NCAA Tournament Second Round Preview

(Photo: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)

With five teams featuring Aussies still alive in the NCAA Tournament, a quarter of all games on Saturday will feature at least one Australian. Stanford and Hofstra face off, guaranteeing a path through to the Sweet Sixteen for at least one Australian. Meanwhile, UCLA and Texas Tech come into their games as favourites, whilst Washington State have a real chance of springing an upset against top-seeded Virginia.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

Second Round: @ Stanford – 2pm, Saturday November 23

Live on Stanford Live Stream

Hofstra only just managed to sneak through their first round fixture against Loyola Chicago in overtime, and things won’t get any easier as they travel to #1 seed Stanford for their second round match. Having manage just one goal on fifteen shots in their tournament opener, the Pride will need to be far more ruthless in taking what few chances the Stanford defence may offer, as it is highly unlikely they will get another fifteen opportunities. At the other end, keeping Loyola Chicago to just four shots on target was an encouraging start. The Hofstra defence will need to pull out a performance at least on that level if they are to slow down the rampant Stanford attack, which is in red-hot form at the moment. If Hofstra did win, it wouldn’t be the first time a top-seeded Stanford side lost in the second round in recent years; Santa Clara knocked the Cardinal out in overtime in 2016 after Andi Sullivan’s ACL injury forced the US national team midfielder out of the game.

Unfortunately, we are unlikely to see backup goalkeeper Grace Watson Carr in this game, whilst Monique Iannella misses out through injury.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

Second Round: v Hofstra – 2pm, Saturday November 23

Live on Stanford Live Stream

If Hofstra are underdogs against Stanford, that must mean that Beattie Goad’s side come into the game as favourites. Having banged home 15 goals in a record-shattering performance against Prairie View A&M, the Cardinal are in ruthless form of late. Stanford came into the tournament on the back of a perfect Pac-12 season, with their only loss to date coming on the road at Pepperdine early in the campaign. Should Stanford not get too far ahead of themselves, they ought to roll to a solid victory by multiple goals onto a matchup against Arizona or Penn State in the Sweet Sixteen.

Beattie Goad earned a start against Prairie View A&M, tallying three shots on target in her time on the pitch. The senior has been in solid form of late, and is proving to be crucial to Stanford’s chances of securing a second national title in three years.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

Second Round: v Michigan – 8am, Saturday November 23

Live on ESPN3 (US Only)

Texas Tech eked out a shootout victory over Pepperdine in the first round, and now face a Michigan side that struggled to get out of its own way against Bowling Green in their own tournament opener. The Red Raiders started well against Pepperdine, taking an early 2-0 lead before allowing Pepperdine to tie things up at 2-2 with goals either side of halftime. However, having come through a heart-stopping penalty shootout in which goalkeeper Madison White came up with saves on Pepperdine’s final two shots to secure the win, Texas Tech will be looking to put together a more clinical performance across the 90 minutes.

Michigan may have needed a winner 11 minutes from time to escape with a win against Bowling Green, but don’t be fooled by that performance. The Wolverines have dropped just five games this season, and have wins over Penn State, Washington State, and Rutgers among their 16 victories to this point. They are certainly a top-notch side, and on a neutral field in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, anything could happen. But if Demi Koulizakis and the Texas Tech attack can start the way they did against Pepperdine, don’t expect the Red Raiders to slip up and let their opponents back into the game again.

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

Second Round: v Clemson – 3pm, Saturday November 23

Live on UCLA Live Stream

UCLA were barely troubled in their 4-1 first round victory over Lamar, but things won’t be quite so easy against Clemson, who won their way through on penalties against Vanderbilt in the first round. The Tigers kept a clean sheet against the Commodores in the first round, allowing just six shots on target in the 0-0 draw after 110 minutes. However, that was their first clean sheet in 11 games as their attack generally got the job done, scoring multiple goals on five of those occasions.

It will be interesting to see which Clemson side comes out – the one that we’ve seen for most of the season, or the one that produced a goalless game less than a week ago. Not that UCLA will mind either way – their attack can break down even the stingiest of defences, and a defence backed up by Teagan Micah will make life hard for Clemson’s attack. Nonetheless, the Bruins will have to be at or near their best to get past what could be a tricky contest.

