2019 College Cup Preview

(Photo Credit: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)

Four Aussies across three teams remain in the hunt for an NCAA Division I Championship as the tournament reaches the semi-final stage. For Beattie Goad, it will be a chance to pick up a second title in four years, whilst Teagan Micah will be looking to go one better than a championship game loss to Goad and Stanford in 2017. Meanwhile, for Micah’s UCLA teammate Rachel Lowe and Washington State backup goalkeeper Aly Hay, this weekend provides an opportunity to round out their freshman seasons in the best way possible.

Washington State (Aly Hay) v North Carolina

11:00am, Saturday December 7

Live on watchESPN

Let’s take a look at the list of boilovers that Washington State have produced in this NCAA Tournament, shall we?

#1 Virginia? Check.

#2 South Carolina? Check.

#1 seed and 21-time College Cup champions North Carolina? Well, why not? When you’ve already knocked off two of the top eight teams in the nation, there is little reason to believe you can’t do it for a third time, and Washington State have the chance to do exactly that against the most storied program in NCAA women’s soccer and one of the most decorated in all of college sports.

The Cougars have hit top form at the perfect time, reaching the College Cup for the first time in program history on the back of a dream run that has seen them knock off a pair of seeds on the road as well as nationally ranked Memphis and an elite West Virginia squad that is just three years removed from playing in the national championship game. Star forward Morgan Weaver is showing the kind of form that made her a US Under-23 national team camp call-up, whilst being ably supported by Makamae Gomera-Stevens and Mackenzie Frimpong-Ellertson, both of whom have scored vital goals in this tournament. Gomera-Stevens scored the only goal against Memphis in the first round, whilst Frimpong-Ellertson tallied the winner in the 3-2 win over Virginia, a game in which Gomera-Stevens also added an assist on the Cougars’ opener. The Cougars also feature an elite level player between the sticks, with program legend Ella Dederick continuing to play a massive role for Washington State in goal. The senior has been pivotal in the Cougars’ rise, and it is fair to say that without Dederick at the back, the team would not be even close to this position.

North Carolina come into this game missing one of their star players after Emily Fox tore her ACL during their Elite Eight win over USC, but the Tar Heels roster is, as per usual, utterly stacked with talent. Alessia Russo and Brianna Pinto stand alongside Fox as MAC Hermann Trophy semi-finalists, whilst players such as Taylor Otto, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Bridgette Andrzejewski can also be considered among the top players in the nation. Add in the coaching of 21-time national champion Anson Dorrance, and the Tar Heels provide a formidable foe for all opponents.

It won’t be easy for Washington State, but neither was defeating South Carolina or Virginia, and they managed to get past both of those teams.

Stanford (Beattie Goad) v UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

1:30pm, Saturday December 7

Live on watchESPN

The matchup that has defined this era of College Matildas, Teagan Micah and Beattie Goad face off for the sixth time in four years, whilst Rachel Lowe is set to face Stanford for the first time after missing the regular season contest due to Young Matildas commitments. However, the history of the matchup doesn’t make pretty reading for the Bruins or their Aussies. Zero wins, five losses, six goals scored, eleven conceded.

But despite that dismal record, three of those losses have come in 3-2 results, making the Bruins one of the few teams that have been able to put multiple goals past Stanford in recent seasons. That also means that the other two losses have come in 1-0 games as UCLA have stifled the Stanford attack at times. What they haven’t been able to do in any of these games is score goals and hold Stanford at bay at the same time.

Teagan Micah will be bidding to keep her college career alive with a win in this game, and the senior goalkeeper will likely prove crucial to UCLA’s chances. One of the top custodians in the nation, Micah has been ever-reliable for the Bruins since the opening game of her freshman season, and remains one of the main reasons UCLA find themselves in the position they are in. Meanwhile, Rachel Lowe has been known to provide a spark off the bench, and whilst these games often see coaches run with a short rotation, there may yet come an opportunity for the freshman.

For Stanford, it will be a case of ‘more of the same, please!’ as the Cardinal look to continue their utterly dominant 2019 campaign. Having scored 98 goals and conceded just 11 in 23 games this season, the mere blip that was an early September loss to Pepperdine is now well and truly in the rearview mirror. Stanford went through the Pac-12 season undefeated, demonstrating that even the toughest conference in the nation is no match for their power. That included a 1-0 win over UCLA, the only match in which they did not score multiple goals and one of just two in which the final margin was only a single goal.

