Week 5 Wrap

This week, we mourn the loss of Washington State’s perfect record, but it’s not all bad news. Wyoming and Southeast Missouri State both had two wins this weekend, whilst Colorado bounced back from last week’s overtime loss to Northwestern with a big win over Villanova.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week’s result: lost to Campbell 2-1

An up-and-down non-conference season for East Tennessee State unfortunately ended on a low note with a 2-1 loss to Campbell. In a fairly open game, it was Campbell who opened the scoring on the half hour mark through Ashley Clark, but East Tennessee State could only have themselves to blame for being down 1-0 as they could only manage one shot on target from the seven attempts they had. The second half saw the Buccaneers’ shooting gain a degree of accuracy, with seven of their eleven second half shots forcing the Campbell goalkeeper into saves. Unfortunately, the one goal that ETSU did score came with just 19 seconds to play, well after Campbell’s 58th minute goal that had put them two ahead. Isabel Hodgson once again played a full 90 minutes for East Tennessee State, registering one shot.

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week’s result: defeated The Citadel 3-0

Winthrop were fully expected to put The Citadel away this weekend, and did so comprehensively with a 3-0 victory. The Eagles dominated in almost all facets, and ended up outshooting the Bulldogs 22-9, but could only get six of those 22 on target. Fortunately, goalkeeper Caroline Duncan kept out all five of The Citadel’s on target shots, whilst the Bulldogs’ defence was far more leaky. Jai Jackson came off the bench but was soon into the action, and played a total of 65 minutes in this encounter, registering a lone shot.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

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

Wyoming put the disappointment of last week’s loss to local rival Northern Colorado behind them to put Idaho State to the sword with a comprehensive 3-0 victory. Shaina Ashouri had a hat-trick for the Cowgirls, but she had a couple of Aussies to thank for that. Her first goal came in the fourteenth minute courtesy of an Alisha Bass cross. Then, in the 80th minute, Ashouri was quickest to react to a blocked Jessie Gentle shot to put Wyoming 2-0 up. Ashouri then completed her hat-trick in the 85th minute, running onto a sublime volleyed through ball from Sammi Dunda, knocking it past the Idaho State goalkeeper. Georgia Rowntree played a full 90 minutes and had two saves, keeping a clean sheet, whilst Annika Clayton had a cameo off the bench.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week’s results: defeated Arkansas State 1-0, defeated Union 2-0

Southeast Missouri State had two wins this weekend, both built on solid defence that saw the Redhawks keep two clean sheets. The side restricted Arkansas State to just one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes, which led to Jennifer Antonacci’s 51st minute goal being enough to give Southeast Missouri State the victory. Surprisingly, Division II side Union were able to notch five shots on target, but few of these were threatening, and Abby Klintworth notched a double to give the Redhawks their second win of the weekend. Jenna Collingridge came off the bench in both matches, registering two shots against Arkansas State. Maddy Cornell featured against Union, playing 48 minutes and creating real problems up and down the right flank. However, Siena Senatore’s performance in defence was an absolute delight. The freshman out of Canberra played 170 of 180 possible minutes, with her performance against Union, especially cutting out aerial balls, being a highlight.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week’s results: defeated Northern Colorado 3-0, defeated Colorado State 2-0

Creighton turned a single win into a three match winning streak, and at the same time improved their record to 7-3 for the season with two wins over Colorado teams this weekend. Creighton outplayed Northern Colorado throughout the first half, but the teams went in at halftime tied at 0-0. The Bluejays went on to dominate the second half, outshooting Northern Colorado 16-3, and in the process knocked home the three goals that secured victory, with strikes from Lauren Sullivan in the 55th and 69th minutes, and a goal from Summer Khalil in the 75th minute that wrapped things up. It was much the same story against Colorado State – once again, Creighton dominated but couldn’t score in the first half. Two goals in ten minutes, in the 70th and 80th minutes, secured a second victory for the weekend. Anastasia McCleary started against Northern Colorado and played 41 minutes, before playing 11 minutes off the bench against Colorado State.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week’s result: lost to Seton Hall 1-0 (2OT)

Albany went down in a heartbreaker in double overtime, 1-0 to Seton Hall. The Great Danes perhaps had the better looking stat sheet, but Seton Hall dictated the tempo for the majority of the game and it was probably a just result given the run of play. Neither team gave themselves many chances to score goals, with both teams managing only four shots on target. However, it was Seton Hall who managed to put one past the goalkeeper, 52 seconds into the second period of extra time. Unfortunately, Claire Urquhart didn’t see any playing time in this game.

