2018 Week 12 Wrap

A whirlwind weekend to end the regular season has left us with four teams and five Australians securing conference championships, with a raft of other teams having either locked up an at-large bid or still very much in the mix. However, the performance of the week came in a game that saw one Aussie help another to a title as Teagan Micah’s performance in goal helped UCLA to a win over USC that delivered Beattie Goad and Stanford an outright Pac-12 championship with a game to spare.

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(Featured Image Credit: Michael Rincon)

The week kicked off with a belter of a goal from Sandra Hill that provided one of the highlights of the week even if Grand Canyon couldn’t secure a victory. The Lopes conceded two early goals to Utah Valley in their WAC quarter-final, but when the ball fell to Hill just outside the area following a corner late in the first half, the sophomore had only one thing in mind and rocketed it into the top corner to halve Utah Valley’s lead. Unfortunately, that was the last goal of the game, with Grand Canyon managing just one shot in the second half as their season came to an end with a 2-1 loss.

Stanford needed a win in either of their two games this week to secure a share of the Pac-12 Championship, and as expected clinched one at the first opportunity with a 2-0 victory over arch-rivals Cal on the road at Berkeley. Beattie Goad started once again and played the full 90 minutes, tallying two shots with one on target and one cannoning back off the post as Stanford secured the win courtesy of a pair of Jordan DiBiasi goals, leaving the Cardinal to await the result of the game between USC and UCLA, with any dropped points from USC resulting in Stanford clinching the championship outright even before they played Arizona State. Stanford would go on to beat the Sun Devils regardless, with Goad coming off the bench to play 53 minutes as the Cardinal completed an undefeated regular season with a dominant 4-1 victory.

Teagan Micah remains perfect in her three games against local rivals USC after a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory for UCLA this week, and the Bruins certainly have their goalkeeper to thank for that. Micah came up with eight saves, including three highlight reel efforts, one of which came with just two seconds to play with the game tied at 2-2. In a game that saw the teams trade goals within six seconds of each other as Hailie Mace’s screamer cancelled out USC’s second goal, it was UCLA who secured the victory as Olivia Athens narrowly beat an onrushing goalkeeper to head home into an open net and extend the Bruins’ winning streak over their arch-rivals to three games, as well as see UCLA jump the Trojans to finish in second spot in the Pac-12 behind Stanford.

Monique Iannella has been ever-present in the Hofstra back four this season, and the Pride’s defensive line came up in a massive way as the Pride secured the CAA title and an NCAA Tournament berth with a 2-0 win over James Madison. Hofstra conceded just two shots on target all game, with Iannella coming up with a goal-saving block from close range in a contest that saw the Pride take an early lead through Lucy Porter before doubling the margin in the 57th minute courtesy of Sabrina Bryan.

Caitlin Cantrill and LSU faced South Carolina in the SEC semi-finals, having already won their way through from the first round last weekend. The Tigers had already upset the Gamecocks once this season in a 2-1 win at home, but South Carolina on paper stil looked to be the favourites. However, LSU would secure the 1-0 victory courtesy of a 66th minute South Carolina own goal that sent the Tigers through to the championship game against Arkansas. LSU went down 1-0 just 13 minutes in, but Shannon Cooke’s long-range screamer in the 72nd minute tied the game at 1-1. Overtime couldn’t split the teams, but cooler heads prevailed in the shootout as a far more confident LSU team converted all four of their penalties for a 4-1 shootout victory that secured the team’s first conference championship. Unfortunately, Cantrill did not feature for the Tigers in either game.

Claire Urquhart and Albany had just one game to get through this week, but it was a big one – the America East Championship against UMass-Lowell. It was hardly a contest befitting a championship game, but Albany won’t mind as they dominated for the entire 90 minutes to roll to a 5-1 victory and book their spot in the NCAA Tournament, with Urquhart featuring in garbage time in the final couple of minutes.

A Texas Tech side featuring Demi Koulizakis couldn’t quite grab the upset win over Baylor in the Big 12 semi-finals, but their season looks set to continue into the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid. The Red Raiders gave up an equaliser just before halftime, but responded with an equaliser ten minutes after the break. An even game that saw each team finish with 18 shots rightly went to overtime, but Baylor found the golden goal in just the third extra minute. Demi Koulizakis played just two minutes in the loss, but the junior will likely have at least one more chance this season as Texas Tech will certainly hear their name called as an NCAA Tournament team on Selection Monday.

Illinois aren’t quite as comfortable as Texas Tech, but some big early season results against Duke and Oklahoma State may have padded the Illini’s resume just enough to see them sneak into the NCAA Tournament. A Big Ten semi-final loss to Penn State on the back of a 67th minute own goal ended the team’s charge for a conference championship as Ashleigh Lefevre played just a minute off the bench, and whilst they can’t get too comfortable yet, those in the know are predicting that Illinois will find their name in the NCAA Tournament bracket come Monday afternoon.

Colorado have been flying for most of the season, but after a tough back end to the season that saw the Buffaloes face Stanford, UCLA, and USC before this week’s game against Utah, the team from Boulder have slipped onto the bubble and they’ll have a sleepless Sunday night before the selection show on Monday afternoon US time. A win against Utah might have been enough to make them safe, but the Buffaloes fell to a 1-0 loss in a game in which Isobel Dalton did not feature. Now, with a solid 13-4-3 record offset by a less-than-stellar strength of schedule and just one RPI Top 50 win, Colorado will be keeping their fingers crossed and collecting every four-leaf clover and rabbit’s foot they can find in the hope that the selection committee looks favourably upon them.

The dream All-Aussie championship game in the Northeast Conference unfortunately did not come to pass this week, with All-Conference selection Sam Roff playing the full 90 minutes but Fairleigh Dickinson falling to a 2-1 defeat in their semi-final against a Central Connecticut State side that has dominated for the majority of the conference season. However, Shelby Milton and Saint Francis did make it through to the final, with the junior playing 27 minutes in the Red Flash’s 4-0 demolition of Mount St. Mary’s in the other semi-final. Unfortunately, though, Central Connecticut State could not be stopped in the championship game. Saint Francis equalised in the 78th minute having given up the opener 11 minutes earlier, but an 89th minute winner was enough to see Central Connecticut State secure the conference title and an NCAA Tournament berth in a game in which Shelby Milton unfortunately did not feature.

Wyoming came into their Mountain West Conference semi-final evenly matched with New Mexico after the pair finished as two of the league’s three co-champions. As it turned out, the match ended up going to overtime as the Cowgirls secured a 78th minute equaliser to cancel out New Mexico’s 33rd minute opener. Unfortunately, it would be New Mexico who grabbed the golden goal winner in the 102nd minute, bringing Wyoming’s season to an end, and with it, the conclusion of Jessie Gentle and Annika Clayton’s brilliant college careers. All four Aussies started for the Cowgirls, with Indianna Asimus managing two shots on target but not finding the back of the net, whilst Clayton and Gentle were solid in their final collegiate appearances and Caitlin Pickett saw 42 minutes of action as a starter. However, it wasn’t all bad news as Clayton rounded out her career with an All-Mountain West Conference second team selection.

We also bade Isabel Hodgson farewell after four outstanding years as East Tennessee State fell to a heavy 5-1 defeat to UNC Greensboro in the Southern Conference semi-finals. Although East Tennessee State had defeated their opponents in the regular season, UNC Greensboro were certainly the favourites to win this, and they came out strongly to grab a goal inside the first 20 minutes on their way to a 2-0 halftime lead. That lead would be doubled in the second half before East Tennessee State picked up a consolation in the 67th minute, before UNCG added one more from the spot with 12 minutes to play. Hodgson played 78 minutes in her final collegiate appearance, tallying one shot that was on target in rounding out a career that sees the South Australian finish as the team’s career appearances record holder and one of just two ETSU players to collect multiple All-Southern Conference Tournament selections after adding to her 2016 nod with another for her performances this year.