However, even in that game, Stanford conceded the princely sum of zero shots on target to UCLA as Maya Doms’ looping header proved sufficient to secure victory. The Cardinal won’t want to rely on completely suffocating the Bruins’ attack again though, and with their attack averaging 4.26 goals per game, they will not only be hoping, but expecting to give Micah a hell of a time between the sticks. Featuring as part of that attacking behemoth will be senior midfielder Beattie Goad. The Victorian has bounced between the starting lineup and making an impact off the bench throughout the season, but has performed admirably the many roles in which she has been deployed in 2019. Already with an assist in the tournament on a wicked corner against BYU, Goad sits at equal fifth in that category for Stanford with six for the season alongside three goals. UCLA may concede just 0.7 goals per game, but that number won’t even register for Stanford as they look to do what they’ve done all season – bang in a multitude of goals for fun.

NCAA Tournament Elite Eight Preview

(Photo: Percy Anderson/UCLA)

Having started the NCAA Tournament with just five teams featuring Aussies, three remain alive as we head into the Elite Eight. Wins for UCLA and Stanford would see the two sides meet in the College Cup semi-finals, whilst Washington State look to keep a dream run going on the road at South Carolina.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

Elite Eight: v BYU – 10am, Saturday November 30

Live on Stanford Live Stream

Stanford have won 16 games in a row since their sole loss of the season to Pepperdine in September, but their Elite Eight opponent won’t make it easy for the Cardinal to make it 17 on the trot. Whilst BYU play in the West Coast Conference, a slightly weaker conference than Stanford’s Pac-12, the Cougars have ridden roughshod over their entire schedule in 2019. Sitting on a 21-0-1 record, BYU are one of the few teams in the nation with a better record than Stanford, with wins over Santa Clara, Kansas, and Texas A&M among those victories. Stanford will certainly come into this game as favourites as they look to extend their 4-0 all-time record against BYU to 5-0, but this game shapes to be by far their toughest test of the NCAA Tournament to this point. The Cougars feature a trio of attackers that have combined for 48 goals this season, led by 20-goal striker Elise Flake, one of the deadliest forwards going around. Shutting Flake down, which not many teams have been able to do this season, shapes to play a large part in Stanford getting the win.

However, the Cardinal are led by the undoubted top player in the nation in Catarina Macario, who has not only banged in 30 goals but also assisted on 23 more this season. Backed up by the likes of Sophia Smith and Madison Haley, who have combined for 25 goals and 18 assists, Stanford have notched 93 goals in 21 games this season. With a defence that has shipped just 10 goals in 2019, Stanford look primed for a return trip to the College Cup and potentially a second national championship in three seasons.

Beattie Goad appears set for another cameo off the bench this weekend, and will look to add to her three goals and five assists for the season as the senior’s college career approaches its conclusion after four outstanding seasons.

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

Elite Eight: @ Florida State – 6am, Saturday November 30

Live on ACC Network Extra (US Only)

UCLA have already beaten Florida State once this season, but that game was in Los Angeles. This time, the Bruins will travel to Tallahassee for a rematch against the Seminoles in a game with far more on the line than their non-conference game in late August. Since that game, Florida State’s three losses have all come against other teams that secured #1 seeds for the NCAA Tournament, falling twice to Virginia and once to North Carolina. However, whilst the Seminoles may have home ground advantage and the #1 next to their name, that hasn’t always translated to success in this tournament. Unseeded Washington State have already knocked off Virginia in the Round of 32, and UCLA come into this game with far more of a chance than the Cougars were given in that contest.

In fact, given the numbers posted by both teams this season, one could argue that on a neutral pitch, UCLA would be the favourites in this one. They have narrowly outscored Florida State this season, whilst conceding just 0.73 goals per game whereas the Seminoles have conceded a single goal per contest. In a weekend featuring three #1 v #2 matchups, this shapes as the tightest of them all.

