2019 Week 2 Wrap

The Pac-12 Aussies flexed their national title credentials this week, with UCLA in particular coming up with a pair of massive wins. Meanwhile, down in the Lone Star State, Texas Tech were ruthless in smashing home 8 goals across two games, with Demi Koulizakis playing no small part in their wins.

(Image Credit: Texas Tech Athletics)

Beattie Goad turned last week’s solid start into a scintillating continuation, playing an integral role in Stanford’s 5-0 win over Penn to maintain the Cardinal’s perfect record. Goad opened the scoring for the home side on Thursday night, lashing home Madison Haley’s lay-off into the top corner from the edge of the area for her first goal of the season. The senior followed up shortly after, producing a mazy run from the left wing into the centre of the pitch before finding Abby Greubel, who made the most of Goad’s work with a classy finish into the bottom corner from outside the area. Goad would also start in Stanford’s 7-0 win over San Jose State later in the week, playing 25 minutes.

Staying in the Pac-12, Teagan Micah helped UCLA to a pair of massive wins over Florida State and Florida as the Bruins reminded everyone why they are one of the national championship favourites. The senior made two saves in UCLA’s 2-1 win over Florida State at Banc of California Stadium, before returning home to Wallis Annenberg Stadium to make three saves in the Bruins’ 2-0 win over Florida for her third clean sheet of the still young season. Unfortunately, Rachel Lowe did not feature in either game for the Bruins this week as coach Amanda Cromwell kept the rotation short in these tight contests.

Demi Koulizakis continues to make herself an integral part of the Texas Tech side, with the senior performing admirably as the Red Raiders picked up a pair of 4-0 wins. Texas Tech outshot Oral Roberts 23-3 in their first game of the week, and whilst Koulizakis may not have scored a goal in the drubbing, the former Western Sydney Wanderers W-League player got herself into good positions and managed to finish the game with three shots on target in the win. However, Koulizakis’ good work produced more tangible results against North Texas later in the week. With the Red Raiders and Mean Green locked up at 0-0 at halftime, a second-half blitzkrieg culminated in four goals for Texas Tech, with Koulizakis assisting on both the second goal as well as the final tally of the night as the home side pulled away down the stretch.

Western Carolina senior Kate Swartwout has done just about everything bar score a goal during her time with the Catamounts, but that all changed in a thrilling 5-4 victory over Tennessee-Martin. With her team down 1-0 after eight minutes, Swartwout tied things up from close range, sending the ball home from near the centre of the box. The Catamounts would take a 4-2 lead into halftime, but their lead was cut to 5-4 with still 15 minutes to play, leading to a crazy finish that somehow did not produce more goals as Western Carolina moved to 2-1.

Tessa Calabria may still only be playing limited minutes, but her impact for Nicholls State is anything but as the senior continues to produce for the Colonels. Calabria played only 30 minutes of the contest against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but that was time enough to tally an assist on her team’s fourth goal and also test the goalkeeper with a shot of her own as Nicholls State rolled to a 5-0 win. Kristy Helmers also played 66 minutes for the Colonels in the win, whilst Shauni Reid was an unused substitute.

Sam Roff has never been known as a player to make a significant impact at the attacking end, but that has never stopped the Fairleigh Dickinson defender from being one of the most crucial parts of the Knights lineup, and the senior proved as much this weekend. Having played the first 70 minutes against Lehigh in the New Jersey team’s first game of the week, Roff was forced off with the score at 1-0. Lehigh tied the game late, and with overtime unable to separate the sides, the Knights were forced to settle for the draw. However, Roff returned to play in-state foes Rider, and proved once again to be a rock at the back as Rider were able to tally only three shots on target as the game finished in a 0-0 stalemate, with Roff playing all 110 minutes.

This week also saw two more players make their collegiate debuts in brief cameos off the bench that will no doubt drive the pair to secure more playing time going forward. Mississippi freshman winger Aimee Medwin saw 21 minutes of action in a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over Minnesota, whilst sophomore Grace Watson Carr played 17 minutes between the sticks in the back end of a dominant 6-1 win for Hofstra over local foes Fordham.

