Week 9 Preview

This week sees our first Aussie v Aussie matchup, and there are plenty of Aussies involved, as Southeast Missouri State’s trio of Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, and Bridget Sankey take on Murray State and their Aussie duo of Nyomi Devine and Harriet Withers. Elsewhere, UMBC kick off their conference schedule, whilst Wyoming and Southern aim to keep their 100% winning records in conference play.

UMBC (Lilly Rydon)

This week: at Vermont – 5am, Friday October 3; v Stony Brook – 4am, Monday October 6

UMBC finally get their conference schedule kicked off, taking on Vermont and Stony Brook in a weekend that should, on paper, allow the side to ease their way into league play. UMBC have compiled an 8-2-0 record so far this season, whilst Vermont and Stony Brook have just two and three wins respectively, against teams that are no better than those faced by UMBC. Lilly Rydon has played up front most of the season for UMBC, contributing with both goals and assists, and there is no reason not to expect more of the same this week as she makes the most of her final season in college.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week: v Providence – 10am, Friday October 3; v Seton Hall – 5am, Monday October 6

After rolling through their non-conference schedule with just one loss, Creighton hit a major speed bump in conference play, losing both of their first two games to DePaul and St. John’s. Things don’t get much easier in their first game this week, coming up against a Providence side that have played a tough schedule but managed to eke out a 5-4-2 record. The Bluejays have a much better chance this week, however, of coming away with a result against lowly rated Seton Hall, whose record sits at just 3-6-2. Anastasia McCleary may be just the player to nab a victory for Creighton this week; whilst her chances have been limited in recent matches, she has made her impact felt when she has been given the chance.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: at Utah State – 7am, Saturday October 4; at Boise State – 5am, Monday October 6

Two tightly contested match appear to await Wyoming this week, although it appeared that way last week against Nevada and UNLV and it ended in two massive victories. Still, the Cowgirls will be have to be on their game to defeat a pair of sides that have been more than nuisance value so far this season. Wyoming’s two wins to start conference play have put them atop the Mountain West standings, and two more would be enough to see them, at worst, in a two-way tie for the conference lead. The three Australians have become vital cogs in the team, with Alisha Bass scoring goals regularly, Candace Sciberras playing well in midfield, and Georgia Rowntree becoming something akin to a brick wall with reflexes in goal, and they’ll all need to be in top form to ensure that Wyoming pick up a pair of victories this weekend.

Southern (Simone Arthur)

This week: at Alcorn State – 8am, Saturday October 4; at Mississippi Valley State – 5am, Monday October 6

After two wins this week, Southern come into these two matches with a great chance to extend their conference winning streak and put themselves in prime position to gain a top seed in the SWAC tournament – in a conference where each team plays 10 games, four straight wins is a great start. Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State have been tipped to be near the bottom of the SWAC, and Alcorn State only played three non-conference games this year, which unfortunately says more than a bit about how seriously the program is taken by the athletics department. Whether Simone Arthur will play this weekend or not is still up in the air – hopefully she will be back soon.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)

This week: at USC – 8am, Saturday October 4; at UCLA – 7am, Monday October 6

After a loss to California last week, things don’t get any easier for Colorado this week, as a trip to Los Angeles sees the usual Disneyland and Universal Studios become nationally ranked #23 USC and #1 UCLA. Against two sides that have only one loss between them this season, this will prove to be the toughest test of the season for the Buffaloes, but if they can somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat in one of these games, they may just reignite their increasingly remote at-large bid chances. Kahlia Hogg will most probably start up front again this week, but Alex Huynh is out indefinitely with a foot injury, putting a huge hole in Colorado’s defence.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week: at Lamar – 9am, Saturday October 4

Jess Coates has stepped into the captain’s role superbly this season, performing outstandingly so far this season, and this week her Nicholls State side takes on Lamar, once the home of Australian defender Danielle Pearce. These sides are fairly evenly matched, and both need a win in order to keep their hunt for a high seed in the Southland conference tournament. Nicholls State have had little trouble scoring goals, but have had a few problems at the other end of the field. This game may be an opportunity for the Colonels’ defence to build a little confidence against a Lamar side that has had problems of its own scoring goals. If the defence can put in a solid shift, the Nicholls State attack should have no problems putting this game away.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: v James Madison – 9am, Saturday October 4; v Towson – 4am, Monday October 6

Despite their loss to William and Mary last week, Hofstra remain as one of the strongest teams in the Colonial league this year, and are hot favourites to pick up two wins this week against James Madison and Towson. The Pride will have to be wary of James Madison’s attack, however, which racked up eight goals last week in a pair of 4-2 wins, whilst Towson have already defeated Lilly Rydon’s UMBC team this year and run some more fancied teams close despite only winning three games so far this season. Emily Hulbert has become an integral part of the Hofstra side, and could very well play a big part if the defence is indeed forced to work as hard as James Madison’s attacking stats suggest.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Bridget Sankey)

This week: v Tennessee-Martin – 9:30am, Saturday October 4; v Murray State – 5am, Monday October 6

Southeast Missouri State provide one side of the first Aussie v Aussie matchup of the season, as they take on Murray State in the second game of the weekend in what is set to be a hotly contested matchup. Before that, however, comes a game against Tennessee-Martin, which appears to be the tougher of the two games. Tennessee-Martin have put together 7 wins in their first 11 games, whilst Southeast Missouri State have compiled a 3-3-0 record so far, partly due to some games being abandoned or cancelled. Jenna Collingridge is playing well in midfield this season, whilst Maddy Cornell is beginning to establish herself as a presence off the bench for the Redhawks.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: at SIU Edwardsville – 10am, Saturday October 4; at Southeast Missouri State – 5am, Monday October 6

The other half of our Aussie v Aussie matchup, Murray State currently sit atop the Ohio Valley conference standings with two wins from their first two conference games. Their first opponent of the weekend, SIU Edwardsville, have compiled a 4-4-1 record so far this season, but haven’t played the most testing schedule, and Murray State will be fancied to make it 3 wins on the trot in conference play. Following that, however, comes the game featuring five Australians between the two teams. This game actually has the potential to be a cracking contest, with both teams compiling solid records and both having the opportunity to establish themselves at the pointy end of the conference standings.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at Portland – 12pm, Saturday October 4; at Gonzaga – 7am, Monday October 6

Ellie Papalexiou and Pacific face a difficult start to their conference season, and to make things tougher, they have to face possibly the most famous crowd in college soccer when they travel to Portland to face the Pilots at Merlo Field, where attendance regularly tops 3,000. After facing Portland, the side travel even further north to Spokane to take on Gonzaga. Whilst this match doesn’t appear on paper to be as tough as the Portland game, Pacific will still be the outsiders in this one, with Gonzaga sitting at 5-5-0 in comparison to Pacific’s 2-7-1. Pacific’s main problem has been their inability to score goals; they have scored just one goal in their last five games, and this will have to change if they are to get positive results in the coming weeks. Expect to see Ellie Papalexiou to come off the bench for Pacific again this week to make an impact on the left side of midfield.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week: at Howard – 5am, Monday October 6

With Howard, whose campus is in Washington D.C., playing their home games in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, this is almost an extra home game for Alabama State as they make the 90 minute drive to take on the newest member of SWAC women’s soccer. The two sides have had completely opposite starts to the conference season, with Howard playing two of the weakest sides in the conference and picking up two wins, whilst Alabama State slipped to surprise losses against Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern. At the start of the season, this would have been pegged as a certain win for the Hornets, but now it appears Howard have more than half a chance to win this game. It will be interesting to see how Shelbi Vienna-Hallam is used in this game, after she was moved from defence into a striking role against Texas Southern, and scored her first college goal. With Howard having little trouble scoring goals lately, Shelbi may have to move back into defence out of necessity.