Senior goalkeeper Teagan Micah shapes to be pivotal for the Bruins if they are to earn their way into the College Cup semi-finals for the second time in three seasons. The Matildas goalkeeper hasn’t always been required to perform heavy duties between the sticks this season, but when she has, Micah has regularly performed admirably. It will also be intriguing to see what role Rachel Lowe plays this weekend. The freshman has played extended minutes in UCLA’s dominant victories to this point, but how much action Lowe sees in a potential nail-biter remains to be seen.

Washington State (Aly Hay)

Elite Eight: @ South Carolina – 10am, Saturday November 30

Live on SEC Network Plus (US Only)

They’ve already beaten a #1 seed on the road in Virginia, and now Washington State look to repeat the dose against #2 seed South Carolina and reach the College Cup for the first time in program history. With just one loss this season and an SEC tournament title under their belt, South Carolina have continued their run of elite seasons in recent times, and are yet to concede a goal in the NCAA Tournament. In fact, the Gamecocks rank third in the nation in shutout percentage, keeping 17 clean sheets in 24 games so far this season.

Fortunately, Washington State’s attackers are in blistering form at the moment. With six goals across their last two games, the Cougars are hitting their straps at the perfect time to make a run at the College Cup. US Under-23 national squad member Morgan Weaver has tallied 3 goals and an assist in that time, whilst Makamae Gomera-Stevens has popped up with a goal and an assist of her own to help lead Washington State to this point. South Carolina won’t be an easy defence to penetrate, but the Cougars are in the kind of form that could see them keep this run of upsets going. Having Ella Dederick between the sticks helps too – there aren’t many goalkeepers out there that you’d prefer to have keeping you safe in a game where a clean sheet might be your only chance of securing victory without going to penalties.

There also aren’t many better goalkeepers around for a young backup to learn from, which is exactly what Aussie freshman Aly Hay continues to do as she prepares for a crack at the top job next season.

NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen Preview

(Photo: Bill Dally/ISIPhotos.com)

And then there were three. Every Pac-12 team featuring on Aussie on its roster has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, and there is no reason to think all three won’t make it to the Elite Eight. However, there are some tantalising matchups on the board, including two rematches of regular season contests.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

Sweet Sixteen: v Penn State – 8am, Monday November 25

Live on Pac-12 Network

Stanford have been utterly dominant throughout the first two rounds, scoring 19 goals and conceding a grand total of zero. However, this game against Penn State shapes as a tasty encounter for the neutrals and a potential heartstopper for fans of the Cardinal and Nittany Lions. Stanford do have the wood on Penn State so far this season, with the teams meeting in the season opener. The Cardinal won that game 2-1, outshooting the home side 17-9 in the process. With this game being played on Stanford’s home patch, one would be forgiven for expecting Stanford to just keep marching on as they have done for most of this season. However, Penn State didn’t earn a #4 seed being mediocre, winning the Big Ten tournament before knocking off Arizona 4-3 in overtime in the NCAA Tournament second round.

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

Sweet Sixteen: v Wisconsin – 11am, Monday November 25

Live on UCLA Live Stream

UCLA haven’t quite been as dominant as Stanford, but with 4-1 and 5-0 wins under their belt to this point, the Bruins are in outstanding form heading into their contest with Wisconsin. This game also represents a rematch of a regular season fixture, with the Bruins and Badgers facing off on UCLA’s home patch in September. UCLA won that game 1-0 in a remarkably tight game, with Teagan Micah forced to make five saves in a match-saving performance. With UCLA a #2 seed for the tournament and Wisconsin a #3 seed, this shapes as potentially one of the tightest of the eight games in the Sweet Sixteen.

Teagan Micah has been largely untested in the opening two rounds, but plenty shapes to change in this fixture. The senior has already proven crucial to one UCLA victory in a game between these teams, and it would not be a surprise to anyone if the Matildas World Cup squad member reprises that role in this contest. Rachel Lowe also enjoyed an extended stint on the pitch in the demolition of Clemson in the second round, but the freshman’s minutes against Wisconsin may depend on the scoreline at any particular time.

Washington State (Aly Hay)

Sweet Sixteen: v West Virginia – 9am, Monday November 25

Live on ACC Network Extra (US Only)

Washington State produced one of the upsets of the tournament to get to this point, defeating #1 seed Virginia, giving the Cougars every reason to be confident heading into this fixture against West Virginia. However, that won’t make the contest against the Mountaineers an easy one, with West Virginia comfortably handling Georgetown 2-0 in the first round before edging to a 1-0 overtime win against Central Connecticut State in the second round. Just three years removed from a national championship game appearance, West Virginia may not be the same team they were then, but they are still in the nation’s top echelon. However, Washington State are probably a better side than their lack of seeding suggests, with a number of elite players on the roster. The draw has partially opened up for them with their defeat of Virginia, but they now have to take advantage.

