2023 Week 9 Wrap

As the regular season nears its conclusion, results become more and more important, and the margin for error approaches zero. Teams found that out in both positive and negative fashions this week, with several Aussies securing conference tournament spots but others seeing their postseason hopes disappear. However, even despite some negative results, certain players were still able to produce highlights.

Little Rock came into the weekend needing a win to maintain their position in top 8 of the Ohio Valley Conference, and it was the Aussies coming to the fore as the Trojans knocked off Eastern Illinois 4-2 to finish the weekend two points ahead of the Panthers. Little Rock fell behind early to a 16th minute goal, and indeed still trailed 1-0 at halftime. However, Bronte Peel scored the equaliser in the 55th minute, and from that moment, the Trojans took control. Peel added a second on the hour mark, before Candice Kilderry added another 16 minutes later. The Trojans would take a 4-1 lead with their fourth goal in 26 minutes, with Eastern Illinois’ penalty in the 88th minute little more than a consolation piece. With just two games remaining in the regular season, the Trojans now sit three points clear in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament qualification places.

A top-two berth in the Southland Conference now seems out of reach for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but Molly Arens ensured the Islanders remain within touching distance of third spot following her second goal in as many weeks in a win over Texas A&M-Commerce. An scramble in the box following a free kick in the 33rd minute saw the Islanders eventually rattle off a shot from the edge of the area, with the ball eventually cannoning skyward off the bar. With time appearing to stand still and the goalkeeper still yet to recover from the attempted save off the initial shot, Arens found herself directly under the ball to head it home and put her team up 1-0. Texas A&M-Commerce responded in the 72nd minute, but an 87th minute winner secured three crucial points for an Islanders side that had been outshot 17-9. Unfortunately, the Islanders couldn’t make it six points from six as Caitlin Le Roux and Northwestern State took full advantage of an opposition missing nine players to secure a 2-0 win.

The weekend’s results see the Islanders sit in fourth place, a point behind third placed McNeese State but having played one more game than the Cowgirls. Meanwhile, Le Roux and Northwestern State sit in equal sixth, three points clear of the chasing pack in the race for a berth in the seven-team conference tournament, but having also played one game more than eighth-placed Incarnate Word.

A win has been a long time coming for Alabama State this season, but the Hornets won a thriller against Mississippi Valley State, with Grace Norbury front and centre for the team from Montgomery. It was a tough start for the Hornets, who conceded two goals in the first seven minutes before going down 3-0 in the 34th minute. Mercifully, a pair of strikes in the space of 46 seconds shortly before halftime dragged Alabama State back in the contest, before finding the equaliser just 90 seconds after the break. Having clawed their way back into the game, finding a winner took far longer than the previous three goals, but Norbury found the back of the net in the 72nd minute to put her side up 4-3. Alabama State managed to keep the Devilettes to just two shots in the final 18 minutes, holding out their opponents and securing a crucial victory that significantly increased their chances of conference tournament qualification. Norbury played 89 minutes in the win, with Madi Chambers coming off the bench to play 52 minutes. Unfortunately, Jacquelline Kambere did not feature for Mississippi Valley State.

Bellarmine’s chances of reaching the postseason unfortunately ended this week, but that didn’t stop Teagan Douglas from notching a first collegiate assist as part of what has been a stellar freshman year for the defender. Douglas had one of two assists on Bellarmine’s second goal against Stetson as some outstanding ball movement down the right wing culminated in a 2-0 advantage. Unfortunately, the next three goals of the game would be scored by Stetson, as a comeback that started in the 59th minute was finished in the 84th as the Knights’ slim conference tournament chances were extinguished with the loss. Despite the result, Douglas’ season has been a massive bright spot for Bellarmine, with a game against fellow Australian, Sophie MacAlpine, and Eastern Kentucky next week left to round out the campaign.

