Summer Soccer Update #5

It was just one of those weeks for the offseason Aussies this week. Whilst it wasn’t a bad week by any stretch, with 5 wins shared between the players, there were a couple of draws and losses that could just have easily gone in a more positive direction. Still, there’s plenty to be positive about, so let’s get started.

Starting in Queensland and the SEQWPL, Ellie Papalexiou and Palm Beach came up against a well-organised Peninsula Power team, but managed a 2-1 victory to keep them in touch with the league leaders. Meanwhile, in the Brisbane Premier League, Amy Armistead and Souths United managed a 3-1 win against Mitchelton to move away from the lower teams and within seven points of the mid-table pack.

South of the Tweed, Maddy Cornell and Southern Branch ran Central Coast Mariners Academy all the way to the final whistle in a 3-2 loss against the runaway league leaders. In a fairer world, this is not the kind of performance that would drop a team down a position, but the football world isn’t known for its fairness, and Southern Branch dropped from 4th to 5th.

Alex Huynh and Candace Sciberras were part of the Marconi Stallions side that punched above its weight in a 0-0 draw with 3rd place North West Sydney Koalas, leaving Marconi three points behind 7th placed Illawarra Stingrays but with a game in hand.

Georgia Rowntree was back on the team sheet for Sydney Uni after a prolonged forced stint on the sidelines, but remained on the bench for Sydney Uni’s 1-0 win over second placed Manly United.

Moving to the US, Anastasia McCleary and Issaquah had a two game home stand over the weekend, winning 5-1 over Eugene Timbers, before following that up with a win over Westside Timbers the next day to move back into the lead of WPSL’s Northwest Division. Meanwhile, in the USL W-League, Kahlia Hogg played the final 20 minutes for Colorado Rush, but the side went down 3-1 to LA Blues, who are still yet to drop a point in the Western Conference. This was followed by a 1-0 loss to Bay Area Breeze, a game in which Kahlia played the last 13 minutes. The weekend’s results leave the Rush in 6th place in the Western Conference as the sides turn for home.

Looking forward to this weekend, Amy Armistead and Souths United have a bye this weekend. Staying in Queensland, the SEQWPL split in two for its second phase of competition, and Ellie Papalexiou and Palm Beach will play in the top section, but have a week off this week before starting next week against Redlands.

Moving to NSW, Georgia Rowntree and Sydney Uni take on league leaders Macarthur Rams in NPLNSW1. The Rams have slipped up a couple of times in the last few weeks, but got back on track with a 1-0 win last week, and Sydney Uni will need to be at their best to keep pace with Macarthur. The pairing of Alex Huynh and Candace Sciberras and their Marconi side have a two-game week this week, taking on FNSW Institute tomorrow night at Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre, before taking on Northbridge at home on Sunday. Meanwhile, in NPLNSW2, Maddy Cornell and Southern Branch take on 3rd placed Inter Lions on Sunday in a match that could see Southern move ahead of the Lions due to a vastly superior goal difference.

Over in the States, Kahlia Hogg and Colorado Rush have a tough matchup against Seattle Sounders Women on Friday night (Seattle time), who currently sit third in the Western Conference. The Rush may be out of playoff contention, but they have the potential to be of major nuisance value to the teams chasing a playoff berth. Meanwhile, in WPSL, Anastasia McCleary and Issaquah will look to make it three wins on the trot as they play Westside Timbers, the same team they hosted in their last start win. A win for Westside would see them jump Issaquah for first place, but a win for Issaquah would see them potentially open up a six point gap at the top, although third placed AC Seattle have a game in hand.

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Summer Soccer Update #4

There’s a new addition to the offseason Aussies this week, as NCAA Div 2 West Alabama defender Amy Armistead played for Souths United in the Brisbane Premier League this weekend. Elsewhere, there were wins on both sides of the Pacific and both sides of the Tweed as plenty of Aussies tasted success this week.

Starting in NSW, Maddy Cornell was on the winning side of the ledger against Western NSW Mariners as Southern Branch notched up a 2-0 win which moved them into 4th place, just 3 points off 2nd place, although 1st place seems a forlorn hope for any team but Central Coast Mariners Academy, who have an 11 point lead at the top with 10 games to play.

Georgia Rowntree sat out yet another week as Sydney Uni went down 1-0 to Illawarra Stingrays to fall one place to 4th in NPLNSW Women’s 1, whilst elsewhere in the same league, Alex Huynh and Candace Sciberras were involved in Marconi’s 1-1 draw with 2nd placed Manly United to remain in 8th position.