Once again, it is highly unlikely that we see Aly Hay take to the pitch as the Cougars’ third-string goalkeeper, but as a freshman, that is hardly cause for concern at this stage.

2019 NCAA Tournament Preview

(Image: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)

2019 sees five teams featuring Australians enter the NCAA Tournament, and all have real opportunities to make deep runs. Beattie Goad and Stanford have secured the #1 overall seed, and we could see the Cardinal face another Aussie-laden side in Hofstra in the Round of 32. Meanwhile, Teagan Micah and Rachel Lowe will look to lead UCLA back to the College Cup for the first time since 2017 after a sublime finish to the regular season. Demi Koulizakis will look to bang home a few goals as Texas Tech attempt to take advantage of their #4 seeding, whilst backup goalkeeper Aly Hay will no doubt be ready if called upon for Washington State.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

First Round: v Loyola Chicago – 5am, Sunday November 17

Hofstra dominated the Colonial Athletic Association once again in 2019, securing their third consecutive conference championship with an undefeated league season that culminated in a 5-1 win over James Madison in the title game. The Pride finished 15-3-2, with all three of their losses coming to top-25 RPI sides as they ran roughshod over the majority of their opponents. Having earned hosting rights for the opening round, Hofstra now face Missouri Valley Conference champions Loyola Chicago. The Ramblers put together a solid season, albeit in a weaker conference than Hofstra, dropping just four games on their way to the conference title. Hofstra will certainly be favoured here, but should they get through Loyola, improving upon last year’s second-round exit will be tough; the Pride are slated to face Beattie Goad’s Stanford outfit on the road in the Round of 32.

It unfortunately seems unlikely that either Grace Watson Carr or Monique Iannella will see any playing time in this one, but if the game descends into a blowout, we could see some bench cameos in the latter stages.

Tale of the Tape

Hofstra Team Loyola Chicago
15-3-2 Record (W-L-D) 14-4-1
16 RPI Rank 57
2.5 Goals Per Game 1.84
1.35 Goals Conceded Per Game 1

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

First Round: v Prairie View A&M – 2pm, Saturday November 16

The overall #1 seed in the tournament for the fourth consecutive season, Stanford have once again carved out an exceptional regular season and given themselves the best possible chance at tournament success. Smashing home an impressive 72 goals in an 18-1 campaign that included a perfect conference record, Stanford look primed for a repeat run to the College Cup for the third consecutive season. Standing in their way first up is Prairie View A&M, the champions of the SWAC. However, first round games have barely proven to be an obstacle in recent seasons. Stanford have scored 16 goals and conceded just 1 in their last three opening round encounters, with that one conceded goal coming in a 9-1 win over Utah Valley in 2017.

It also shapes to be intriguing to see how much playing time Beattie Goad sees in the tournament this year. Having come off the bench for much of the season, the Victorian tallied two assists in a Senior Day start, and that may have garnered Goad a few more minutes on the pitch at the most crucial stage.

Tale of the Tape

Stanford Team Prairie View A&M
18-1-0 Record (W-L-D) 13-7-0
1 RPI Rank 246
3.79 Goals Per Game 1.4
0.52 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.95

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

First Round: v Pepperdine – Saturday November 16

Texas Tech reached the Big 12 semi-finals before falling to TCU, but had been all but guaranteed an at-large bid for at least a couple of weeks prior to that defeat. A well-balanced Red Raiders team with a stingy and defence and high-powered offence dropped just three games across the course of the season, snagging a #4 seeding in the process. However, they have been rewarded with a tricky opponent in the form of Pepperdine. The Waves may have dropped six games this season, but one of their 11 wins came against the might of Stanford, handing the Cardinal their only loss of the season.

Demi Koulizakis has been a crucial part of the Red Raiders attack all year, producing four goals and five assists to be among the best Aussies in both categories. Texas Tech will need not only Koulizakis, but the entire attack to be at their best if they are to secure a second victory in as many years against Pepperdine; the Red Raiders knocked off a nationally ranked Waves side 1-0 early in 2018.