Two more players saw their seasons come to an end this week without having much impact on their team’s fortunes, but both will be back for another crack next season. Neither Gaby Bentley and Lauren Featherstone were called upon as their Old Dominion and North Dakota State sides unfortunately fell in conference tournaments, putting an end to their campaigns with both out of the running for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Massachusetts-Lowell 5-1

Claire Urquhart came off the bench to play the final minute in Albany’s America East Championship game victory over Massachusetts-Lowell. 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Utah

Isobel Dalton did not feature in Colorado’s loss to Utah.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

This week: lost 5-1 to UNC Greensboro

Isabel Hodgson played 79 minutes and tallied a shot on target in her final college match as East Tennessee State fell 5-1 to UNC Greensboro in the Southern Conference semi-finals. 

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff) 

This week: lost 2-1 to Central Connecticut State

Sam Roff played the full 90 minutes in Fairleigh Dickinson’s Northeast Conference semi-final loss to Central Connecticut State.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to Utah Valley

Sandra Hill scored Grand Canyon’s only goal in the loss to Utah Valley in the WAC tournament quarter-finals. 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated James Madison 2-0

Monique Iannella played the full 90 minutes in Hofstra’s CAA Championship win over James Madison, whilst reserve goalkeeper Grace Watson-Carr did not feature.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: lost 1-0 to Penn State

Ashleigh Lefevre came off the bench to play a single minute in Illinois’ Big Ten semi-final loss to Penn State.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

This week: defeated South Carolina 1-0; defeated Arkansas 4-1 on penalties (1-1 after extra time)

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in either game this week as the Tigers secured the SEC Championship.

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone) 

This week: lost 3-0 to Denver

Lauren Featherstone did not feature in North Dakota State’s Summit League quarter-final loss to Denver.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: lost 3-2 to Louisiana Tech (OT)

Gaby Bentley did not feature for Old Dominion in their overtime loss to Louisiana Tech in the Conference USA quarter-finals. 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: defeated Mount St. Mary’s 4-0; lost 2-1 to Central Connecticut State

Shelby Milton came off the bench to play 27 minutes in St. Francis’ Northeast Conference semi-final win over Mount St. Mary’s, but did not feature in the championship game against Central Connecticut State. 

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: defeated California 2-0; defeated Arizona State 4-1

Beattie Goad played the full 90 minutes in Stanford’s win over California, tallying two shots with one on target before playing 53 minutes off the bench against Arizona State.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 2-1 to Baylor (OT)

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench for Texas Tech in their Big 12 semi-final loss to Baylor, playing just two minutes. 

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated USC 3-2 (OT)

Teagan Micah played all 105 minutes of UCLA’s overtime victory over USC, making 8 saves.

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Caitlin Pickett)

This week: lost 2-1 to New Mexico (OT)

All four Australians started in Wyoming’s loss to New Mexico in the Mountain West Conference semi-finals. Annika Clayton was a star in midfield, playing 86 minutes and registering a single shot in the process. Jessie Gentle was ever-present at fullback, whilst Caitlin Pickett played 42 minutes. Indianna Asimus had her chances, finishing with four shots including two on target in a 78-minute performance.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Teagan Micah (UCLA)
2: Sandra Hill (Grand Canyon)
1: Isabel Hodgson (East Tennessee State)

2018 Week 12 Preview

15 teams featuring Australians remain standing heading into the final week of the regular season, and all have a shot of reaching the NCAA Tournament. How close each team is varies wildly, but nonetheless it looks set to be a thriller of a week.

(Featured Image Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

It may be conference tournament season, but ironically enough the team with the best shot at a title won’t actually be playing in a tournament at all. That team is Beattie Goad’s Stanford outfit, whose Pac-12 conference champion is decided on league results. Coming into the final week, Stanford are tied atop the standings with USC, but have a rescheduled game against Arizona State in their pocket and as such are the only team to play two games this weekend. First up, the Cardinal take on local rivals California on the road at Berkeley, and with the Golden Bears sitting in 11th spot in the 12-team league, a win to clinch no less than a share of the title looks especially likely for a Stanford team that continues to roll on during an undefeated streak that now stretches the best part of two seasons. Stanford can then secure the title for themselves against Arizona State, where any points would be enough to make the result of USC’s game against third-placed UCLA game moot in terms of Stanford’s position.

Speaking of UCLA, Teagan Micah’s Bruins will play that game against local rivals USC at the StubHub Centre, home of the LA Galaxy, in a game that drew a crowd in excess of 10,000 last season when played on campus at UCLA. A win is the only way that UCLA can mount an unlikely challenge for the Pac-12 title, but even if Stanford’s results don’t go their way, a win against another top team will do wonders for their seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

Rounding out the Pac-12 is Isobel Dalton and Colorado, who need to get a result against Utah in their final match of the regular season to secure their own NCAA Tournament spot. As it stands, the Buffaloes are just about in, but dropping points to a Utah side that sits well below them in the RPI rankings would just about destroy any chance of Colorado holding onto that tournament spot. After a 16-game unbeaten run to start the season, making the tournament is essentially non-negotiable for the Buffaloes at this stage, but they’ll have to put in the work to get there, particularly after Utah were able to snatch a draw against USC last week.

Moving onto conference tournaments, two teams have already secured their spots in championship games in tournaments that started last weekend. Monique Iannella and Grace Watson-Carr’s Hofstra put together a pair of 1-0 wins against Delaware and Northeastern to secure their passage through to the CAA Championship game against James Madison, whilst an Albany side featuring Claire Urquhart has only Massachusetts-Lowell standing between them and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Meanwhile, four other teams have made their way through to conference tournament semi-finals and find themselves two games away from capturing a conference championship and an NCAA Tournament berth. Caitlin Cantrill’s LSU side have probably done enough to secure an at-large bid regardless, but will still want to capture the SEC crown. They’ll face national title contender South Carolina, whilst in the Big 12, Demi Koulizakis and Texas Tech are in the same boat with a solid record to this point and a game against potential national #1 seed Baylor in the semi-finals not threatening to do any damage to their CV even if they were to suffer a loss.

Ashleigh Lefevre and Illinois sit right on the bubble, and facing Penn State in the Big Ten semi-finals not only gives the Illini a chance to reach the conference championship, but also really bolster their CV against a team that sits in the top 25 of the RPI rankings. Like LSU and Texas Tech, they may not need a conference title in order to reach the NCAA Tournament, but they  Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State, on the other hand, are in a completely different situation. Completely out of the race for an at-large bid, winning the Southern Conference championship is the only way the Buccaneers are going to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. They’ll face #2 seed UNC Greensboro in the semi-finals, and whilst the yearly body of work suggests that ETSU come in as underdogs, they do have a win against UNC Greensboro this season under their belts.

Five more teams start their own conference tournaments this week, but we can only see a maximum of four champions from this set as Sam Roff’s Fairleigh Dickinson side and Shelby Milton’s St. Francis outfit both reached the Northeast Conference tournament. The two sides faced off in last year’s championship game, with St. Francis emerging victorious on penalties, and with one team in each of the semi-finals in 2018, there is no reason the same matchup can’t occur again in this year’s tournament.

Lauren Featherstone and North Dakota State will also start in the semi-final round in the Summit League’s four-team tournament, facing Denver in the 2 v 3 matchup. All the numbers point towards a Denver victory in this one, but North Dakota State ran the Pioneers close in their regular season contest, falling 3-2 in a barnburner of a contest.