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Week 8 Wrap

Despite some less than impressive results for some teams, there were plenty of standout individual performances from the Australians this week, including goalscoring efforts by Jess Coates, Alisha Bass, Harriet Withers, and a first collegiate goal for Shelbi Vienna-Hallam. A few teams also managed to win both games this weekend, placing themselves in an early prime position for conference supremacy.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week’s results: lost to Abilene Christian 3-0, defeated Incarnate Word 3-1

The inconsistent start to Nicholls State’s Southland season continued this week, going down to Abilene Christian before defeating Incarnate Word to leave their recent form at L-W-L-W, and their season record at 6-5-0. Nicholls State started slowly, and were punished by Abilene Christian, who opened the scoring on 26 minutes. The goals kept coming after the break, with strikes coming from the Wildcats on the hour mark and then again in the 82nd minute to wrap up the game as Abilene Christian put on an attacking exhibition, outshooting Nicholls State 13-8. The match against Incarnate Word was much tighter than the 3-1 scoreline suggests. Aussie junior Jess Coates opened the scoring for the Colonels on 38 minutes, but Incarnate Word hit back almost right on the hour mark. The game was even heading into the final 10 minutes, but Norwegian Emily Werenskiold scored twice in five minutes to put the game to bed, assisted both times by Jess Coates. Jess played in both games, picking up a yellow card in the first game before her outstanding performance in the match against Incarnate Word.

UMBC (Lilly Rydon)

This week’s result: defeated Robert Morris 1-0

UMBC completed their non-conference on a high note this week, defeating Robert Morris 1-0 to finish with a non-conference record of 8-2-0. UMBC got off to a solid start, and in the 21st minute, the first and only goal of the game came via the head of Jessy Brown. With the shots tied at 3-3 at halftime, Robert Morris came out firing in the second half, launching 8 more attempts at goal compared to UMBC’s 3, but they could manage a grand total of one on target for the match, meaning that all their attacking was in vain. Lilly Rydon started for UMBC, picking up a yellow card in the 18th minute.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week’s results: defeated Tennessee Tech 3-0, defeated Jacksonville State 3-0

Two wins for Murray State this week saw them get their record back above .500, but more importantly, means they sit atop the Ohio Valley table with a 2-0 conference record. Against Tennessee Tech, however, the side would have been less than impressed with their scoring ability, especially in the first half. Despite outshooting Tennessee Tech 10-3 in the first half, the sides went in locked at 0-0. Fortunately, 14 more shots in the second half yielded three goals, including one for Harriet Withers. Harriet wasn’t quite as lucky in front of goal against Jacksonville State, and it took an own goal just 50 seconds from halftime to see Murray State take a lead into that game. Again, a better second half saw Murray State ease home, with a double from Taylor Stevens sealing things for the Racers. Nyomi Devine also came off the bench in both games, playing a total of 37 minutes over the weekend.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Jenna Collingridge, Bridget Sankey)

This week’s result: defeated Eastern Illinois 4-0

A cracking start to conference play for Southeast Missouri State, as they demolished lowly Eastern Illinois 4-0 courtesy of a first half barrage that saw the Redhawks go up 3-0 inside 35 minutes before cruising in the second half, adding a fourth goal in the 67th minute. Jenna Collingridge started in her usual midfield role for Southeast Missouri State, playing 49 minutes, whilst Maddy Cornell came off the bench to play 35 minutes, registering one shot.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week’s results: defeated Nevada 4-0, defeated UNLV 3-0

What loomed as a potentially testing week for Wyoming turned into an absolute goalfest for the Cowgirls, as they piled on seven for the weekend against the two teams from Nevada. Aussie redshirt freshman Alisha Bass put Wyoming in front early against Nevada, tapping home a parry from the Wolf Pack goalkeeper in the 9th minute, before following up with a solo effort ten minutes later. Wyoming tallied two more goals in the second half to finish with a 4-0 win. The match against UNLV saw the Australians have slightly less impact, with all three playing at least 45 minutes, but the goals being scored by other players. Candace Sciberras came off the bench in both games, whilst Georgia Rowntree had undoubtedly the best weekend of her short Wyoming career, playing the first 45 minutes in each games, and totalling six saves over the weekend.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week’s results: defeated Elon 4-1, lost to William & Mary 4-0

It was a case of going from one extreme to the other this week for Hofstra, as a 4-1 win over Elon was followed up by a crushing 4-0 loss to William & Mary in a matchup of expected Colonial Athletic Association heavyweights. It was actually Elon who opened the scoring in Hofstra’s first match of the weekend, tallying a goal in the tenth minute. 22 minutes later, however, it was already 3-1 Hofstra. Hofstra then tacked on a 4th in the second half, whilst Emily Hulbert played 68 minutes, starting in midfield as opposed to her usual position in defence. Emily started again against William and Mary, playing 64 minutes, but the result wasn’t quite as positive as earlier in the week. William and Mary took a lead into the break after a first half goal, but the match was still fairly even on the scoreboard after an hour, even if William and Mary had dominated the play. Two goals in 3 minutes saw that dominance turned into a secure result, and the Tribe tacked on a fourth just before the end. Despite the result, two more starting performances for Emily, and out of her usual position, prove how integral she is becoming to the Hofstra side just half a season into her college career.

Southern (Simone Arthur)

This week’s results: defeated Grambling State 4-2, defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 3-0

After a tough non-conference schedule, Southern came into this weekend looking to atone for the recent past, and did so in spectacular fashion, smashing seven goals past their opponents to take an early lead in the SWAC. A fast-starting Jaguars side took a 2-0 lead against Grambling State into halftime, taking a total of 14 shots and allowing not a single shot, but Grambling State came out fast in the second half. The Tigers scored just 43 seconds after the break, then tied it up 8 minutes later. Southern were not to be denied, however, and took the lead in the 71st minute, before wrapping things up with a fourth just 19 seconds before the final whistle on a penalty. The match against Arkansas-Pine Bluff was somewhat more comfortable. A third minute goal to Shelby Carbin saw the Jaguars lead 1-0 at halftime, which in the end was all they needed, as Arkansas-Pine Bluff failed to even register a shot in the second half. Nonetheless, Southern tacked on two more in the 56th and 65th minutes to cruise home to a 3-0 win. Unfortunately, Simone Arthur was once again forced to sit for the week and did not see playing time.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week: lost to Prairie View A&M 5-1, lost to Texas Southern 2-1