Tale of the Tape

Texas Tech Team Pepperdine
15-3-2 Record (W-L-D) 11-6-2
20 RPI Rank 46
2.1 Goals Per Game 1.79
0.65 Goals Conceded Per Game 1.16

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

First Round: v Lamar – 1pm, Saturday November 16

Live on UCLA Live Stream

Between September 19 and October 3rd, UCLA’s results went as follows: draw, win, loss, loss. That is but ancient history now though, as the Bruins won eight of their last nine games, only dropping a 1-0 decision to Stanford. That barnstorming finish earned UCLA a 2nd seed that looked rather unlikely six weeks earlier, and with it a match against Southland Conference champions Lamar. The Cardinals feature one of the most prolific offences in the nation, chalking up 69 goals in 22 games. However, they are yet to face a defence of UCLA’s ilk, much less a goalkeeper of Teagan Micah’s class. UCLA concede an average of less than a goal per game, with Micah keeping seven clean sheets this season.

Rachel Lowe should also be back for the Bruins after her Young Matildas commitments, having finished fourth at the recent Under 19 Asian Championship. The freshman has seen a decent amount of playing time in her first season, and will no doubt be champing at the bit to get her first taste of NCAA Tournament action.

Tale of the Tape

UCLA Team Lamar
14-4-1 Record (W-L-D) 16-6-0
7 RPI Rank 87
1.95 Goals Per Game 3.14
0.78 Goals Conceded Per Game 1.87

Washington State (Aly Hay)

First Round: v Memphis – 12pm, Saturday November 16

Live on Washington State Live Stream

On paper, Washington State have found themselves in one of the tightest games of the opening round as they take on Memphis, who sit a single position above them in the RPI rankings. Memphis have lost just twice this season, with one of those losses coming in the American Athletic Conference championship game. However, Washington State will host this game and have lost only twice in nine games on the Palouse this season. If they are to secure victory, the Cougars will have to slow down Memphis’ attack, which has produced 2.7 goals per game. Fortunately, Washington State give up just 1.16 goals per game, but on the 12 occasions they did concede a goal this year, they gave up multiple goals on five occasions. Memphis’ defence is even more stingy, conceding just 0.55 goals per game, but they have rarely faced teams of the same calibre that Washington State have.

As a backup behind one of the top goalkeepers in the nation in Ella Dederick, it of course seems unlikely that Aly Hay will see any playing time in this year’s tournament. However, with Dederick moving on to the professional ranks next season, expect to see the Canadian-Australian between the sticks in future tournaments.

Tale of the Tape

Washington State Team Memphis
12-6-1 Record (W-L-D) 17-2-1
27 RPI Rank 26
1.89 Goals Per Game 2.7
1.16 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.55

Where Could They Meet?

Hofstra v Stanford – Round of 32
Hofstra v Texas Tech – Final
Hofstra v UCLA – Semi-Final
Hofstra v Washington State – Final
Stanford v Texas Tech – Final
Stanford v UCLA – Semi-Final
Stanford v Washington State – Final
Texas Tech v UCLA – Final
Texas Tech v Washington State – Final
UCLA v Washington State – Final

2019 Week 12 Preview

At #15 in the United Soccer Coaches national rankings, Texas Tech are the second-highest ranked Big 12 team, and also finished second in the conference standings before knocking off Baylor in last weekend’s conference tournament quarter-finals. That put the Red Raiders into a semi-final against TCU, with the Horned Frogs the only Big 12 team to deliver Texas Tech a defeat this season. However, that slip-up doesn’t change the fact that Texas Tech will come into this game as favourites, with senior Demi Koulizakis part of a Red Raiders attack that has done the required job on just about every occasion this season. With a solid defence that has conceded just five goals in conference play backing them up, Texas Tech has eked out four 1-0 victories this season on their way to second place in the conference standings. However, a 4-1 win over Kansas State last week displayed the Red Raiders’ offensive prowess, and with nine goals in their last four games, if everything clicks, Texas Tech could yet storm to the championship game.