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week’s result: defeated Harvard 2-0

In their second consecutive match against an Ivy League opponent, Massachusetts stretched their winning streak to three courtesy of two goals in the space of 55 seconds in the first half. In what was a remarkably even game for the other 89 minutes, goals from Alyssa Fratarcangeli and Megan Burke in the 18th and 19th minutes were enough to give Massachusetts the win. Harvard really gave themselves little chance to make a comeback either, as they managed only three shots on target in 90 minutes of action, also failing to capitalise on any of their six corners. Laura Johns started in attack for Massachusetts, playing a total of 50 minutes.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week’s result: defeated Fordham 3-1

Hofstra improved their record to 6-3 this weekend with a 3-1 win over a Fordham team that had an impressive 6-2 record of their own before this game. Holding Fordham to just one shot in the first half certainly improved Hofstra’s chances, as they scored two goals of their own in the first half, with Jill Mulholland scoring in the 5th minute followed by an Emily Agudelo strike in the 24th minute. Fordham came out all guns blazing in the second half, registering 10 shots, but they shot themselves in the foot by conceding an own goal in just the second minute of the second half. That would be enough for Hofstra to cruise to a win, as Fordham’s inability to hit the target on all but four shots led to them not being able to score until the 80th minute, by which time it was really too late to mount a comeback against a team of Hofstra’s quality. Emily Hulbert played 37 minutes off the bench for Hofstra, registering two shots.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alex Huynh)

This week’s result: defeated Villanova 3-0

After last week’s heartbreaking overtime loss to Northwestern, Colorado were looking to get things back on track as quickly as possible, and came out firing against Villanova. It took just five minutes for the Buffaloes to open the scoring through Brie Hooks after Villanova gave up possession in dangerous position. Colorado continued to pepper the Wildcats’ defence throughout the first half with ten shots, but couldn’t find a second goal. Ironically, Colorado could only manage three shots in the second half but scored another two goals – a 55th minute strike from Danica Evans and a 77th minute goal from Brittany Stark sealing the win for Colorado. Alex Huynh played 66 minutes in defence, even managing to register a couple of shots, but there was no sign of Kahlia Hogg in this game.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week’s result: lost to IUPUI 3-0

After a great weekend last weekend, Murray State came crashing back down to Earth this weekend with a surprising 3-0 loss to IUPUI. The Racers outshot IUPUI 7-3 in the first half but couldn’t come up with a goal, and that was to be their downfall. IUPUI were almost a different team in the second half, tallying 9 shots and coming up with 3 goals – two goals in a minute from Grace Perkowitz and Krissy Kirkhoff (who also assisted on Perkowitz’ goal) just before the hour mark, and an 86th minute sealer by Tori Minnich, again assisted by Kirkhoff. Of Murray State’s 3 shots on target throughout the game, two were courtesy of Harriet Withers during her 76 minutes on the pitch, whilst Nyomi Devine, as per usual, played a full 90 minutes at the back for the Racers.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week’s result: lost to Austin Peay 10-2

Another unfortunate heavy loss for Alabama State this week, going down 10-2 to Austin Peay. Goalscoring hasn’t proved to be a problem this year in many games for the Hornets, but the defence has been a major issue. Once again, Alabama State scored multiple goals, but again the defence was leaky. Austin Peay managed 27 shots, and with 3 goals inside the half-hour mark, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Alabama State. Emily Fleming scored to bring the game back to 3-1, but Austin Peay tacked on two more before halftime. A goal for each side after halftime had the score at 6-2, but the Governors knocked in another four in the fifteen minutes after the hour mark to bring up double figures. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam started for Alabama State as per usual, playing a full 90 minutes.

Washington State (Tia Gavin)

This week’s result: lost to Portland 2-0

It’s said that all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately Washington State’s perfect start to the season has done just that as they went down 2-0 to Portland despite dominating much of the opening half. With 8 shots to 3 in the first period, Washington State should really have led at the break, but instead they trailed 1-0 after Parkes Kendrick opened the scoring for the Pilots in the 24th minute. Portland would tack on a second just seven minutes into the second half to force the Cougars to chase the game, but they just weren’t able to find a goal despite going close on numerous occasions. Tia Gavin had a short cameo off the bench but was unable to be a difference-maker for Washington State in this one (but then neither was anyone else on the team).

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Jessie Gentle (Wyoming)
2: Siena Senatore (Southeast Missouri State)
1: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)

Week 12 Wrap

Plenty of teams secured conference tournament positions or even set themselves up for conference regular season titles this week, but the most notable part of the weekend was Nicole Calder getting on the field for 15 minutes to play on Senior Night despite what appeared to be a season-ending injury. Considering the fact that Nicole would walk through a brick wall to achieve her goals, it’s not a surprise that she managed to get out there and play, but it’s great to see that she was afforded the opportunity to get out on the field one last time for Kennesaw State.

