2017 Week 4 Wrap

Two-goal performances were the order of the week among the Aussies, as Harriet Withers and Alisha Bass each notched braces to lead their teams to wins. Jemma House also picked up her first college goal, and is there a new defensive star emerging at Hofstra?

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It may have been Bill Withers who sang Lean On Me, but it’s Harriet Withers that Murray State are leaning on with regards to goalscoring at the moment, with the senior delivering yet again in a thrilling win over Arkansas-Little Rock this week. Withers capitalised on a mistake from the UALR goalkeeper to bang home Murray State’s third, but the Trojans came back from 3-1 down to force overtime. However, Withers was on hand again in the first minute of golden goal, bending a shot home from the edge of the area to hand the Racers a 4-3 win and keep their perfect record intact at 5-0.

Wyoming scored three goals this week, and they had their Australian attackers to thank for all three. Despite falling 2-1 to Utah Valley, Jemma House came up with her first collegiate goal, a just reward for a performance that saw the junior get into plenty of good positions before finally being able to send one home.

The Cowgirls then took on local rivals Northern Colorado, and Alisha Bass was the undoubted star. Wyoming had not beaten the Bears in the whole time that the senior had been with the team, but two first half goals ensured herself and fellow Australian senior Georgia Rowntree would get to lift the trophy at their final opportunity.

Stanford cruised to a pair of absolute demolitions this week, scoring a ridiculous 15 goals across their two games, with Beattie Goad starting in both contests. The sophomore played 49 minutes in the 8-0 win over San Francisco, but had to wait until the 7-0 win over Yale to see some tangible reward for her work. Picking up the ball on the left flank, Goad sailed in a cross from deep that Sam Tran headed home with real velocity for the Cardinal’s third goal. Goad would play 41 minutes in the win as coach Paul Ratcliffe employed a high level of rotation with the game in the bag by halftime courtesy of five first-half goals for Stanford.

UCLA travelled across the country to Virginia for a Top 10 matchup, with Teagan Micah proving vital yet again for the top team in the nation. In a game where UCLA were deadly with the shots they did take, the Bruins came up with two goals on just three on-target shots. However, without Micah keeping out four of the five Virginia shots which were headed for the goal, including a couple of absolute pearlers, UCLA’s time at the top would have been short-lived. Instead, the Bruins escaped with a 2-1 win to head back to Los Angeles in a buoyant mood.

Monique Iannella’s performances for Hofstra to this point may have been slightly overshadowed by fellow Australian Emily Hulbert to this point, but the Texas transfer was exceptional in her 47 minutes in the Pride’s 1-0 win over Fordham. Despite the abbreviated stint on the field in that game, Iannella was rewarded with a 110 minute performance at the back in the 0-0 overtime draw against Monmouth as the former Melbourne City player continues to prove to be a valuable addition for the Pride.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)
2: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
1: Jemma House (Wyoming)

Complete Results:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: lost 3-0 to Dartmouth; lost 2-1 to Colgate

Claire Urquhart continued to start for Albany, playing the full 90 minutes against Dartmouth and 84 minutes against Colgate.

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: lost 4-0 to Navy

Lauren Featherstone did not feature for Central Connecticut State against Navy.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: lost 3-0 to Texas; defeated Texas-San Antonio 2-0

Isobel Dalton came off the bench to play 10 minutes against Texas, but did not feature against Texas-San Antonio.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: lost 2-1 to Monmouth

Emma Heckenberg did not feature for Drexel in their loss to Monmouth.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: lost 3-1 to Virginia Tech

Isabel Hodgson did not feature for East Tennessee State against Virginia Tech as she recovered from a knock taken in the team’s previous game.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 2-1 to Niagara; drew 2-2 with Buffalo

Sam Roff continued to be a mainstay for Fairleigh Dickinson, playing all 200 minutes for the Knights this week.

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: defeated UC Riverside 1-0; lost 1-0 to Cal State Bakersfield

Priya Gakhar did not feature for Grambling State this week.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: drew 1-1 with UC Santa Barbara; lost 2-0 to Houston Baptist

Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon this week.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: defeated Fordham 1-0; tied 0-0 with Monmouth

Emily Hulbert and Monique Iannella each started both games for Hofstra this week. Hulbert played the complete 90 minutes against Fordham, registering one shot, and 99 of the 110 minutes against Monmouth, rattling off 3 shots in a game that saw Hofstra rattle off 27 shots to 5 despite the 0-0 result. Iannella was outstanding in her 47 minutes against Fordham, and backed up with a complete 110 minute performance against Monmouth.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: defeated Villanova 1-0

Claudia Jenkins did not feature for La Salle this week.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: defeated Liberty 1-0

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU this week.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: defeated Arkansas-Little Rock 4-3 (OT)

Harriet Withers was the star for Murray State yet again, scoring a brace that included the overtime game winner in an 81 minute effort. Nyomi Devine yet again played a complete game in defence for the Racers.