The Australian quartet at Wyoming earned their way to the semi-finals of the Mountain West Conference tournament through their regular season performance, securing a bye as the 2nd seed in the six-team tournament. The Cowgirls will take on fellow co-champions New Mexico, who defeated Colorado College in the 3 v 6 matchup earlier in the week. With the teams tied atop the table in the regular season, this looks certain to be a tight one, but Wyoming did defeat New Mexico 3-2 in the regular season.

Sandra Hill’s Grand Canyon and Gaby Bentley’s Old Dominion have also reached the WAC and Conference USA tournaments respectively, but if they’re going to secure an unlikely conference title, it’s going to happen the hard way as both will start in the quarter-finals. Grand Canyon will face Utah Valley in their first game of the WAC Tournament, and will start as slight favourites despite playing out a 0-0 draw with the Wolverines just 10 days ago. Meanwhile, Old Dominion will face Louisiana Tech in the 4 v 5 matchup in Conference USA. This is a game in which Old Dominion will start as slight favourites, but Louisiana Tech will be confident after winning their regular season matchup 3-2 in late September.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart) 

This week: v Massachusetts-Lowell – 5am, Monday November 5 (America East Conference Championship Game) 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v Utah – 8am, Saturday November 3 

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v UNC Greensboro – 9:30am, Saturday November 3 (Southern Conference Tournament Semi-Final)

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Central Connecticut State – 4am, Saturday November 3 (Northeast Conference Tournament Semi-Final)

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Utah Valley – 8am, Thursday November 1 (WAC Tournament Quarter-Final) 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

This week: @ James Madison – 4am, Sunday November 4 (Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game) 

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: v Penn State – 2am, Saturday November 3 (Big Ten Conference Tournament Semi-Final) 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

This week: v South Carolina – 10am, Friday November 2 (SEC Tournament Semi-Final) 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v Denver – 10am, Friday November 2 (Summit League Tournament Semi-Final) 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: v Louisiana Tech – 10am, Thursday November 1 (C-USA Tournament Quarter-Final) 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: v Mount St. Mary’s – 7am, Saturday November 3 (Northeast Conference Tournament Semi-Final) 

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: @ California – 9am, Saturday November 3

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Baylor – 8am, Sunday November 4 (Big 12 Conference Tournament Semi-Final) 

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v USC – 1pm, Saturday November 3 

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Caitlin Pickett)

This week: v New Mexico – 10am, Friday November 2 (Mountain West Conference Tournament Semi-Final)

2018 Week 11 Wrap

The number of Aussies left standing can only go down from here, but it was a fairly solid week of conference tournament play with a number of teams seeing their way through to next week. However, the news of the weekend was Wyoming clinching a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title with a final day win over Colorado State.

Conference tournaments kicked off this week, with mixed fortunes for teams featuring Australians. Hofstra have perhaps been the most impressive to this point, with Monique Iannella a mainstay in the lineup for a Pride team that will play in the CAA championship game next weekend. Hofstra dominated Delaware in the quarterfinals, holding their opponents to just six shots for the entire game, all of which came in the first half. However, despite having the run of play for the whole evening, Hofstra could only tally a single 33rd minute goal, but secured a 1-0 victory to face perennial contenders Northeastern in the semi-finals. This time, it was Hofstra who found themselves under the pump throughout, but a ninth-minute goal from Lucy Porter on one of just two shots on target for the Pride proved enough as Northeastern were unable to convert any one of their twenty shots into a goal. Iannella played every minute of the two games, and Hofstra will now face James Madison in the conference title game. The Dukes have a link to Australia of their own – first-year head coach Josh Walters was an assistant at UCLA prior to moving to James Madison, and in fact helped to recruit Teagan Micah to the Bruins.

Unfortunately, Emma Heckenberg and Drexel were unable to join Hofstra in the semi-finals after falling 3-2 to Charleston in an overtime thriller. Heckenberg rattled off two shots, with one on target, in a game that saw Drexel rally from two goals down with an 87th minute equaliser before eventually giving up the golden goal winner with just five minutes remaining in extra time. The loss also spells the conclusion of an outstanding career for Heckenberg, who took a while to find her spot in the Drexel lineup, but eventually carved out her spot as an integral member of the Dragons’ team.

Isabel Hodgson also played the full 90 minutes in a defensive struggle against Mercer as East Tennessee State won their quarterfinal contest in the Southern Conference tournament. In a game that saw each team manage just six shots apiece, and it took East Tennessee State until the 80th minute to break the deadlock through Sarah Connolly. The Buccaneers will now face UNC Greensboro in the semi-finals, a team they beat 2-1 on their home patch in the regular season.

Demi Koulizakis and Texas Tech secured a win over Texas on the final day of the regular season to set up a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal against TCU. In a pulsating fixture that somehow failed to yield a goal, Koulizakis saw 14 minutes on the pitch before Texas Tech advanced after a 5-3 win on penalties.

Unfortunately, the remaining six Australians failed to see the pitch in their teams’ conference tournament matches. Ashleigh Lefevre’s Illinois, Claire Urquhart’s Albany and Caitlin Cantrill’s LSU sides remain in contention for conference titles next weekend, but for Freyja Murray’s Akron, Siena Senatore’s Southeast Missouri State and Kate Swartwout’s Western Carolina outfits, their next games will come in 2019 after falling in their own conference tournament games.

Back in league action, Wyoming came into their game against arch-rivals Colorado State knowing that a win would not only give them the 2nd seed in the Mountain West conference tournament, but also give them a chance of securing a share of the regular season title if Boise State were to lose later in the afternoon. On a windy day in Laramie, the Cowgirls had the edge in the first half despite running into the gale, and once the teams switched sides for the second half, Wyoming dominated. However, it took until the 76th minute for a ball pinging around in the box to finally be slotted home by Adalyn Vergara for the 1-0 victory. Whilst the Australian quartet weren’t involved in the goal, they were highly impressive. Indianna Asimus found herself in good positions on multiple occasions and should possibly have done better with her three shots, all of which went narrowly over the bar, whilst seniors Annika Clayton and Jessie Gentle saw out their careers at Laramie in style with solid performances. Caitlin Pickett also started, but came out of the game after 33 minutes. As it turns out, Boise State did fall in their final game of the season against Utah State, handing Wyoming and New Mexico a three-way split of the league title ahead of next week’s conference tournament.

Beattie Goad has been given a slightly increased role in the Stanford lineup of late, and the junior continued to be a threat for the nation’s top team as the Cardinal continued to extend their unbeaten streak. Earning the start in Stanford’s 2-0 win over Washington, Goad was solid in midfield and managed to tally a single shot before showing more promise against Washington State. The junior tallied another two shots, forcing a point-blank save from Cougars’ goalkeeper Rachel Thompson in a game that looked certain to end in a Stanford win. However, a calamitous misplay at the back from Stanford allowed Washington State to tally an open-goal equaliser late on, and with neither team able to break the deadlock in extra time, the spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw.

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: defeated Buffalo 3-2; lost 1-0 to Western Michigan

Freyja Murray did not feature for Akron in either game this week as the Zips’ season ended with a first-round conference tournament loss to Western Michigan.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated New Hampshire 1-0; defeated Hartford 1-0

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany in either game this week as Albany advanced to the America East conference championship game.

Chicago State (Sarah Clark) 

This week: lost 8-0 to UMKC

Sarah Clark did not feature for Chicago State in their loss to UMKC.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: lost 1-0 to USC; lost 2-1 to UCLA

Isobel Dalton did not feature for Colorado in either game this week. 