A first college goal for Shelbi Vienna-Hallam wasn’t able to hide the fact that this was a wholly disappointing weekend for Alabama State. After being tipped to be near the top of the SWAC this season, these two losses will have rocked this prediction. Especially surprising was shipping 5 goals to unfancied Prairie View A&M. Prairie View A&M opened the scoring in the 6th minute, before Alabama State hit back 12 minutes later through Kayla Edwards. Unfortunately, Prairie View hit the lead again in the 40th minute, before kicking on in the second half. Two goals in the space of a minute just shy of the hour mark put the game to bed, before an 86th minute penalty put the finishing touches on the game. Against Texas Southern, Shelbi Vienna-Hallam moved up front, and opened the scoring in the 25th minute. The second half, however, saw some unfortunate defensive lapses lead to two goals for Texas Southern, which were enough for the win. Once again, Shelbi Vienna-Hallam started both games, and proved she is more than a defender with her goal against Texas Southern, a sublime chip from 25 yards.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)

This week: lost to California 4-2

Colorado suffered a loss in their Pac-12 opener, going down 4-2 to California in a match that saw their defence suffer some unfortunate lapses at crucial moments which allowed their opponents to grab 3 first half goals. Their chances were also not aided by the fact that Aussie sophomore Alexandra Huynh was ruled out through injury. Whilst Colorado outshot California 18-13, it was the Golden Bears who made the most of their chances, knocking in three first half goals before sealing the victory with a fourth in the second half. Colorado made a late charge with two goals, but the damage had been done. Kahlia Hogg started for Colorado, and managed one shot in 82 minutes of play.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: tied with UC Davis 0-0 (2OT)

Pacific escaped with a tie in this game against UC Davis despite being outshot 23-10 and managing just two attempts on target in 110 minutes of play. UC Davis managed to get 9 shots on target, including 4 in the second period of overtime, but Pacific goalkeeper Melissa Ma came up huge for the Tigers, holding the Aggies scoreless as Pacific were unable to get much going on attack. Ellie Papalexiou came off the bench for Pacific, playing the final 13 minutes of regular time.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week: lost to St. John’s 1-0

Creighton’s tough start to the conference season continued with a 1-0 loss against St. John’s in a tight game. St. John’s scored the only goal of the game in the 36th minute, but both sides had a number of chances to put away even more goals, with Creighton leading the shooting stats 18-16, and the teams combining to force the goalkeepers into 14 saves. Anastasia McCleary came off the bench for Creighton, but was given little opportunity to make an impact, playing just 14 minutes.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Jess Coates (Nicholls State)
2: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)
1: Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming)

Week 8 Preview

One game down already this week, with Anastasia McCleary and Creighton going down 7-2 to Marquette. All teams bar UMBC are now in conference play, and for a lot of teams, this is where the real test begins, as many of these teams will need to win their conferences to progress to the national tournament – outside of Colorado and Hofstra, at-large bids are out of the question, and even for those two schools, it’s going to be an uphill battle.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week: at Abilene Christian – 2am, Saturday 27 September; at Incarnate Word – 3am, Monday 29 September

After a scrappy start to conference play, Jess Coates and Nicholls State look to turn around their Southland season in this trip to Texas. First up is an Abilene Christian side that have been as inconsistent as Nicholls State, currently sitting at 4-6. Whilst this game appears to be a bit of a tricky tie for the Colonels, there should be no such problems against Incarnate Word on Monday. UIW have gone 0-8 so far, and whilst a lot of those games were against much stronger sides, they have also slipped up in matches they would ordinarily be expected to win.

UMBC (Lilly Rydon)

This week: at Robert Morris – 5am, Saturday 27 September

After two absolute demolition jobs last week, Lilly Rydon and UMBC head to Moon Township (in Pennsylvania, not on the Moon) to play Robert Morris in their final non-conference game. Robert Morris have struggled so far this season, sitting at 2-7-1, with one of those wins coming against Canisius, who currently sit 332nd (of 332) in Division I RPI. Conversely, UMBC are 7-2 and primed to make another run at a conference title. Lilly Rydon has been one of the side’s top performers and will most probably lead the line once again for UMBC.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: v Tennessee Tech – 6am, Saturday 27 September; v Jacksonville State – 4am, Monday 29 September

Heading into this week with a 3 match winning streak in the back pocket, Murray State have a real chance to turn it into a full handful with two eminently winnable games against Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State. Tennessee Tech have picked up just two wins all season from 9 games, and are currently on a 3 game losing streak. Their schedule is nothing special, and Murray State will definitely be favoured in this one. Jacksonville State’s record reads slightly better, at 4-5, but they have spent a fair portion of their time beating up on some much smaller opponents, including a 15-0 win over Mississippi Valley State. Combine these facts, and it again looks as if Murray State are favoured for this game. Nyomi Devine and Harriet Withers have been used in a variety of ways this season, but hopefully this week sees a return to the starting lineup for the pair from Palm Beach.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Jenna Collingridge, Bridget Sankey)

This week: at Eastern Illinois – 6am, Saturday 27 September

It’s been an up-and-down season for Southeast Missouri State so far this season, and they currently sit at 3-3-0 after last week’s win over Arkansas State. Eastern Illinois, on the other hand, have just had a down season so far. Their record currently sits at 1-7-1, despite playing 7 home games, and this record has led to an RPI that sits 309th in Division I, showing that their schedule hasn’t been one of the strongest around. Southeast Missouri State have had an infuriating inability to win games that they are slightly favoured in, and they’ll be desperate to change this and get their conference season off to a good start. Jenna Collingridge has continued to be ever-present in the starting lineup, and hopefully Maddy Cornell can join her in the upcoming games.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: v Nevada – 7am, Saturday 27 September; v UNLV – 5am, Monday 29 September

A couple of pretty tough fixtures for Wyoming this weekend as they host the two schools from the state of Nevada. Whilst Nevada, the first opponents, have a 3-5-1 record compared to Wyoming’s 2-5-1, their schedule so far has been much stronger, and therefore their wins have come against stronger teams than Wyoming’s wins have. UNLV provide a sterner test still, having put together a 5-2-1 record so far this season. Still, despite their lacklustre record, nobody can accuse Wyoming of not keeping things tight and scrapping right to the end in every game. Alisha Bass and Candace Sciberras have forced their way into the starting side on a regular basis, whilst Georgia Rowntree has started the last couple of games and appears to be sharing goalkeeping duties now – something that appeared highly unlikely at the start of the season.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: at Elon – 9am, Saturday 27 September; at William & Mary – 4am, Monday 29 September

Hofstra have been looked at as an outside chance for an at-large bid if they fail to win the Colonial conference this season, and this week will go a long way to shortening the odds of that happening. First up are Elon, a side that have put together a 4-4 record against a slightly weak, but certainly not a terrible schedule. Matches like this are the ones that Hofstra can’t afford to drop at all, because one loss in a game like this will completely kill their at-large chances. The Pride’s second game this weekend is against William and Mary, a side that toured Australia in their pre-season and played against Colorado defender Alexandra Huynh. William and Mary are a highly athletic side and they have used this to their advantage, putting together a 6-1-1 record. These two sides look to be the cream of the Colonial Athletic Association, with Hofstra possibly just favourites in this one. Emily Hulbert has quickly become an integral part of the Hofstra defence, and will hopefully be starting again for the Pride this weekend.