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: lost 1-0 to Alcorn State; lost 5-1 to Louisiana-Lafayette

Kristy Helmers started against Alcorn State and played 63 minutes, before coming off the bench to play 36 minutes against Louisiana-Lafayette. Tenille Harberger did not feature for Nicholls State this week.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: drew 2-2 with UNC Wilmington

Gaby Bentley started for Old Dominion against UNC Wilmington, playing 86 minutes.

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: defeated Portland State 1-0 (OT); lost 3-0 to BYU.

Olivia Ellis came off the bench to play 13 minutes against Portland State, before playing another 45 minutes off the bench against BYU, tallying one shot on target.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 2-0 to Yale; lost 2-1 to Northern Arizona

Ellie Papalexiou did not feature for Pacific this week as she continues her recovery from injury.

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: lost 5-0 to Georgetown; lost 2-0 to George Washington

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis this week.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated San Francisco 8-0; defeated Yale 7-0

Beattie Goad started both games this week for Stanford, playing 49 minutes in the drubbing of San Francisco, and dishing up an assist for the third goal in the demolition of Yale.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: lost 3-0 to Lamar; lost 3-0 to Southern Miss

Paige Hayward started both games, playing 82 minutes and tallying a shot against Lamar before backing up with an 81 minute effort against Southern Miss, registering two shots.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated Arizona State 2-1; lost to Arizona 1-0

Demi Koulizakis did not feature for Texas Tech this week.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Virginia 2-1

Teagan Micah played the full 90 minutes against Virginia, making four saves.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 2-1 to Lipscomb (OT); defeated Tennessee-Martin 3-2 (OT)

Kate Swartwout came off the bench to play 72 minutes against Lipscomb, but did not feature against Tennessee-Martin.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: lost 1-0 to Maryland – 9am; lost 4-0 to DePaul

Lorena Bugden did not feature this week as she continues her recovery from injury.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: lost 2-1 to Utah Valley; defeated Northern Colorado 2-1

Alisha Bass was the star for Wyoming this week, playing 69 minutes against Utah Valley before scoring both of the Cowgirls’ goals in a 78 minute effort in the win over Northern Colorado. Georgia Rowntree played 79 minutes against Utah Valley, making five saves, before playing a full game against Northern Colorado, being forced to make just the one save. Jemma House started both games, playing 69 minutes and scoring her first collegiate goal against Utah Valley before playing 67 minutes against Northern Colorado, tallying 2 shots. Jessie Gentle came off the bench in both games to play 46 minutes against Utah Valley and 63 minutes against Northern Colorado, but Annika Clayton did not feature for Wyoming this week.

Aloha, Kiri! Dale talks Iona and transferring to Hawaii

A topsy-turvy two years at Iona for Kiri Dale that began with a redshirt has now culminated in a transfer to Hawaii for the sophomore.

A topsy-turvy two years at Iona for Kiri Dale that began with a redshirt and ended with the Palm Beach product becoming one of the mainstays of the team has now culminated in a transfer to Hawaii for the sophomore. We caught up with Kiri to discuss her time at Iona and the new challenge that faces her in Honolulu.

Fresh off a high school career that included a unique quirk, Dale found herself forced to redshirt her opening year due to NCAA academic eligibility issues. A lot of the time, these arise because players don’t have good enough grades, or because they’ve taken the wrong subjects during high school and not fulfilled the governing body’s requirements. Dale’s situation was a little different.

“I redshirted my first year because I was ineligible. I didn’t have the credit points to transfer over because I skipped Grade 10 in Australia, so I had to sit out my first year,” the Mullumbimby-based fullback explained.

Forced to watch her team from the sidelines despite being able to train with them throughout the season, Dale was completely helpless as Iona completed a tough 3-16 season to finish near the bottom of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings.

“I think it made me work a lot harder for my first season. I could train with the team, but every game I just had to sit on the bench which was really frustrating.”

The frustration at being unable to play manifests in different ways in different players. Some become withdrawn, others let it get the best of them and it results in anger, but for some, it fuels the drive to succeed. Dale certainly falls into the latter category, seeing her redshirt year as more of a free year to improve and jell with her team before getting on the pitch in her second season.

“So I just worked really hard and it gave me a bit of advantage because I got to know all the players. It just gave me more time to work out the teams we were going to play and made me more hungry to play in my first season the following year.”

That drive and hunger from the former Iona fullback was rewarded with an outstanding season for the Westchester-based college. Starting in 17 of Iona’s 18 games, Dale played eight complete games, including the last seven of the season and chipped in a single assist to be one of the Gaels’ standouts in an otherwise disappointing 2-14-2 season.

Having well and truly settled into things at Iona, from the outside it certainly appeared to be a surprising move when word came through that Dale had transferred to Hawaii. A much bigger school, in a much more competitive conference, and in a part of the United States that could not be more different than New York, Hawaii represented just about everything that Iona didn’t. From a footballing standpoint though, it was always about the level of play for Dale.