UMBC (Lilly Rydon)

This week’s results: defeated Albany 1-0, lost to Binghamton 1-0 (2OT)

Needing two wins this weekend to secure a share of the conference regular season title, UMBC got off to the start they needed, defeating Albany 1-0 in a tight contest. The Retrievers took their time in getting a lead though – Albany kept UMBC’s chances to a minimum, and it took 71 minutes for UMBC to score the first and only goal of the game with the only shot on target of the entire second half for either team. The win meant that their fate was still in their own hands as they came into an eminently winnable game against Binghamton, but Binghamton were in no mood to play nice on UMBC’s Senior Day, taking a 1-0 win in overtime. Surprisingly, Lilly Rydon wasn’t involved against Albany, but came back to start against Binghamton in her final college regular season home game, tallying 3 shots, of which one was on target.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week’s results: lost to Houston Baptist 1-0, Saturday October 25; defeated Central Arkansas 2-0

A mixed weekend for Nicholls State leaves them teetering on the edge of the Southland conference tournament, requiring wins in their final two games to secure a spot. The game against Houston Baptist was always expected to be a tough test, but not unwinnable, and even a draw in this game would have been highly beneficial to the side’s chances, and for 89 minutes and 55 seconds of the game it looked as if the game would go into overtime. With just four seconds remaining in the game, however, Houston Baptist scored from a corner and Nicholls State went down 1-0 despite leading the shot count 18-7 – a testament to the pitfalls of not taking your chances. Suddenly, a match against a much weaker Central Arkansas side came with the added pressure of needing a win, and it was Jess Coates who thrived under that pressure early on, scoring just 2 minutes into the game to give Nicholls State a brilliant start. Jess then provided the assist for the second goal just six minutes later, and whilst they didn’t manage to find another goal in the next 82 minutes, they managed to keep Central Arkansas out to keep within reach of the final conference tournament berth.

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

This week’s results: defeated Tennessee Tech 2-0, defeated Jacksonville State 3-0

Southeast Missouri State needed two wins this weekend to give them a chance of securing a share of the Ohio Valley conference regular season title next week against SIU Edwardsville, and that’s exactly what they earned, firstly dealing with Tennessee Tech as expected before convincingly beating Jacksonville State by a surprising 3-0 scoreline. Jenna Collingridge was the only Aussie involved for the Redhawks this week, but she made her presence felt, especially against Jacksonville State. Against Tennessee Tech, it was Natasha Minor scoring in the 17th and 78th minutes that secured the result for Southeast Missouri State, but Jenna was the undoubted star of the game against Jacksonville State. Jenna only had two shots in the entire game. Both were on target, and they also both beat the goalkeeper to give Jenna her first two collegiate goals. With Jenna’s goals putting the side up 2-0 after 53 minutes, the game was in the Redhawks’ pocket, and a third goal late on wrapped things up.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)

This week’s results: lost to Washington State 2-1, tied with Washington 0-0 (2OT)

Colorado have bouncing in and out of national tournament predictions, and this week they managed to do so in the space of 2 days as a damaging loss to Washington State was followed up by a resume-building 0-0 draw with top 20 side Washington. With Kahlia Hogg dropping back into midfield after regularly starting up front for the Buffaloes this season, the side was missing a little at the pointy end, but this didn’t stop them from grabbing a 1-0 lead against Washington State. It wasn’t to be, however, as the nationally ranked Cougars managed to rally for a comeback as goals in a ten minute span either side of halftime saw Colorado condemned to a loss. Knowing that they couldn’t afford another loss in their hunt for a national tournament bid, Colorado came out firing against Washington, tallying 9 first half shots. Unfortunately, only two of these managed to test the Huskies’ goalkeeper, and neither found the net. It was more or less the same in the second half, and again throughout overtime, as the sides traded shots but neither could find the net. Once again, Kahlia Hogg played in a midfield role but also managed to create a couple of chances for herself as she played the full 110 minutes.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week’s results: defeated Drexel 2-1, defeated Delaware 4-2

Coming into this final weekend of conference games, Hofstra had an outside chance of finishing in top spot in the Colonial Athletic Association, and whilst the other results they needed didn’t go their way, they did the job required of themselves to move up from 5th place into 3rd and vastly improving their seeding in the conference tournament. The game against Drexel was of utmost importance, as the Dragons were a single place ahead of Hofstra before the game. Hofstra opened the scoring just shy of the half-hour mark, a just reward for their attacking dominance, before doubling their lead in the 54th minute. As Hofstra have been wont to do for so long, however, they conceded just a minute later. This was where the scoring ended, and Hofstra took the win to jump above Drexel in the standings. Other results meant that Hofstra would be playing for third at best against Delaware, whilst Delaware needed a result to secure a place in the conference tournament. Hofstra didn’t let Delaware’s desperation to get a win faze them, and they opened the scoring just six minutes into the game. Neither side was able to score in the first half, but it appeared that the teams were saving the goals for the second half. Hofstra scored their second of the game in the 58th minute, before Delaware grabbed one back 12 minutes later to leave the game poised at 2-1 to Hofstra. Two more quick goals to the Pride, however, meant that Delaware’s 88th minute goal was nothing more than a consolation, but it would not have even been that in the end as the loss meant the end of Delaware’s season, whilst Hofstra march on to the Colonial Athletic Association conference tournament. Emily Hulbert started in defence as usual for Hofstra, playing the full 90 minutes against Drexel and 78 minutes against Delaware.