In the South-East Queensland WPL, Ellie Papalexiou and Palm Beach made sure they kept pace with the leaders as the league nears its split second phase by demolishing mid-table Peninsula Power 9-0, a result that keeps the side in second place, just two points behind leaders The Gap FC. There have been some very one-sided results recently, so the quality of the league should be better for the split into top and bottom half after next weekend.

In the second division Brisbane Premier League, Amy Armistead was involved for Souths United as they played out a 0-0 draw against Pine Hills, a side 11 points above them.

Moving Stateside, Anastasia McCleary had a week off as Issaquah recovered from last week’s daunting 3 game stretch, but Kahlia Hogg and Colorado Rush split their local derbies, going down 2-0 to Colorado Pride before demolishing Colorado Storm 4-0. Kahlia started both games, playing 86 minutes in the first game, before backing up with a 45 minute stint in the second game.

Looking forward, both of our US-based Aussies will be putting in double shifts this week. Anastasia McCleary and Issaquah will play twice in two days, on June 20 and 21 against Eugene Timbers and Westside Timbers, whilst in Colorado, Kahlia Hogg and Colorado Rush play host to runaway league leaders LA Blues on June 20 before welcoming Bay Area Breeze on June 24.

If Colorado Rush playing LA Blues looks tough, spare a thought for Maddy Cornell who faces up to Central Coast Mariners Academy on the weekend. The Mariners are yet to taste defeat and have an 11 point lead at the top of the NPLNSW Women’s 2 table.

In NPLNSW Women’s 1, Georgia Rowntree (if she plays) and Sydney Uni take on Manly United, a game they will be desperate to win if they are to chase down a higher place on the table, as 2nd placed Manly will put 10 points between the two sides with a win, whilst Uni will claw back within 4 if they get the chocolates on Sunday. Out in southwest Sydney, Alex Huynh, Candace Sciberras, and their Marconi side take on 3rd placed North West Sydney Koalas. Koalas are light on numbers but high on quality, and it will be dependent on which of those factors is more telling on Sunday as to which Koalas side Marconi will face.

In sunny Queensland, Amy Armistead and Souths United will be hopeful of a win against lowly Mitchelton as they try to bridge the 10 point gap between 6th placed Annerley and themselves in 7th place. The league has really split itself in two, and Souths United will need to put together a run if they’re to get back in touch with the pack.

Finally, Ellie Papalexiou and Palm Beach take on 6th placed Olympic FC. With top of the table The Gap playing 3rd placed UQ FC, Palm Beach will be making sure they take care of business, knowing that any dropped points by The Gap will see Palm Beach move back into the league lead as the league moves into its final phase.

Summer Soccer Update #3

A fairly successful week for the Aussies this week, especially on the American side of the Pacific, although there was good news in Australia too.

In the USL W-League, Kahlia Hogg played 79 minutes in Colorado Rush’s 2-2 draw against local rivals Colorado Pride, leaving the side in 6th place in the Western Conference but with games in hand on most of the teams above them.

Further to the north, Anastasia McCleary and Issaquah had a successful road trip to Oregon, with a 3-2 victory against THUSC Diamonds followed by a 2-0 win the next day against Eugene Timbers. The side played again this morning (Sydney time), however a result has not yet been forthcoming.

Back in Australia, the showdown between Georgia Rowntree’s Sydney Uni and a Marconi side featuring Alex Huynh and Candace Sciberras fell down a bit as Georgia didn’t play for Sydney Uni. Alex and Candace both played solidly for Marconi, but it was Sydney Uni who got the chocolates in the NPLNSW Women’s 1 clash, winning 2-0.

In NPLNSW Women’s 2, Maddy Cornell was part of the Southern Branch side that piled on the goals in a 6-2 victory over Sutherland Shire, which leaves Southern Branch in fifth place, part of a 4 team logjam between 3rd and 6th, with four teams separated by 5 points.

This weekend sees Southern Branch play Western NSW Mariners, where a win can send them 3rd, but a loss will see them automatically fall to 6th as their opponents will leapfrog them. Marconi face Manly United, where a win can send them into 6th, but they may fall to the bottom of the table with a loss if other results go against them. Sydney Uni will face Illawarra Stingrays, where they can consolidate 3rd with a win, but may fall to fifth with a loss.

Up in Queensland, Ellie Papalexiou and Palm Beach are back in action against mid-table Peninsula Power as the SEQWPL reaches its climax over the next couple of weeks, with Palm Beach needing a win to stay in the title hunt.

Over in the States, Kahlia Hogg and Colorado Rush have two local derbies this week; first up, it’s the reverse match against Colorado Pride tomorrow morning (Sydney time), followed by the reverse match against Colorado Storm on Friday morning (Sydney time).

In the WPSL, Anastasia McCleary and league-leading Issaquah have the week off, not playing again until they host Eugene Timbers and Westside Timbers (yes, two different teams) in the space of two days on June 20 and 21.