“I definitely always want to push myself. I did love Iona, school-wise, and the friends I made there. But soccer-wise, I just wanted to push myself and challenge myself.

“I think after my first season, I did pretty well. Training-wise, I wanted to be in a more challenging environment, and that’s kind of what started me looking into different schools and transferring being an option.”

With her heart set on transferring, Dale quickly went about finding a new college for her remaining seasons in the US. With a highlight video of her play in hand, Dale sold herself to a number of colleges all over the country in a number of high-major and stronger mid-major conferences.

“I looked all over, to be honest, because it’s pretty hard to transfer as an international student needing a full scholarship, so honestly I messaged over 100 schools. I spent weeks emailing D-1 colleges all over America. I just waited for people to respond.”

Responses came flooding in, with San Diego, Michigan State, and Denver amongst a number of colleges that showed interest in the Australian fullback. In the end, there were a number of factors that led Dale to the decision that Hawaii was the place for her.

“Hawaii is just closer to home for me, for one. The coach was really nice, and she had a similar coaching style to my coach at home in Australia, (former Palm Beach coach) Gary French. They’re actually friends, which is actually where I got the connection from. She has a very similar coaching style to him, which I was very interested in, and also they have very good facilities, they care a lot about their players and they put a lot of time and effort into making their players better.

“Every school that I spoke to, whether it was San Diego or Michigan State, as soon as I mentioned that I was talking to Hawaii as well, they immediately said, ‘you’d love it there if you went there.’ I’m so grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given. It’s very similar to the Gold Coast, and whilst I was in New York, it was the exact opposite. I wasn’t exactly a huge fan of playing in the snow, so the location was a huge reason why I chose Hawaii.”

Although there is clearly an excitement about making the move to Hawaii, Dale acknowledges that there is a risk involved with making the jump from a smaller college to a more competitive environment. However, hard work is something the Mullumbimby native has never shied away from, and Dale is absolutely up for the challenge.

“While I was starting and playing every game at Iona, Hawaii is a big step-up. They’re on totally different ends of the spectrum, and their program is totally different with totally different players,” Dale explained. “It’s going to be a huge step-up for me but I’ve worked really hard and I’m prepared to put in the work at Hawaii.

“It might not be like Iona; I might not start every single game, but I’m definitely going to work up towards that.”

Although getting anywhere in college soccer takes a lot of work, there is potential for Dale to slot in at her preferred position, marauding through midfield in addition to her defensive role, with seniors having filled the spot last season.

“I was talking to the coach about my style of playing. She obviously saw it in my video, and it was exactly what she was looking for, and they needed someone for that position. I think with both those things in mind, I’m hoping to come in and work hard and slot into that position.

“I was lucky that the position opened up with a few of their seniors leaving. Obviously I’ll still be up against the incoming freshmen and other people on the team who are fighting for that position, but with the experience I have as a transfer, hopefully I’ll be able to play.”

With her eyes wide open to the risks and challenges involved with the step-up to a higher calibre of college, Dale is more than ready to put in the work that is required to make the most of her remaining three years in the US. It will certainly be interesting to see her development as she adapts to her new environment.

Week 11 Preview

A few Aussies’ seasons have come to an end, including Jai Jackson, whose college career unfortunately ended last week after the Eagles failed to secure the win they needed to sneak into the Big South tournament. However, there are still plenty of Aussies in the hunt for conference tournament spots and, by extension, NCAA Tournament spots, and as they say, you’ve got to be in it to win it!

The Pac-12 doesn’t actually have a conference tournament, preferring to run with a league schedule only, and what a season it’s proving to be! All four Pac-12 teams that feature Aussies are right in the hunt for the conference title, and this week could see a couple of them break clear at the top or fall by the wayside. Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg and Colorado play host to Lulu Pullar and USC as well as Teagan Micah and UCLA this week, with the standings reading as follows through 8 games:

Colorado – 21 points
USC – 21 points
Stanford – 21 points
UCLA – 19 points

That’s right, throw Beattie Goad and Stanford in the mix and the Aussies have the top four spots locked up. For now. Stanford travel to lowly Arizona and Arizona State this weekend, as do fifth placed California, so at this point anything could happen. It’s looking good for an Aussie to walk away with the Pac-12 title this season; which one it might be is another question entirely!

In the Big 12, the excitement is at the foot of the table. In the 9 team league, of which 8 teams qualify for the conference tournament, Monique Iannella and Texas sit 8th, whilst Demi Koulizakis and Texas Tech occupy the bottom spot. However, Texas play 7th placed TCU, meaning if they can win and Texas Tech can somehow overcome 4th placed Oklahoma, both Aussies’ teams will leapfrog TCU and reach the conference tournament. It’s a big ask for Texas Tech, though, who have compiled just one win in 7 matches to this point. Draws aren’t enough at this stage either – it’s win or bust for both.

Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers, and Nicholls State have it even tougher as they look to jump from 7th into the top 6 and gain a Southland Conference tournament berth. Not only do they need to defeat 8th placed Southeastern Louisiana, they are also relying on either McNeese State or Houston Baptist to lose to one of the bottom teams in the conference. Like the Big 12 teams, draws won’t do any good here – Houston Baptist and McNeese State both own the tiebreakers with Nicholls State. That means it’s going to take a lot for Jess Coates’ college career to extend beyond this weekend – surely such a great servant of Nicholls State soccer can’t go out this way!

The five-strong Aussie contingent at Wyoming have helped the Cowgirls secure a tournament berth by virtue of tiebreakers with a week to go, and now it’s time to see if they can’t jag a slightly higher seed with a win in their final regular season game. With Boise State and Utah State sitting two points ahead and playing each other, as long as those teams don’t draw, a win for Wyoming will see them move into fifth, above the loser of the Boise State-Utah State fixture. If that were to happen, they would play the winner of that fixture in the first round of the Mountain West tournament. But the Cowgirls’ main focus will be just to defeat bottom placed Colorado State in that  last regular season match.

A few teams will be kicking off their tournaments this weekend, and we’ve got an absolute belter of a game coming up in the Southern Conference. Kate Swartwout and Western Carolina knocked off Wofford in the play-in game, meaning they’ll now face off against Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State on the Buccaneers’ home patch. Not only is this an Aussie v Aussie battle, it’s a local derby, and East Tennessee State will be playing for a chance to play on a final weekend that they themselves are hosting. There is certainly plenty on the line here aside from the chance to continue the charge towards a conference title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Julia De Angelis and Indiana managed to sneak into the Big Ten tournament by virtue of other results going their way in midweek games, and now they take on top seed Minnesota in the quarterfinals. Minnesota may have won the regular season matchup 3-0, but what better time for revenge than a knockout tournament game?

Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers, and Murray State kick off their Ohio Valley Conference tournament campaign this weekend against a currently unknown opponent, as do Claire Urquhart and Albany in the America East. Later this week, Alexandra Huynh and Troy will take on South Alabama in the Sun Belt first round, whilst Drexel are still awaiting their opponent in the Colonial Athletic Association semifinals after earning a quarterfinal bye.

Full Schedule:

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: v Saint Joseph’s – 6:30am, Friday October 28

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: at Colorado – 8am, Friday October 28; at Utah – 7am, Monday October 31

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

This week: v UCLA – 8am, Friday October 28; v USC – 5am, Monday October 31

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)

This week: at Austin Peay – 11am, Friday October 28; OVC Tournament begins Sunday October 30

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Arkansas – 11am, Friday October 28

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: v Tennessee-Martin – 11am, Friday October 28

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: at Utah – 12pm, Friday October 28; at Colorado – 5am, Monday October 31

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: at Arizona – 1pm, Friday October 28; at Arizona State – 9am, Monday October 31

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: v San Diego – 1pm, Friday October 28; v BYU – 7am, Sunday October 30

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: v Colorado State – 8am, Saturday October 29

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Long Island-Brooklyn – 10am, Saturday October 29; at Mount St. Mary’s – 2am, Monday October 31

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week: at Southeastern Louisiana – 11am, Saturday October 29

Texas (Monique Iannella)

This week: at TCU – 11am, Saturday October 29

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: v Prairie View A&M – 11am, Saturday October 29

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Oklahoma – 11am, Saturday October 29

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

This week: v Portland – 1pm, Saturday October 29; v Gonzaga – 7am, Monday October 31

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v Western Carolina (Southern Conference Tournament Quarterfinals) – 10am, Sunday October 30

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: at East Tennessee State (Southern Conference Tournament Quarterfinals) – 10am, Sunday October 30

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v New Hampshire or Maine (America East Tournament Semifinals) – 7am, Monday October 31

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: at Minnesota (Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals) – 6am, Monday October 31

Week 6 Preview

There are certainly some tests coming this week for the Australians as conference play continues. LSU have the toughest game of the week against top 5 team South Carolina, whilst Colorado take on Washington State and Harriet Withers looks to get back into goalscoring form as Ohio Valley play begins.

Caitlin Cantrill and LSU have an early test in their conference slate this week, taking on RPI #5 South Carolina in their first game of the weekend. LSU have compiled a reasonable 6-4 record through their ten games so far, but South Carolina are sitting at 8-0-1, the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation and defeating RPI #9 Clemson earlier in the season. The second game of the week for the Tigers involves a trip to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt in what should be a very even matchup, with the Commodores sitting at 5-4 through their first nine games. Caitlin Cantrill has been coming off the bench for the most part so far this season, and a solid outing against South Carolina would go a long way to ensuring even more minutes will come the young midfielder’s way.

Ordinarily, Drexel v Hofstra would be an Aussie v Aussie matchup with Emma Heckenberg taking on Emily Hulbert, but with Emily not featuring recently for Hofstra, it unfortunately may not come to pass this week. However, with Emma playing a complete game last start for Drexel, there still may be plenty of reason to keep an eye on this contest.