Southern (Simone Arthur)

This week: v Grambling State – 9am, Saturday 27 September; at Arkansas-Pine Bluff – 4am, Monday 29 September

After being led to the slaughter in some games during their non-conference schedule, Southern this week come up against some opponents more on their level. Grambling State, the Jaguars’ first opponent this weekend, have played just 3 games this season, conceding 17 goals and not scoring one yet. Southern may have lost 8 in a row, but they at least have match sharpness, even if their squad is down to 14. Arkansas-Pine Bluff may possibly be in an even worse situation than Grambling State – whilst they have played more games, and scored goals, they have been routinely demolished by their opponents. This could be the start of some better form for Southern – hopefully Simone Arthur can come back this weekend to help the side after a couple of weeks out.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week: at Prairie View A&M – 9am, Saturday 27 September; at Texas Southern – 9am, Monday 29 September

Alabama State have been tipped as the team to beat in the SWAC this season, and as one of only two teams in the conference to put together multiple wins in non-conference play, there is no reason to think this would change as they take on Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern, two sides that have put together one win between them. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam has continued to be a mainstay in Alabama State’s defence after establishing her position early, and whilst the side has been outmatched in the last week or so, these games will hopefully be a chance for the Tasmanian to show that she is one of the premier defenders in the league.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)

This week: v California – 5am, Sunday 28 September

Probably sitting a little more on the outer with regards to chances of an NCAA tournament at-large bid when compared with last season, Colorado have been handed no favours to start the Pac-12 schedule, taking on #12 California this week. Both teams have been in top form recently, with the Buffaloes currently on a 4 game winning streak, whilst California have 8 wins in 9 games. This could prove to be an extremely tough fixture for Colorado, but if the Buffaloes can continue their high level of performance that they have showed in the last few weeks, there is scope for an upset. Alex Huynh and Kahlia Hogg will both be pivotal in any success Colorado may have in this game, with Kahlia being a scorer and provider of many goals this year, whilst Alex has remained a starter all year in defence after establishing her position last year.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at UC Davis – 6am, Sunday 28 September

It’s been a tough season so far for Pacific, with just two wins in nine games, but their opponents this week, UC Davis, have faired little better, with just 3 wins in 9 games. Both teams are on prolonged losing streaks, with UC Davis losing their last five, and Pacific losing their last four. Pacific’s record is a little deceiving, however, with losses to nationally ranked USC and California occurring in the middle of that streak. Pacific would love to get a win on the board here to give them a little bit of momentum heading into a tough West Coast Conference schedule, and this game may prove to be a chance. Ellie Papalexiou has been used off the bench in the majority of games recently, and will be looking to provide a spark down the left.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week: v St. John’s – 4am, Monday 29 September

After a brilliant non-conference schedule, Creighton were hit hard by Marquette in their first Big East match on Friday morning, going down 7-2. This match against St. John’s will also prove tough, but will be a winnable game for Creighton. Being back at home in Omaha will help the Bluejays after travelling to Milwaukee for the game against Marquette. Despite proving to be an impact player for Creighton, Anastasia McCleary was used sparingly in the side’s two close games last week, before playing 27 minutes against Marquette. Whilst it may be a case that the Creighton coach is still attempting to define McCleary’s role in the side, there is no doubt that when the side needs a spark, Anastasia is the player the coach should be turning to to lift the team.

Week 7 Wrap

There were plenty of goals for the Aussies this week, but the most positive news of the week was at the other end of the pitch, with Emily Hulbert starting both games for Hofstra this week and Georgia Rowntree starting in goal for Wyoming and coming up with 4 saves in 45 minutes of play.

Southern (Simone Arthur)

This week’s results: Game abandoned v Louisiana College, lost to Southern Mississippi 4-0

A tough week to take all-round for Southern this week, as a promising start against Louisiana College was literally washed away by a downpour that forced the game to be abandoned with the Jaguars leading 1-0, followed by a 4-0 loss to Southern Mississippi after the sides were tied 0-0 at halftime. Unfortunately, Simone Arthur was again not involved in either game, and the side really could have used her presence in midfield as the side struggled to contain the Southern Mississippi attack, who managed 26 shots for the game.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week’s results: defeated IUPUI 3-1, defeated Northern Kentucky 4-1

After defeating Saint Louis this week, Murray State notched two more wins this weekend to extend their streak to three games leading into conference play. Murray State dominated IUPUI from the kickoff in their first game, and although the first goal didn’t come until the 37th minute, the shooting stats, which were 17-5 in Murray State’s favour, show how the game went. In fact, Harriet Withers managed to have as many shots as the entire IUPUI side, but didn’t manage to grab a goal. It was much the same against Northern Kentucky, with Murray State taking a 2-1 lead into halftime, and putting two more past the Norse goalkeeper on their way to a 4-1 win. This game saw Nyomi Devine return to the side, off the bench, whilst Harriet Withers came off the bench in both games, and scored her 3rd goal of the season in the Northern Kentucky game.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost to California 3-0, lost to UC Santa Barbara 6-1

A tough schedule brought a tough week for Pacific, as they went down 3-0 to California before succumbing to UC Santa Barbara in an unexpectedly heavy defeat. The game against California was actually a lot closer than the scoreline would suggest, with California managing 11 shots to the Tigers’ 6. The Golden Bears’ ruthlessness in front of goal was the story of the day, however, with 3 goals from 5 shots on target, whilst Pacific were unable to score from any of their 3 shots on target. Against UC Santa Barbara, the Tigers had only themselves to blame – the Gauchos went up 4-0 inside 16 minutes and from there, they were simply able to coast to victory. Interestingly, the final 3 goals of the game also came in a spurt, all coming between the 64th and 70th minute. But there was no coming back from the lead they’d given up, and Pacific suffered their heaviest loss of the season. Ellie Papalexiou came off the bench for Pacific in both games.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)

This week’s results: defeated Bryant 2-0, defeated San Francisco 3-0

Colorado turned a pair of wins last week into a four game winning streak with comfortable victories over Bryant and San Francisco. The game against Bryant started brilliantly for Colorado, with a 5th minute goal to Darcy Jerman. With Bryant almost completely unable to break down the Buffaloes’ defence, registering just two shots in total, it was just a matter of time until Colorado scored again, but it took 19 shots and 84 more minutes for them to do so. The game against San Francisco saw Kahlia Hogg put in one of the top performances by an Australian so far this season. The young Canberran opened the scoring in the 4th minute, before notching assists on both of Colorado’s goals in the second half to register 4 points for the match. Alexandra Huynh also started in both games, playing around an hour in each game and contributing to the side in both attack and defence.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Bridget Sankey)

This week’s result: defeated Arkansas State 3-0

Just the one game this week for Southeast Missouri State, and it ended with a 3-0 win over Arkansas State that saw the Redhawks move back to .500, with their record now standing at 3-3-0. It was a first-half attacking outburst that saw Southeast Missouri State jump out to an early lead, with goals in the 7th, 22nd, and 33rd minutes. From there, it was just a case of keeping Arkansas State from scoring, which is exactly what the Redhawks managed to do. Jenna Collingridge again started for Southeast Missouri State, whilst Maddy Cornell came off the bench to play 50 minutes.

