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.

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(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)

2018 Week 1 Preview

It looked as if the numbers may be lacking slightly this season, but a late flurry of signings sees 32 Aussies start their 2018 Division I season this weekend, with 12 of those a chance to make their debut this week. We also see a couple of Aussie v Aussie matchups, including one with a difference.

Laura Farrelly may have travelled halfway around the world to continue her soccer career, but the Marshall freshman just can’t get away from the Aussies as she takes on Fairleigh Dickinson and their Aussie captain Sam Roff in their opening game of the season. Fairleigh Dickinson may play in the much smaller Northeast Conference when compared to Marshall’s Conference-USA, but it’s Roff and the Knights who are coming off a much more successful 2017, having compiled a 9-8-4 record, whilst Marshall managed just five wins last year. Marshall then face Army in their second game of the week, a team also looking to improve in 2018 after a fairly dismal 4-11-2 season in 2017.

There’ll be no bedding in period for Ashleigh Lefevre and her fellow Illinois freshmen as the Fighting Illini travel to the Southeast to take on two national powerhouses in North Carolina and Duke in their first two games of the season. It certainly is a tough start for an Illinois side looking to bounce back from a 2017 in which they finished with just four wins, particularly considering that both North Carolina and Duke will be in the mix for a national championship come the end of the season. If Illinois can pick up even a point on the road in these two games, it will certainly be a confidence boaster for a team playing one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation.

Claudia Jenkins spent her first season at La Salle as backup goalkeeper, but has the chance to secure a starting berth this season, and with fellow Australian, freshman Alyssa Van Heurck, in the backline, the Explorers could be heavily reliant on their Aussie pair to keep the goals out. Whilst their first game of the season will be against Syracuse, it is their match against UMBC later in the week that looms as the most interesting as UMBC’s new head coach this season is Australia’s own Vanessa Mann. For La Salle, these two games will hopefully form the springboard for a campaign that ends in a return trip to the NCAA Tournament, whilst for UMBC, they will be hoping that Mann’s reign as head coach can start on the front foot.

Of course, there are plenty of other freshmen and junior college transfers looking to kick off their Division I careers in the best way possible. Including those already mentioned, a grand total of 12 Australians could make their Division I debuts this weekend, with eyes especially focused on Tenille Harberger, Lorena Bugden, and Lauren Featherstone, who all missed out on playing in their first seasons for various reasons and will be hungry to make an impact from the outset.

Finally, the title favourite pairing of Beattie Goad’s Stanford side and Teagan Micah’s UCLA outfit kick off their seasons against a pair of in-state opponents as they begin a campaign that both teams will be hoping results in a return trip to the championship game. UCLA host Long Beach State, whilst Stanford will make the short drive north to face UC Davis. Both teams will be expected to win handsomely, and it will be interesting to see if Goad in particular can secure increased playing time in the early stages of 2018.

Full Schedule:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: v Morehead State – 9am, Saturday August 18

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: @ Arizona – 12pm, Saturday August 18; v New Mexico – 5am, Monday August 20

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Youngstown State – 9am, Saturday August 18; at Cleveland State – 3am, Monday August 20

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v Air Force – 10am, Saturday August 18; v Colorado State – 7:30am, Monday August 20

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Rider – 9am, Saturday August 18; @ Rutgers – 7am, Monday August 20

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v George Mason – 9am, Friday August 17

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Marshall – 9am, Saturday August 18; @ Providence – 3am, Monday August 20

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: at Florida Gulf Coast – 9am, Saturday August 18; v Chattanooga – 3am, Monday August 20

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Gonzaga – 12pm, Saturday August 18; @ Washington State – 6am, Monday August 20

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: @ Bucknell – 3am, Saturday August 18; v Fairfield – 3am, Monday August 20

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ North Carolina – 7am, Friday August 17; @ Duke – 3am, Monday August 20

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: @ Syracuse – 8am, Friday August 17; v UMBC – 3am, Monday August 20

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Villanova – 4am, Monday August 20

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ Fairleigh Dickinson – 9am, Friday August 17; @ Army – 3am, Monday August 20

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

This week: v North Dakota – 7am, Saturday August 18; v Grambling – 4am, Monday August 20

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: @ Wisconsin – 10am, Friday August 17; at Green Bay – 4am, Monday August 20

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v East Carolina – 9am, Saturday August 18; v Mount St. Mary’s – 8am, Monday August 20

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: v Evansville – 9:30am, Friday August 17