Hawaii have already made history just by reaching the Big West tournament, but that is merely a step on the pathway as the Rainbow Wahine look to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. With the tournament being hosted by the regular season champion, Hawaii’s semi-final against Cal State Fullerton in the 1st v 4th semi-final becomes a true road game rather than a neutral venue contest. However, Hawaii have already drawn with the Titans on the very same pitch that they will be playing this game. It was a hardly a game in which Hawaii just eked out a draw either; although they were outshot 20-13, the Rainbow Wahine certainly had their chances throughout the contest. Big West All-Conference First Team selection Eliza Ammendolia’s emergence as part of the attack has certainly been a game-changer for Hawaii, and whilst they have only won one of their last five, the Rainbow Wahine have lost only one of their past eight as they carved out a number of draws to pick up vital points on their way to the tournament.

UCLA and USC played out one of the most thrilling games of the regular season in 2018, and sparks look set to fly once again as the crosstown rivals face off on the final day of Pac-12 play. Last year’s contest saw Teagan Micah make one of the plays of the season, coming up with an acrobatic tip over the bar with just two seconds remaining in regulation to force the game to overtime. UCLA would go on to secure the golden goal victory, and another victory this week would greatly assist in the Bruins’ push to secure as high a seeding for the NCAA Tournament as possible. Micah kept two clean sheets last week to maintain some outstanding form of late, and another performance of similar ilk would just about get the Bruins halfway to a victory – you can’t lose if you’re not conceding goals!

Siena Senatore and Southeast Missouri State have run roughshod over much of the Ohio Valley Conference this season, giving themselves a golden chance to secure a conference title and reach the NCAA Tournament in Senatore’s final season. Having received a double-bye through to the semi-finals, the Redhawks need just two wins to secure the title, with that semi-final coming at home against SIU-Edwardsville. Southeast Missouri State already have a 2-1 win at home, but the Cougars are a dangerous team, smashing home 29 goals and finishing with the second-best goal difference in the league. That is where Senatore comes into play for the Redhawks. A solid defensive performance, of which the senior will most likely play a crucial role off the bench, has the potential to stifle SIU-Edwardsville’ attack and turn this game into a defensive battle. That is an area in which the Redhawks can claim superiority, having conceded just 13 goals in 10 games compared to SIU-Edwardsville’s 17. Should the Redhawks get a win, they could face a Murray State team that has already beaten them 5-0 once this season. If that is the case, then Senatore and the Redhawks defence would become even more crucial if they are to get revenge for that result and secure a conference championship.

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: @ Prairie View A&M – 10:30am, Friday November 8 (SWAC Tournament Quarter-Final)

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Bryant – 8am, Saturday November 9 (Northeast Conference Tournament Semi-Final)

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: @ Cal State Fullerton – 2:30pm, Friday November 8 (Big West Tournament Semi-Final)

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: v James Madison – 5am, Sunday November 10 (CAA Tournament Final)

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: @ Saint Louis – 6am, Saturday November 9 (Atlantic 10 Tournament Semi-Final)

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: v SIU-Edwardsville – 11:30am, Saturday November 9 (Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Semi-Final)

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v California – 2pm, Saturday November 9

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v TCU – 12pm, Saturday November 9 (Big 12 Tournament Semi-Final)

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: v USC – 1pm, Saturday November 9

Washington State (Aly Hay)

This week: @ Washington – 2pm, Saturday November 9

2019 Week 11 Preview

(Image Credit: Greg Carroccio/Sideline Photos)

Several teams featuring Aussies are involved in conference tournament play this weekend, with a La Salle’s Claudia Jenkins and Alyssa Van Heurck as well as Western Carolina’s Kate Swartwout the players to watch. Jenkins and Van Heurck will be first up as La Salle host Dayton on Sunday morning in a replay of last week’s thriller to end conference play. The Explorers won that game 3-2 to earn hosting rights in their conference tournament opener, and now face a Flyers side out for revenge in a far more important game. However, with Jenkins in outstanding form between the sticks all season, La Salle have every reason to be confident of securing victory on their home patch.

Western Carolina earned a bye through to the quarter-finals of Southern Conference tournament, but still find themselves on the road in a 4 v 5 matchup at Mercer. These teams faced other just two weeks ago on Kate Swartwout’s Senior Day, with Western Carolina rolling to a 4-1 victory on that occasion. Whilst that may have been a home victory for the Catamounts, it was such a dominant performance that going on the road should not dent their confidence going into this knockout fixture as they look to make a charge at a conference championship.