UMBC (Lilly Rydon)

This week’s results: defeated Delaware State 4-0, defeated American 3-0

UMBC continue their strong performance in non-conference play, putting another pair of teams to the sword with convincing victories over Delaware State and American. It took half an hour for UMBC to open the scoring against Delaware State, but once they’d done it once, they were quickly back down there again, scoring just 6 minutes later. The third had to wait until after halftime, and then it was Lilly Rydon scoring the final goal shortly before the final whistle to complete the demolition job. The match against American saw the Retrievers come out a lot faster, notching in the 10th minute before adding another two before halftime to seal the game inside the first 45 minutes. With American only able to notch two shots on target for the entire game, UMBC never looked like dropping the result in this one, and ended the week with two solid wins.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week’s results: lost to McNeese State 3-2, defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 1-0

‘Unconvincing’ would probably be the best way to describe Nicholls State’s first weekend of conference play. Coming up against two teams picked to finish in the doldrums of the Southland Conference, the Colonels lost one game before managing to scrap to victory in the other. Against McNeese State, Nicholls State went up 1-0 inside 3 minutes, but gave up the equaliser just a minute later, before McNeese State took the lead just after halftime. A tying goal came shortly after for the Colonels, but it wasn’t to be, as they conceded the winner just 4 minutes before the end. Nicholls State had Jess Coates to thank for the victory against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, as a game that saw plenty of chances but not a lot of finishing end 1-0 courtesy of the Australian junior’s 11th minute goal off Emily Werenskiold’s free kick; one of five shots Jess had for the game.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week’s results: lost to Yale 2-1, defeated Monmouth 4-1

Whilst it was a mixed week for Hofstra as they split their games this week, on a personal level for Emily Hulbert, it was exciting to say the least. Having come off the bench until now, Emily started both games this week, playing 62 minutes against Yale and then 80 against Monmouth. The game against Yale saw all the goals come in the first half, with Yale taking the lead in the 6th minute before Hofstra hit back through Sam Scolarici in the 29th minute. Yale managed to regain the lead in the 37th minute, though, and the score would remain at 2-1 for the remainder of the game. The game against Monmouth could not have been more different – in this game, the scoring didn’t begin until the 38th minute, when Hofstra opened the scoring. Monmouth equalised ten minutes after halftime, and with half an hour to go, the game was evenly poised. Three goals in the last 26 minutes, including two in the last ten, put paid to that idea, as Hofstra ended the game on a charge to take the result 4-1.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week: lost to UMKC 2-0, defeated Omaha 2-1 (2OT)

They say that all good things must come to an end, and this week it was Creighton’s perfect record that fell by the wayside courtesy of an unexpected 2-0 loss to UMKC. The game was evenly poised at 0-0 at halftime, but a 62nd minute own goal by Creighton followed by UMKC knocking in another five minutes saw the Kangaroos put the game away. Things didn’t look like they were getting much better against Omaha, who took the lead after 22 minutes, but an 89th minute Creighton goal took the game to overtime. The first half of overtime went by without a goal, but two minutes after the break, Creighton tallied the winner to move to 8-1-0 for the season. Anastasia McCleary came off the bench in both games, but played just 12 minutes against UMKC and 18 minutes against Omaha.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: drew with Northern Colorado 0-0 (2OT)

16 shots, zero goals. Or, if you count both teams, 26 shots, zero goals. It was just one of those days in Greeley, as Wyoming managed to break down the Northern Colorado defence time and again, but were foiled on ten occasions by the Northern Colorado goalkeeper. At the other end, Georgia Rowntree kept Northern Colorado out four times as she played 45 minutes as starter for Wyoming. Alisha Bass started for Wyoming and played all 110 minutes, whilst Candace Sciberras came off the bench to play 80 minutes and had three shots, all of which were on target.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week’s result: lost to Alabama 8-0

This was always going to be a tough game for Alabama State, coming up against an Alabama side that has put together a solid CV this year already. Despite this, 8-0 is definitely not the kind of result that can be excused, no matter the opposition. The damage was done mostly in the first half, as the Crimson Tide smashed home six goals on 21 shots. The second half saw things slow down a bit, but Alabama were still able to tack on another two goals. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam again played 90 minutes for Alabama State, and had three shots despite playing in defence.

Player Of The Year Points

3: Kahlia Hogg (Colorado)
2: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
1: Alexandra Huynh (Colorado)

Week 7 Preview

There’s already been one game this week, with Southern getting us off to an early start against Louisiana College, but a torrential downpour on the hour mark saw the game abandoned with Southern leading 1-0. There’s still plenty of football to come though!

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: v IUPUI – 6am, Saturday 20 September; v Northern Kentucky – 3am, Monday 22 September

After finishing last week with a win and a loss, Murray State come up against an IUPUI side that is just as hungry as the Racers are for a win, with both sides sitting on 2 wins and 5 losses, with IUPUI also having two draws on their record. IUPUI are fresh off a last minute loss to Butler, whilst Murray State defeated Saint Louis in their last start. Northern Kentucky also played Butler in their last game, in an even more ludicrous finish than IUPUI were subjected to, if that’s possible. Northern Kentucky conceded a tying goal with 3 seconds to go, and Butler scored the winner just 90 seconds into overtime, at which point the Butler coach was also red-carded after the final whistle! These will both be tight games for Murray State, and could easily be as close as last week’s two 1-0 games. Harriet Withers should continue to play solid minutes for the Racers, whilst Nyomi Devine will hopefully be back this weekend.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at California – 7am, Saturday 20 September; v UC Santa Barbara – 6am, Monday 22 September

This weekend could prove to be very interesting for Pacific. Last week, their first half against nationally ranked USC saw them concede 14 shots, but the majority of these were only half-chances and the sides went into the break tied 0-0. Although Pacific went down 3-0 in that game, Ellie Papalexiou and the side were buoyed by this performance and a similar effort against California (the college home of Alex Morgan) could see the Tigers sneak an upset. UC Santa Barbara appear to be more on Pacific’s level and a win in this game wouldn’t be as surprising as one against California would, although the Gauchos have put together a 3-3-2 record compared to Pacific’s 2-5 record. Ellie Papalexiou has been coming off the bench for Pacific more often than not so far this year, but has been putting in solid performances all season, and things look poised to continue in the same vein this weekend.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)

This week: v Bryant – 8am, Saturday 20 September; v San Francisco – 4am, Monday 22 September

Teams from the both sides of the country travel to Boulder this week, as Rhode Island’s Bryant University and University of San Francisco take on the Buffaloes. Colorado will be thankful for these less testing games as they look to continue the momentum they’ve gained throughout their non-conference schedule as they head into Pac-12 league play – one of the toughest conferences in the nation. Bryant have managed just two wins in their first eight games this season, whilst San Francisco have put together a 4-2-2 record, but Colorado should still be able to take care of the Dons. Alex Huynh and Kahlia Hogg have both been instrumental in Colorado’s success so far this season, and this looks unlikely to change, with both players expected to start.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Bridget Sankey)

This week: at Arkansas State – 8am, Saturday 20 September

After two tough losses last week, Southeast Missouri State come up against an Arkansas State side just as desperate for a win as the Redhawks are. Arkansas State are sitting at 2-5-0 at the moment, with their wins coming against Mississippi Valley State and Murray State, whilst Southeast Missouri State are at 2-3, but those 3 losses have come in their last 3 games. Arkansas State’s defence has been their weakness this year, and this may prove to be the opportunity that the Southeast Missouri State attack needs after three goalless games in a row. Jenna Collingridge will most probably start this game, with Maddy Cornell and Bridget Sankey hopefully coming off the bench.