Teagan Micah will almost certainly once again start for the Bruins as the senior looks to return to the College Cup for the second time in three seasons. Meanwhile, Rachel Lowe’s performance off the bench against Lamar was highly encouraging, and may just have earned the freshman extended minutes this weekend.

Washington State (Aly Hay)

Second Round: @ Virginia – 11am, Saturday November 23

Live on ACC Network Extra (US Only)

When the opposition has the big #1 next to their name in the bracket, and you don’t have a number next to your name at all, it’s safe to say that you’re coming into the game as outsiders. Somehow, it’s not likely that Virginia’s status as a top seed in their quarter of the bracket will faze Washington State one iota. The Cougars have played a number of ranked teams close this season, defeating California in overtime, and dropping one-goal decisions to Arizona and UCLA in the regular season. A 1-0 win over #14 Memphis in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament brought Washington State to this point, and they have every right to be confident in their ability to spring an upset.

Of course, it won’t be easy by any stretch. Virginia’s only loss this season came to fellow national #1 seed North Carolina, having cut a swathe through the powerful ACC as well as a non-conference schedule that featured three more ranked teams. But the Cougars feature one of the top goalkeepers in the nation in Ella Dederick, and an attack featuring an elite forward in Morgan Weaver. It might take Dederick standing on her head to keep Washington State in the game, but if Weaver gets her chance, you can just about back her in to take it.

As a backup goalkeeper, it is doubtful that we will see Aly Hay take to the field in this game as the freshman gains experience training alongside Dederick this season.

2019 Week 7 Wrap

Claudia Jenkins and Teresa Morrissey continued to play starring roles for their respective teams between the sticks, whilst Tessa Calabria doubled her goals tally for the season. Meanwhile, Beattie Goad may not have been credited with a stat on the scoresheet, but was nonetheless crucial in two Stanford goals.

(Image Credit: Greg Carroccio / Sideline Photos)

La Salle may have ended the weekend with a win and a loss, but Claudia Jenkins has every right to be proud of her performance this weekend after keeping the Explorers in the contest on both occasions. The junior came up with a mammoth 8-save performance in a win over VCU to open the weekend, picking up her third clean sheet of the year as a 17th-minute goal for La Salle was enough to secure victory. However, another three saves against Saint Joseph’s couldn’t atone for the fact that La Salle managed just one shot on target as the Hawks secured a 1-0 victory to leave the Explorers sitting on 9 points of a possible 15 with six conference games remaining.

Teresa Morrissey was even more unlucky than Jenkins to not walk away with a pair of wins this weekend as Rhode Island fell to a pair of overtime defeats despite the freshman’s efforts between the sticks. Seven saves in 97 minutes against Davidson, including a couple of acrobatic tips over the bar, unfortunately proved not enough to counter Rhode Island’s lack of goalscoring. Midway through the first overtime period, a Davidson attacker was played through and beat Morrissey to the ball to slot home for the golden goal victory, denying the freshman a deserved result. Another eight saves from Morrissey against Massachusetts in the Rhode Island’s second game of the week saw the Rams head to overtime for a second time this weekend with the scoreline reading 1-1 after 90 minutes after an equaliser in the final minute of regulation. However, a penalty early in overtime afforded Massachusetts the opportunity to tally the game-winner, with the Minutewomen duly converting. However, with 15 saves across two games, Morrissey was easily one of the standout performers of the weekend.

Tessa Calabria opened the season with a goal against Mississippi Valley State, but the senior had found herself unable to find the back of the net since that opening day effort. However, that changed this weekend as the senior netted the opener for Nicholls State before the Colonels unfortunately conceded two goals in quick succession to fall to a 2-1 defeat to Houston Baptist. Calabria banged home the Colonels’ only goal of the game in the 15th minute, but with Nicholls State only managing three shots on target throughout the contest, adding to their tally would be tough, and it proved as such as Houston Baptist recovered to secure victory.