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: @ Radford – 9am, Friday August 17; v Canisius – 4am, Monday August 20

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ UC Davis – 9am, Saturday August 18

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v New Mexico – 10:15am, Saturday August 18; v Pepperdine – 10am, Monday August 20

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: @ South Florida – 9am, Friday August 17; @ Stetson – 3am, Monday August 20

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Long Beach State – 12pm, Saturday August 18 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: @ Kennesaw State – 9am, Saturday August 18; v UNC Asheville – 2am, Monday August 20

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: v Maryland – 6:30am, Friday August 17; v Dayton – 1:30am, Monday August 20

Wyoming (Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle)

This week: @ South Dakota – 7am, Friday August 17; v Utah Valley – 5am, Monday August 20

2018 Player Previews

30 players will represent Australia in NCAA Division I women’s soccer this season, including 2017 national champion Beattie Goad at Stanford and national runner-up Teagan Micah at UCLA. However, with players such as Georgia Rowntree, Alisha Bass, Harriet Withers, Nyomi Devine, Emily Hulbert, and Paige Hayward having now graduated, it is almost a new era for College Matildas.

Claire Urquhart (Senior, Defender, Albany, Brisbane)

Claire Urquhart was finally given a more extended run in the Albany side in her junior year, playing 12 games in 2017, compared to her seven total appearances in her first two seasons. The senior’s ability to slot into either midfield or the back four helped Urquhart in finding more opportunities last season, and with a number of defensive starters returning in 2018, it may again be the case that Urquhart finds herself splitting time across a number of positions. The Great Danes finished with a 6-11-1 record in 2017 and were knocked out in the first round of the America East tournament, but have scheduled a tough non-conference slate in 2018 that should leave them battle-tested and ready for an improved charge at a conference title this season and a return to the NCAA Tournament following 2016’s appearance in which they fell 4-2 to Connecticut in a tough first-round matchup.

Lauren Featherstone (Freshman, Midfielder, Central Connecticut State, Sydney)

Shelby Milton and Lauren Featherstone will face each other in conference play in 2018.

After redshirting her first year at Central Connecticut State, Lauren Featherstone comes into her first year of collegiate play with a year of experience under her belt. What effect this has on the Sydneysider’s play remains to be seen, but there is no doubting that not having to settle into college life whilst playing her first season will be an added positive for Featherstone. Already earmarked for a starting position in the CCSU midfield, Featherstone will still have to ensure she earns that spot in preseason, but it shapes to be an exciting year for the versatile midfielder. CCSU return the majority of players from last year’s Northeast Conference tournament semi-final team, meaning that this year shapes to be one of their best chances at a conference title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Isobel Dalton (Senior, Midfielder, Colorado, Sunshine Coast)

Having played in just 7 times for a total of 86 minutes in 2017, Isobel Dalton will certainly be hoping that her senior year brings more playing time at Colorado. The Buffaloes return the majority of last season’s midfield, but as always there will be some new opportunities opening up with a couple of players graduating after the 2017 season. With a pair of NCAA Tournament berths in the last two seasons, both of which ended in second round defeats, there is no doubt that Colorado will be looking to, at the very least, reach the Sweet 16 in 2018 and finally get over that hurdle.

Emma Heckenberg (Senior, Defender, Drexel, Melbourne)

Heckenberg started her career at Drexel up front, but has eventually found her niche in the backline, forming part of a stellar Dragons defence that conceded just five goals in conference play. The Victorian was limited to 13 appearances last season, but if she can remain fit in 2018, expect to see Heckenberg as a mainstay in a back four where stability will be vital given former goalkeeper and program stalwart Christiana Ogunsami graduated after last season. Having reached the CAA championship game in 2016 and semi-finals last season, Drexel will once again be gunning for a spot in the conference tournament in a generally tough and evenly-matched conference. If the defence remains as strong as in 2017, there is no reason that can’t happen.

Isabel Hodgson (Senior, Defender, East Tennessee State, Adelaide)

Isabel Hodgson will be looking to help ETSU return to 2016 form. (Photo Credit: Dakota Hamilton)

Isabel Hodgson has played just about every position bar goalkeeper in her three years at East Tennessee State, and whilst she has been successful in every one of them, it appears that fullback will be her position going forward as the Buccaneers look to rebound from a 2017 campaign that saw the team finish with a 6-12 record and a dismal 0-8 road record. Hodgson was one of a pair of Australians in Division I to score more than one goal last season, proving that whilst her chances may not be as plentiful as when she was playing in a more advanced role, the South Australian still has the ability to get forward and join the attack when the opportunity presents itself.