UMBC (Lilly Rydon)

This week: v Delaware State – 9am, Saturday 20 September; v American – 9am, Wednesday 24 September

Following a mixed week at the Battle Of Baltimore last week, UMBC get back into action this week with two eminently winnable games against Delaware State and American. Delaware State have won just two of their eight games this season, with one of those being a 2-1 win over the same Mount St. Mary’s side that UMBC demolished 6-0 last week, whilst American are doing slightly better with a 3-5-0 record, also including a win over Mount St. Mary’s, by a 3-0 scoreline. Lilly Rydon scored two goals against Mount St. Mary’s to continue her stellar start to the season, and will surely be confident of knocking another one or two in this week.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week: at McNeese State – 9am, Saturday 20 September; v Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 3am, Monday 22 September

Nicholls State kick off conference play with what, on paper, appears to be the easiest two games they will face this season. McNeese State have won just two games this season, both against SWAC opponents, whilst Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s sole win for the season is also against a SWAC opponent in the form of Texas Southern. Furthermore, Nicholls State’s two opponents have been predicted to occupy the bottom two places in the 12 team Southland Conference this year, whilst Nicholls are predicted to finish 5th. Jess Coates has put in solid captain’s efforts so far this season and we can expect more of the same this week.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: v Yale – 9am, Saturday 20 September; at Monmouth – 3am, Monday 22 September

Ordinarily, this would be considered a tough week for Hofstra, and whilst it’s certainly not a week of easy games for the Pride, last week’s win against Duke has made for a slight readjustment in expectations for the side. Yale have won 4 of their 5 games so far, but it hasn’t been the most testing of schedules so far. Likewise, Monmouth have won their last four in a row, but also against a fairly comfortable set of teams. As such, it appears that whilst Hofstra are the side with the poorer record so far in both matchups, they may actually come into these games as slight favourites. Emily Hulbert played over 40 minutes against Virginia last weekend after only seeing limited time in the previous games, and this may be the start of a more integral role in the Hofstra side for the young Victorian.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week: v UMKC – 10am, Saturday 20 September; at Omaha – 7am, Monday 22 September

Creighton have started this season perfectly, with seven wins in a row at this point, and if they can win these two games, they’ll finish this year’s non-conference slate with a 16 match non-conference winning streak that dates back to last season. The UMKC game looms as the tougher fixture, with the Kangaroos (yes, that’s actually their nickname) tallying a 3-3-2 record so far. Creighton will still be favourites for this game, but will have to be at their best to make sure of the win. Omaha have won just 2 games of 7 so far this season against a schedule that hasn’t been particularly strong, and Creighton will be even stronger favourites in this game. Games between local rivals are never quite that simple, though. Anastasia McCleary has been the perfect impact player for the Bluejays so far this year, playing about half an hour in each game, and notching shots in most of these appearances, and tallying two goals so far this year.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: at Northern Colorado – 11am, Satuday 20 September

Consistently inconsistent is the best way to describe Wyoming so far this season as they have stumbled to a 2-5-0 record despite performances that may have deserved more. Their opponent this week, Northern Colorado, have put together a 4-4-0 record, but their wins have come against some weaker teams, whilst their losses have come against much stronger teams, with little in the way of games that appeared even on paper. This game is one of those even games, given the respective performances of the two teams so far. As this is Wyoming’s last non-conference game, they’ll be looking for a win more than ever now to build some momentum going into league play. Expect to see Alisha Bass start for Wyoming, whilst Georgia Rowntree has seen a good deal of playing time lately. Candace Sciberras came off the bench in Wyoming’s last game after sitting out due to a red card, but it would not be surprising to see her starting again.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week: at Alabama – 4am, Monday 22 September

Alabama State have had a tough couple of weeks, going down in three straight games, and things aren’t about to get any easier, as the Hornets travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama. Known more for their football team, the Crimson Tide have put together a solid record this year, with four wins and a draw from their first seven games of a schedule that has been testing if not exceedingly challenging. Alabama State have shown so far this season that they have more than enough talent at their disposal to challenge for the SWAC title, but a game against Alabama is something else entirely. Regardless of the result of this match, the Hornets’ non-conference schedule ends with this game, and they’ll be looking forward to SWAC league play, where they’ll be favoured to take the league’s national title bid. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam has been almost ever-present in the Alabama State defence, and her performance in this game will play a big part in deciding the final score, if not the result, of this game.

Southern (Simone Arthur)

This week: at Southern Mississippi – 4am, Monday 22 September

After Friday morning’s game was abandoned due to a downpour during play that forced the players from the field, Southern take on Southern Mississippi on Monday morning. Southern have had a tough season, both on and off the field, having lost all seven games so far and only carrying a squad of 13 or 14 players each game. They are definite underdogs for this game, but Southern Mississippi have little to brag about of their own, with a 3-4 record that seems based more around beating up minnows than truly testing themselves, and it’s backfired as they’ve lost some games they’d usually be expected to win. Despite Southern’s problems, nobody can fault their effort in any of their games this season, and they’ll be looking forward to getting into SWAC play next week, where they were expected to have a solid year before they lost a couple of players. Simone Arthur has been in and out of the side so far this year, but hopefully this weekend will be one that she’s in the team.