Last season, Colorado v Washington State was a game that featured Tia Gavin, Kahlia Hogg, and Alexandra Huynh. Since then, Tia has returned to Australia and Alex has transferred to Troy. But Kahlia is still there, and has been joined by Isobel Dalton. With these teams separated by just two positions in the RPI rankings (Colorado 44th, Washington State 46th), this game could be a high-scoring thriller or the teams may cancel each other out. For the neutrals, the former would be preferred, but as long as Kahlia is starting at centre back for Colorado, a clean sheet for the Buffaloes would be ideal.

Paige Hayward has been one of the few shining lights for Texas Southern, but as the Tigers move into conference play, the competition level should even out for Paige and her teammates. This week, they take on Alabama A&M and Alabama State. The Tigers demolished both opponents in the regular season last year, defeating Alabama State 6-1 and Alabama A&M 3-1, but Alabama State knocked Texas Southern off in the tournament last year. Alabama State will have an Australian on their side too, with 2014 Player Of The Year Shelbi Vienna-Hallam now a student assistant for the Hornets.

Teagan Micah has won two of the first five Goalkeeper Of The Week awards in the Pac-12 and could take the outright lead with a strong performance this week for UCLA. It might take something extraordinary as the Bruins only have one game this week, against Arizona State, but Teagan is in fairly extraordinary form at the moment. Arizona State have put together a 5-2-1 record so far and average over 2 goals per game, so Teagan should certainly face more than a couple of shots from a potent Sun Devils attack.

Can you believe it’s been 18 days since Harriet Withers scored a goal? Admittedly, that’s only been two games for Murray State. It’s been a tough start to the season for Murray State, but they have played a difficult schedule. With the conference slate starting a game against Morehead State and the Racers coming off an undefeated league season in 2015, things are set to improve for the team and Harriet could be right amongst the goals again. Nyomi Devine has been ever-present for the Racers and will continue to be a rock at the back for the Racers.

Full Schedule:

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: at South Carolina – 9am, Friday September 23; at Vanderbilt – 4am, Monday September 26

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Stony Brook – 9am, Friday September 23; at Florida Gulf Coast – 3am, Monday September 26

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at UC Santa Barbara – 10am, Friday September 23

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Arizona State – 12pm, Friday September 23

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: at The Citadel – 5am, Saturday September 24; at Mercer – Monday September 26

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: at Eastern Illinois – 6am, Saturday September 24; at SIU Edwardsville – 5am, Monday September 26

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: v Arizona – 8am, Saturday September 24

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: at Boise State – 8am, Saturday September 24; at Utah State – 5am, Monday September 26

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: v Minnesota – 9am, Saturday September 24; v Wisconsin – 3am, Monday September 26

Texas (Monique Iannella)

This week: at Baylor – 9am, Saturday September 24; at Oklahoma – 4am, Monday September 26

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: at Mercer – 9am, Saturday September 24; at The Citadel – 4am, Monday September 26

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: at Drexel – 9:30am, Saturday September 24; at Delaware – 3am, Monday September 26

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Hofstra – 9:30am, Saturday September 24; v Northeastern – 3am, Monday September 26

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

This week: at Washington State – 10am, Saturday September 24

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: v Alabama A&M – 10am, Saturday September 24; v Alabama State – 4am, Monday September 26

Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)

This week: at Abilene Christian – 10am, Saturday September 24; at Incarnate Word – 4am, Monday September 26

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: at Kansas – 10am, Saturday September 24; v Iowa State – 4am, Monday September 26

Iona (Kiri Dale)

This week: at St Peter’s – 2am, Sunday September 25

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week: v Radford – 3am, Sunday September 25

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Oregon – 12pm, Sunday September 25

Troy (Alexandra Huynh)

This week: v Louisiana-Lafayette – 4am, Monday September 26

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)

This week: v Morehead State – 4am, Monday September 26

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Massachusetts-Lowell – 6am, Monday September 26

Week 4 Preview

Plenty of Australians from smaller schools take on power conference teams this week, with Alex Huynh and Troy taking on Florida State, whilst Murray State’s trio take on in-state rival Kentucky and Price Keogh and San Francisco take on the Pac-12’s Arizona schools as all three face challenging weekends. Elsewhere, Beattie Goad and Stanford take on Notre Dame and Minnesota in an effort to prolong their perfect start to the season, which sits at 5 wins on the trot, but there are plenty of interesting stories this week.

They’re not the two biggest schools featuring Australians, but Fairleigh Dickinson and Massachusetts do play each other this week and that means Laura Johns and Sam Roff will face off in an Aussie v Aussie matchup. With Laura playing an attacking role for Massachusetts and Sam generally in a more defensive position for Fairleigh Dickinson, we could very well see a direct battle between the two Aussies as Fairleigh Dickinson look to kick-start their season after a 1-4 start.