Summer Soccer Update #2

A mixed week for the offseason Aussies this week, with some solid wins offset by some unfortunately-timed losses.

First up, our American-based players. Anastasia McCleary made her debut for Issaquah in a 1-0 win over THUSC Diamonds that Anastasia herself admitted could have been a bigger win if not for the side’s profligacy in attack. Moving south down the west coast, Colorado Rush played out a 2-2 draw at Bay Area Breeze, but unfortunately Kahlia Hogg did not play for the Rush.

Back in Australia, Candace Sciberras and Alexandra Huynh were part of Marconi’s 2-1 win over Blacktown Spartans in NPLNSW Women’s 1, with Candace scoring the opening goal. Georgia Rowntree and Sydney Uni were not so fortunate, however, going down 3-2 to Northbridge.  The weekend’s results leave Sydney Uni in 3rd place, six behind second placed Manly, whilst Marconi move up one position in to 8th.

There was more bad news in NPLNSW2, with Maddy Cornell and Southern Branch going down 1-0 to Sydney Olympic. This result leaves Southern Branch in 6th place, but only 4 points off 3rd and 6 points off 2nd place. With only 9 of 21 games played, Southern Branch can still easily make a move up the table.

In Queensland, Ellie Papalexiou and Palm Beach found two top-of-the-table clashes in a week to be a bridge too far, going down 4-2 to The Gap. The result means that Palm Beach are now relying on The Gap to slip up, as Palm Beach remain one point ahead but have only two games to play whereas The Gap have three to play.

Coming up this week (all dates local):

Colorado Rush (Kahlia Hogg) v Colorado Pride, June 4
Issaquah (Anastasia McCleary) v THUSC Diamonds, June 5
Issaquah (Anastasia McCleary) v Eugene Timbers FC Azul, June 6
Sydney Uni (Georgia Rowntree) v Marconi (Alex Huynh, Candace Sciberras) v June 8
Southern Branch (Maddy Cornell) v Sutherland Shire, June 8
Issaquah (Anastasia McCleary) v Fuerza FC, June 9

The most intriguing game of the week is obviously the Sydney Uni v Marconi game. If Rowntree gets the start in goal for Sydney Uni, Candace and Georgia will be fighting it out for not only 3 points, but bragging rights when they get back to Wyoming (or just get to Wyoming in Georgia’s case!). No game for Ellie Papalexiou and Palm Beach this weekend; the SEQWPL appears to be taking a break for the Queen’s Birthday Holiday long weekend.

Alabama State’s McCleary Makes Creighton Move

The Australian contingent at Alabama State has been halved, with All-SWAC sophomore Anastasia McCleary today confirming her transfer to Creighton for her final two years of college. McCleary, currently playing club soccer with Issaquah in the WPSL, made clear her intention to transfer several months ago, and today announced her choice of destination.

McCleary had been one of the top players in both the Alabama State side and the entire SWAC from the moment she stepped on the field for the Hornets, picking up the SWAC Freshman Of The Year, and being named to the All-SWAC First Team in her first season with the Hornets. This was then followed up by another All-SWAC First Team selection in her sophomore year. In her two seasons in Montgomery, Anastasia played 38 games, making 33 starts, tallying 8 goals and 13 assists, with 3 game winning goals.

The move to Creighton sees Anastasia moving to one of the premier conferences in college sports, the Big East. This will no doubt provide Anastasia with a much tougher challenge on the field than she would have experienced in the SWAC, but one that she will definitely be up for. Creighton have only recently moved into a power conference, having been based in in the Missouri Valley Conference until 2012, so there are some definite parallels between McCleary and the side itself with regards to making jumps to bigger challenges.

College Matildas would like to wish Anastasia the best of luck with the transfer, and congratulations on becoming a Bluejay!

Summer Soccer Update #1

More of a winter soccer update this week, as the US-based players wait until this weekend to play, whilst the Australian-based players got on with playing over the last week.

Georgia Rowntree and Sydney University had two games over the weekend – firstly on Saturday against the Football NSW Institute, then on Sunday against Blacktown Spartans. Uni went down 2-1 to the Institute youngsters, but managed a win against Blacktown, notching up a 2-0 victory.

Staying in NPLNSW Women’s 1, Alex Huynh and Marconi played a part in what was the game of the week in the state’s premier league, with the Stallions going up 2-0 by halftime, Alex getting amongst the goals with a free kick. However, the second half saw the Macarthur Rams came storming back to win 3-2 courtesy of goals from W-League players Amy Harrison, Renee Rollason, and Georgia Yeoman-Dale. Despite the loss, Marconi remain the only team to take points off the league-leading Rams, and also the only team to really test the side.