Week 6 Wrap

There were some tough results this week for the Aussies, but it wasn’t all bad news, as Emily Hulbert and Hofstra knocked off national powerhouse Duke, whilst Anastasia McCleary and Creighton won both games this weekend to stay perfect. With most teams playing two games this week, there was plenty of football, so let’s take a look.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week’s results: lost to Georgia Southern 3-0, lost  to Jacksonville State 3-0

A tough week this week for Alabama State, as they came up against two much more fancied teams, and the results showed with a couple of 3-0 defeats. At a glance, you’d consider this a pretty terrible weekend, but when you think about the fact that Jacksonville State’s last two results against SWAC teams were 15-0 and 7-1 wins, things don’t actually look as bad for the future. Once again, Shelbi Vienna-Hallam was heavily involved for Alabama State, playing 70 minutes against Georgia Southern and the full 90 minutes against Jacksonville State, even managing to tally a shot against Georgia Southern.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week’s results: defeated Duke 2-1, lost to Virginia 3-1

No, you’re not seeing things. Hofstra did indeed defeat Duke 2-1 on the back of an 87th minute penalty. Hofstra opened the scoring on the hour mark, before Duke equalised on 78 minutes. But it was the Pride who had the last laugh, causing a major upset. The Pride were brought back to Earth slightly by Virginia, going down 3-1 to the still perfect Cavaliers. Emily Hulbert saw playing time in both games, playing 13 minutes against Duke, before seeing 43 minutes against Virginia, a vast increase in minutes on the previous few games.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week’s result: defeated Alcorn State 4-0

Just the one game this week for Jess Coates and the Colonels, and they made the most of it, comprehensively defeating Alcorn State 4-0. Nicholls State got the scoring started just after the 20 minute mark, before notching another just before halftime. The second half saw two more goals, but the Colonels were forced to wait until the 80th minute for their 3rd before adding a fourth two minutes before the final whistle. As usual, Jess Coates started for Nicholls State, tallying two shots, but didn’t manage to get a goal or assist.

UMBC (Lilly Rydon)

This week’s results: defeated Mount St. Mary’s 6-0, lost to Towson 2-0

After performing an absolute demolition job on Mount St. Mary’s, UMBC fell back to Earth in their second match, losing 2-0 to Towson. The win over Mount St. Mary’s was not unexpected, even down to the scoreline. Aussie senior Lilly Rydon opened the scoring on the 10 minute mark, with the side adding another two goals before halftime. Three more goals followed in the second half, with Lilly rounding out the scoring for the Retrievers on 80 minutes. The match against Towson saw UMBC hit twice early, with Towson scoring in the 5th and 16th minutes to go up 2-0 early. The goals came early, but the run of play for most of the match meant that Towson had chances to score throughout the game, eventually tallying 18 shots to 8. Lilly Rydon started both games, with her two goal performance against Mount St. Mary’s being the top performance of the week.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week’s results: defeated North Dakota 3-0, defeated South Dakota 3-1

Once again, the word “defeated” goes before the opponent’s name in both games for Creighton this week, as they notched up their sixth and seventh wins of the season to remain perfect this year, one of just seven teams to have won all their games so far. Against North Dakota, a penalty opened the scoring for Creighton on the half hour mark, before an own goal 6 minutes later saw the Bluejays head to the sheds 2-0 up. Just two minutes after halftime, Creighton sealed the game 3-0 courtesy of Aussie junior Anastasia McCleary, who slotted her second goal of the season. The game against South Dakota was more comfortable, despite the closer scoreline. With two goals in the first 20 minutes, Creighton were well in control from the outset. A third goal followed in the 75th minute, and an 82nd minute goal to South Dakota proved to be little more than a consolation. In addition to her goal, Anastasia McCleary played 41 minutes against North Dakota and another 27 against South Dakota.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week’s results: defeated South Dakota 2-1, lost to Morehead State 2-1

A tale of two matches this week for Wyoming, as a barnstorming comeback against South Dakota was followed up by a disappointing loss to Morehead State. Wyoming conceded just 7 minutes in against South Dakota, but two goals in the space of 65 seconds shortly before the hour mark, including one by Alisha Bass, saw Wyoming pick up the win. The game against Morehead State went slightly less to plan, though, with Wyoming conceding a goal either side of halftime, and whilst they picked up one goal to start a comeback, that was as far as the Cowgirls could get, and it finished 2-1. Georgia Rowntree started both games this weekend, as did Alisha Bass, whilst Candace Sciberras came off the bench against Morehead State after sitting out against South Dakota.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week’s result: lost to USC 3-0

Despite the 3-0 result, this was an incredibly plucky performance from an unfancied Pacific side. Despite conceding 14 shots in the first half, Pacific managed to go into the break tied at 0-0 with the #14 ranked Trojans. Less than 90 seconds after halftime, though, USC turned their dominance into a goal, and would go on to score two more to secure the 3-0 victory. Ellie Papalexiou once again came off the bench for Pacific, and tallied one shot, which was on target.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)

This week’s result: defeated Denver 2-1

Colorado only played one game this week, but they made it an absolute belter against in-state rivals Denver. After a scoreless first half, it was Australian junior Kahlia Hogg who delivered a brilliant corner that led to Tori Cooper putting Colorado ahead 1-0. Denver scored an equaliser with 10 minutes left, and the game looked destined to head into overtime until Colorado won a penalty in the 89th minute, which was calmly converted by Darcy Jerman to hand the Buffaloes the win. Kahlia Hogg had an on target shot to go with her assist in 77 minutes played, whilst Alexandra Huynh played the full 90 minutes.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Bridget Sankey)

This week’s results: lost to Illinois State 3-0, lost to Evansville 1-0

A tough week this week for Southeast Missouri State, being soundly defeated by Illinois State before losing a tough match to Evansville. Three first half goals were all it took for Illinois State to wrap up the win, with the Redbirds outshooting Southeast Missouri State 16-4 in a comprehensive victory. The game against Evansville proved to be a far tighter matchup, with both teams tallying 8 shots, but an 80th minute strike saw Evansville take the victory. Jenna Collingridge started both games for Southeast Missouri State, whilst Maddy Cornell came off the bench against Illinois State, but did not play against Evansville.

Southern (Simone Arthur)

This week’s results: lost to McNeese State 1-0, lost to Stephen F. Austin 7-0

A weekend that started with a plucky 1-0 defeat to an in-state rival finished in a far less promising fashion, as Southern went down 7-0 to Stephen F. Austin in their second game of the week. Despite being outshot 19-2 by McNeese State, Southern were able to hold their opponents out for 69 minutes before McNeese State scored the only goal of the match. Surprisingly, Southern managed 3 shots against Stephen F. Austin and conceded one less shot than they did to McNeese State, but Stephen F. Austin were ruthless in their finishing, scoring 7 goals on 11 shots on target. Unfortunately, Simone Arthur did not play in either game this weekend.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week’s results: lost to Middle Tennessee State 1-0 (OT), defeated Saint Louis 1-0

A couple of tight games this week for Murray State, with a pair of 1-0 results going opposite ways for the Racers. Despite being outshot 17-11 by Middle Tennessee State, Murray State were able to force overtime, but unfortunately Middle Tennessee State were able to snag a winner shortly before halftime in overtime. The result was more favourable in the week’s second game, with a 79th minute goal seeing Murray State snag the win despite being outshot 12-9 by Saint Louis. Nyomi Devine unfortunately didn’t play this weekend, but Harriet Withers played just over 50 minutes in both games, notching two shots against Saint Louis.