Watson Carr’s Hofstra teammate Monique Iannella also managed to produce a moment to savour this week, tallying the 14th assist of her career even as the Pride fell to a 2-1 loss to Brown. As those who have followed Iannella’s career would be unsurprised to learn, the assist came from a corner, with a short ball played out to the senior, who combined with Sabrina Bryan, with the latter’s shot from long distance managing to find its way into the net with a little help from a defender’s head.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Beattie Goad (Stanford)
2: Demi Koulizakis (Texas Tech)
1: Sam Roff (Fairleigh Dickinson)

Full Schedule

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: lost 1-0 to Purdue-Fort Wayne; lost 2-0 to Louisiana-Lafayette

Sarah Clark featured for Chicago State in both games this week, tallying a trio of shots in the loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: drew 1-1 with Gardner-Webb

D’arne Boato did not feature for East Tennessee State in their draw with Gardner-Webb.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: drew 1-1 with Lehigh; drew 0-0 with Rider

Sam Roff played 70 minutes in the draw with Lehigh before being forced off the pitch, but returned to help Fairleigh Dickinson hold Rider to just 3 shots on target in a 0-0 draw, playing all 110 minutes in the process.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to UTEP; lost 4-0 to UTSA

Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon in the loss to UTEP, but came off the bench to register a shot on target in her 30 minutes on the pitch against UTSA.

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: defeated Nevada 1-0 (OT); drew 0-0 with Sacramento State

Eliza Ammendolia came off the bench for Nevada in both games this week for Hawaii, playing 43 minutes against Nevada and 39 minutes against Sacramento State. Kiri Dale played 23 minutes off the bench against Nevada, but did not feature against Sacramento State.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: lost 2-1 to Brown; defeated Fordham 6-1

Having not featured in the loss to Brown, sophomore goalkeeper Grace Watson Carr made her Hofstra debut with a 17-minute cameo in the latter stages of the Pride’s 6-1 win over Fordham. Monique Iannella started against Brown and delivered the assist on Hofstra’s only goal in a 59-minute performance, but did not feature against Fordham.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: defeated Pepperdine 3-2; lost 3-0 to San Francisco

Ashleigh Lefevre started for Illinois in the win over Pepperdine, playing 44 minutes before coming off the bench in the loss to San Francisco to play 57 minutes.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: defeated NJIT 1-0; lost 1-0 to Drexel

Claudia Jenkins played all 180 minutes between the sticks for La Salle this week, finishing with 2 saves in the win over NJIT and 4 more in the loss to Drexel. Alyssa Van Heurck started both games, tallying a single shot in 33 minutes in the win over NJIT and seeing 36 minutes of action against Drexel.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: defeated McNeese State 1-0; drew 2-2 with Samford

Caitlin Cantrill came off the bench to play 9 minutes for LSU in the win over McNeese State, but did not feature in the draw with Samford.

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

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

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

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: defeated Southeast Missouri State 2-0; defeated Minnesota 3-2 (OT)

Aimee Medwin did not feature against Southeast Missouri State, but came off the bench against Minnesota to make her college debut, registering a single shot in 21 minutes of action.

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

This week: defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 5-0

Tessa Calabria started for Nicholls State in the win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, tallying an assist and a shot on target in her 30 minutes on the pitch. Kristy Helmers also started and played 66 minutes, but Shauni Reid did not feature for the Colonels.

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: defeated Vermont 3-0; defeated New Hampshire 1-0

Eden Taylor-Wineera made a brief 5-minute cameo off the bench in North Dakota State’s win over Vermont, but did not feature against New Hampshire.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: drew 1-1 with Liberty

Gaby Bentley did not feature for Old Dominion in their draw with Liberty.

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: defeated Wagner 1-0

Teresa Morrissey once again played the full 90 minutes for Rhode Island, coming up with 3 vital saves in the Rams’ 1-0 win over Wagner.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: lost 2-0 to Mississippi; lost 5-0 to Arkansas

Siena Senatore started both games for Southeast Missouri State this week, playing all 180 minutes across the two contests.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Penn 5-1; defeated San Jose State 7-0

Beattie Goad started for Stanford against Penn, tallying the opening goal and an assist during her 61 minutes on the pitch. The senior also started against San Jose State, playing the first 25 minutes.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated Oral Roberts 4-0; defeated North Texas 4-0

Demi Koulizakis peppered Oral Roberts’ goal with 3 shots in target during her 47 minutes on the pitch in Texas Tech’s win, before coming off the bench to assist on two goals in the Red Raiders’ win over North Texas in a 23-minute cameo.