Florida State went down to Sun Belt team South Alabama last week in a huge upset and Alexandra Huynh and Troy will try to make it two in a row for the conference as they take on the Seminoles this week. The Trojans’ defence, anchored by Alex, has been solid for the most part this season but it will take an outstanding performance to slow down Florida State. Prior to that though, Troy take on a Mercer side that has won just two of their six games so far this season. This will certainly be the more winnable of the two games, and victory would ensure the Trojans stay above .500 regardless of the result against Florida State.

LSU took home silverware last week from their trip to Indiana for the Hoosier Challenge Cup, and this week they begin their quest for another trophy as their SEC slate commences. It starts with a fairly stern challenge though, with Texas A&M being their first opponent. Prior to that, though, the Tigers have to get through a trip to Western Kentucky.

Texas have given themselves a challenging non-conference schedule and this week’s trip to Ohio State will be yet another uphill task for the Longhorns. Ohio State currently sit at 5-1 and are currently ranked #19. If the Texas attack can fire as it has in the team’s wins so far, they will be more than a fighting chance in this one, especially with a defence, which features Monique Iannella, that is conceding less than a goal per game. Texas then take on Miami (Ohio) in their second game. This should prove to be a slightly less challenging game, but still one that Texas will have to take seriously if they are to return from Ohio successful.

This week sees women’s soccer powerhouse North Carolina take a trip to Los Angeles, where they will face a pair of Aussies. The Tar Heels face off against an in-form UCLA first up, with Australian goalkeeper Teagan Micah acting as the backbone of the Bruins’ excellent start to the season. Whilst her defence have given up more than a few shots in just about every game this season, Teagan has pulled off at least five saves in no less than three games, and keeping three clean sheets. North Carolina then take on Lulu Pullar and USC, and whilst Lulu is yet to see game time this season, it only takes one substitution for someone to make their debut, and to do so against North Carolina would certainly be something to tell the grandchildren one day, even in a slightly down season for the Tar Heels.

Nicholls State have been banging home the goals, and the Colonels’ Aussies have been at the forefront of this. Kristy Helmers already has four goals, with Jess Coates tallying three of her own. However, this week brings the Colonels’ toughest challenge of their non-conference schedule as they take on Louisiana Tech. Louisiana Tech sit at 4-1-1 from their six games, but they have played a couple of teams that may not stand up to this Nicholls State side, so the Colonels are not without a fighting chance in this one, especially with their attack in such good recent form.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Seton Hall – 9am, Friday September 9; v Quinnipiac – 3am, Monday September 12

Iona (Kiri Dale)

This week: at Fordham – 9am, Friday September 9; at Bucknell – 4am, Monday September 12

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Fairfield – 9am, Friday September 9; at Rutgers – 3am, Monday September 12

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: at Western Kentucky – 10am, Friday September 9; at Texas A&M – 9am, Monday September 12

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: v Fairleigh Dickinson – 6am, Saturday September 10; v Central Michigan – 2am, Monday September 12

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: at Massachusetts – 6am, Saturday September 10; at Dartmouth – 3am, Monday September 12

Texas (Monique Iannella)

This week: v Ohio State – 7am, Saturday September 10; at Miami (Ohio) – 3am, Monday September 12

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

This week: v Hawaii – 8:30am, Saturday September 10; v Iowa – 5am, Monday September 12

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: v Utah Valley – 8:30am, Saturday September 10

Troy (Alexandra Huynh)

This week: at Mercer – 9am, Saturday September 10; at Florida State – 6am, Monday September 12

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: at Morehead State – 9am, Saturday September 10; at Eastern Kentucky – 3am, Monday September 12

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: at Virginia Tech – 9:30am, Saturday September 10; v James Madison – 1am, Monday September 12

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

This week: at Arizona State – 9:30am, Saturday September 10; at Arizona – 6:30am, Monday September 12

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: v Loyola Marymount – 9:30am, Saturday September 10; v North Carolina – 6am, Monday September 12

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Oral Roberts – 10am, Saturday September 10; at Appalachian State – 3am, Monday September 12

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: at North Texas – 10am, Saturday September 10; v Huston-Tillotson – 7am, Tuesday September 13

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Minnesota – 11am, Saturday September 10; v Notre Dame – 4am, Monday September 12

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at Fresno State – 12pm, Saturday September 10; at Sacramento State – 6am, Monday September 12

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v North Carolina – 12pm, Saturday September 10; v San Diego – 10am, Monday September 12

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: v Army – 3am, Sunday September 11

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week: v Marist – 2am, Monday September 12

Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)

This week: v Louisiana Tech – 4am, Monday September 12

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: v Florida Atlantic – 4am, Monday September 12

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)

This week: at Kentucky – 8am, Monday September 12

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: at Tennessee Tech – 9am, Monday September 12

Week 3 Preview

The Aussies keep making an impact over in the US and this week provides plenty more opportunities. Teagan Micah has the chance to make amends for last week’s loss to Florida, whilst Nicholls State’s Aussie pair of Kristy Helmers and Jess Coates will attempt to keep their excellent individual form going as the team attempts to go 3-0 to start the season. On the defensive side, Alex Huynh will be attempting to stop Mississippi whilst also providing attacking support for her Troy teammates, whilst Colorado’s Kahlia Hogg will be tasked with stopping fellow Aussie Emma Heckenberg and her Drexel forward line partners.