Dropping their game against UC Santa Barbara last week set Hawaii back in their chase for a regular season conference championship, but the Rainbow Wahine remain well and truly in control of their own fate when it comes to reaching the Big West tournament. Taking on Long Beach State and UC Davis this week, Hawaii will be considered favourites in each of these games, but playing on the road makes things just that little bit more difficult, particularly when every road trip consists of a five-hour flight. A win and a draw in these two games will clinch a conference tournament spot, and with several players in good form, Hawaii have every reason to be confident of picking up those results. Australian freshman Eliza Ammendolia is one of those players in form, with things really starting to click for the midfielder in recent weeks. With Kiri Dale providing outstanding impact off the bench in recent weeks, both Aussies could play integral roles in getting Hawaii over the line and into a first Big West tournament.

Wyoming remain an outside chance of sneaking into the Mountain West Conference tournament, but they’ll need other results to go their way if they are to return to the preseason. However, first and foremost, the Cowgirls will need to pick up victory over their arch-rivals Colorado State in the annual Border War fixture. Fortunately, Indianna Asimus is in excellent form at the moment, scoring in each of Wyoming’s games last weekend. Wyoming are going to need to score goals in this one, and if Asimus continues as she has in recent games, the Cowgirls are a solid chance to do their part on the final weekend. Then, it will just become a case of hoping that San Jose State and Air Force both drop points. It all seems a bit unlikely at this point, but soccer regularly throws up crazy final days like this one could be.

Texas Tech, on the other hand, find themselves in position to potentially secure a Big 12 regular season championship. They will be relying on Baylor taking points from ladder leading Oklahoma State on the final day of the season, but a win over Kansas State will secure a top-two spot regardless of other results. The Texas Tech attack has been in solid form all season, with Demi Koulizakis a large part of that. The senior tallied three shots on target last time out, and if that kind of accuracy and volume continues, it’s only a matter of time before the Sydneysider gets another goal before her college career comes to an end.

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: @ Alabama A&M – 7am, Saturday November 2

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: v Kansas City – 5am, Sunday November 3

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Wagner – 10am, Friday November 1; v Mount St. Mary’s – 5am, Monday November 4

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v Cal State Bakersfield – 1pm, Sunday November 3

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: @ UC Davis – 8am, Friday November 1; @ Long Beach State – 9am, Monday November 4

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: v Northeastern/Elon – 5am, Monday November 4 (CAA Conference Tournament)

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v Dayton – 4am, Sunday November 3 (Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament)

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Kentucky – 10:45am, Friday November 1

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: v Western Kentucky – 10am, Saturday November 2

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: @ Texas A&M – 10:30am, Friday November 1

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

This week: v Southeastern Louisiana – 8am, Saturday November 2

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: v North Dakota – 10am, Friday November 1; @ Denver – 6am, Monday November 4

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Charlotte – 10am, Saturday November 2

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Arizona State – 11am, Friday November 1; v Arizona – 7am, Monday November 4

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Kansas State – 11am, Friday November 1

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: @ Oregon State – 1pm, Friday November 1; @ Oregon – 8am, Monday November 4

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: @ Binghamton – 10am, Friday November 1

Washington State (Aly Hay)

This week: v Utah – 1pm, Friday November 1; v Colorado – 6am, Monday November 4

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: @ Mercer – 7am, Monday November 4 (Southern Conference Tournament)

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: @ Colorado State – 8am, Saturday November 2

2019 Week 10 Preview

The split is almost straight down the middle for the Aussies when it comes to those on the brink of a postseason berth and those on the outside looking in. It’s now or never for some teams, whilst others are looking to clinch regular season titles or improve tournament seedings.

(Image Credit: Stanford Athletics)

Hawaii picked up four points from last week’s road trip to remain a point off the top of the Big West standings with a game in hand. Two wins this week would put the Rainbow Wahine in the box seat heading into the final weekend, but more importantly, it could guarantee the team a spot in their first Big West conference tournament. Fortunately, the team, and freshman Eliza Ammendolia in particular, find themselves in outstanding form. Ammendolia is fresh off a goal and three assists in the space of two weeks, and with Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara providing eminently winnable fixtures at home for Hawaii, this could very well be the week that the Rainbow Wahine break their Big West postseason duck.

