2023 Week 9 Preview

Week 9 marks the 75% mark of the regular season, and we are getting close to the point at which teams either start securing their position in conference tournaments, or nervously look at calculators and spreadsheets as other results begin to affect their chances of qualifying. Whilst no Aussies are quite in the latter position yet, there are certainly teams that need results this week either to push for a high conference tournament seeding or to qualify in the first place.

Aussie-laden Alabama State and Mississippi Valley State find themselves in a scrap for one of the final positions in the SWAC Tournament this year, and this week the two sides face off in a crucial contest. The Hornets find themselves on just a single point through four games, but that does leave them with two games in hand on Mississippi Valley State, whom they trail by two points. Intriguingly, the bottom four sides in the league as things stand all play each other in the final few weeks of the season, so plenty could change between now and the end of the regular season. All three Aussies look increasingly likely to see the pitch in this one, with Grace Norbury a mainstay in midfield for Alabama State, and Madison Chambers and Jacquelline Kambere seeing regular minutes off the bench for the Hornets and Devilettes respectively.  

Meanwhile, not far away in the Southland Conference, two more Aussies face off as their respective teams come into this game with strikingly different short-term goals. Fresh off a goal courtesy of a sumptuous free kick, Molly Arens and her Texas A&M-Corpus Christi currently sit third in the league and will be looking to cement as high a finish as possible, with the Islanders also set to host the conference tournament this year. Meanwhile, Caitlin Le Roux and her Northwestern State outfit find themselves in a four-way tie for fifth in a league that qualifies seven teams to its conference tournament. Whilst the Demons probably need the win more for their season prospects, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi still harbour hopes of a top-two finish, particularly with a game against second-placed Texas A&M-Commerce to come before this clash of Aussies. Both Arens and Le Roux are regular starters for their respective sides, making this game one to keep an eye on.

In the Atlantic 10, the matchup between Massachusetts and Saint Louis is already one to watch as the title battle heats up, and the presence of Hannah Peric makes it almost unmissable for Aussie fans. As per usual, Saint Louis are raging hot favourites to win the Atlantic 10, but a draw with fellow contenders Dayton earlier in the season means that three teams are within two points of the Billikens. Peric and the Minutewomen are one of those teams, meaning that a win in this game would move them above Saint Louis with just two games remaining in the regular season. Peric, and indeed the entire Massachusetts defence, has been exemplary this season, conceding just nine goals in 14 games. They will need to be at their best once again, as Saint Louis have banged home 39 goals in 14 games of their own in 2023. Massachusetts may be underdogs on the road in this game, but college soccer has proven time and again that absolute dominance on the pitch does not always translate into results.

Libby Davy and Holly Furphy have already faced off once this season as Pacific played Santa Clara in non-conference play, but there is far more on the line in the sequel as this game will count towards the West Coast Conference standings. Furphy and the Broncos have every reason to be confident, currently sitting at 9-2-2 and on a three-game winning streak that includes a 6-0 win in that aforementioned game against Pacific. Meanwhile, Pacific snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over San Diego to sit at 7-6-1. However, with no conference tournament in the WCC, a miracle run to a conference championship is the only way Pacific will reach the NCAA Tournament this season, so they will have to make that win the start of a streak, particularly as they face current league leaders Gonzaga in their very next game after facing Santa Clara. Holly Furphy has regularly seen playing time off the bench for the Broncos, whilst Libby Davy has played the majority of the minutes for the Tigers this season. However, the South Australian did not feature in Pacific’s last game, so it remains to be seen if the freshman will return between the sticks this week.

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Madison Chambers, Grace Norbury)

This week: @ Alcorn – 10:00AM, Saturday October 14; @ Mississippi Val. – 5:00AM, Monday October 16

Bellarmine (Teagan Douglas)

This week: v FGCU – 10:00AM, Friday October 13; v Stetson – 4:00AM, Monday October 16

Butler (Claire Farrington)

This week: @ St. John’s (NY) – 10:00AM, Friday October 13; v UConn – 4:00AM, Monday October 16

Central Michigan (Shivani Battaglia)

This week: @ Ohio – 7:00AM, Friday October 13; v Akron – 4:00AM, Monday October 16

Coastal Carolina (Asha McClurg)

This week: @ Troy – 8:00AM, Sunday October 15

Dartmouth (Kate Ryan)

This week: @ Penn – 5:00AM, Sunday October 15

Denver (Isabella Chidiac)

This week: v Kansas City – 11:00AM, Friday October 13

Eastern Kentucky (Sophie MacAlpine)

This week: v Stetson – 7:00AM, Friday October 13; v FGCU – 3:00AM, Monday October 16

Grambling State (Aimee Benton)

This week: v South Carolina St. – 4:00AM, Saturday October 14

High Point (Meg Roden)

This week: v Charleston So. – 7:00AM, Sunday October 15

Illinois (Isabel Rolley)

This week: v Wisconsin – 11:00AM, Friday October 13; v Purdue – 5:00AM, Monday October 16

Kent State (Lua Suero)

This week: @ Bowling Green – 10:00AM, Friday October 13; v NIU – 4:00AM, Monday October 16

La Salle (Courtney Butlion)

This week: v Fordham – 10:00AM, Friday October 13; @ Duquesne – 4:00AM, Monday October 16

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

This week: @ Eastern Ill. – 4:00AM, Monday October 16

Long Island (Matilda Boyle, Isabella Stein)

This week: v Saint Francis (PA) – 6:00AM, Friday October 13; @ Howard – 4:00AM, Monday October 16

Louisiana (Emma Bates)

This week: @ South Alabama – 5:00AM, Monday October 16

Maine (Lara Kirkby)

This week: @ UMass Lowell – 10:00AM, Friday October 13; v Bryant – 4:00AM, Monday October 16

Massachusetts (Hannah Peric)

This week: @ Saint Louis – 11:00AM, Friday October 13

Mississippi Valley State (Jacquelline Kambere)

This week: v Alabama A&M – 7:00AM, Saturday October 14; v Alabama St. – 5:00AM, Monday October 16

Morehead State (Natasha Tanner)

This week: v Lindenwood – 3:00PM, Monday October 16

Northwestern State (Caitlin Le Roux)

This week: @ McNeese – 11:00AM, Saturday October 14; v A&M-Corpus Christi – 5:00AM, Monday October 16

Oral Roberts (Layla Lopez)

This week: @ North Dakota – 5:00AM, Saturday October 14

Oregon State (Katie Godden)

This week: v Arizona – 1:00PM, Saturday October 14

Pacific (Libby Davy)

This week: v Santa Clara – 7:30AM, Sunday October 15

Santa Clara (Holly Furphy)

This week: @ Pacific – 7:30AM, Sunday October 15

Siena (Iona Snape)

This week: v Quinnipiac – 4:00AM, Sunday October 15

Southern Illinois (Chantelle Symes)

This week: v Valparaiso – 10:00AM, Friday October 13; @ Murray St. – 5:00AM, Monday October 16

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Molly Arens)

This week: @ Tex. A&M-Commerce – 11:00AM, Saturday October 14; @ Northwestern St. – 5:00AM, Monday October 16

UAB (Abbey Burns)

This week: v UTSA – 11:00AM, Friday October 13; v Rice – 3:00AM, Monday October 16

UMBC (Isobel Davy, Annaliese Grove)

This week: @ UAlbany – 10:00AM, Friday October 13; v UMass Lowell – 4:00AM, Monday October 16

UNC Asheville (Jasmine Barry)

This week: @ Gardner-Webb – 7:00AM, Sunday October 15

USC (Talia Grossman)

This week: v Colorado – 6:00AM, Sunday October 15

VCU (Greta Kraszula)

This week: @ St. Bonaventure – 4:00AM, Monday October 16

About Lachy 386 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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