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: lost 3-2 to Charleston (OT)

Emma Heckenberg played all 104 minutes in her final game of college soccer, registering two shots with one on target in Drexel’s season-ending loss to Charleston.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

This week: defeated Mercer 1-0

Isabel Hodgson played the full 90 minutes as East Tennessee State advanced to the Southern Conference tournament semi-finals with a 1-0 win over Mercer.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 1-0 to Sacred Heart

Sam Roff played the full 90 minutes for Fairleigh Dickinson in their loss to Sacred Heart.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: drew 3-3 with Cal State Bakersfield

Sandra Hill started and played all 110 minutes for Grand Canyon in their thrilling draw with Cal State Bakersfield.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: defeated UC Riverside 2-0; lost 2-1 to Cal State Fullerton

Kiri Dale started both games this week, registering a shot in 68 minutes against UC Riveride before tallying another in the dying seconds of Hawaii’s season-ending loss to Cal State Fullerton as part of a 35-minute performance. 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated Delaware 1-0; defeated Northeastern 1-0

Monique Iannella played the full 90 minutes on both occasions this week as Hofstra advanced to the CAA championship game with a pair of 1-0 wins. Reserve goalkeeper Grace Watson-Carr did not feature in either game. 

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: defeated Wisconsin 3-0 on penalties (0-0 after extra time)

Ashleigh Lefevre did not feature as Illinois defeated Wisconsin on penalties to advance to the Big Ten tournament semi-finals.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

This week: defeated Mississippi State 2-1; defeated Missouri 3-2 (OT)

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in either game this week as the Tigers advanced to the SEC tournament semi-finals with an overtime win over Missouri.

Marshall (Laura Farrelly) 

This week: lost 2-0 to Western Kentucky

Laura Farrelly did not feature for Marshall in their loss to Western Kentucky. 

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: lost 4-0 to Southeastern Louisiana

Kristy Helmers came off the bench for Nicholls State in their loss to Southeastern Louisiana to play 42 minutes, whilst Tenille Harberger and Tessa Calabria did not feature. 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone) 

This week: defeated South Dakota 1-0

Lauren Featherstone did not feature for North Dakota State in their win over South Dakota. 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: defeated North Texas 4-0

Gaby Bentley came off the bench for Old Dominion in their win over North Texas, playing 23 minutes and registering a single shot on target.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: defeated Belmont 4-3 on penalties (0-0 after extra time); lost 3-2 on penalties to Eastern Illinois (1-1 after extra time)

Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in either game this week as the Redhawks’ season ended in a shootout loss to Eastern Illinois.

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Central Connecticut State; defeated Wagner 5-0

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in their loss to Central Connecticut State, but came off the bench play 27 minutes in the win over Wagner.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

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

Beattie Goad started and tallied a shot in 49 minutes in the win over Washington before coming off the bench to register two shots in 52 minutes against Washington State, with one on target. 

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis) 

This week: defeated Texas 1-0; defeated TCU 5-3 on penalties (0-0 after extra time)

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench in both games this week, playing 24 minutes in the win over Texas and 14 minutes in the shootout victory over TCU that handed Texas Tech a Big 12 tournament semi-final berth. 

UCLA (Teagan Micah) 

This week: defeated Utah 5-1; defeated Colorado 2-1

Teagan Micah played the full 90 minutes against Utah but did not make a save before playing the second half against Colorado, making one save and giving up the one goal that UCLA conceded. 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Furman

Kate Swartwout did not feature for Western Carolina in their season-ending Southern Conference tournament loss to Furman. 

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Caitlin Pickett)

This week: defeated Colorado State 1-0

All four Aussies started for Wyoming in their win over Colorado State. Annika Clayton played 82 minutes, whilst Jessie Gentle was a menace out wide for her 86 minutes. Indianna Asimus registered three shots, all of which went narrowly over the bar, in her 62 minutes on the pitch, whilst Caitlin Pickett played 33 minutes.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Indianna Asimus (Wyoming)
2:
Beattie Goad (Stanford)
1:
Emma Heckenberg (Drexel)

2018 Week 11 Preview

21 teams featuring Aussies remain in the mix for the NCAA Tournament, and with six of those teams kicking off conference tournaments this week, it’s certainly crunch time for a number of players. Meanwhile, the thrilling fight for conference tournament spots in the Northeast Conference continues with Fairleigh Dickinson and Saint Francis right in the mix coming into the final matchday.

(Featured Image Credit: Jonathan Heisler, Hofstra University)

Six conference tournaments featuring Aussies kick off this weekend, with those players set to have varying degrees of impact on their teams’ fortunes. Undoubtedly, the two tournaments to watch this week are the Southern Conference and Colonial Athletic Association tournaments, both of which feature multiple teams for whom Aussies have played integral roles in getting them this far.

In the Southern Conference, both Isabel Hodgson’s East Tennessee State side and Kate Swartwout’s Western Carolina outfit have both earned spots in the tournament, with both teams earning byes to the quarter-finals as the 3rd and 4th seeds. Hodgson and the Buccaneers will face 6th seeded Mercer in their first game, whilst Swartwout’s Catamounts side face a Furman side that is usually among the contenders but has slipped to 5th this season. Although both sides come in as the higher seeds, neither of these games will be easy and coming in to the game in top form is an absolute must if both Hodgson and Swartwout are to advance.

Meanwhile, in the Colonial, a Hofstra team featuring Monique Iannella and Grace Watson-Carr will be hoping to go back-to-back, whilst Emma Heckenberg and Drexel are looking to go a couple of steps further than last year’s semi-final defeat to Northeastern. Both Iannella and Heckenberg have played vital roles to this point, and with Hofstra and Drexel on opposite sides of the draw, don’t bet against an Aussie v Aussie final in what has been a tight conference all season.

Ashleigh Lefevre is one more player we may see a bit of this week as Illinois head into the Big Ten tournament, where they will face Wisconsin on the road in the first round. Used occasionally off the bench, how much time Lefevre sees in these crunch games remains to be seen but the freshman certainly has done a job when called upon in past games. Siena Senatore, Claire Urquhart, and Caitlin Cantrill have also reached their respective conference tournaments with Southeast Missouri State, Albany, and LSU, but given the events of the season to this point, unfortunately it is unlikely that the trio will see any playing time this week.

Shelby Milton and Saint Francis may have knocked off Sam Roff and Fairleigh Dickinson last week, but both teams remain right in the mix for spots in next week’s Northeast Conference tournament. In a league with a four-team tournament, the teams form part of a three-way tie for second place on 13 points, with fifth-placed Mount St. Mary’s two points back. Both teams have a real chance to pick up a win in this last week of league play to cement their spots in the tournament, with Fairleigh Dickinson taking on Sacred Heart and Saint Francis facing Wagner. Saint Francis are also the only team in the league to play two games this week, but that additional game comes against league leaders Central Connecticut State, who have been all but untouchable in conference play to this point.

Amazingly, the Mountain West Conference league title could be shared between four teams this season, and Aussie-laden Wyoming are one of those teams. One of three teams sitting three points behind league leaders Boise State, a win against arch-rivals Colorado State on their home patch combined with other results could see the Cowgirls snag an unexpected share of the regular season title.

Whilst the Pac-12 does not feature a conference tournament, that doesn’t mean the premier conference in the nation isn’t building to a thrilling conclusion. Isobel Dalton and Colorado may have had their slender hopes of a conference title crushed by Beattie Goad’s Stanford side with a 7-0 loss last week, but the Buffaloes remain a decent chance of picking up an NCAA Tournament berth, but they’ll have to navigate a tough path to do so. Dalton’s side face national heavyweights UCLA and USC this week, and will almost certainly have to pick up at least one result to retain their at-large hopes before facing Utah in their final game of the regular season next weekend. Meanwhile, Beattie Goad and Stanford are sitting pretty tied atop the standings with USC with a game in hand and a favourable run home. The Cardinal travel north this week to face mid-table Washington as well as Washington State, who have lost five games on the trot to all but destroy any hopes the Cougars had of reaching the NCAA Tournament after winning their first ten games. Finally, Teagan Micah and UCLA may be out of league title contention, but can still nab a national seed for the NCAA Tournament with a good finish to the season. Their game against aforementioned Colorado will be a chance to put another decent win on the board, and with Micah back to her best after her recent concussion scare and Hailie Mace and Jessie Fleming back from US and Canadian national team duties respectively, the Bruins will be heavily favoured, although Dalton and Colorado will be desperate to bounce back from last week’s loss to Stanford in what will be a crucial game for both sides for different reasons.