Finally, we have arrived at the point in the season in which teams mathematically clinch conference tournament berths or find themselves out of contention. As things stand, the following teams and Aussies have clinched a conference tournament spot:

America East: Maine (Lara Kirkby)
ASUN: Eastern Kentucky (Sophie MacAlpine)
Atlantic 10: La Salle (Courtney Butlion)
Ohio Valley: Morehead State (Natasha Tanner)
Summit League: Denver (Isabella Chidiac)
SWAC: Grambling State (Aimee Benton)

Unfortunately, that also means a few teams had their conference tournament hopes extinguished over the weekend. These included:

America East: UMBC (Isy Davy, Annie Grove)
ASUN: Bellarmine (Teagan Douglas)
Missouri Valley: Southern Illinois (Chantelle Symes)

The Pac-12 does not feature a conference tournament, with the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament going to the regular season champion. Unfortunately, Katie Godden and Oregon State saw their chances of securing this league championship fall by the wayside following this weekend’s results.

Complete Results

Alabama State (Madison Chambers, Grace Norbury)

This week: lost 3-1 to Alcorn; defeated Mississippi Val. 4-3

Grace Norbury was all but ever-present for Alabama State this week, registering three shots with one on target in a complete game performance against Alcorn State, and scoring the winner in an 89-minute performance against Mississippi Valley State. Madi Chambers did not feature against Alcorn State, but played 52 minutes off the bench against Mississippi Valley State.

Bellarmine (Teagan Douglas)

This week: lost 1-0 to FGCU; lost 3-2 to Stetson

Teagan Douglas played the full 90 minutes in both games this week, registering a shot on target against Florida Gulf Coast and an assist on Bellarmine’s second goal against Stetson.

Butler (Claire Farrington)

This week: lost 3-1 to St. John’s (NY); drew 0-0 with UConn

Claire Farrington started both games for Butler this week, playing 79 minutes against St. John’s but being forced off after 25 minutes against UConn.

Central Michigan (Shivani Battaglia)

This week: drew 1-1 with Ohio; drew 0-0 with Akron

Shivani Battaglia did not feature for Central Michigan in either game this week.

Coastal Carolina (Asha McClurg)

This week: drew 2-2 with Troy

Asha McClurg did not feature in Coastal Carolina’s draw with Troy.

Dartmouth (Kate Ryan)

This week: drew 1-1 with Penn

Kate Ryan did not feature in Dartmouth’s draw with Penn.

Denver (Isabella Chidiac)

This week: defeated Kansas City 1-0

Isabella Chidiac did not feature in Denver’s win over Kansas City.

Eastern Kentucky (Sophie MacAlpine)

This week: lost 1-0 to Stetson; drew 1-1 with FGCU

Sophie MacAlpine did not feature for Eastern Kentucky in either game this week.

Grambling State (Aimee Benton)

This week: defeated South Carolina St. 5-0

Aimee Benton played the second half of Grambling State’s win over South Carolina State, making a single save.

High Point (Meg Roden)

This week: defeated Charleston So. 3-1

Meg Roden started in High Point’s win over Charleston Southern, playing 58 minutes.

Illinois (Isabel Rolley)

This week: lost 1-0 to Wisconsin; defeated Purdue 2-1

Isabel Rolley came off the bench for Illinois in both games this week, playing 48 minutes against Wisconsin and 41 minutes in the win over Purdue.

Kent State (Lua Suero)

This week: defeated Bowling Green 2-0; lost 2-1 to NIU

Lua Suero did not feature for Kent State in either game this week.

La Salle (Courtney Butlion)

This week: defeated Fordham 2-1; defeated Duquesne 4-1

Courtney Butlion did not feature for La Salle against Fordham, but came off the bench to tally a shot on target in 15 minutes of action against Duquesne.

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

This week: defeated Eastern Ill. 4-2

Bronte Peel started in Little Rock’s win over Eastern Illinois, banging home two goals with her three shots in 66 minutes of action. Candice Kilderry came off the bench to also score a goal during her 32 minutes on the pitch. Cameron Barreiro came off the bench to play 29 minutes, whilst Emily Jensen did not feature this week.