Kennesaw State (Nicole Calder)

This week’s result: defeated USC Upstate 1-0

With the side needing a win in their final game against winless USC Upstate, the Kennesaw State coach could have been forgiven for casting away sentiment on Senior Night, but it was the seniors themselves who had a massive impact as the Owls picked up a 1-0 win to keep their season alive. as Alma Gardasdottir picked up the only goal of the game in the 64th minute. Nicole Calder played in her final game of college soccer, and whilst she was only on the field for around 15 minutes in two short stints at the end of each half, it didn’t take her long to get involved – despite being a defender, it took Nicole only 33 seconds to get a shot on target. Considering the Owls outshot USC Upstate 19-7, the side may have wanted a few more goals in this game, but the win was what they needed and that’s what they finished the 90 minutes with.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week’s results: defeated Austin Peay 3-2, lost to Belmont 2-0

As with Southeast Missouri State, two wins this weekend would have given Murray State a shot at a share of the Ohio Valley conference regular season title, and they got off to a good start with a win in a match against a tricky Austin Peay side. The Racers got off to a slow start and quickly fell behind to an Austin Peay goal in the fourth minute. That goal appeared to kick Murray State into gear, and goals at regular intervals saw the score go from 1-0 down to 3-1 up after 63 minutes. Austin Peay managed a 2nd in the 87th minute, but the Racers hung on for those last few nervy minutes to clinch a win in a match that saw both Nyomi Devine and Harriet Withers start. The Palm Beach pair started again against Belmont, with Harriet tallying five shots, of which four were on target (of a team total of six). Despite her best efforts, a lack of support from the team meant that goals were hard to come by, and Belmont were far more ruthless as they secured a 2-0 win which kept their own chances of making the conference tournament alive.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week’s results: defeated Mississippi Valley State 3-1, defeated Alcorn State 8-1

Since a tough start to the conference season which saw Alabama State handed the toughest start to the SWAC schedule of any team, the Hornets have come home with a wet sail and things were no different this weekend as they soundly defeated Mississippi Valley State before handing Alcorn State an absolute mauling which left their opponents with the antithesis of a perfect season – 0 wins, 0 draws, 12 losses. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam was, as has become habit for the Tasmanian junior, involved heavily in the goalscoring for the week, notching an assist for the first goal against MVSU before scoring Alabama State’s third as the teams combined for all four of the game’s goals inside 34 minutes. The goals were far more spread out against Alcorn State, as is to be expected in an 8-1 win. Alabama State opened the scoring in 16th minute, before Shelbi notched an assist on the first of Aaliyah Lewis’ 3 goals. With the score 5-0 after an hour, Alcorn State managed to get one back, but Shelbi scored two goals of her own to make the score 7-1 before the Hornets rounded out the scoring on 78 minutes for an emphatic victory.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week’s results: lost to San Diego State 5-2, lost to  New Mexico 2-1

A tough start to the weekend against high-flying San Diego State turned into a tough week for Wyoming as they dropped both games this weekend hand the conference title to San Diego State and allow New Mexico themselves to sneak back into contention for second spot. The match against San Diego State was always expected to be tough, but it wasn’t all bad news for the Aussies involved, with Candace Sciberras scoring one of Wyoming’s goals, and Alisha Bass providing the assist. At that point, the game was 1-1 after half an hour, but San Diego scored the next 4 goals to put the game out of Wyoming’s reach. The match against New Mexico was a fair sight tougher for the Aussies, with neither Bass or Sciberras being involved in Wyoming’s opener in the 4th minute, and with New Mexico coming back from 1-0 down to win the game in the 85th minute, it was a tough loss for Wyoming to take.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week’s result: tied with Butler 1-1 (2OT)

Creighton were eliminated from conference tournament contention last week, but still had pride to play for in this game against Butler. They weren’t without their chances, either, especially in the first half as they forced two saves from the Butler goalkeeper. It was in the second half, however, with their only shot on target, that they cracked the Butler defence for the opening goal. Butler were afforded the opportunity to hit back when the Creighton defence allowed them to break down the right, and the shot from an impossible angle which really should have been covered by the Bluejays goalkeeper found the back of the net for an equaliser. Attacking chances were few and far between for the remainder of the match as the sides cancelled each other out for the final 40 minutes of the game, and with neither coach really willing to use their bench, the tiring starters meant there was not even one shot taken during the second period of overtime. Unfortunately, Anastasia McCleary was not afforded the opportunity to come off the bench to make an impact in this game.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week’s result: lost to St. Mary’s 1-0

It’s been a tough season for Pacific, but this game against St. Mary’s loomed as their biggest chance of a win in conference play. Pacific put in a really solid performance this game, whilst Ellie Papalexiou had what she described as her best game of the season, seeing over half an hour of playing time and managing two shots, of which one was on target but was denied by some great play by the St. Mary’s goalkeeper. Despite some solid chances for both sides, the game looked destined to head to overtime until the 88th minute, when a St. Mary’s player got free on the left and made a run before hitting the ball across the Pacific goalkeeper for the lone goal of the game. It was not a loss Pacific deserved, especially in such a fashion.