Moving on to NPLNSW Women’s 2, and it was an unfortunate case of feeling the sting of revenge for Maddy Cornell and Southern Branch, who went down 1-0 to the same Northern Tigers side that Maddy scored 2 goals against as part of a 6-0 victory earlier in the season.

Up in Queensland, Ellie Papalexiou and Palm Beach demolished University of Queensland in the second half of their top of the table clash, claiming a 4-1 victory after being 1-0 down at halftime. Palm Beach backed up on Monday, taking on the touring College of William and Mary, but unfortunately went down 3-0 to the Tribe. With several other Palm Beach players potentially lined up to play in college, this game will have been a great experience for both Ellie and her teammates.

This weekend sees the US-based players on the field, with Kahlia Hogg and Colorado Rush taking on Bay Area Breeze on Saturday morning (AEST), whilst Anastasia McCleary and Issaquah take on THUSC Diamonds on Sunday morning (AEST).

Closer to home, Ellie Papalexiou and Palm Beach take on The Gap in yet another top of the table clash, as The Gap jumped UQ over the weekend. A win for Palm Beach will put them within 3 points of winning the Southeast Queensland Women’s Premier League title, whilst a loss would see The Gap able to jump Palm Beach, as they have a game in hand.

In NPLNSW Women’s 1, Alex Huynh and Marconi have the opportunity to jump Blacktown Spartans and into 7th place, and could rise 3 places to 5th if other results go their way. Meanwhile, Georgia Rowntree and 3rd placed Sydney Uni face a tricky match as they welcome 6th placed Northbridge FC.

Finally, in NPLNSW Women’s 2, Maddy Cornell and Southern Branch could jump from their current position of 5th into a share of second place, but will have to overcome a long trip to Sydney to play Sydney Olympic. The two sides are separated only by goal difference at the moment, so this should be a very tight match.

Good luck to all the players, and a special congratulations to Anastasia McCleary, who is set to make her WPSL debut this weekend.

Summer Soccer Preview

As the college season only runs from August to November, many players play club soccer when not with their college teams. This off-season, several current College Matildas are playing club soccer at one place or another. Currently, two are at clubs in the US, whilst one is playing back in Australia.

In the US, Kahlia Hogg is playing for Colorado Rush in the USL W-League. This is Kahlia’s second stint in the W-League, after previously playing for Pali Blues. The Rush kicked off their season on May 19, winning 8-0 against local rivals Colorado Storm, with Kahlia picking up 2 goals and 2 assists in a demolition job. Tougher games are sure to come for the Rush, though, with teams such as Seattle Sounders Women and LA Blues (a merger of Pali Blues and LA Strikers) sure to provide much sterner tests in a stacked W-League Western Conference. The Rush’s next game, however, will be away to the Bay Area Breeze of northern California.

Further north, Anastasia McCleary has joined Issaquah Soccer Club of Seattle in the WPSL. Issaquah are an interesting club as they serve as the reserve team for the Seattle Reign of the NWSL, who currently lead the league. Of course, college eligibility rules mean Anastasia can’t actually play for the Reign first team, but she will be playing alongside many players in the Reign system. Issaquah’s WPSL campaign kicks off on May 31 at home to THUSC Diamonds, with the team playing 10 games in about 6 weeks before conference and then national playoffs. Issaquah qualified for the playoffs last season by topping their division, and will be hoping to do the same this year.

Closer to home, Kahlia Hogg’s Colorado teammate, Alexandra Huynh, will be spending her off-season playing for Marconi Stallions of the National Premier Leagues NSW Women’s 1. Alexandra already played in the side’s midweek exhibition game against a touring College of William and Mary side, and if she plays this weekend, will come up against a Macarthur Rams side that has only dropped points in one game this season; ironically, a draw against Marconi Stallions.

There are also three future College Matildas playing club soccer as they prepare for the move to the US. Georgia Rowntree is playing for Sydney University, and may yet come up against Alexandra Huynh as both sides play in NPLNSW Women’s 1. In NPLNSW Women’s 2, Maddy Cornell is starring on the left side for a Southern Branch side sitting in 3rd, just one point off second place. Meanwhile, north of the Tweed, Ellie Papalexiou is playing an instrumental role at both left back and left wing for Palm Beach, who currently lead the South-East Queensland Women’s Premier League. Palm Beach come up against University of Queensland this weekend in a top of the table clash. A win for Palm Beach will put them 4 points clear at the top of the table with 3 rounds to play, whilst a loss could see them drop to 3rd once other teams play their games in hand.

Good luck to all of our players this week! We’ll be back next week with all the results and a preview of upcoming games.