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: @ Buffalo – 6am, Friday October 26 

Albany (Claire Urquhart) 

This week: v New Hampshire – 10am, Friday October 26 (America East Tournament 1st Round)

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ UMKC – 5am, Sunday October 28 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

This week: v USC – 8am, Friday October 26; v UCLA – 7am, Monday October 29

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Charleston – 4am, Saturday October 27 (CAA Tournament First Round)

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

This week: v Mercer – 4am, Monday October 29 (Southern Conference Tournament First Round) 

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Sacred Heart – 4am, Monday October 29

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Cal State Bakersfield – 11am, Saturday October 27

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: v UC Riverside – 4pm, Friday October 26; v Cal State Fullerton – 11am, Monday October 29 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: v Delaware – 4am, Saturday October 27 (CAA Tournament First Round)

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: @ Wisconsin – 4am, Monday October 29 (Big Ten Tournament First Round)

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: @ Mississippi State – 11am, Friday October 26; TBD (SEC Tournament) 

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ Western Kentucky – 11am, Saturday October 27

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers) 

This week: @ Southeastern Louisiana – 11am, Saturday October 27 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: @ South Dakota – 7am, Saturday October 27

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: v Charlotte – 10am, Saturday October 27

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore) 

This week: v Belmont – 4am, Saturday October 27 (Ohio Valley Conference Tournament First Round) 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: v Central Connecticut State – 6am, Saturday October 27; v Wagner – 3am, Monday October 29 

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ Washington – 11am, Friday October 26; @ Washington State – 7am, Monday October 29

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Texas – 11:15am, Friday October 26

UCLA (Teagan Micah) 

This week: v Colorado – 7am, Monday October 29

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Furman – 10am, Sunday October 28 (Southern Conference Tournament First Round)

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Caitlin Pickett)

This week: v Colorado State – 8am, Saturday October 27

2018 Week 3 Wrap

One of the biggest weekends for Australians in college in recent memory transpired this week, with four players tallying goals, another six registering assists, and a number of others putting in solid efforts to round out what was a simply mesmerising set of performances across the board.

(Featured Image Credit: Jim Shorin/ISIPhotos.com)

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who had a better weekend than Beattie Goad, with the junior proving instrumental for Stanford as the #1 side in the nation extended their winning streak to 26 games. The Cardinal had to work for it in both games, being outshot by BYU in their opening game of the week but nonetheless finding their way to a 2-0 win, with Goad being credited with an assist on the game’s opening goal. The junior then came up with the opening goal in Stanford’s second game of the week against Minnesota, hitting a shot from the edge of the area into the far bottom corner and out of the goalkeeper’s reach. However, Stanford would by no means have the game their own way as Minnesota forced overtime before the Cardinal escaped with a winner early in overtime.

Claudia Jenkins also enjoyed an outstanding week, playing a vital role between the sticks in La Salle’s 2-1 overtime win over Colgate. Jenkins faced six shots on target, making an impressive five saves, with each and every one of those proving crucial as the Explorers only managed to equalise in the final 15 minutes after giving up the opener just after the hour mark. The La Salle side didn’t mess around in overtime, as although it took them seven minutes to create an attacking chance, they scored with their very first to clinch the golden goal win and move to 4-1 through their first five games. Alyssa Van Heurck came off the bench for La Salle in the win, playing an 8-minute cameo.

Isabel Hodgson returned to the scorers list for the first time in 2018 as the South Australian looks to improve on last season’s return of two goals, burying the winner in East Tennessee State’s win over USC Upstate. In a fairly even contest that saw each team register 10 shots, Hodgson’s close-range finish in the 19th minute proved to be the difference as the Buccaneers put a four-game losing streak behind them to pick up their first win of the season with the 1-0 result. Unfortunately, a far tougher Charlotte side proved to be too much to handle for ETSU in their second game of the weekend as the Buccaneers fell to a 3-0 defeat, with Hodgson tallying one of the team’s three shots.

Teagan Micah and UCLA endured a tough road trip to Florida with national team stars Hailie Mace and Jessie Fleming away representing the US and Canada respectively, but the Australian goalkeeper still managed to notch a career highlight even as the Bruins could only come away with a draw and a loss from their two games in the southeast. UCLA opened the weekend with a 0-0 draw against Florida, and although Micah had just the one save to make, that save was enough to see the junior register the 20th clean sheet of her career in just 51 appearances, equating to just under 40% of Micah’s appearances resulting in clean sheets. Ironically, Micah came up with six saves against Florida State in the team’s second game of the week, but the Bruins fell to a 4-1 defeat as the Seminoles peppered the UCLA goal with ten shots on target.

Gaby Bentley’s goal against Towson last week proved to be no fluke as the South Australian tallied her second goal of the season, although Old Dominion fell to George Mason in their only game of the week. Bentley scored the opener in the 40th minute, capitalising on a rebound to tap the ball home from close range. But George Mason equalised early in the second half before finding the winner 16 minutes from fulltime to send the Monarchs to their first loss of what has been a solid season to this point.

Monique Iannella has been delivering assists to teammates from the moment she transferred from Texas to Hofstra, and nothing changed this week as the former Melbourne City player again played a part in the build-up of a Pride goal. Needing a solid start against Fordham as they looked to put together a dominant performance for the first time since their win over Bucknell, Iannella was credited with the assist on Lucy Shepherd’s opener in the third minute as Hofstra found themselves 2-0 up inside 20 minutes before running out 3-1 victors. Unfortunately, things were far tougher against #6 Virginia, who registered 27 shots to 2 on their way to a 5-1 victory.

Emma Heckenberg appears to be joining Iannella as a threat whipping in corners after delivering two almost identical assists in Drexel’s 2-1 victory over St. John’s. The first came in the 11th minute as Kiera Hennessy looped a header off Heckenberg’s delicious ball in over the goalkeeper’s head to nestle in the back of the net, before repeating the dose 17 minutes later in a similar fashion. St. John’s gave themselves a late chance with an 88th minute goal from the spot, but Drexel managed to hold on for the 2-1 victory. The Dragons followed that victory up with a 1-0 overtime win over Maryland, with Heckenberg and the Drexel defence holding the Terrapins to just two shots on target before the Dragons came up with a 94th minute golden goal to take their winning streak to three games as part of a four-game unbeaten run.

Kristy Helmers and Tessa Calabria have found minutes slightly difficult to come by so far this season, but the attacking pair pressed their claims for increased playing time after delivering for Nicholls State this weekend. Whilst Helmers tallied a single shot in the Colonels’ 2-1 thrilling overtime win over Jackson State, that had nothing on the performances the Aussie pair turned out in a 6-0 demolition of Alcorn State. Helmers was given the start and tallied four shots, scoring the opener in the 8th minute, whilst Calabria tallied five shots and added an assist in just 21 minutes off the bench as Nicholls State rattled off 36 shots on the way to cruising to a dominant victory.

Ashleigh Lefevre also made a case for more playing time off the bench after coming up with an assist in Illinois’ win over SIU Edwardsville. The Illini, already on a high after securing an upset 2-1 win over #14 Oklahoma State, came out firing against their in-state foes, scoring in the first minute and heading into halftime up 3-0. Lefevre tallied her assist on the fourth goal of the game 12 minutes after the break, teeing up Kelly Maday for the junior’s third goal of the season as Illinois cruised to a 5-0 demolition of the Cougars.

Jessie Gentle is one player who has no need to fight for increased playing time, with the senior one of the first names on the team sheet for Wyoming, and this week the Woolgoolga product came up with her first tangible production of the season as Wyoming picked up a 2-1 win over Idaho State. With Wyoming up 1-0 going into the second half, Gentle delivered the assist on what would prove to be the game-winning goal in the 49th minute as the Cowgirls went up 2-0 before Idaho State made things interesting with a goal in the 82nd minute as the game ended 2-1.

Finally, we had yet another Australian make their NCAA Division I debut this week as Chicago State’s Sarah Clark made her first appearance since transferring from Lassen Community College. Clark came off the bench for the Cougars in their 2-0 loss to Eastern Illinois, playing 21 minutes to see her first action in the top level of college soccer.

Complete Results: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: drew 2-2 with Indiana State; defeated Youngstown State 6-0

Freyja Murray did not feature in the draw with Indiana State, but played 13 minutes off the bench in the win over Youngstown State.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Iona 2-1; lost 2-0 to Buffalo

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany in either game this week.

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: lost 6-1 to SIU Edwardsville; lost 2-0 to Eastern Illinois

Sarah Clark did not feature in the loss to SIU Edwardsville, but came off the bench to make her NCAA Division I debut against Eastern Illinois, playing 13 minutes. 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: defeated UTSA 4-0; defeated Iowa State 3-1

Isobel Dalton came off the bench in both games this week, registering a single shot in her 9 minutes of playing time against UTSA, before playing 19 minutes in the win over Iowa State and again tallying a shot.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: defeated St. John’s 2-1; defeated Maryland 1-0 (OT)

Emma Heckenberg started both games this week, playing 84 minutes and delivering the corners that resulted in both Drexel goals against St. John’s, before playing the full 94 minutes in the overtime win over Maryland.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: defeated USC Upstate 1-0; lost 3-0 to Charlotte

Isabel Hodgson started both games this week, playing 65 minutes and scoring the only goal in ETSU’s win over USC Upstate, before registering a single shot in 76 minutes in the loss to Charlotte.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 4-0 to Cleveland State; defeated Kent State 2-1

Sam Roff played the full 90 minutes in the loss to Cleveland State, before coming off the bench to play 63 minutes and register two shots on target in the win over Kent State. 

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: lost 1-0 to Stetson; defeated Davidson 1-0

Hannah Allen did not feature for Georgia Southern in either game this week.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to UTEP; lost 2-1 to UTSA (OT)

Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon in either game this week.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: defeated Saint Mary’s 2-1; defeated Pacific 5-0

Kiri Dale came off the bench against Saint Mary’s registering a shot in 47 minutes of action, before getting the start in the win over Pacific and playing 48 minutes. 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated Fordham 3-1; lost 5-1 to Virginia

Monique Iannella started both games this week, playing the full 90 minutes and tallying an assist in the win over Fordham before playing 84 minutes in the loss to Virginia. Grace Watson-Carr did not feature for Hofstra this week.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: defeated Oklahoma State 2-1; defeated SIU Edwardsville 5-0

Ashleigh Lefevre came off the bench in both games this week, playing five minutes in the upset win over Oklahoma State and delivering the assist for Illinois’ fourth goal during her 20-minute cameo against SIU Edwardsville.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck) 

This week: defeated Colgate 2-1 (OT)

Claudia Jenkins played the full 97 minutes and made five saves in La Salle’s 2-1 overtime win over Colgate, whilst Alyssa Van Heurck came off the bench to play 8 minutes.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: defeated South Alabama 1-0

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in the win over South Alabama.

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: defeated Eastern Kentucky 2-1; lost 3-1 to Ohio

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

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers) 

This week: defeated Jackson State 2-1; defeated Alcorn State 6-0

Kristy Helmers came off the bench in the win over Jackson State, playing 29 minutes and tallying a single shot, before getting the start in the demolition of Alcorn State, slotting home her first goal of the season in 60 minutes of playing time. Tessa Calabria played just 10 minutes off the bench against Jackson State, but registered five shots in 21 minutes and tallied an assist in the win over Alcorn State. Tenille Harberger did not feature in either game this week.

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: lost 1-0 to Northern Colorado; lost 1-0 to Drake

Lauren Featherstone came off the bench to play 29 minutes against Northern Colorado, but did not feature in the loss to Drake. 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: lost 2-1 to George Mason

Gaby Bentley finished with Old Dominion’s only goal in 28 minutes off the bench as the Monarchs fell to a 2-1 defeat. 

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore) 

This week: lost 5-0 to Arizona; lost 4-0 to Arizona State

Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in either game this week.

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: defeated Binghamton 3-0; drew 0-0 with Bucknell

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in either game this week. 

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated BYU 2-0; defeated Minnesota 2-1 (OT)

Beattie Goad started both games this week, playing the full 90 minutes against BYU and delivering an assist on Stanford’s opener, before again playing a complete game against Minnesota and scoring the Cardinal’s opening goal in the 2-1 overtime victory.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Boston College

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench for Texas Tech in the loss to Boston College, but saw just 10 minutes of playing time. 

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: lost 1-0 to Bucknell; lost 3-1 to Utah State

Jodie Burchell came off the bench to play 12 minutes in the loss to Bucknell, but did not feature in the loss to Utah State.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: drew 0-0 with Florida; lost 4-1 to Florida State

Teagan Micah picked up the 20th clean sheet of her career against Florida, making a single save, before making six saves in the loss to Florida State. 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: defeated Campbell 1-0 (OT); drew 0-0 with Navy (match shortened due to lightning)

Kate Swartwout came off the bench against Campbell to play 18 minutes and register a pair of shots, before playing the final 10 minutes against Navy as the match was called after 72 minutes due to lightning with the score at 0-0.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden) 

This week: match v South Carolina cancelled due to inclement weather; defeated Liberty 2-1 (OT)

Lorena Bugden did not feature for William & Mary in the win over Liberty. 

Wyoming (Indiana Asimus, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Caitlin Pickett)

This week: defeated Idaho State 2-1

All four Australians started the game in the win over Idaho State, with Jessie Gentle providing the assist on Wyoming’s goal in the 48th minute in a 75-minute effort. Indianna Asimus tallied three shots in 57 minutes, whilst Annika Clayton also had a trio of attempts in her 80 minutes on the pitch, with Caitlin Pickett playing 62 minutes.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Beattie Goad (Stanford)
2: Emma Heckenberg (Drexel)
1: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)

2018 Week 2 Preview

With a number of Aussies coming up with match-winning performances last week, there are plenty of teams looking to keep perfect records alive or build on momentum generated from an upset result. La Salle and Wyoming in particular will once again be looking for their Aussies to fire after outstanding starts to the season.

(Featured Image Credit: Rand Bleimeister)

Wyoming got their season off to a flyer last week courtesy of some well-timed goals from Australian pair Annika Clayton and Caitlin Pickett, and the Cowgirls will be looking to extend their perfect start to the season in their only game of the week as they host Northern Iowa. Like Wyoming, Northern Iowa played South Dakota last week, but could only manage a 0-0 draw whereas Wyoming stormed home to a 4-2 comeback victory courtesy of Clayton’s second-half brace. With fellow Aussies Indiana Asimus and Jessie Gentle also playing solid minutes, the Cowgirls are once again looking to be a sure bet if you’re searching for Aussies to watch even in the post-Georgia Rowntree and Alisha Bass era.

