2023 Week 3 Preview

Although only two weeks have passed this season, already storylines are beginning to emerge, with players returning from injury, increasing their role, or even seeing their role change entirely from the beginning of their college career. Of course, there are a couple of Aussie v Aussie games, and the two this week are particularly intriguing.

Two west coast teams in orange face off this week, with an Aussie on either side as Katie Godden’s Oregon State v take on Libby Davy and Pacific. Any match involving Aussies is worth keeping an eye on, but this one could be especially tasty. Not only have Oregon State compiled a 2-1 record and Pacific a 2-1-1 record to this point, but with Godden part of the Beavers’ attack and Davy starting between the sticks for Pacific, the two players appear set to be direct opponents this weekend. Will this game see the reigning College Matildas Player of the Year score the first goal for her new team, or could we perhaps see Davy come away with the first clean sheet of her college career?

Meanwhile, Grambling State have already picked up a win over Murray State and a draw with Lamar, and with Aimee Benton playing the full 90 minutes in that 0-0 result against the Cardinals, the freshman goalkeeper now comes up against Little Rock and their four Australians. The Trojans started the season with a pair of draws but challenged themselves with a trip to Oklahoma State and fell to a heavy 8-0 defeat, so will be hungry to make amends for that loss. All four Aussies have seen playing time for Little Rock early in the season, so there should be no shortage of players to watch in this one.

Previously listed as a defender, the charade is over and VCU junior Greta Kraszula is now on the Rams’ roster as a midfielder, which in and of itself is intriguing before we even look at the team’s schedule for the weekend. First up, the 1-2-1 Rams take on Big Ten side Maryland, and although the Terrapins play in a major conference, they have only won eight games across the last three seasons and have three draws and a loss from their four games to this point. The real measuring stick, however, will be the game against national powerhouse Virginia. The Cavaliers have suffered a couple of injuries to major players, but have scored 13 goals in 4 games so far without conceding, and that includes a 0-0 draw with Michigan as they banged home four or more in each of their other three games. With Stanford coming to town next week as well, solid performances in their last three games before conference play starts could send Kraszula and VCU into their A-10 schedule on a high.

Staying in the Atlantic 10, one of the best storylines to emerge from the early part of the season is the uninterrupted presence of Hannah Peric for Massachusetts. This week, the Minutewomen host Syracuse, a team that had followed a similar trajectory to the aforementioned Maryland team in previous season, playing in a major conference but not having a lot of success. However, 2022 saw the Orange pick up eight wins as they appear to be on an upward trajectory. Despite Massachusetts sitting at 1-1-2 through four games, they are probably a good enough team to have flipped one of those draws into a win, so can certainly pick up a win in this one. They will then need to avoid a potential banana skin game against Bryant, who sit at 1-1-1 and drew with the same Stony Brook outfit that Massachusetts defeated. With Peric coming off a performance against Yale in which she had 3 shots on target, the Manly United product looks set to be dangerous at both ends of the pitch.

After having a potentially record-shattering season interrupted by a fractured leg in 2022, Molly Arens may be easing her way back into things with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but the signs grow more promising with every game that the Novocastrian is close to returning to her best. This week sees the Islanders play in two eminently winnable games against Prairie View A&M and Sam Houston State, and will definitely come in favoured in the first of those two games. Prairie View A&M tumbled from 12 wins in 2021 to a single victory in 2021, and a 7-0 loss last week to Incarnate Word does not inspire confidence. Meanwhile, it has been a couple of years since the Islanders played Sam Houston State but prior to that, this matchup was a regular fixture and the teams have generally played each other fairly close. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi may be sitting 1-3 as things stand, but challenged themselves early in the piece with a trip to Florida Gulf Coast and Florida Atlantic and could yet finish non-conference play with four or five wins. Arens moved into the starting lineup for those games in the Sunshine State, and hopefully that is a sign that a return to more extended playing time is not far away, with the midfielder having yet to play more than 53 minutes in any one appearance.