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Florida State 2-1; defeated Florida 2-0

Teagan Micah played all 180 minutes of the weekend, making two saves in the win over Florida State and another 3 in the victory over Florida. Rachel Lowe did not feature for the Bruins in either game this week.

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: lost 3-1 to Temple; defeated Mount St. Mary’s 3-0

Teal Kilbride started for UMBC in the loss, playing 34 minutes, but did not feature in the win over Mount St. Mary’s. Abi Jordan did not feature for the Retrievers in either game this week.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 4-1 to Middle Tennessee State; defeated Tennessee-Martin 5-4

Kate Swartwout came off the bench against Middle Tennessee State to play 13 minutes, before getting the start against Tennessee-Martin and scoring her first career goal in a 23-minute cameo in the Catamounts’ thrilling 5-4 win.

2019 Week 2 Preview

One of the biggest events of the season takes place this week, with Aussie pair Rachel Lowe and Teagan Micah front and centre. Meanwhile, Teresa Morrissey and Claudia Jenkins will look to continue their solid form between the sticks, and are there more goals coming for Nicholls State’s Aussies?

UCLA freshman Rachel Lowe celebrates her debut goal against Iowa State (Credit: Percy Anderson/UCLA)

The ‘Battle at the Banc’, in which four of the nation’s top teams will face off at LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium is one of the most anticipated events of the season, and a pair of Aussies will be front and centre as Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah, and UCLA take on Florida State as part of a doubleheader that will also see USC take on Florida in a pair of blockbuster games. Having knocked off a pair of solid opponents last week, UCLA will be looking to flex their title credentials by defeating the reigning national champions as they attempt to build a charge towards a first national title since 2013. Micah picked up the 7th Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week award for her pair of clean sheets last week, and whilst Florida State will provide a far sterner challenge than Iowa State or Long Beach State had, there is no doubting that the Matildas World Cup squad member is up to the task. Meanwhile, Rachel Lowe will be hoping to build on last week’s debut goal as the freshman looks to secure her spot in the Bruins’ rotation. Whilst the Florida State game is the blockbuster this week, things don’t get any easier for UCLA as they host Florida on Sunday. The Bruins actually played this pair of teams last season, albeit on the road, drawing 0-0 with Florida and losing 4-1 to Florida State, so they will certainly be looking to bury the demons from 12 months ago with a pair of wins here.

Teresa Morrissey enjoyed a stellar start to her career with a five-save clean sheet in an overtime win over New Hampshire last week, and after a solid performance in a mid-week loss to Quinnipiac, the Rhode Island goalkeeper will face another test this week against a Wagner side that scored seven goals across two games this weekend. If last season is any measuring stick, Morrissey could quickly turn into a vital part of the Rhode Island side, not only for her talent in and of itself, but as the piece that could secure the Rams more than a few results despite an offence that sat in the bottom 20 of the nation last season. A team can’t win without scoring, but they can’t lose if they don’t concede, and this could make Morrissey a chief factor, hopefully starting this weekend with another win for the Rams.

Siena Senatore made her comeback to the game with a 90-minute performance in a 3-2 win over Southern Miss last week, and the Redhawks’ crusade against teams from Mississippi continues this week as Southeast Missouri State face Aimee Medwin and Ole Miss in their first game of the weekend. Ole Miss are likely to pose a far sterner test than Southern Miss had in the season opener, particularly as they will be stinging from a 3-1 loss to Memphis in which they conceded two goals AFTER Memphis’ goalkeeper was shown a red card. Aimee Medwin did not feature in either that game or the Rebels’ win over North Alabama, but how fitting would a debut in an Aussie v Aussie matchup be?