Stanford and UCLA are usually both fighting for the Pac-12 title deep into the season, but 2019 sees the two teams in vastly different situations with five games remaining in conference play. Stanford currently sit top of the best conference in college soccer with a perfect 6-0 record, and this week travel east for their final road games of the season against Colorado and Utah. Trips to the mountains are never easy, particularly with the altitude to contend with, but Stanford aren’t 14-1 for nothing, and they’ll be fully expected to secure two victories this weekend and eliminate the vast majority of the Pac-12 from mathematical title contention. What will be particularly interesting to watch is just how much playing time Beattie Goad receives this week. After an outstanding start to the campaign, the senior’s playing time has diminished as stars have returned from injury, but there is no denying the versatile midfielder’s class.

On the other hand, UCLA sit 9 points back in the Pac-12 standings, but will still be looking to finish strongly and earn a seeding in the NCAA Tournament. With three games still to come against teams sitting above them in the standings, there are plenty of chances for resume-building wins, and that starts this week as the Bruins host Washington and Washington State. Both teams sit narrowly above UCLA in the RPI rankings, but the Bruins would still be considered favourites in both games. Rachel Lowe will not be available for these games due to Young Matildas commitments, but Teagan Micah will continue to provide a strong presence between the sticks. Micah has produced six clean sheets in 11 appearances in 2019, and if the senior can continue that form, the Bruins could be back in national title form in rapid time.

Indianna Asimus helped Wyoming to a win in their final home game of the season, but the Cowgirls will need more results on the road if they are to return to the Mountain West Conference tournament. This week sees Wyoming travel west to face Nevada and UNLV, two teams sitting in the bottom three of the Mountain West standings. Although they may be on the road, these two games represent prime chances for the Cowgirls to pick up a full six points, particularly if Asimus can keep whipping in free kicks the likes of which she produced in last week’s Senior Day win over Utah State. With other teams placed above them set to take points off each other, the Cowgirls could edge their way right into contention heading into a final-day Border War matchup against local rivals Colorado State.

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: v Howard – 5am, Saturday October 26

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Grand Canyon – 11am, Friday October 25; @ Cal State Bakersfield – 11am, Sunday October 27

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: @ VMI – 7am, Saturday October 26; @ UNC Greensboro – 5am, Monday October 28

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ St. Francis Brooklyn – 4am, Saturday October 26

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v Chicago State – 1pm, Friday October 25; @ Utah Valley – 11am, Sunday October 27

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: v Cal Poly – 4pm, Friday October 25; v UC Santa Barbara – 2pm, Monday October 28

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: @ Towson – 6am, Friday October 25; @ William & Mary – 4am, Monday October 28

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: v Minnesota – 5am, Monday October 28

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: @ Massachusetts – 6am, Friday October 25; v Dayton – 4am, Monday October 28

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Mississippi State – 11am, Friday October 25; @ Ole Miss – 9am, Monday October 28

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week:

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: @ South Carolina – 10am, Friday October 25; v LSU – 9am, Monday October 28

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

This week: v Northwestern State – 8am, Saturday October 26; v Central Arkansas – 5am, Monday October 28

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: @ South Dakota State – 10am, Friday October 25

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v UTSA – 10am, Friday October 25; v UTEP – 3am, Monday October 28

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: @ Saint Joseph’s – 10am, Friday October 25; v Rhode Island – 4am, Monday October 28

Teresa Morrissey will miss these games due to Young Matildas commitments.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: v Jacksonville State – 10:30am, Saturday October 26; v Tennessee Tech – 6am, Monday October 28

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ Colorado – 8am, Friday October 25; @ Utah – 5am, Monday October 28

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: @ Baylor – 11am, Friday October 25; @ Texas – 5am, Monday October 28

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: v Washington – 2pm, Friday October 25; v Washington State – 6am, Monday October 28

Rachel Lowe will miss these games due to Young Matildas commitments.

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: v Hartford – 5am, Monday October 28

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v UNC Greensboro – 10am, Saturday October 26; v VMI – 5am, Monday October 28

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: @ UNLV – 1pm, Saturday October 26; @ Nevada – 6am, Monday October 28