ Furman – 10am, Saturday October 12; @ Wofford – 5am, Monday October 14

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Saint Francis University – 6am, Saturday October 12; @ Robert Morris – 7am, Monday October 14

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v Kansas City – 1pm, Friday October 11

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: v UC Irvine – 4pm, Friday October 11

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: v James Madison – 10am, Friday October 11; @ Delaware – 4am, Monday October 14

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: v Michigan – 11am, Saturday October 12; v Michigan State – 5am, Monday October 14

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: @ Saint Louis – 5am, Monday October 14

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Arkansas – 10am, Friday October 11; @ Alabama – 5am, Monday October 14

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: v UTSA – 3am, Monday October 14

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: v Florida – 11am, Friday October 11; @ Georgia – 6am, Monday October 14

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

This week: v McNeese State – 8am, Saturday October 12

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: @ Omaha – 11am, Friday October 11; @ Oral Roberts – 4am, Monday October 14

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Middle Tennessee State – 10am, Saturday October 2

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: @ Fordham – 4am, Monday October 14

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Eastern Kentucky – 7am, Saturday October 12; @ Morehead State – 5am, Monday October 14

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ Oregon – 6am, Monday October 14

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: @ West Virginia – 10am, Friday October 11; v Kansas – 5am, Monday October 14

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: v Colorado – 11am, Friday October 11; v Utah – 7am, Monday October 14

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: v Vermont – 4am, Monday October 14

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: @ Wofford – 10am, Saturday October 12; @ Furman – 5am, Monday October 14

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: v San Jose State – 8am, Saturday October 12; v Fresno State – 6am, Monday October 14

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