Having come away with a win and a draw against Mississippi Valley State, Nicholls State and their Aussie triumvirate will be confident of picking up a result against an Arkansas-Pine Bluff side that is tipped to finish around the same position in the SWAC as Mississippi Valley State themselves and shipped 10 goals in two games last week. The Colonels really should have secured two wins last weekend, outshooting the Delta Devils 34-4 in a 1-1 draw in the second fixture, but that statistic alone suggests that the likes of Kristy Helmers and Tessa Calabria will be able to create plenty of chances in this fixture, whilst Shauni Reid will be hoping to make her debut after missing out in the opening two games.

Claudia Jenkins did her level best to help La Salle secure a result with 11 saves across two games last week, but the Explorers could only come away with a loss and a draw from their trip to North Carolina. Now back in Philadelphia, Jenkins and her teammates will be hoping to secure a first win of the season against NJIT in their home opener. The Highlanders’ results last week largely mirrored La Salle’s – a draw with a fellow mid-major against UMBC before a tight loss to a power conference side in Maryland. However, NJIT were unable to score a goal in either game, and Jenkins’ presence between the sticks won’t make it any easier for them. The Explorers then travel across town to face Drexel, who had no trouble creating chances last week, outshooting St. Joseph’s 12-3, but couldn’t convert a single opportunity in falling to a 1-0 defeat. Alyssa Van Heurck and the La Salle attack should hopefully provide a sterner test than St. Joseph’s did in that game as the Explorers look to kickstart their season with a pair of wins.

Full Schedule

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: v Purdue-Fort Wayne – 4am, Saturday August 31; v Louisiana-Lafayette – 4am, Monday September 2

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: @ Gardner-Webb – 9am, Monday August 2

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Lehigh – 9am, Friday August 30; v Rider – 2am, Monday September 2

Watch Fairleigh Dickinson v Lehigh

Watch Fairleigh Dickinson v Rider

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v UTEP – 12pm, Friday August 30; v UTSA – 12pm, Monday September 2

Watch Grand Canyon v UTEP

Watch Grand Canyon v UTSA

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: v Nevada – 11:30am, Friday August 30; v Sacramento State – 11:30am, Sunday September 1

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: @ Brown – 9am, Saturday August 31; v Fordham – 3am, Monday September 2

Watch Hofstra v Fordham

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ Pepperdine – 8am, Saturday August 31; v San Francisco – 9am, Monday September 2

Watch Illinois v Pepperdine

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v NJIT – 9am, Friday August 30; v Drexel – 3am, Monday September 2

Watch La Salle v Drexel

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v McNeese State – 10am, Saturday August 31; @ Samford – 5am, Monday September 2

Watch LSU v McNeese State ($)

Watch LSU v Samford ($)

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: v Youngstown State – 9am, Saturday August 31; v Ohio – 3am, Monday September 2

Watch Marshall v Youngstown State

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: v Southeast Missouri State – 10am, Friday August 30; v Minnesota – 2am, Monday September 2

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

This week: v Arkansas-Pine Bluff – 4am, Monday September 2

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: @ Vermont – 9am, Saturday August 31; v New Hampshire – 5:30am, Monday September 2

Watch North Dakota State v Vermont

Watch North Dakota State v New Hampshire

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: @ Liberty – 3am, Monday September 2

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: @ Wagner – 3am, Monday September 2

Watch Rhode Island v Wagner

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Mississippi – 10am, Friday August 30; v Arkansas – Monday September 2

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Penn – 12pm, Saturday August 31; v San Jose State – 11am, Monday September 2

Watch Stanford v Penn

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Oral Roberts – 10am, Friday August 30; v North Texas – 10am, Monday September 2

Watch Texas Tech v Oral Roberts ($)

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Florida State – 10:30am, Friday August 30; v Florida – 10am, Monday September 2

Watch UCLA v Florida

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: v Temple – 9am, Friday August 30; @ Mount St. Mary’s – 7am, Monday September 2

Watch UMBC v Temple

Watch UMBC v Mount St. Mary’s

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Middle Tennessee State – 9am, Friday August 30; v Tennessee-Martin – 3am, Monday September 2

2019 Midfielder Previews

A stacked midfield group featuring junior national representatives Aimee Medwin and Eliza Ammendolia, national champion Beattie Goad, and senior Matilda Rachel Lowe is set to provide plenty of excitement in 2019, with a number of players in position to make a significant impact on their teams. The continued improvement of Alyssa Van Heurck is one storyline to keep an eye on, with the sophomore having made the move from defence into a more attacking role in 2018.