Teagan Micah and UCLA suffered their first loss of the season last week to Florida, and things don’t get any easier this week as the Bruins take on defending national champions Penn State. However, the Nittany Lions haven’t had the smoothest start to the season, winning just one of their first three games of the season. The Penn State side is still extremely talented and ranked #13 in the latest poll, so this one could be an absolute barnburner if both teams fire.

This week also brings us an Aussie v Aussie matchup as Emma Heckenberg and Drexel travel west to play a Colorado side featuring Isobel Dalton and Kahlia Hogg. With Kahlia playing centre back for Colorado, we could see a direct battle between herself and Emma, who plays up front for Drexel. Colorado will be desperate for a win to stay above .500, whilst Drexel will be expecting to beat Northern Colorado in their first game of the week before moving on to Boulder to try and grab a victory in what should be a far more testing game.

Murray State have looked good in their first two games, but sit at 1-1 after going down to Alabama in their first game of the season before downing Chattanooga last week. This week, the Racers take on their second SEC side in three games, facing off against Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt have played four games for 2 wins, and with one of their losses coming against Lipscomb, Murray State have a real chance to completely forget about that loss to Alabama. Harriet Withers failed to find the back of the net in last week’s win against Chattanooga, but was still a menace to the defence, whilst Nyomi Devine continues to be a rock at the back for Murray State, and expect nothing to change either in the short or long term.

Whilst California don’t have any Australians on their side, they will be a team to watch this week as they run the Aussie-laden gauntlet against Demi Koulizakis and Texas Tech followed by Monique Iannella and Texas. Cal will be the far tougher of each team’s two opponents this week, but both Texas and Texas Tech have more than a fighting chance in these games. Demi Koulizakis played a season-high 49 minutes against Northeastern last week, whilst Monique Iannella has become an integral part of Texas’ side, but California will be a true test of how well they have truly slotted into their respective teams.

After going winless last week, Wyoming will be looking to bounce back as they travel to UTEP and New Mexico. With the Cowgirls and their opponents all sitting near the .500 mark at this early stage in the season, all three teams will be desperate for victories to keep their season on track. With Georgia Rowntree and Alisha Bass in solid form at the back and Annika Clayton already providing two assists so far this season, expect to see the Australians playing pivotal roles for Wyoming this week.

Nicholls State have already taken down a pair of in-state rivals this season, and with Jess Coates and Kristy Helmers in scintillating form, more goals could be on the cards against Louisiana-Monroe. Louisiana-Monroe have only won one of their four games so far, with victory over lowly  Mississippi Valley State their only success so far. Nicholls State, on the other hand, have already defeated Louisiana-Monroe’s fellow Sun Belt team Louisiana-Lafayette as well as demolishing Southern University 8-0. This will probably be the toughest of the Colonels’ three games so far, but it is definitely still winnable for Nicholls State.

Troy had an excellent week last week, picking up 3 wins and conceding only one goal. Things get a lot tougher this week though, as Belmont, Jacksonville State, and Alabama State aren’t quite of the same ilk as a 3-1 Ole Miss side intent on improving on last season’s short NCAA Tournament run. However, Troy will first have the chance to continue their excellent recent form against winless Tennessee-Martin, who should provide little resistance. Australian defender Alex Huynh has been providing excellent support to the attack in conjunction with her solid defensive play, and has quickly turned into one of Troy’s most pivotal players following her transfer from Colorado.

Full Schedule

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

This week: v Michigan State – 8:30am, Friday 2nd September; v Drexel – 4am, Monday 5th September

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)

This week: at Vanderbilt – 8:30am, Friday 2nd September; v Arkansas State – 5am, Monday 5th September

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: at Colgate – 9am, Friday 2nd September; at Hartford – 4am, Monday 5th September

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Rhode Island – 9am, Friday 2nd September; at Marist – 3am, Monday 5th September

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: at Davidson – 9am, Friday 2nd September; at Marshall – 6am, Monday 5th September

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Wisconsin – 12pm, Friday 2nd September; v Marquette – 6am, Monday 5th September

Iona (Kiri Dale)

This week: at NJIT – 5am, Saturday 3rd September; at Yale – 3am, Monday 5th September

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: v LSU – 5am, Saturday 3rd September; v Southern Methodist – 3am, Tuesday 6th September

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: at Indiana – 5am, Saturday 3rd September; v Butler – 5am, Monday 5th September

Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)

This week: at Louisiana-Monroe – 7am, Saturday 3rd September

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at Connecticut – 7:30am, Saturday 3rd September; at Boston College – 2am, Monday 5th September

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: v Georgia – 7:30am, Saturday 3rd September; at Auburn – 9am, Monday 5th September

Texas (Monique Iannella)

This week: v Sam Houston State – 8am, Saturday 3rd September; v California – 2am, Monday 5th September