Week 10 Wrap

In what was undoubtedly the top week of the season so far, five different players scored goals, whilst another notched an assist. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam tallied an amazing four assists plus a goal for the week, whilst Kahlia Hogg and Alisha Bass led their sides to thrilling victories.

UMBC (Lilly Rydon)

This week’s results: drew with New Hampshire 0-0, defeated Maine 1-0

With a draw and a win this week, UMBC have put together a 3 game winning streak, although the first two of those three have been draws, meaning they are still slightly behind the eight ball in the America East. The game against New Hampshire saw the Retrievers outshot 19-10 over 110 minutes of pulsating football that somehow culminated in a 0-0 draw, with UMBC having their goalkeeper to thank, as Jen Nance came up with 11 saves whilst UMBC could only manage two shots on target, with Lilly Rydon uncharacteristically wayward in her shooting, as all three of her shots ended up off target. Fortunately, things were slightly better against Maine as one of the side’s ten shots managed to find the back of the net, the goal coming just two minutes after halftime. Lilly Rydon also started in this game, managing one shot, which was on target but was not the shot to find the goal.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week’s results: defeated Morehead State 5-0, defeated Eastern Kentucky 2-0

An absolutely tremendous week this week for Murray State, as they demolished Morehead State before soundly defeating Eastern Kentucky to move to the top of the Ohio Valley Conference standings. Harriet Withers played a large part in the victory over Morehead State, scoring the fourth goal and picking up an assist on the fifth against Morehead State after Julie Mooney had picked up a hat-trick to put the side up 3-0, whilst Nyomi Devine started in defence and helped the side to a clean sheet. Both players started against Eastern Kentucky as the side cruised a 2-0 win, notching 19 shots to Eastern Kentucky’s 7, of which Harriet Withers had 3, but could not manage a goal.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alexandra Huynh)

This week’s results: defeated Oregon State 1-0, defeated Oregon 2-1

It took some real fight from Colorado, but the Buffaloes managed to escape this week with two wins against the Pac-12’s Oregon pair. Colorado were never really in danger of losing to Oregon State as the Beavers only managed one shot on target, but Colorado were stopped by the Oregon State goalkeeper for the entire first half. Just a minute into the second half, however, Brie Hooks knocked home the only goal of the match. Kahlia Hogg started in this match, but it was the game against Oregon in which the junior from Canberra came to the fore. With Colorado down 1-0 after 74 minutes courtesy of Oregon’s 7th minute opener, Kahlia tallied Colorado’s opener to equalise. But she wasn’t done there. With just three minutes to play, Madison Krauser’s shot rebounded into Kahlia’s path, and she buried it for a brilliant comeback win for Colorado.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week’s results: defeated Colorado College 3-2 (2OT), defeated Air Force 5-2

After almost blowing a win in their first game, Wyoming stormed home in both games this weekend to move up to equal second in the Mountain West conference standings. With Alisha Bass starting and Candace Sciberras coming off the bench to play all bar 9 minutes of the game, Wyoming came back from 1-0 down against Colorado College to take a 2-1 lead, before Colorado College hit back with a 76th minute penalty to send the game into overtime. Wyoming weren’t to be denied, however, and in the 2nd minute of the second half of overtime, they managed to notch the winner. Bass and Sciberras were again heavily involved in the game against Air Force, but with 20 minutes to go, Air Force were up 2-1 and Wyoming’s chances of a win were slipping away. Enter Alisha Bass. 73rd minute – assist. 78th minute – goal, assisted by fellow Aussie Sciberras. 86th minute – assist. 4 goals for Wyoming in the last 17 minutes, and Alisha Bass was involved in three of them.

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

This week: lost to Austin Peay 1-0, defeated Belmont 1-0

This week saw Southeast Missouri State cop an unexpected poor loss to Austin Peay, before notching a vital mid-table win over Belmont to put a gap between themselves and the chasing pack in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Redhawks had only themselves to blame against Austin Peay – they led the shot count 13-4, but didn’t manage a single strike in the five minutes of overtime that were played between regulation finishing at 0-0 and Austin Peay’s winner with their fourth shot of the game. With that win putting Southeast Missouri State right back amongst the pack, a loss to Belmont would see the Redhawks fall back out of the tournament places. After 85 minutes, it looked as if the game might go to overtime, but Southeast Missouri State managed to find a late goal to get a vital win for the side. Jenna Collingridge started both games, whilst Maddy Cornell came off the bench against Belmont.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week’s results: defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7-0, defeated Grambling State 4-0