Alabama State (Madison Chambers, Grace Norbury)

This week: v Talladega – 7:00AM, Saturday September 2; @ Troy – 9:00AM, Monday September 4

Bellarmine (Teagan Douglas)

This week: @ Evansville – 10:00AM, Friday September 1; v Chicago St. – 4:00AM, Monday September 4

Butler (Claire Farrington)

This week: v IUPUI – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; v Baylor – 3:00AM, Monday September 4

Central Michigan (Shivani Battaglia)

This week: @ Cincinnati – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; @ Louisville – 9:30AM, Monday September 4

Coastal Carolina (Asha McClurg)

This week: v North Dakota St. – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; @ South Carolina – 8:00AM, Monday September 4

Dartmouth (Kate Ryan)

This week: v Colgate – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; @ Merrimack – 3:00AM, Monday September 4

Denver (Isabella Chidiac)

This week: v Northern Colo. – 11:00AM, Friday September 1; v NC State – 4:00AM, Monday September 4

Eastern Kentucky (Sophie MacAlpine)

This week: @ DePaul – 7:00AM, Friday September 1; v Eastern Mich. – 3:00AM, Monday September 4

Grambling State (Aimee Benton)

This week: @ Tarleton St. – 2:00AM, Saturday September 2; v Little Rock – 2:00PM, Monday September 4

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia)

This week: @ Air Force – 11:00AM, Friday September 1; @ UNLV – 5:00AM, Monday September 4

High Point (Meg Roden)

This week: v FGCU – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; v East Carolina – 6:00AM, Monday September 4

Illinois (Isabel Rolley)

This week: @ Louisville – 9:30AM, Friday September 1; @ Kentucky – 4:00AM, Monday September 4

Kent State (Lua Suero)

This week: v Arizona – 6:00AM, Friday September 1; @ Arizona St. – 3:00AM, Monday September 4

La Salle (Courtney Butlion)

This week: v Seton Hall – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; v Bucknell – 3:00AM, Monday September 4

Little Rock (Cameron Barreiro, Emily Jensen, Candice Kilderry, Bronte Peel)

This week: v Central Ark. – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; @ Grambling – 2:00PM, Monday September 4

Long Island (Matilda Boyle, Isabella Stein)

This week: @ NJIT – 4:00AM, Friday September 1; @ Manhattan – 1:00AM, Monday September 4

Louisiana (Emma Bates)

This week: @ Fla. Atlantic – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; @ FIU – 3:00AM, Monday September 4

Maine (Lara Kirkby)

This week: @ Merrimack – 6:00AM, Friday September 1; @ Sacred Heart – 2:00AM, Monday September 4

Massachusetts (Hannah Peric)

This week: v Syracuse – 6:00AM, Friday September 1; v Bryant – 3:00AM, Monday September 4

Morehead State (Natasha Tanner)

This week: @ Austin Peay – 4:00AM, Monday September 4

Northwestern State (Caitlin Le Roux)

This week: @ Southern Miss. – 7:00AM, Friday September 1; v Alabama A&M – 10:00AM, Monday September 4

Oral Roberts (Layla Lopez)

This week: @ Missouri St. – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; v North Texas – 10:00AM, Monday September 4

Oregon State (Katie Godden)

This week: v Pacific – 12:00PM, Friday September 1; v Portland – 8:00AM, Monday September 4

Pacific (Libby Davy)

This week: @ Oregon St. – 12:00PM, Friday September 1; @ New Mexico St. – 5:00AM, Monday September 4

Rider (Eloise Jones)

This week: v UAlbany – 6:00AM, Friday September 1; v Delaware St. – 4:00AM, Monday September 4

Santa Clara (Holly Furphy)

This week: v Columbia – 12:30PM, Friday September 1; v James Madison – 6:00AM, Monday September 4

Seton Hall (Grace Mitchell, Sarah Mitchell)

This week: @ La Salle – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; @ Marist – 2:00PM, Monday September 4

Siena (Iona Snape)

This week: v New Hampshire – 6:00AM, Friday September 1; @ Holy Cross – 3:00AM, Monday September 4

Southern Illinois (Chantelle Symes)

This week: @ SIUE – 10:00AM, Friday September 1; @ Lindenwood – 4:00AM, Monday September 4

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Molly Arens)

This week: @ Prairie View – 10:00AM, Saturday September 2; @ Sam Houston – 4:00AM, Monday September 4

UAB (Abbey Burns)

This week: @ TCU – 10:00AM, Friday September 1; @ SFA – 2:00AM, Monday September 4

UMBC (Isobel Davy, Annaliese Grove)

This week: @ Towson – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; v George Washington – 6:00AM, Monday September 4

UNC Asheville (Jasmine Barry)

This week: v Wofford – 8:00AM, Friday September 1; v Furman – 2:00AM, Monday September 4

USC (Talia Grossman)

This week: v Purdue – 8:00AM, Friday September 1

VCU (Greta Kraszula)

This week: v Maryland – 9:00AM, Friday September 1; @ Virginia – 4:00AM, Monday September 4

About Lachy 364 Articles
Founder of College Matildas. An Australian women's football fan who also happens to be a college sports fan. Often found at A-League Women or NPLW games.

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