Ashleigh Lefevre and Illinois travelled to North Carolina last week and put the entire nation on notice after running the Tar Heels close before knocking off Duke in a 2-1 victory, and the Illini will look to build off that momentum as they play a couple of games closer to home. Making the short drive to Chicago to play DePaul in their first game of the week, Illinois will face a Blue Demons team that may have lost its opener to Southern Methodist, but flexed its offensive muscle in a 7-0 win over lowly UMass-Lowell to round out the weekend. The Illini then round out their week by hosting Northern Illinois, a side looking to bounce back from a 3-0 loss in their opener against Milwaukee. If Lefevre and Illinois can put together performances like the ones they did in the opening weekend, they’ll certainly be a better than even-money chance to end the weekend on a 3-game unbeaten run.

Claudia Jenkins and Alyssa Van Heurck both made solid impacts last week as La Salle opened their 2018 campaign with a pair of wins, but this weekend’s opponent is a bit of an unknown entity as Manhattan are yet to play a game in 2018. The Jaspers did pick up 10 wins in 2017, but eight of those victories came in league play, where they play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, a far weaker league than the Atlantic 10 which La Salle won last season. The Explorers will still have to play to their potential to get the win, but come into this game as prohibitive favourites, particularly with Jenkins in good form between the sticks and the La Salle defence unlikely to give up a high number of shots.

Claire Urquhart and Albany came up with a pair of wins last week on their cross-country trip to Arizona, but play far closer to home this week with road games at comparatively nearby Boston College and Colgate. Both teams will provide a significant challenge to the Great Danes, with Boston College coming off a pair of wins over Quinnipiac and Northeastern, with the latter a perennial challenger for the Colonial Athletic Association. Meanwhile, Colgate fell 2-1 in a tight one against #8 Virginia last week, showing that they will by no means roll over. It will also be interesting to see how many minutes Claire Urquhart sees this week, having only played in one of the two games last week, playing 46 minutes against New Mexico State.

Beattie Goad and Stanford opened up their season with a dominant 5-0 win over UC Davis, and the Cardinal are poised to bang in the goals once again as they take on one of their local rivals in San Francisco. Stanford won last year’s encounter 8-0 as part of a four-game in run in which they scored 26 goals without conceding, and this year’s Cardinal side hardly looks less potent on offence. Beattie Goad snagged an assist last week in the win over UC Davis, and if the Stanford offence continues to fire on all cylinders, expect to see the junior have plenty of chances to tee up teammates from out wide not only in this game, but throughout the season.

Stanford’s title rivals UCLA face a far tougher challenge this week, making the cross-country trip to play fellow championship contenders Penn State. The Bruins may have picked up the win over Long Beach State last week with a final minute goal, but will need a far more polished performance to get by the #3 team in the nation, who defeated the always-strong West Virginia 1-0 and demolised Duquesne 6-0 in the opening week of the season. However, with Teagan Micah already showing her penchant for coming up with big saves at vital times, Penn State’s offence won’t have things all their own way in this one in what could be one of the games of the regular season.

We also have the potential for a couple of Aussie v Aussie matchups this week, as Jodie Burchell has the chance to make her debut against Gaby Bentley and Old Dominion. These two sides have plenty of history as former conference rivals prior to Old Dominion’s move from the Colonial Athletic Association to Conference-USA, and if Burchell was to make an impact on debut in a game like this it certainly would be a memorable one. We could also see Shelby Milton take the field for St. Francis University against a UMBC side coached by Australian first-year head coach Vanessa Mann, and whilst the pair obviously wouldn’t face each other on the field, it certainly provides another little point of interest in an early-season game. 

Full Schedule:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: @ Charlotte – 9am, Saturday August 25; @ Wofford – 4am, Monday August 27

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Boston College – 7am, Friday August 24; @ Colgate – 3am, Monday August 27

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ South Dakota – 4am, Monday August 27

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v Missouri – 5am, Sunday August 26

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Columbia – 7am, Saturday August 25

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: @ Tennessee Tech – 9am, Saturday August 25

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Lehigh – 2am, Friday August 24

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: v Jacksonville State – 9am, Saturday August 25; @ Gardner-Webb – 3am, Monday August 27 

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v Houston Baptist – 9am, Saturday August 25; v Northern Arizona – 12pm, Monday August 27

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: v Boston University – 9am, Friday August 24

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: @ DePaul – 7am, Friday August 24; v Northern Illinois – 5am, Monday August 27

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v Manhattan – 8am, Friday August 24

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: @ Liberty – 8am, Friday August 24; v Texas State – 4am, Monday August 27

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: v Tennessee-Martin – 6am, Saturday August 25

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: at Mississippi Valley State – 9am, Saturday August 25; v Prairie View A&M – 4am, Monday August 27

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v Weber State – 4am, Monday August 27 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Towson – 9am, Friday August 24; v Old Dominion – 8am, Monday August 27

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: v Illinois-Springfield – 9:30am, Saturday August 25 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: v UMBC – 6am, Friday August 24; at Loyola Maryland – 6am, Monday August 27

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: v San Francisco – 1pm, Saturday August 25

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: @ San Diego State – 12pm, Saturday August 25; v Abilene Christian – 10am, Monday August 27

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: @ Old Dominion – 9am, Friday August 24; v Longwood – 3am, Monday August 27

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: @ Penn State – 6am, Sunday August 26

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Elon – 9am, Friday August 24; v Belmont – 3am, Monday August 27

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: v Virginia – 9am, Friday August 24; v Coastal Carolina – 4am, Monday August 27 

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Caitlin Pickett)

This week: v Northern Iowa – 8:30am, Saturday August 25

2018 Week 1 Wrap

A number of Aussies came up with some utterly clutch plays to help get their teams over the line, with the performances of goalkeepers Teagan Micah and Claudia Jenkins a highlight. But it was Annika Clayton coming up trumps at the other end, banging in two goals to round out a stunning comeback win in Wyoming’s opener against South Dakota.

(Featured Image Credit: Greg Carroccio / Sideline Photos)

Annika Clayton was the undoubted star of the week as the senior continued the trend of Australian midfielders banging in goals for Wyoming following the graduation of Alisha Bass after the 2017 season. Down 2-0 just after halftime, Clayton scored the game-tying goal in the 64th minute. The Cowgirls scored just two minutes later to take the lead, before Clayton rounded out the victory, doubling the lead with just over 15 minutes to play. The Cowgirls found the going slightly tougher in their home opener against Utah Valley in their second game of the week, but managed to eke out a 1-0 overtime victory to preserve their perfect start to the season, with newly arrived Geelong freshman Caitlin Pickett picking up the winner in overtime to tally her first college goal in just her second game. Newcastle freshman Indianna Asimus also featured in both games of the first week of her college career, starting against South Dakota before coming off the bench against Utah Valley.

La Salle pair Claudia Jenkins and Alyssa Van Heurck also enjoyed an excellent first week of the season, with Jenkins perhaps pulling out the moment of the week in the Explorers’ 1-0 win over Syracuse. With the Explorers up a goal after Madison Bower’s early strike, Syracuse were gifted a chance to equalise after a foul in the box resulted in a penalty for the Orange. But Jenkins stood tall to deny penalty taker Taylor Bennett and maintain her side’s lead, with the Explorers holding on to secure the 1-0 victory, with Van Heurck playing 24 minutes off the bench in her first college appearance.

Alyssa Van Heurck (Photo Credit: Greg Carroccio / Sideline Photos)

The Explorers enjoyed a far more comfortable victory in their second game of the week against UMBC. Jenkins once again kept a clean sheet, making four saves, whilst Van Heurck picked up the first goal of her college career as the Explorers jumped out to a 4-0 lead before halftime on their way to a comprehensive 5-0 win, scoring on all bar two of their shots on target to start their campaign to return to the NCAA Tournament on a high.

