(Photo: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)
We started with five, and three teams featuring Aussies remain alive following the second round of the NCAA Tournament. All three Pac-12 teams advanced, with UCLA and Stanford cruising, and Washington State securing a deserved upset over #1 seed Virginia in a thrilling encounter.
Stanford (Beattie Goad) v Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)
Final Score: Stanford defeated Hofstra 4-0
Three Aussies featured across the two rosters in what would be the final college game for either Beattie Goad or Monique Iannella. Eventually, it was Goad, the only one of the three to take to the pitch, and Stanford who secured the 4-0 victory courtesy of a second-half barrage. Hofstra had largely kept Stanford in check throughout the first 45 minutes, with a third-minute goal for Madison Haley the only tally of the first half. However, three goals in the space of less than four minutes blew the game wide open as Stanford’s one-goal advantage became four in the blink of an eye. With no more goals forthcoming, the Cardinal would cruise to a spot in the Sweet Sixteen, whilst Hofstra’s season came to an end.
Beattie Goad was the only Aussie to see any playing time, finishing with a pair of shots in a 46-minute outing off the bench.
Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)
Second Round: lost 3-2 to Michigan
A whirlwind start and a whirlwind finish kept this game exciting throughout the contest, but in the end, Demi Koulizakis and her Texas Tech side bowed out of the competition, bringing an end to Koulizakis’ college career. The Red Raiders shipped a goal early to fall in a 1-0 hole, but responded almost just as quickly to knot things up at 1-1 after 22 minutes. Michigan would add goals in the 63rd and 84th minutes to put themselves up 3-1, but Texas Tech refused to lie down. It was Koulizakis herself providing the assist on Savanna Jones’ 89th minute goal to ensure a frenetic last couple of minutes, but Michigan held on for the 3-2 victory to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
Koulizakis would play 67 minutes in what turned out to be her final college game, tallying a shot as well as the assist for her team’s second goal.
UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)
Second Round: defeated Clemson 5-0
Clemson had found it tough to score in their opening round game against Vanderbilt, progressing on penalties after a 0-0 draw, and little changed against Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah, and UCLA. There was just one little problem for the Tigers: UCLA had far more success than Vanderbilt at putting the ball in the back of the net. With the scoreboard reading 4-0 at halftime, the game was effectively over as a contest by the time the teams headed to the locker rooms. A fifth goal nine minutes from time ensured that the Bruins would have more goals than Teagan Micah would have saves, as the senior shut down Clemson on four occasions in a complete game performance.
Rachel Lowe enjoyed an extended stint off the bench, playing 53 minutes in midfield in the rout.
Washington State (Aly Hay)
Second Round: defeated Virginia 3-2
In one of the most exciting matches of a day filled with thrillers, Washington State managed to pull out the upset over #1 seed Virginia. The Cougars opened up a 1-0 lead just 12 minutes into the contest, only to be pulled back by the Cavaliers just 6 minutes later. Star attacker Morgan Weaver would restore Washington State’s advantage on the half-hour mark, but Virginia came out firing after halftime and it seemed all but inevitable that an equaliser would follow. Just seven minutes into the second half, the goal came to tie the game at 2-2, but there would be one final twist in the tale. With just 8 minutes to play, Weaver teed up MacKenzie Frimpong-Ellertson for what would turn out to be the winning goal in a famous upset victory on the road.
As backup goalkeeper, Aly Hay did not feature for the Cougars as star custodian Ella Dederick played out the full 90 minutes.