Sam Roff (Junior, Defender, Fairleigh Dickinson, Canberra)

One of the first names on the team sheet for Fairleigh Dickinson, Sam Roff has been among the best defenders in the entire Northeast Conference throughout her two seasons in New Jersey. Fairleigh Dickinson finished third in the NEC for average goals conceded per game in 2017, but the majority of those goals came during an extremely tough non-conference slate that set the Knights up for a conference season that saw them reach the conference championship game before falling to Shelby Milton and St. Francis in a shootout in the decider. Roff was rewarded for her outstanding performances in 2017 with a selection in the Northeast Conference All-Conference First Team, and with still two years left in her college career, the Canberra product could yet become one of the greats of the Fairleigh Dickinson program.

Hannah Allen (Freshman, Midfielder, Georgia Southern, Brisbane)

Listed as a forward for Georgia Southern but certainly able to play multiple positions, Hannah Allen joins an Eagles side looking to continue its upward trajectory, having improved from 6-10-1 in 2016 to 8-9-2 in 2017. Having played at school level under Brisbane Roar W-League coach Mel Andreatta, Allen has no doubt benefitted from that elite coaching and will now look to force her way into the team as part of a slightly large 30-player Eagles squad.

Sandra Hill (Sophomore, Defender, Grand Canyon, Canberra)

Sandra Hill will be looking to further cement her spot in the Grand Canyon side. (Photo Credit: Michael Rincon)

Although Sandra Hill won 2017’s College Matildas Freshman of the Year award, there is certainly plenty more to come from the Grand Canyon fullback. Fresh off her first appearances for the Cambodian national team at the AFF Championship, including an appearance against the Young Matildas, Hill returns to Arizona with priceless experience under her belt. Having made a reasonably decent 13 appearances in her freshman year, Hill will no doubt want to increase her playing time in her sophomore season, and with three of Grand Canyon’s eight defenders in their freshman season this year, Hill is now one of the more experienced players in the backline in just her second year of college soccer.

Kiri Dale (Junior, Midfielder, Hawaii, Mullumbimby)

Kiri Dale took a risk last season by transferring from Iona to the much more highly-rated Hawaii, but the move paid off in spades as the versatile wide player secured a spot in the Rainbow Wahine’s rotation. Dale made an instant impact in 2017, coming up with the assist on an overtime golden goal in the very first game of the season. That was Dale’s only assist of the season, but the Iona transfer made her mark in other ways, making 11 starts and 17 appearances for a Hawaii team that finished 6-10-1 but whose progress was hindered by a 1-6-1 conference record. If the Rainbow Wahine can improve that conference record, it will make for a vastly improved season and 10 wins is by no means out of the question. Dale will also not be the only Aussie at Hawaii this season, with former Washington State star and Matildas representative Rachael Doyle joining the program as an assistant coach.

Monique Iannella (Senior, Defender, Hofstra, Melbourne)

Monique Iannella’s ability to deliver crosses could prove vital for Hofstra this year. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Heisler)

2017’s College Matildas Defender of the Year, Iannella has proven herself to be a weapon at both ends of the pitch for Hofstra. Her ability to whip the ball in, particularly from corners, led to six assists last season, whilst her defensive prowess has rarely, if ever, been called into question during her time with the Pride as the team gave up just 14 goals in 21 games last season on the way to an NCAA Tournament appearance in which they were somehow forced to travel to Auburn for their first-round game, where they fell 1-0. Hofstra’s senior class in 2017 was absolutely stacked with talent, so the onus will now be on the likes of Iannella and her own senior class to lead the Pride and ensure that the team remains among the top sides in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Ashleigh Lefevre (Freshman, Defender, Illinois, Melbourne)

The most accomplished of the seven new additions to the list of Australians in Division I, Ashleigh Lefevre is also the only freshman joining a power conference team in 2018. A member of the Young Matildas side that finished 3rd at the 2016 AFF Women’s Championship, Lefevre tallied a goal in the side’s 20-0 demolition of Timor-Leste in that tournament before returning to play 25 games for Alamein FC in 2017’s Victorian NPL competition. The versatile defender returned in 2018 to play 12 games before heading to Illinois. The Fighting Illini finished with just five wins in 2017, their second straight season finishing below .500, but with the vast majority of the most integral parts of the starting lineup returning, the team looks to be on the upswing. But with six seniors graduating, many of whom started at least a few games, there will still be plenty of minutes up for grabs for Lefevre in her senior season even if she doesn’t secure a starting berth from day one.