(Featured Image Credit: Stanford Athletics)

Eliza Ammendolia (Freshman, Hawaii, Griffith)

With 15 W-League appearances for Western Sydney Wanderers under her belt, Ammendolia comes into her first college season as one of the more credentialed players among all Aussies in NCAA Division I. The pint-sized midfielder has represented the Young Matildas at a major tournament and has already built a solid resume at both NPL and W-League level, and will almost certainly come in and bolster a Hawaii side that will need to replace 2018 Big West Conference Player of the Year and current Utah Royals squad member Raisa Strom-Okimoto if they are to maintain their current level and make a charge at the post-season in 2019. In particular, the Rainbow Wahine will need to replace Strom-Okimoto’s goal output, but with 6 goals in her most recent NPL season, Ammendolia certainly has the scoring prowess to help atone for that loss.

Gaby Bentley (Senior, Old Dominion, Adelaide)

A regular in the Old Dominion rotation for the past two seasons, starts have been rare for Bentley but appearances have been forthcoming. But with a number of midfielders having graduated after last season, there are now additional minutes to battle for in the lead-up to the 2019 season. Bentley has certainly shown herself to be worthy of a starting berth with her appearances off the bench in 2018, tallying two goals from midfield as the Monarchs finished with an 8-7-4 record to secure a second consecutive winning season. Now, in her final season, the South Australian will be hoping to play a far more integral role as Old Dominion look to make a run at a conference championship after setting a platform with two solid seasons.

D’arne Boato (Freshman, East Tennessee State, Melbourne)

Isabel Hodgson’s scintillating college career may be over, but the Australian presence at East Tennessee State remains with the addition of freshman D’arne Boato. A teammate of Mississippi freshman Aimee Medwin at South Melbourne, Boato has been a member of three squads that have reached NPL grand finals at both senior and age group level across the last two seasons, serving as a regular member of the club’s Under 18 and Under 19 squads as well as making appearances for the first team during a highly successful period for the club. Having made the move to Johnson City in January, Boato has enjoyed a long settling-in period with her new side, something that will help to stand her in good stead in her first season in college.

Caitlin Cantrill (Senior, LSU, Canberra)

One of the senior members of the LSU roster, Cantrill will be hoping to see more playing time in 2019 after not getting on the pitch during LSU’s outstanding 2018 season which culminated in an SEC Championship and NCAA Tournament second round berth before the Tigers fell to USC. How much playing time the Canberra product sees this season will rest upon the impression she makes upon interim head coach Debbie Hensley, who replaces Brian Lee after his surprise move to Rice in the off-season. Hensley was also on LSU’s staff in Cantrill’s freshman year in 2016, a season in which the midfielder made 12 appearances and four starts, by far her most impressive season to this point. As one of just three seniors on the roster, Cantrill may not have the biggest impact on the pitch in her final season, but will certainly provide an outstanding mentor for the younger players on the roster, as evidenced by her words of advice to the graduating class of her high school alma mater, Radford College, in 2018.

Kiri Dale (Senior, Hawaii, Mullumbimby)

Able to slot in at just about any position on the pitch with the exception of goalkeeper, Kiri Dale serves as an integral member of the Hawaii lineup, having made 12 starts in her 16 appearances in 2018. Be it delivering balls in from out wide or controlling the centre of midfield, Dale’s presence helped Hawaii come within a final day result of reaching the Big West conference tournament for the first time before falling agonisingly short last season, and with the Rainbow Wahine losing just two players to graduation, Dale and the remainder of the team are well-positioned to go one step further and give themselves a shot at a conference title and an NCAA berth.

Laura Farrelly (Sophomore, Marshall, Central Coast)

Having not featured for Marshall in her freshman season, Farrelly comes into this season looking to play her first minutes for the Thundering Herd whilst attempting to establish herself in the midfield of a team looking to vastly improve on last season’s 5-9-2 record, their third consecutive losing season since compiling a 15-5-3 record in 2015. Should Farrelly take to the pitch this season, the sophomore is set to play an attacking midfield role for a team that was decent in the front third last season, but by no means electric, finishing almost dead in the middle of the national rankings for goals per game. Whilst the Marshall defence certainly needs more improvement than the attack, if Farrelly can help to provide a couple of unexpected goals throughout the season, they could yet turn a couple of losses into draws and draws into wins, compiling a solid season in the process.