35 minutes played, three assists. That was the story of Shelbi Vienna-Hallam’s performance against Arkansas-Pine Bluff as Alabama State comprehensively demolished their lowly opponents. Shelbi had assists on the first, third, and fourth goals as the Hornets went up 4-0 inside half an hour, before many of the side’s starters, including Shelbi, were subbed off before or at halftime. Things were almost as good against Grambling State in the side’s second game, as Shelbi knocked in a goal of her own, as well as two more assists to chalk up 7 points for the weekend. Shelbi has teamed up really well with the player considered one of the best in Alabama State’s history, Aaliyah Lewis, as the pair has combined for four straight games – against Grambling State, both of Shelbi’s assists were on goals to Aaliyah, whilst Aaliyah provided the assist for Shelbi’s goal.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost to Loyola Marymount 3-1, lost to Pepperdine 5-0

Pacific once again showed that they can mix it with the best, but once again also showed that a 90 minute performance of that ilk is just out of reach. Pacific were right in the game against Loyola Marymount for the first half, even showing some attacking flair as they notched up 4 shots in the first half, although their opponents tallied 7. A two minute lapse from Pacific in the second half, however, ruined the game for them as Loyola Marymount knocked home goals in the 53rd and 55th minutes, and whilst the Tigers grabbed a goal in the 83rd minute, this was negated by Loyola’s 3rd two minutes later. The first half against Pepperdine was also promising, as it almost mimicked the first half of Pacific’s game against USC a few weeks ago, with the only difference being that Pepperdine managed one first half goal to lead 1-0 at halftime. The score stayed this way until the 75th minute, but 4 goals in ten minutes to the Waves was more than enough proof of the side’s class. Ellie Papalexiou unfortunately didn’t get to play against Loyola Marymount, but did come off the bench for Pepperdine.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week’s result: lost to DePaul 2-0

A tough Big East conference slate continued this week for Creighton as they went down 2-0 to nationally ranked DePaul in possibly their toughest match this season. DePaul weren’t given the free reign of the pitch that had been predicted by some, but were still able to tally 12 shots, of which four were on target, with their goals coming in the 38th and 56th minutes. Their defence, however, did a brilliant job of shutting down the Creighton attack, limiting the Bluejays to just two shots. Once again, Anastasia McCleary saw limited minutes, managing just four minutes at the end of the first half and ten minutes at the end of the second half. This appears to have been the modus operandi for the Creighton coach, but five and ten minute stints are just not long enough to let a player get into their groove and show their true worth.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week’s result: defeated Northeastern 1-0

Hofstra came into this game looking to reel in undefeated conference leaders Northeastern, and they managed to do just that in a 1-0 win. Northeastern had the better of the play, taking 12 shots to Hofstra’s six, but could only force the Hofstra goalkeeper into a single save, a statistic that would come back to haunt them via the head of Australian freshman Emily Hulbert, whose first career goal via a redirected header in the 65th minute was enough to give Hofstra the win as they held on for the final 25 minutes to secure a vital win which keeps them in the mix for top spot in the Colonial Athletic Association standings.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week’s result: Game Postponed v Central Arkansas

Unfortunately, there was no game for Jess Coates this week, as the scheduled game against Central Arkansas has been postponed.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State)
2: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)
1: Kahlia Hogg (Colorado)

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 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)
Anastasia McCleary (Creighton)
1: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)

2014 Player Previews

With 17 players representing 4 states and the ACT, this year’s College Matildas are definitely a diverse bunch. Take a look at our player previews – you may even recognise a couple from the W-League!

Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Junior, Defender, Alabama State, Hobart)

Shelbi keeps the Australian flavour at Alabama State intact following Anastasia McCleary’s transfer to Creighton, moving to the Hornets after two successful years with Peninsula College in Washington. The first Tasmanian to play in Division I women’s soccer, Shelbi is a Tasmanian NTC graduate and won two conference titles whilst playing at the junior college level for Peninsula.

Kahlia Hogg (Junior, Defender, Colorado, Canberra)

A former Canberra United starlet, Kahlia has decided to link up with fellow Australian Alexandra Huynh at the University of Colorado after two seasons with ACC powerhouse Florida State. Kahlia made the decision to transfer after playing only 75 minutes last season, down from the 240 she played in her freshman year. Kahlia spent the off-season playing USL W-League for Colorado Rush, where she picked up a Team Of The Week spot in the opening week of the season.

Alexandra Huynh (Sophomore, Defender, Colorado, Sydney)

Alexandra stormed onto the scene in 2013 with Colorado, playing in all 23 games as the Buffaloes advanced to the national Sweet 16 before going down to eventual runner-up Florida State. A solid, versatile defender, Alexandra also tacked on three assists over the course of the season. Alexandra has spent the off-season playing in Australia with Marconi Stallions alongside Wyoming’s Candace Sciberras as well as the likes of Matildas defender Alanna Kennedy and W-League players Helen Petinos and Trudy Camilleri, which will no doubt have helped keep her sharp for the upcoming college season.