Beattie Goad has moved into an impact role off the bench as a number of Stanford stars return to full fitness, but the senior showed why she held a starting role for much of the season as the Cardinal dominated both Washington and Washington State this weekend. Whilst not receiving an assist in the Cardinal’s 5-0 win over Washington State, Goad was instrumental in two goals. In the final minute before halftime, the senior played in teammate Belle Briede, who was brought down in the area, resulting in a penalty which was duly converted. Goad then delivered the ball for Stanford’s final goal, which was originally credited to Naomi Girma, but later changed to an own goal, denying Goad an assist but nevertheless failing to diminish her impact on the phase of play that led to the goal.

Sam Roff continues to marshal an outstanding Fairleigh Dickinson defence whilst providing some extra potency to the Knights’ attack, and it showed as much this week as the team from New Jersey produced two vital victories to move to the top of the Northeast Conference standings. With a stellar back four led by Roff backed up by record-breaking goalkeeper Amanda Fitzgerald, the Knights’ goal remained untouched throughout the weekend as they edged to a 1-0 overtime win over Central Connecticut State before dominating Sacred Heart for a 3-0 victory. Hungry for more goals after scoring her first career tally earlier in the season, Roff had yet another shot on target in the win over Sacred Heart, but couldn’t beat the Pioneers goalkeeper on this occasion.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
2: Teresa Morrissey (Rhode Island)
1: Sam Roff (Fairleigh Dickinson)

Complete Results

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: defeated Jackson State 3-2; defeated Southern 1-0

Sophie Bui started both games this week, registering a shot on target in 36 minutes against Jackson State before playing 31 minutes in the win over Southern.

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: lost 4-1 to Seattle

Sarah Clark did not feature for Chicago State in their loss to Seattle.

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: lost 2-1 to Samford; drew 0-0 with Chattanooga

D’arne Boato did not feature for East Tennessee State in either game this week.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated Central Connecticut State 1-0 (OT); defeated Sacred Heart 3-0

Sam Roff started both games this week, playing 75 minutes in the win over Central Connecticut State before registering a shot on target in 69 minutes against Sacred Heart.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: defeated New Mexico State 2-1; lost 1-0 to UTRGV

Sandra Hill started both games for Grand Canyon this week, playing 83 minutes in the win over New Mexico State and the full 90 minutes in the loss to UTRGV.

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: defeated Cal State Northridge 2-1 (OT)

Eliza Ammendolia started for Hawaii in their win over Cal State Northridge, tallying a single shot in target in 72 minutes. Kiri Dale came off the bench, playing 23 minutes.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: drew 2-2 with Northeastern; defeated Charleston 3-0

Neither Grace Watson Carr nor Monique Iannella featured for Hofstra in either game this week.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: lost 1-0 to Indiana; lost 6-2 to Maryland

Ashleigh Lefevre started both games for Illinois this week, seeing 58 minutes of action against Indiana and 46 minutes against Maryland.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: defeated VCU 1-0; lost 1-0 to Saint Joseph’s

Claudia Jenkins played all 180 minutes of the weekend, coming up with a mammoth 8 saves in the win over VCU and another 3 against Saint Joseph’s. Alyssa Van Heurck started both games, playing 49 minutes against VCU and tallying a shot in 36 minutes against Saint Joseph’s.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: lost 2-0 to Auburn

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in their loss to Auburn.

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: defeated Old Dominion 3-2 (OT); lost 2-1 to Charlotte

Laura Farrelly did not feature for Marshall in either game this week.

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: lost 3-0 to Arkansas

Aimee Medwin did not feature for Mississippi in their loss to Arkansas.

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Kristy Helmers, Shauni Reid)

This week: lost 2-0 to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; @ Houston Baptist – 5am, Monday October 7

Tessa Calabria started both games for Nicholls State this week, registering a shot in 67 minutes against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi before notching the opener against Houston Baptist in a 74-minute outing. Kristy Helmers played the full 90 minutes on both occasions this week, tallying a shot on target against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Shauni Reid did not feature for the Colonels in either game this week.

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: defeated South Dakota 2-1

Eden Taylor-Wineera did not feature for North Dakota State in their win over South Dakota.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: lost 3-2 to Marshall (OT); defeated Western Kentucky 3-0

Gaby Bentley did not feature for Old Dominion in either game this week.

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: lost 1-0 to Davidson (OT); lost 2-1 to Massachusetts (OT)

Teresa Morrissey played every minute of Rhode Island’s two overtime losses, coming up with 7 saves against Davidson and 8 more against Massachusetts.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: defeated SIU-Edwardsville 2-1 (OT); defeated Southern Illinois 2-0

Siena Senatore came off the bench for Southeast Missouri State in both games this week, playing 36 minutes against SIU-Edwardsville and 56 minutes in the win over Southern Illinois.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Washington State 5-0; defeated Washington 4-0

Beattie Goad came off the bench for Stanford in both games, tallying an assist on Stanford’s final goal in a 31-minute outing against Washington State before seeing 38 minutes of playing time in the win over Washington.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated Iowa State 1-0 (OT)

Demi Koulizakis started for Texas Tech and played 99 minutes in their win over Iowa State, tallying 3 shots.

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: lost 3-0 to Arizona; defeated Arizona State 4-1

Rachel Lowe and Teagan Micah missed both of UCLA’s games this week due to their call-ups to the Matildas training camp in Sydney.

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: lost 4-0 to Stony Brook; lost 4-1 to Massachusetts-Lowell

Neither Abi Jordan nor Teal Kilbride featured for UMBC in either game this week.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 2-0 to Chattanooga; lost 3-0 to Samford

Kate Swartwout started for Western Carolina against Chattanooga, playing 33 minutes before coming off the bench against Samford to play 27 minutes.

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: lost 3-2 to Air Force; defeated Colorado College 3-2

Indianna Asimus played the full 90 minutes against Air Force, tallying two shots including one that rattled back off the post, before seeing 69 minutes of action against Colorado College.

The Road Less Travelled: Siobhan Longmore’s Journey To Lamar

How does a player from the coastal town of Busselton, Western Australia wind up in south-east Texas at Lamar University? If you’re Siobhan Longmore, it takes a long and winding road that detours through not one, but two junior colleges, and a little bit of guidance from your family. We caught up with Siobhan to find out more about the Dodge City Community College transfer’s journey to this point.

On the back of a glittering junior career that included state representation and a move from Busselton to Perth to continue her development, Siobhan Longmore has spent the past two seasons as an integral part of the Dodge City Community College women’s soccer team. (Yes, that’s Dodge City as in the term ‘get the hell out of Dodge.’) However, it wasn’t a truly smooth ride to get there in the first place as the Western Australian originally planned on playing at another school altogether.

“My sister, Ariana, was a freshman at Dodge City, and I was originally going to a school in Georgia called Georgia Military College. I got there, and it really just wasn’t what I expected and hoped it to be,” Longmore explained. “So the coach at Dodge City, Tim Romanello, took me in and I came here basically because my sister was here. She’s now graduated and she’s playing in California. So pretty much it’s because of my sister that I came here.”

Ariana’s presence at Dodge City may just have saved Siobhan’s career, because it wasn’t long before she was ready to leave Georgia and head back to Busselton, her college career over even before it started.

“I was going to come home three days into it; I hated it. It wasn’t what I was told it was going to be, so I was going to pack my bags and leave,” Longmore revealed. “But my family’s very supportive, they never want me to give up. My sister’s my biggest fan, I’m her biggest fan; she just said, ‘Nope, you’ve got to give it a chance.’ And I’m glad I did because I’ve made so many friends, and it’s just been amazing.”

But why attend a junior college in the first place? Longmore received interest from four year schools, but her sister’s guidance and the chance to play from the outset made the prospect of using her first two years in the US to set herself up for Division I all the more enticing.

“When I first got recruited, I got a lot of emails from four year schools. But my sister was at a community college, and she pretty much said ‘Listen, it’s going to set you up for a four-year, it’s going to give you the experience,’” Longmore explained. “For most incoming freshmen going to a four year university, it’s hard to get playing time. It was good at the community college, I mean, I played every game and I feel like it definitely has developed me to go to the next level.”

Longmore was certainly thrown in the deep end at Dodge City, though. A centre back throughout her junior years, then-Dodge City coach Tim Romanello had different plans for his newest player, moving Siobhan into a new position from the outset in what proved to be an inspired decision.