Claudia Jenkins (Sophomore, Goalkeeper, La Salle, Adelaide)

Jenkins spent her freshman season playing the backup role as La Salle stalwart Larisa Zambelli saw the vast majority of minutes between the sticks for an Explorers side that won two consecutive overtime games to win the Atlantic 10 title and reach the NCAA Tournament in 2017. With Zambelli’s graduation following the 2017 season, Jenkins is now the only goalkeeper on the La Salle roster with any college experience whatsoever as the Explorers look to make a return trip to the national stage. La Salle kept clean sheets in all but three conference games last season, and return the majority of starters in defence, whilst at the other end, sisters Madison and Maci Bower combined for 21 goals last season to ensure those solid defensive efforts wouldn’t go to waste and both will return for their senior seasons in 2018.

Alyssa Van Heurck (Freshman, Defender, La Salle, Perth)

Alyssa Van Heurck becomes the second Australian on the La Salle roster this season, making the move from Perth to join the Explorers alongside Claudia Jenkins. A product of the Football West NTC program, Van Heurck will bolster a strong La Salle defence that returns most of its starters, but only five experienced players. With La Salle’s success in 2017 built on defence, Van Heurck, like Jenkins, will be expected to help maintain the team’s level at the back in 2018 as the versatile defender looks to slot straight into the lineup.

Siobhan Longmore (Junior, Midfielder, Lamar, Busselton)

Siobhan Longmore joins a highly successful Lamar side after two years in junior college.

A versatile defensive player with the ability to get forward from the back, Longmore joins a Lamar side that bulldozed its way through the Southland Conference in 2017. Whilst this will be the Busselton product’s first season in Division I, Longmore is no stranger to the world of college soccer, having played the last two seasons at Dodge City Community College in Kansas, and clearly did enough to draw the attention of the coaches at a program that is clearly on the rise after winning 18 of their 23 games last season and battling #6 seed Texas A&M all the way before falling to a 1-0 defeat in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Caitlin Cantrill (Junior, Midfielder, LSU, Canberra)

After featuring 12 times for LSU as a freshman, Cantrill managed just three appearances in 2017 and competition for playing time will be just as fierce in 2018 in a squad with 13 listed midfielders including freshman sensation Abbey Newton, who was recently named Florida’s Gatorade Player of the Year. The junior will be hoping for a return to the kind of playing time she saw in her freshman year, and LSU could do with not only Cantrill but all players firing on all cylinders as they look to hit double figures for wins for the first time since 2015, a season in which the roster featured former Western Sydney Wanderers and current Utah Royals defender Alex Arlitt.

Laura Farrelly (Freshman, Midfielder, Marshall, Central Coast)

Hailing from the same club as former College Matildas Freshman of the Year, Tia Gavin, Laura Farrelly joins a Marshall side looking to make some vast strides in 2018 after finishing 5-11-1 in 2017, missing the Conference USA tournament in the process after collecting just three wins in league play. Although Farrelly is primarily an attacking midfielder, the Manly United product can slot into a variety of positions in the centre of the park, and in a team overflowing with midfielders, that versatility could prove to be the ace up Farrelly’s sleeve that secures her more playing time than a player that is only comfortable in one position. With two senior midfielders in the starting lineup this year, 2018 may very well be Farrelly’s proving ground in an attempt to secure one of those spots that will open up in 2019.

Tessa Calabria (Junior, Forward, Nicholls State, Adelaide)

Tessa Calabria joins Siobhan Longmore as junior college transfers joining the Division I ranks this season, and the pair will face off at the top level as Calabria makes the move to Nicholls State, a Southland Conference foe of Longmore’s Lamar side. Calabria becomes the third Australian at Nicholls State, alongside Kristy Helmers and Tenille Harberger, continuing the pipeline from Australia to Thibodaux. Having established a reputation as an outstanding goalscorer during her time at Iowa Lakes Community College, the Nicholls State faithful will be hoping that this transfers to the Division I level for a team in severe need of improved scoring in 2018 after finishing 265th of 335 teams in Division I for total goals in 2017.