Anastasia McCleary (Junior, Forward, Creighton, Gold Coast)

After two years at Alabama State in which she quickly rose to prominence as the top player in the SWAC, Anastasia has decided to chase new challenges by transferring to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Despite interest from the University of Washington, McCleary decided that Creighton had won her heart and that it would be the place to continue her award-laden college career. Anastasia has an eye for goal, scoring 8 times in 38 games for Alabama State, but it is her ability to tee up her teammates that will have the Creighton program excited – she racked up 13 assists in her two years at Alabama State.

Nicole Calder (Senior, Defender/Midfielder, Kennesaw State, Adelaide)

A dominating presence in any defence, Nicole’s composure complements her ability to play either in a holding midfield role or at the centre of defence, not dissimilar to Clare Polkinghorne in that respect. Nicole is also well-known for her aerial ability, whether it be at attacking set-pieces or in defence. Nicole has popped up to score 6 goals in her 3 years at Kennesaw State, but it is the timing of her goals that is noteworthy – of those 6 goals, five were game winners.

Nyomi Devine (Freshman, Defender/Midfielder, Murray State, Gold Coast)

One half of the Palm Beach duo moving to Murray State, along with Harriet Withers, Nyomi is a solid defensive player with the ability to both break up opposition attacks and find a pass to launch a counter-attack. Nyomi has been almost ever-present in the starting lineup this season for a Palm Beach side sitting near the top of the Southeast Queensland Women’s Premier League table.

Harriet Withers (Freshman, Forward, Murray State, Gold Coast)

The third of the Palm Beach products to move to college this year, Harriet is a striker with all the tools required to make her mark at Murray State. Blessed with the kind of athleticism and speed that thrives in American soccer, Harriet also has an eye for goal, scoring 19 goals this season in the Southeast Queensland Women’s Premier League.

Jess Coates (Junior, Midfielder, Nicholls State, Sydney)

One of the standout players last season for Nicholls State, Jess starts her third season with the Colonels no doubt hoping to make more of a tangible impact than last season. Whilst Jess scored 5 goals on 36 shots last season, 3 of these goals came in the first game of the season, an 8-1 win over fellow Aussie Simone Arthur’s Southern University side. Jess also had two assists last season, a number she will want to improve as she becomes one of the leaders of this Nicholls State team.

Ellie Papalexiou (Freshman, Defender, Pacific, Gold Coast)

The first of the three Palm Beach products to commit to a school, Papalexiou’s commitment to Pacific was announced on National Signing Day. A pacy left back, Ellie is equally adept at playing higher up the pitch as a left winger. Also a dead ball specialist with an ability to put the ball on a sixpence, Ellie has all the attributes required to succeed in her four years at Pacific.

Jenna Collingridge (Junior, Midfielder, SE Missouri State, Cootamundra)

Cootamundra product Jenna has become one of the mainstays of the Southeast Missouri State side, playing in 16 games in each of her first two seasons with the Redhawks. After only two starts in her first 8 games in 2012, Jenna has gone on to start 19 of the last 26 games in which she has played, playing a majority of minutes in most games. Generally sitting in a deeper midfield role, Jenna’s impact has not shown in the stats, but has definitely been felt on the field.

Maddy Cornell (Freshman, Defender/Midfielder, SE Missouri State, Nowra)

A skilful yet assured player, Cornell joins Southeast Missouri State from NPLNSW Women’s 2 club Southern Branch as a player who may prefer to play on the left wing, but has the ability to play on either wing or at left back, and switch between these positions in a single game. Maddy’s versatility and ability to read a game, coupled with her technical ability, should see her right in the mix for a starting berth at Southeast Missouri State from the outset.

Bridget Sankey (Sophomore, Defender, SE Missouri State, Brisbane)

After playing in only 3 matches for the Redhawks last season, the Annerley FC (Brisbane) product will be hoping to make more of an impact this season in a Southeast Missouri State side that is slightly lacking in defensive numbers in comparison to previous seasons. Notably, in the 3 games and 85 minutes that Bridget played last season, the Redhawks did not concede a single goal.

Simone Arthur (Senior, Midfielder, Southern, Gold Coast)

After bouncing around Div II and junior college for her first two college seasons, 2014 will be Simone’s second season at Southern and her final college season. The lynchpin of the Southern midfield, Simone’s presence has coincided with an upturn in the side’s fortunes. Simone played in all 18 of the Jaguars’ games last season, starting 17, with a return of two goals and two assists as Southern reached the SWAC conference semi-finals, going down to Jackson State 2-1.