“He was an amazing coach, practices were different every day, I learnt so many new things. Honestly, I moved to America to play as a centre back, and the first day I got to America, he put me in as a centre midfielder, and I loved it,” Longmore explained. “I played centre midfield for the last two years, and it’s just developed my game. I’ve created so much more skill and strength and speed that I never had before, that I didn’t know I could have.”

“Over the last two years I’ve gained so much speed that I didn’t know I had. I’m not the best with foot skills, but I’ve got them there, and I have a very strong shot from the left side. I’m very competitive – if someone passes me, I’ll get mad about it and it’ll never happen again.”

“So now I’ve been recruited to play left defender (at Lamar), which is good because I’m left-footed and I love defence, and I also love attacking, which is what I can do in that position.”

However, the chance to play a certain position is never the be-all and end-all when it comes to recruiting, with many other factors coming into play. Hailing from a coastal town, Longmore craved a return to a beachside setting, but clearly there were other factors at play, including the opportunity to play for a team that coach Steve Holeman has turned from a 2 win team in 2016 to conference champions in 2017. However, it wasn’t Holeman who recruited Longmore, but one of his assistants.

“My whole recruiting process didn’t go through him, it went through the assistant coach Henry (Zapata), I knew the background and how (Holeman) has carried the team to be conference winners. I just think it’s amazing how you can turn around in one season. But my whole recruiting process went through Henry, and he was so good, and very open and honest about everything,” Longmore explained.

“We were talking for about a month and a half. I was going to go out and visit, but with school and stuff I couldn’t, and it got to the point where just after Christmas, I actually told him that Lamar probably won’t be a place for me.

“He came back, he offered me a full scholarship, and he pretty much made it sound like everything I wanted it to be. I have family in Texas, so at that point we took the drive up there, and I looked at the campus, and I absolutely loved it. I saw the soccer field, and I’m actually going up there in about three weeks to meet the team and watch them play one of their spring games, so I’m really excited.”

“When I came in as a sophomore, I said to everyone, ‘I am going somewhere on the beach, I don’t care where it is!’ I put it out there to schools in California and Florida, and, there was a school in Florida that I was going to go to, but Lamar came up and it was the best option for me.”

So what does the future hold for Lamar’s newest Australian? The junior certainly has big dreams, with one eye on entering the professional ranks following her two years at the top level of college soccer.

“I’m staying in America for the summer, so I’m going to be training hard, and after the two years, I know that this is big to say, but I really want to get picked up by the Houston Dash. I guess that’s kind of the dream, so I have to go hard from start to finish,” Longmore explains, slightly shyly.

“But you know, if I was to come home, I would hopefully try to get into the Perth Glory team. I’ve tried that before, but then I’ve developed so much as a player, like I didn’t even know I could develop that much. But I definitely want to continue soccer, I want to keep playing at the highest level I can.”

Interestingly, Siobhan will not be the only Australian junior college transfer to be playing in the Southland Conference, with Iowa Lakes Community College transfer Tessa Calabria joining fellow Australians Kristy Helmers and Tenille Harberger at Nicholls State. The pair even faced off in a junior college match last season, with both sides featuring a number of Australians.

“We actually have a photo together! We we played against them at the start of the season, and one of the other girls who plays on the Iowa team, I went to school with her and lived with her when I went to John Curtin College (in Perth). So it was kind of a big reunion there, and then we got together and there were four Australians on the team. I was like, ‘Let’s take a big photo of all the Australians!’. There’s another Australian on my team, my roommate, who’s also from Busselton, so we have a photo of about six of us, which was cool.”

Madeleine Duncan, Tessa Calabria, Sienna Scully (all Iowa Lakes CC), Siobhan Longmore, and Keeley Milner (both Dodge City CC)

“We’ve been in contact, we’ve been talking about it, and she told me that’s where she was going to go, and I said that’s awesome, we’re going to be playing against each other. I love playing against other Aussies, and even when I’m at basketball games and I see Australians on the other team’s roster, after the game I go up to them, I give them a hug, we have such good chats, it’s so cool.”

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?

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