Player Of The Year Points

3: Lilly Rydon (UMBC)
2: 
Anastasia McCleary (Creighton)
1: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)

Week 6 Preview

This week may prove to be one of the toughest weeks for the Aussies this season, with plenty of very difficult games on the schedule over the next few days. That said, there’s no reason to be despondent and we may yet see more than a few wins.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week: at Georgia Southern – 4:30am, Saturday September 13; v Jacksonville State – 4am, Monday September 15

Alabama State have been one of the SWAC’s few shining lights, managing to navigate their way through a tough schedule with a 3-3-0 record so far, and things don’t get any easier this weekend against Georgia Southern and Jacksonville State. Georgia Southern currently possess a 4-1 record, including a 2-1 win over Indiana, whilst Jacksonville State have already mauled SWAC sides Mississippi Valley State and Jackson State 15-0 (yes, that’s FIFTEEN-NIL) and 7-1 respectively. But those sides don’t have a player named Shelbi Vienna-Hallam in their side, and if the Tasmanian junior, along with the rest of the defence, can keep up their form, the Hornets can at least keep the scoreline respectable, if not grab a highly unlikely result out of one of these games.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: v Duke (at Virginia) – 5am, Saturday September 13; at Virginia – 4:30am, Monday September 15

After smashing up Indiana State 9-1 last week, Hofstra have volunteered as tribute this week, taking on national powerhouses Duke and Virginia in Virginia’s invitational tournament. Virginia, led by US national team midfielder (and lock for #1 pick in the NWSL draft next year) Morgan Brian, have conceded just two goals so far this season in five games, all of which they have won. Duke, on the other hand, have slipped a bit, going 3-3-0 so far, but have lost to the likes of Stanford, Penn State, and Ohio State, all tough matchups. If anything, these matches will prove to be invaluable experience for the Hofstra players. Emily Hulbert has come off the bench in all games so far, and things seem unlikely to change this weekend.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week: at Alcorn State – 6am, Saturday September 13

Whilst Nicholls State, and Jess Coates in particular, off to a solid start this season, this game should prove to end in a win for the Colonels. Alcorn State are one of the weaker squads in the SWAC, which is one of the weaker conferences in Div I women’s soccer, and in fact have played just the one game so far this season, losing 1-0 to Southeastern Louisiana. Expect the Nicholls State attack to pick apart the Alcorn State defence in this one – their forward line is highly balanced and potent this season.

UMBC (Lilly Rydon)

This week: v Mount St. Mary’s (at Loyola Maryland) – 7am, Saturday September 13; at Towson, 4:30am, Monday September 15

After an unexpected loss to St. Joseph’s last week, UMBC take on a couple of local rivals in the ‘Battle Of Baltimore’. First up are Mount St. Mary’s, and whilst the Mountaineers weren’t expected to be a strong side this year, their 0-7-0 start to the season has definitely raised eyebrows, and UMBC will be fully expected to waltz away with the win. Towson should prove to be a sterner test, having picked up two wins this year in six games, but this will also be UMBC’s game for the taking. Lilly Rydon has been starting up front for UMBC all season, and if there are as many goals as there should be, expect her to get ticks in the goals or assists column, if not both.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week: at North Dakota – 7am, Saturday September 13; at South Dakota – 3am, Monday September 15

Creighton make the trip north to the Dakotas for a pair of games this week looking to keep their perfect record intact. The first match, against North Dakota, sees the Bluejays face a side with just one win, against lowly Chicago State, in six games. Expect this to be a game that Creighton put away well if they play as well as everyone knows they can. South Dakota are a far more intriguing proposition. With four wins from six games, they appear on the face of it to have a very strong record. However, these wins have all been against far lesser teams than themselves, meaning their form is a bit tough to judge. Once again, it will take a top shelf performance, but expect Creighton to head back to Omaha with their winning streak extended by 2. Anastasia McCleary will most probably come off the bench again for Creighton, a role in which she has performed admirably so far this season.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week: at South Dakota – 8am, Saturday September 13; at Morehead State – 5am, Monday September 15

It’s been a tough start to the season for Wyoming, with just one win in five games, but there are promising signs for the Cowgirls. The next step is turning this promise into wins, and there’s no better time to start than this weekend. South Dakota’s ability to beat up on lesser opponents has already been addressed in Creighton’s preview, but Wyoming are not a lesser team, and this could prove to be South Dakota’s undoing in this one, and there may even be a goal or two in this one for Alisha Bass or Candace Sciberras. Following this comes a trip to Kentucky to play Morehead State, a side with just one loss this season, but also two ties. This one looks to be very tight on paper, with Morehead State probably just the favourites.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at USC – 8am, Saturday September 13

Pacific are very much up against it this week against PAC-12 side USC, who are yet to lose a game this season, including a win against Notre Dame. Pacific, on the other hand, are 2-4-0 against a much less testing schedule. Matches like this can prove to be valuable experience for young players, and you can include Aussie freshman Ellie Papalexiou in this category. Of course, nothing is certain in the world of soccer, and you never know just when a side might sneak a tie, but this would be counted amongst the unlikeliest of results for the Tigers this week.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)

This week: v Denver – 8:30am, Saturday September 13

Colorado host in-state rivals Denver this weekend in the Colorado Cup, eager to make the most of the home game. Denver and Colorado have shared many opponents this season, and the results are almost identical, with many ending the same result, but Colorado generally possessing the more satisfactory margin. This will almost certainly be one of the tighter games of the weekend, but Colorado will have to be slight favourites. Expect to see Alexandra Huynh and Kahlia Hogg heavily involved as both players have cemented their roles in the Colorado side.

Southern (Simone Arthur)

This week: at McNeese State – 10am, Saturday September 13; at Stephen F. Austin – 4am, Monday September 15

Despite a couple of losses last week, the Southern side will be buoyed by the fact that they held Louisiana Tech to 2 goals and almost came away with a tie in the 2-1 loss. This week, a McNeese State side that has had just one win this season will host the Jaguars in a matchup of sides desperate for a win. This game is certainly Southern’s best chance of a win this weekend, with Stephen F. Austin, their second opponent, proving to be an absolute nuisance for some very highly rated teams. They have made teams such as Arkansas and Texas A&M fight hard for wins, and it is only their choice to play such a difficult schedule that sees them 2-2-1 instead of 5-0-0 at this point. Simone Arthur made her return for the side at right back last week, and will be expected to be in the side again this week, but which position she will be in remains a mystery.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: at Middle Tennessee – 10am, Saturday September 13; at Saint Louis – 4am, Monday September 15

Nyomi Devine and Harriet Withers have quickly become integral parts of the Murray State squad, and with two tough games this weekend, they’ll be looking to help the side to two wins. On paper, Middle Tennessee are the easier of the two opponents, eking out a 2-2-1 record against some tricky opponents, probably making the Blue Raiders slight favourites. Saint Louis, on the other hand, are clear favourites against the Racers on Monday morning, having already put together some solid wins and held some power conference teams to close games, even if they haven’t been able to get the results.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Bridget Sankey)

This week: v Illinois State – 9:30am, Sunday September 14; at Evansville – 9am, Thursday September 18

If you look at the results alone, you’d call Southeast Missouri State’s first game of the weekend against Illinois State a 50/50 proposition. But Illinois State have almost led themselves to the slaughter, playing, and losing to, three power conference teams in their last three games. Despite these losses, Illinois State’s performances in these games makes them favourites, as long as the results haven’t affected their confidence. The second game, against Evansville, looks to be a lot more even and will be one the Redhawks will really want to win as they look to build momentum leading into the conference season.