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.

Mahoney Makes Div II Switch

Wyoming junior Loren Mahoney will not be seeing out her college career in Laramie, choosing instead to transfer to Division II school University of Mary in North Dakota. Citing injuries and a desire to play out a final season in a less stressful environment, Loren has decided to make the move to Division II in an effort to play her final season of college soccer in a more relaxed atmosphere and also play in her more favoured position further up field, rather than the backline position that she has generally played at Wyoming.

Loren came to Wyoming after playing in the W-League for Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets, and Adelaide United, and played 49 games (39 starts) for the Cowgirls, scoring 5 goals, despite playing in defence in the majority of games. Loren was also named Mountain West Academic All-Conference in all 3 years at Wyoming. College Matildas would like to congratulate Loren on her career at Wyoming and wish her the best of luck on the move to University of Mary.

Ellie Papalexiou Signs With University Of The Pacific

Gold Coast teenager Ellie Papalexiou has brought the total of Australians in NCAA Division I women’s soccer to 16, signing with University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Ellie becomes the fourth new addition to the Australian contingent, and is also the first new player to join a team that does not already contain an Australian. A left back with NPL Queensland experience at the U/18 level with Palm Beach Football Club, Ellie managed to tally eight goals last season to complement her defensive prowess. Pacific coach Keith Coleman is quoted as being excited to add Ellie to the Tigers’ program as they attempt to improve on last season’s lacklustre 4-12-3 record.

With Pacific playing in the West Coast Conference, Ellie will be afforded the opportunity to play against two of the real heavyweights in college women’s soccer in the form of Portland and Santa Clara. Portland was the college home of players such as Christine Sinclair, Megan Rapinoe, and Tiffeny Milbrett, whilst Santa Clara had two players drafted in the first 12 picks of the 2014 NWSL Draft, including US women’s national team member Julie Johnston. These teams shared the WCC title along with Brigham Young University last season, and strong performances by Ellie against teams such as these could really make people sit up and take notice of the young Queenslander.

Ellie Papalexiou Profile

Hometown: Elanora, Queensland (Gold Coast)
Position: Defender
Year: Freshman
Previous Club: Palm Beach FC (NPL Queensland)

Redhawks Make It An Aussie Trio With Cornell Signing

With two Aussies already on the books, Southeast Missouri State have turned the duo of Bridget Sankey and Jenna Collingridge into a trio, adding Shoalhaven utility player Maddy Cornell to their squad for next season. Cornell, who has the ability to play in defence, midfield, or up front, has previous experience in the US, touring with the NSW Under 17s side in 2011 to San Diego.

Regarding Cornell’s signing, Southeast Missouri State coach Heather Nelson outlined the importance of Cornell’s versatility, with her footballing IQ allowing her to seamlessly integrate into a team in whichever position she is chosen. Looking at the Redhawks’ recruiting class, there appears to be more chance for Maddy to play in a more advanced role, with 3 other defenders amongst the class of 6.

A video showcasing Cornell’s talents is available here.

Maddy Cornell Profile

Hometown: Callala Bay, NSW
Date Of Birth: October 3, 1995
Position: Utility
Previous Club: Southern Branch

Shelbi Vienna-Hallam Signs with Alabama State

Alabama State have added a second Australian to their roster for the 2014 season, with junior Anastasia McCleary set to be joined by community college transfer Shelbi Vienna-Hallam from Peninsula College in Washington. Vienna-Hallam, a defender from Hobart, is fresh off back-to-back North West Athletic Association Of Community College championships, as Peninsula won both men’s and women’s soccer titles in 2012 and 2013. Shelbi tallied 8 goals and 3 assists in 2013 as part of a team that scored 89 goals and conceded just 13 in 22 games, including 13 shutouts, and went 16-0-0 in league play. Shelbi was also named to the NWAACC All-Star team for 2013.

Shelbi Vienna-Hallam Profile

Hometown: Hobart, Tasmania
Year: Junior
Position: Defender
Previous College: Peninsula College (NWAACC)

Wanderers Goalkeeper Rowntree Signs With Cowgirls

Georgia Rowntree has signed a National Letter of Intent, signalling her intention to become the newest member of the Australian contingent at Wyoming. Rowntree will join fellow Aussies Alisha Bass, Candace Sciberras, and Loren Mahoney in Laramie.

Georgia has been a member of Sutherland Sharks’ NSW Women’s Premier League squad since 2012, and has also been part of the Western Sydney Wanderers’ W-League squad since its inception 2 years ago. Georgia has also captained the Australian Schoolgirls’ team on a tour of Brazil and Argentina.

Wyoming currently have two goalkeepers in their squad: Alex Boehm, a senior who was the regular starter last season, and Abby Lindsay, a junior who played in 3 games last season, starting two. Both are one-time letter winners at Wyoming. Georgia will be hard-pressed to shift Boehm from the starting spot, but she definitely has the pedigree to make waves in Laramie. However, Georgia will not be the only new goalkeeper in the squad – the Cowgirls have also secured Cassidy Entsminger from Las Vegas.

Georgia Rowntree Profile

Date Of Birth: May 20, 1995
Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA
Hometown: Sydney, NSW
Position: Goalkeeper
Previous Club: Western Sydney Wanderers (Westfield W-League)

Hogg’s Transfer Makes It Two Aussies At Colorado

Florida State sophomore defender Kahlia Hogg has decided to up stakes and transfer from the 2013 national runners-up, and will join fellow Australian Alexandra Huynh at Colorado as of next season. Kahlia featured in 10 games in her freshman season in 2012, playing 240 minutes, but saw her playing time become more limited in 2013, featuring in 8 matches and playing just 75 minutes. The move to Colorado should provide her with more opportunities whilst still playing in one of the premier conferences in NCAA women’s soccer, with the Pac-12 providing no less than six teams to the 2013 national tournament, including the Buffaloes themselves. Colorado’s recruiting class is solid, however, and Kahlia will have to prove that she can step straight in and do a job for the team.

Kahlia Hogg Stats (Florida State, 2012-2013, courtesy of FSU)

Games Played: 18
Games Started: 2
Goals: 0
Assists: 1
Yellow Cards: 0
Red Cards: 0
Minutes: 315