Lilly Rydon (Senior, Midfielder, UMBC, Adelaide)

Where to go for Lilly Rydon? 2 seasons ago, Lilly and UMBC finished rock bottom of the America East conference standings. Last season, they steamrolled the competition, finishing top of the standings and winning the conference tournament before narrowly being defeated by eventual semi-finalists Virginia Tech in the first round of the national tournament. On a personal level, Lilly scored her first collegiate goal last season, finishing with 3 for the year, as well as 2 assists in the 16 games she played.

Alisha Bass (Freshman, Midfielder, Wyoming)

Having been in and around W-League setups for three years, firstly at Sydney FC and then Western Sydney Wanderers, as well as being part of last year’s Young Matildas squad, Alisha definitely has the ability to succeed at the college level. After redshirting last season, Alisha performed well in the spring exhibition games earlier this year, scoring a hat-trick in a 4-0 over Division II Fort Lewis College.

Georgia Rowntree (Freshman, Goalkeeper, Wyoming, Sydney)

After serving as a backup to the likes of Thora Helgasdottir, Mackenzie Arnold, and Dimi Poulos at Western Sydney Wanderers for the past two seasons, Georgia will hope to compete for a starting berth at Wyoming in her freshman season. Wyoming does have a fairly settled goalkeeping hierarchy at the moment, but this will not dissuade the young Florida-born Sydneysider, who has previously captained the Australian schoolgirls side.

Candace Sciberras (Freshman, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

After redshirting last season, Candace will be looking to step straight into the Wyoming lineup this season. Yet another former Western Sydney Wanderers W-League player to move to Wyoming, Candace has spent the off-season playing alongside Alexandra Huynh at Marconi Stallions in NPLNSW Women’s 1 in preparation for the upcoming season.

2014 Season Preview

Welcome to the inaugural season of College Matildas! This year, 17 Australians will be playing in NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer, slightly down on the 20 that played in 2013. Of these 17, 5 players are completely new to the US college scene: Ellie Papalexiou (Pacific), Harriet Withers (Murray State), Nyomi Devine (Murray State), Maddy Cornell (Southeast Missouri State), and Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming). Of these five, Papalexiou, Withers, and Devine have all moved from the same club in Australia: Palm Beach Sharks on the Gold Coast. A further two, Alisha Bass and Candace Sciberras (both Wyoming) will play their first college games this season after redshirting in 2013, whilst Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State) will move up from the junior college ranks after two seasons at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington.

At the other end of the scale, we have three seniors looking to go out with a bang in their final seasons in the college game. Lilly Rydon and her UMBC side will be looking to emulate last season’s heroic performance which saw them dominate the America East conference on their way to a national tournament berth. Down in Georgia, Nicole Calder and Kennesaw State will be looking to take that next step and earn a tournament berth of their own after last season’s semifinal appearance in the Atlantic Sun tournament.

Simone Arthur’s final season in college soccer will be her second at Southern University after spending her first two seasons in Division II and junior college, and whilst their have been some severe administrative issues surrounding Southern lately which have culminated in a postseason ban for all sports at the university, these should be cleared up in time for the women’s soccer team to play in the postseason and hopefully do better than last year’s SWAC tournament semifinal loss to Jackson State.

But it’s not all freshmen and seniors in the College Matildas ranks. At Colorado, former Western Sydney Wanderers defender Alexandra Huynh enjoyed a stellar freshman year in 2013, and this year will be joined by junior transfer Kahlia Hogg, who moves to Boulder in search of more playing time after two seasons at Florida State.

At Southeast Missouri State, freshman Maddy Cornell should be able to slot right in as there are two other Australians already at the Redhawks: Jenna Collingridge, a junior who has enjoyed a starting role for much of her time in the team, and sophomore Bridget Sankey, who will be looking to break into the starting side after playing in just three games in 2013.

Jess Coates has been a solid player in her first two seasons at Nicholls State, establishing herself as an integral part of the side’s attack. The Colonels won 9 of their first 11 games last season, but fell away slightly in conference play and a postseason loss to Sam Houston State ended their season after they looked as if they might be a contender for the Southland title earlier in the year.

Anastasia McCleary has been a dominant force in the SWAC for her first two seasons, so it’s not altogether surprising to see her transferring to a bigger school, in the form of Creighton University in Omaha. Creighton became a member of the “new” Big East last season, a major step-up from their former home, the Missouri Valley Conference. McCleary will be fresh off a season playing WPSL club soccer for Issaquah SC, an affiliate club of the NWSL’s Seattle Reign. This should see Anastasia come into the season fully fit and ready to make her mark on both Creighton and the conference.

We do unfortunately have one player leaving Division I early this year. Loren Mahoney has left Wyoming and will be spending her senior year at University of Mary in North Dakota. Good luck to Loren, and we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on her in her final season of college soccer.

The season starts on August 11, with Nicole Calder and Kennesaw State travelling to South Carolina to take on Wofford College to kick off a four month adventure that hopefully culminates in a stack of Aussies playing in the NCAA tournament!