Beattie Goad (Senior, Stanford, Melbourne)

Already a national champion in 2017 with Stanford, Goad will no doubt be looking to round out her career with a second College Cup title as the Cardinal enter a new era following the graduation of a raft of players that included Alana Cook, Tierna Davidson, Tegan McGrady, and Jordan DiBiasi after the 2018 season, all of whom now play in NWSL or the French top flight. Having come off the bench in over 60% of her appearances for Stanford, the opportunity to become a regular starter in her senior season now presents itself for Goad, who will be one of a number of experienced players expected to take on a larger role with the aim of keeping Stanford among the top teams in the nation. What position Goad will actually fill in 2019 remains to be seen though, with the two-time W-League champion being utilised as a fullback, winger, and central midfielder during her time on the Farm, and it may come to pass that that versatility is the ace up her sleeve in the hunt for more playing time in her final season.

Rachel Lowe (Freshman, UCLA, Sydney)

UCLA teammate Teagan Micah may have been to the 2019 World Cup with the Matildas, but Lowe already has a senior cap with the national team after her call-up for the 2018 Algarve Cup, and is set to become the first player to receive a Matildas cap before making their college debut since Washington State legend and current Hawaii assistant coach Rachael Doyle. An integral member of the Western Sydney Wanderers W-League side before making the move to Westwood, Lowe will certainly have a battle on her hands to slot into the UCLA lineup with the same regularity, particularly as the Bruins lost just two players to graduation after the 2018 season. However, Lowe has clearly demonstrated enough class for Bruins coach Amanda Cromwell to recruit her from the other side of the Pacific, so the opportunities will no doubt be there for the young midfielder.

Aimee Medwin (Freshman, Mississippi, Hobart)

The first Tasmanian to play NCAA Division I women’s soccer since Alabama State legend Shelbi-Vienna Hallam, Junior Matildas representative Medwin comes to Mississippi with a solid pedigree, with first team experience at South Melbourne and a W-League debut with Melbourne City in 2018 already under her belt before making the move to Oxford. The wide attacking player’s arrival at Mississippi coincides with an interesting time for the program, who find themselves at a crossroads after a solid 2018 campaign. The Rebels finished fourth in the regular season SEC standings and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but will have to replace the goalscoring output of NWSL draftee CeCe Kizer, who tallied 13 goals last season. However, Mississippi did feature one of the leakier defences in the SEC last season, and it may yet come to pass that Medwin is deployed in the back line, having been utilised as a fullback during her time in national colours.

Eden Taylor-Wineera (Freshman, North Dakota State, Sydney)

Taylor-Wineera looked set to form half of an Australian duo at North Dakota State, but with Lauren Featherstone returning home permanently, the freshman will now be the only Aussie on the Bison roster in her first season. Mostly a reserves player for Macarthur Rams, Taylor-Wineera did make five appearances for the first-grade side that won the NPLNSW Grand Final in 2018 before making the move to Fargo. With two of the team’s starting midfielders, including an All-Summit League First Team selection, graduating after the 2018 campaign, Taylor-Wineera joins the Bison at a time where the roster features a number of midfielders with no more than a season of college experience all fighting for minutes. Whether this translates into immediate playing time for the freshman remains to be seen, but there are certainly opportunities to shoot for from day one for the Sydneysider.

Alyssa Van Heurck (Sophomore, La Salle, Perth)

A defender until she arrived at La Salle, Van Heurck slotted into a spot on the wing for the Explorers and immediately found her niche, earning six starts in her 17 appearances in her first season in Philadelphia. Whilst the Explorers may not have enjoyed the same success as they had in 2017, the emergence of Van Heurck as a versatile option on either flank was one of the positives of the 2018 season, with the then-freshman also picking up her first goal in just the second game of her college career, a 5-0 win over UMBC. Now, with a number of attacking starters having graduated after the 2018 season, Van Heurck has the opportunity to assert her position in the La Salle attack, and will look to establish herself as a regular starter as the Explorers look to return to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons.