Aussies remain in the hunt for four different national championships as well as at California Community College Athletic Association level, and although the numbers are getting slim, there remain a number of players whose teams could make deep runs in their respective tournaments.
In the NCAA Division I Tournament, #8 seed Santa Clara will come in as underdogs, but their match against #1 Notre Dame will be worth the price of admission just to see Izzy D’Aquila and Korbin Albert on the pitch at the same time. Both players are absolutely electric to watch, and this game provides a great chance to see two stars of college soccer in the same contest. Should Holly Furphy’s team manage to secure the win, they would take on the winner of #4 seed Michigan State and #5 seed TCU. Furphy continues to sit with an injury, but her teammates will no doubt do her proud.
Meanwhile, Amy Sayer may not have featured for the Matildas in their games against Sweden and Thailand, but that just means that the junior will return to Stanford well-rested before they travel to Chapel Hill to face BYU on neutral turf. Intriguingly, BYU already have experience on this pitch in 2022, having played North Carolina in a preseason exhibition, a game they lost 2-0. However, BYU are always a solid outfit, and will pose problems for Stanford. However, the Cardinal would generally be expected to progress, particularly having won the Pac-12 championship ahead of the likes of USC and UCLA. The winner of this match will face the winner of North Carolina and Georgia, making for a potential rematch of the 2019 NCAA Division I Championship game between UNC and Stanford, which Beattie Goad and Stanford won on penalties.
Moving to NCAA Division II, there is but one Australian left, and Brianna Trappett’s Franklin Pierce side will face #1 seed Saint Rose in the Sweet Sixteen. These teams have already faced off once this season, with Saint Rose securing a 3-1 non-conference victory at home in Albany. This match will be played on the very same patch of grass as Saint Rose earned hosting rights as the #1 seed, but with any hope, Trappett and her teammates can reverse the result against a team that has already knocked one Aussie – Jefferson’s Olivia Riddel – out of the NCAA Tournament this season.
The NJCAA Division I National Championship reaches its conclusion this week, with Amelia Suma and Isabel Andrews still in the hunt for a title as Salt Lake reached the semi-finals courtesy of two wins from two games in the pool stage. As the lowest remaining seed in the competition, Salt Lake will take on #1 seed Tyler. Tyler has reached the national championship game every year since 2016, and won three of the last five championships. This match will also serve as a repeat of the 2020 championship game, which Tyler won 2-0. However, that is history, and this is the present, and getting two more wins this weekend is the only thing that matters.
The NAIA Tournament kicks off this week, with Aussies on five of the 40 teams lining up this weekend at regional tournaments around the country. Two Aussies will host regionals, with Georgia Little’s Keiser and Georgia Martell’s Cumberlands both earning #1 seeds after posting outstanding regular season records. Meanwhile, Lauren Woodcock and Campbellsville, D’arne Boato’s Georgia Gwinnett, and a Jamestown side featuring Gaby Sarkis will all be looking to pick up two wins this weekend and advance to the final round in Orange Beach, Alabama, which kicks off on November 29.
Finally, looking towards the west coast, the California Community College Athletic Association postseason commences this week, with a Santa Barbara City College side featuring Dakota Thyssen and Maisie Moore earning a bye through to the second round of the SoCal Regional. The #7 seed in the bracket, the Vaqueros fill face the winner of #10 Southwestern and #23 Golden West in the second round. Three wins will be enough for Santa Barbara to advance to the State Championship, with the final match of each part of the regional bracket being played on November 27.
(All Times AEDT)
NCAA Division I Tournament
#8 Santa Clara (Holly Furphy)
Second Round: @ #1 Notre Dame – 10am, Saturday November 19
Stanford (Amy Sayer)
#3 Second Round: v #6 BYU – 7am, Friday November 18
NCAA Division II Tournament
#2 Franklin Pierce (Brianna Trappett)
Sweet Sixteen: @ #1 Saint Rose – 7am, Saturday November 19
NJCAA Division I National Championship
#10 Salt Lake (Isabel Andrews, Amelia Suma)
Semi-Final: v #1 Tyler – 8am, Friday November 18
NAIA National Tournament
#2 Campbellsville (Lauren Woodcock)
First Round: v #3 MidAmerica Nazarene – 12pm, Friday November 18
#1 Cumberlands (Georgia Martell)
First Round: v #4 IU Kokomo – 7:30am, Friday November 18
#4 Georgia Gwinnett (D’arne Boato)
First Round: @ #1 Southeastern – 7:30am, Friday November 18
#3 Jamestown (Gaby Sarkis)
First Round: v #2 Aquinas – 4am, Friday November 18
#1 Keiser (Georgia Little)
First Round: v #4 Westcliff – 3am, Friday November 18
CCCAA SoCal Regional
#7 Santa Barbara City College (Maisie Moore, Dakota Thyssen)
Second Round: TBA – Sunday November 20