Long Island (Matilda Boyle, Isabella Stein)

This week: drew 0-0 with Saint Francis (PA); lost 3-1 to Howard

Izzy Stein started for Long Island against Saint Francis, registering a shot in 65 minutes before coming off the bench to play 9 minutes against Howard. Matilda Boyle came off the bench in both games, playing 28 minutes against Saint Francis and 6 minutes against Howard.

Louisiana (Emma Bates)

This week: lost 5-0 to South Alabama

Emma Bates started for Louisiana in their loss to South Alabama, playing 76 minutes.

Maine (Lara Kirkby)

This week: lost 2-0 to UMass Lowell; defeated Bryant 2-0

Lara Kirkby played all 90 minutes in both games this week, tallying 3 shots with 2 on target against UMass Lowell and another two shots on target in the win over Bryant.

Massachusetts (Hannah Peric)

This week: lost 6-0 to Saint Louis

Hannah Peric started in Massachusetts’ loss to Saint Louis, playing 84 minutes.

Mississippi Valley State (Jacquelline Kambere)

This week: lost 3-2 to Alabama A&M; lost 4-3 to Alabama St.

Jacquelline Kambere did not feature for Mississippi Valley State in either game this week.

Morehead State (Natasha Tanner)

This week: defeated Lindenwood 2-0

Natasha Tanner did not feature in Morehead State’s win over Lindenwood.

Northwestern State (Caitlin Le Roux)

This week: lost 2-0 to McNeese; defeated A&M-Corpus Christi 2-0

Caitlin Le Roux started for Northwestern State in both games this week, playing 80 minutes against McNeese State and the full 90 minutes in the win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Oral Roberts (Layla Lopez)

This week: lost 3-2 to North Dakota

Layla Lopez did not feature in Oral Roberts’ loss to North Dakota.

Oregon State (Katie Godden)

This week: drew 0-0 with Arizona

Katie Godden started in Oregon State’s draw with Arizona, registering a shot in an hour of play.

Pacific (Libby Davy)

This week: lost 5-1 to Santa Clara

Libby Davy did not feature in Pacific’s loss to Santa Clara.

Santa Clara (Holly Furphy)

This week: defeated Pacific 5-1

Holly Furphy came off the bench in Santa Clara’s win over Pacific, notching two shots on target in 32 minutes of play.

Siena (Iona Snape)

This week: lost 3-2 to Quinnipiac

Iona Snape came off the bench in Siena’s loss to Quinnipiac, playing 58 minutes.

Southern Illinois (Chantelle Symes)

This week: lost 2-1 to Valparaiso; lost 2-1 to Murray St.

Chantelle Symes made three saves in a complete game performance against Valparaiso, but did not feature in the loss to Murray State.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Molly Arens)

This week: defeated Tex. A&M-Commerce 2-1; lost 2-0 to Northwestern St.

Molly Arens started both games for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi this week, scoring with her only shot in 64 minutes of action against Texas A&M-Commerce and playing 41 minutes in the loss to Northwestern State.

UAB (Abbey Burns)

This week: drew 1-1 with UTSA; defeated Rice 2-1

Abbey Burns played the full 90 minutes on both occasions this week, tallying a shot against UTSA.

UMBC (Isobel Davy, Annaliese Grove)

This week: lost 4-0 to UAlbany; drew 3-3 with UMass Lowell

Annie Grove started both games for UMBC this week, playing 73 minutes against Albany and 79 minutes against UMass Lowell. Isy Davy did not feature for the Retrievers this week.

UNC Asheville (Jasmine Barry)

This week: lost 1-0 to Gardner-Webb

Jasmine Barry started in UNC Asheville’s loss to Gardner-Webb, playing 64 minutes.

USC (Talia Grossman)

This week: drew 1-1 with Colorado

Talia Grossman did not feature in USC’s draw with Colorado.

VCU (Greta Kraszula)

This week: defeated St. Bonaventure 1-0

Greta Kraszula played the full 90 minutes in VCU’s win over St. Bonaventure, tallying a shot in the process.

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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