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: at Northern Colorado – 9am, Saturday 3rd September; at Colorado – 4am, Monday 5th September

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Kennesaw State – 9am, Saturday 3rd September

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week: v Georgia Southern – 9am, Saturday 3rd September

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

This week: at Missouri – 9:30am, Saturday 3rd September; at Vanderbilt – 3am, Monday 5th September

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: v DePaul – 9:30am, Saturday 3rd September; v UNC Greensboro – 1:30am, Monday 5th September

Troy (Alexandra Huynh)

This week: at Tennessee-Martin – 10am, Saturday 3rd September; at Mississippi – 10am, Monday 5th September

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v California – 10am, Saturday 3rd September; v Abilene Christian – 4am, Monday 5th September

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: at UTEP – 11am, Saturday 3rd September; at New Mexico State – 3:30am, Monday 5th September

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Penn State – 1pm, Saturday 3rd September

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: v Maine – 2:30am, Sunday 4th September

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: v TCU – 9am, Monday 5th September

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: at Evansville – 10am, Monday 5th September

2015 End Of Season Awards

2015 has been a fairly successful year for the Australians in NCAA Division I college women’s soccer. Four teams reached the NCAA Tournament, with two of those being sides that won their conference tournaments: Murray State and Albany. There have been many success stories, such as the brilliant season that Harriet Withers enjoyed as she picked up the Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player Of The Year award, through to players such as Siena Senatore and Isabel Hodgson establishing themselves as starters in their freshman year. At the end of the day, only so many players can receive awards though, so here they are: the 2015 College Matildas End Of Season Awards.

Freshman Of The Year: Tia Gavin (Washington State)

Restoring the Australian presence at Washington State after Rachael Doyle’s graduation after the 2013 season, Tia saw playing time from the outset at Pullman and made an impact immediately, notching a goal and an assist in her first weekend of college play. The former Western Sydney Wanderers striker was not afforded as much playing time in conference play as she had seen during the early parts of the year, but was still able to tack on a second goal later in the year, a sublime curling strike from the edge of the area. By the end of the season, Tia had almost become known as an impact player for the Cougars, providing a solid backup option to allow starters to be rotated out and rest for longer periods, especially in the dying embers of the first half, where Tia’s presence was almost a guarantee from about the 35 minute mark.

Goalkeeper Of The Year: Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming)

As the only Australian goalkeeper in Division I, this award was never really in doubt. However, Georgia was the starting goalkeeper for much of the season for Wyoming, as coach Pete Cuadrado continued to rotate his goalkeepers as he has done for many seasons. Sharing minutes with local player Cassidy Entsminger, the pair became a solid presence between the posts for the Cowgirls throughout the season.

Defender Of The Year: Emily Hulbert (Hofstra)

Emily had her minutes slightly reduced from last season, but that didn’t stop the former Melbourne Victory player from making an impact as she was used more in a cameo role off the bench, providing half an hour or so of support in many games. None of these cameos was more important than her goal just before halftime in the side’s last regular season conference game which proved to be the game winner and proved to be the goal that secured Hofstra the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title, and definitely helped to improve the side’s seeding in the NCAA Tournament, in which Hofstra were the only side featuring Australians to win their opening round game.

Midfielder Of The Year, Senior Of The Year: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State)

Originally listed as a defender/forward for Alabama State, Shelbi reverted to a deep-lying midfield role for much of the season for the Hornets, providing experience in front of the back four in a side that went all the way to the SWAC championship game. Whilst this meant her output on the stat sheet diminished in comparison to 2014, in which the Tasmanian won Player Of The Year, Shelbi was still a vital cog in the Alabama State machine. Shelbi was also utilised in various other positions throughout the season, spending time in defence, midfield, and leading the line up front.

Junior Of The Year, Breakout Player Of The Year: Laura Johns (Massachusetts)

After two seasons spent mainly coming off the bench for Massachusetts, Laura was finally able to secure a starting spot for a significant amount of games this season. The Adelaide junior became a regular in the starting frontline, playing around 50 minutes a game and increasing her minutes markedly. The South Australian junior was also able to tee up teammates for goals at some crucial moments as Massachusetts went within a whisker of reaching the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

Player Of The Year, Forward Of The Year, Sophomore Of The Year, Top Goalscorer (11 goals), Top Assists (7 assists): Harriet Withers (Murray State)

Having been named Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player Of The Year, it is hardly unusual that Harriet Withers is also our player of the year. Harriet led the line for a Murray State team that finished a perfect 10-0 in conference league play, before winning the conference tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament, where the side unfortunately went down 1-0 to heavily favoured Ole Miss. The sophomore out of Palm Beach scored 11 goals this season, and also tacked on 7 assists, including one on the winning goal in the Ohio Valley Conference championship game which sent Murray State to the NCAA Tournament and secured a perfect conference season.

Player Of The Year Votes:

1st: Harriet Withers (24 votes)
2nd: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (9 votes)
3rd: Emily Hulbert (6 votes)