Teagan Micah also came up big between the sticks as UCLA laboured in putting Long Beach State away in their opening game of the season. Although the junior made just two saves, they proved to be vital as the Bruins scored the only goal of the game with just two seconds left on the clock as Hailie Mace managed to beat the goalkeeper with the last kick of the ball for the 1-0 victory.

Beattie Goad made a solid start to her junior year as Stanford dismantled UC Davis 5-0 on the road in the opening game of their title defence. The two-time W-League champion secured a starting berth for the Cardinal, playing 79 minutes and putting the ball on a plate for Tierna Davidson to head home Stanford’s second of their five goals as the defending champions outshot their opponents 20-1 in the dominant victory.

Finally, we saw six players make their Division I debut this week, with Ashleigh Lefevre, Tessa Calabria, and Lauren Featherstone joining the aforementioned Alyssa Van Heurck, Indianna Asimus, and Caitlin Pickett in seeing their first minutes at the top level of college play. Lefevre and Illinois led North Carolina early in the piece, but were ultimately chased down by the Tar Heels in a 3-1 loss, but the Illini had clearly grown in confidence and used that momentum to secure a come from behind win over #3 Duke, with Lefevre coming off the bench in both games to see over an hour of playing time across the weekend. Calabria got the start in her debut against North Dakota in a 3-0 loss, playing 61 minutes, but came off the bench in Nicholls State’s loss to Grambling State, registering a pair of shots on target in her 46 minutes in the Colonels’ 1-0 defeat. However, Featherstone’s debut was the most pleasing to see from a neutral standpoint, with the redshirt freshman having been through injuries, an academic redshirt in 2017, and a last-minute transfer in her 12 months in college before finally seeing her first playing time, tallying 20 minutes of action off the bench in North Dakota State’s 4-1 win over Green Bay.

Complete Results:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: lost 2-1 to Morehead State

Freyja Murray did not feature for Akron in their loss to Morehead State.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Arizona 1-0; defeated New Mexico State 3-1

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany in their win over Arizona, but came off the bench to play 46 minutes in the Great Danes’ victory over New Mexico State.

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: drew 2-2 with Youngstown State; lost 3-1 to Cleveland State

Sarah Clark did not feature for Chicago State in either game this week.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: defeated Air Force 3-0; drew 0-0 with Colorado State

Isobel Dalton came off the bench to play a solitary minute in Colorado’s win over Air Force, but did not feature in the draw with Colorado State.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: drew 1-1 with Rider; lost 2-1 to Rutgers

Emma Heckenberg did not feature for Drexel in the draw with Rider, but came off the bench to play 33 minutes in the loss to Rutgers.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: lost 1-0 to George Mason

Isabel Hodgson played the full 90 minutes in East Tennessee State’s loss to George Mason.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated Marshall 1-0; lost 1-0 to Providence

Sam Roff picked up where she left off last season, playing the full 90 minutes in both of Fairleigh Dickinson’s games this week as the Knights’ stingy defence conceded only a solitary goal over the course of the weekend.

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: lost 3-0 to Florida Gulf Coast; lost 3-0 to Chattanooga

Hannah Allen did not feature for Georgia Southern in either of the Eagles’ games this week.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to Gonzaga (2OT); lost 1-0 to Washington State (OT)

Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon in either game this week as the Lopes fell to a pair of heartbreaking overtime losses.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 4-0 to Texas A&M; defeated Bowling Green 1-0 (OT)

Kiri Dale did not feature for Hawaii in the loss to Texas A&M, but came off the bench for a 20-minute cameo in the Wahine’s overtime win over Bowling Green.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated Bucknell 1-0; lost 1-0 to Fairfield

Monique Iannella came off the bench in both games this week, playing 39 minutes against Bucknell and registering a single shot on target in 51 minutes in the loss to Fairfield. Reserve goalkeeper Grace Watson-Carr did not feature for Hofstra in either game this week. 

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: lost 3-1 to North Carolina; defeated Duke 2-1

Ashleigh Lefevre came off the bench in both games this week, playing 40 minutes against North Carolina and 36 minutes in the upset win over highly-rated Duke.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck) 

This week: defeated Syracuse 1-0; defeated UMBC 5-0

Goalkeeper Claudia Jenkins kept a pair of clean sheets to start the season, playing all 180 minutes and coming up with a penalty save in the win over Syracuse. Alyssa Van Heurck came off the bench to make her first two college appearances, playing 24 minutes in both games and tallying La Salle’s fourth goal in the 5-0 win over UMBC. 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

This week: lost 2-1 to Villanova (OT)

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in their overtime loss to Villanova. 

Marshall (Laura Farrelly) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Fairleigh Dickinson; drew 2-2 with Army

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

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: lost 3-0 to North Dakota; lost 2-1 to Grambling State

Tessa Calabria started against North Dakota to make her first collegiate appearance, registering a single shot in 61 minutes. Calabria came off the bench against Grambling State, tallying 2 shots in 46 minutes, both of which were on target. Kristy Helmers came off the bench in both games, playing 26 minutes against North Dakota and 14 minutes against Grambling State. Tenille Harberger did not feature for the Colonels in either game this week.

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: match abandoned v Wisconsin due to weather; defeated Green Bay 4-1

Lauren Featherstone finally made her long-awaited collegiate debut, playing 20 minutes off the bench and tallying a single shot in North Dakota State’s win over Green Bay. 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: drew 1-1 with East Carolina; defeated Mount St. Mary’s 3-0

Gaby Bentley came off the bench for Old Dominion to play 20 minutes or so in the draw with East Carolina, before starting against Mount St. Mary’s but only playing 13 minutes.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: lost 2-1 to Evansville

Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in their loss to Evansville. 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: drew 2-2 with Radford; lost 3-2 to Canisius (OT)

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in either game this week.

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: defeated UC Davis 5-0

Beattie Goad started for Stanford in their win over UC Davis, playing 79 minutes and delivering the assist on the Cardinal’s second goal.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated New Mexico 2-0; defeated Pepperdine 1-0

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench in both games this week, playing 32 minutes and registering two shots against New Mexico before playing 39 minutes and tallying a single shot on target in the upset win over Pepperdine. 

Towson (Jodie Burchell) 

This week: lost 2-1 to South Florida (OT); lost 2-1 to Stetson

Jodie Burchell did not feature for Towson in either game this week. 

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Long Beach State 1-0

Teagan Micah played the full 90 minutes between the sticks for UCLA in the win over Long Beach State, keeping a vital clean sheet with two saves as the Bruins scored the game-winner with just two seconds remaining. 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 3-0 to Kennesaw State; defeated UNC Asheville 1-0

Kate Swartwout got the start against Kennesaw State, playing 62 minutes before coming off the bench against UNC Asheville to play 18 minutes. 

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden) 

This week: lost 2-1 to Maryland; lost 2-1 to Dayton (OT)

Lorena Bugden did not feature for William & Mary in either game this week.

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Caitlin Pickett)

This week: defeated South Dakota 4-2; defeated Utah Valley 1-0 (OT)

Annika Clayton was the saviour for Wyoming in their opening game, scoring two goals in the Cowgirls’ comeback victory before playing 78 minutes in the overtime win over Utah Valley. Caitlin Pickett tallied the overtime winner against Utah Valley in a 53-minute effort after playing 63 minutes against South Dakota, whilst Indianna Asimus started and played 40 minutes against South Dakota before making a 24-minute cameo off the bench against Utah Valley. Jessie Gentle also started both games, playing 45 minutes against South Dakota and the entire 93 minutes in the win over Utah Valley.

Player of the Year Votes: 

3: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
2: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
1: Teagan Micah (UCLA)