Kristy Helmers (Junior, Forward, Nicholls State, Canberra)

Kristy Helmers will once again lead the line for Nicholls State. (Photo Credit: Misty McElroy)

Helmers comes into the 2018 season as one of just two returning Australians to have scored more than one goal in 2017. However, the Canberra product will be hoping for a return to 2016’s output of 6 goals rather than last season’s 3 goals as the Colonels struggled to find the back of the net as a team in 2017, tallying just six goals in conference play. The team will no doubt be helped by the fact that 12 of their 19 games in 2018 will be played at home but will have to make sure that home advantage counts after finishing 2-5 on their own patch in 2017 despite registering a 4-6-1 record on the road against many of the same opponents they will face in 2018.

Tenille Harberger (Freshman, Midfielder, Nicholls State, Mackay)

Having redshirted her first season in Thibodaux, Tenille Harberger will now look to make an impact on the pitch in 2018 after a year easing into college. Now one of three Australians on the Colonels roster, Harberger will be tasked with providing midfield service to her countrywomen in Tessa Calabria and Kristy Helmers, but will have to earn her spot on the pitch in a roster stacked with midfielders. With no less than 13 players on the roster listed as midfielders, Harberger will have to carve out her own spot in the rotation, perhaps with a view towards taking a spot held by one of the senior midfielders once they move on in 2019.

Gaby Bentley (Junior, Midfielder, Old Dominion, Adelaide)

Gaby Bentley barely saw any playing time in her freshman season, but 2017 was a vastly different affair as the sophomore midfielder developed into an integral part of the Old Dominion team. Having appeared in just two games in 2016, Bentley finished with a single goal in her 17 appearances in midfield for an Old Dominion team that finished with a 9-5-4 record, a slight improvement on their 7-12 record in 2016. Whilst the Monarchs will have to replace C-USA Defender of the Year Jackie Stroud and starting goalkeeper Krista Moisio, who both graduated after the 2017 season, most of the team’s other starters return, including Bentley, who comes into this season as one of the more experienced midfield players for the Monarchs. Having finished 6-2-2 in conference play last season, Old Dominion will no doubt be seeing this season as the time to make that final jump to secure a conference title and make an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Siena Senatore (Senior, Defender, Southeast Missouri State, Canberra)

Senatore had a year away from the game due to injury in 2017 after a solid first two seasons at Southeast Missouri State, but now returns to shore up the Redhawks’ defence in her senior season. The only Aussie on the roster following Maddy Cornell’s graduation after the 2017 season, Senatore’s return is a timely one as the Redhawks feature only five pure defenders on the roster, although two other players have been known to slot into the backline. Having been just about ever-present in the Redhawks lineup prior to her injury, if Senatore can return to the form she showed before her absence, it will be a significant advantage for a team that finished 8-8-4 last season but was let down by their play on the road, finishing 1-5-4 away from Cape Girardeau.

Shelby Milton (Senior, Defender, St. Francis, Wollongong)

Shelby Milton and St. Francis secured the Northeast Conference on penalties last season, delivering the team an NCAA Tournament berth in the process. However, the defender out of Wollongong was rarely sighted on the pitch for the Red Flash, playing just six games and 233 minutes, although two of those appearances were starts. There will be a spot opening up in the backline at St. Francis in 2018 though, as captain and NEC All-Conference First Team selection Allison LaDuke recently graduated. If Milton can return to the form that saw her feature in 19 games in 2016, that spot could certainly become hers in 2018 as the Red Flash look to make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Beattie Goad (Junior, Midfielder, Stanford, Melbourne)

Having won a national championship in 2017, Beattie Goad and Stanford will be gunning for back-to-back titles and they will come into the season among the favourites after returning the vast majority of their title-winning team from last season. On a personal level, Goad will no doubt be hoping to secure more playing time than she managed in either of her first two seasons. Whilst the Victorian played in the majority of the games in both of her first two seasons, much of her playing time came in short stints, resulting in about 40 minutes of action in most of her appearances. There aren’t many spots opening up in the starting lineup for the Cardinal, so Goad will have to do plenty in preseason to earn a starting spot, where the junior’s improving versatility may prove to be another asset.

Demi Koulizakis (Junior, Midfielder, Texas Tech, Sydney)

‘Vastly underutitlised’ would probably be the most accurate way to describe Demi Koulizakis in 2017. Having played in 18 games in 2016, Koulizakis was afforded minimal playing time her sophomore year, with most of her 10 appearances allowing her far too little playing time to have any realistic chance of impacting a game. The forward stocks aren’t quite as overflowing at Texas Tech this season, but the Red Raiders do return a number of starters from 2017 in attacking roles. Whatever the case may be with regards to Koulizakis’ playing time this season, there is no doubt the Red Raiders could use some more goals, scoring multiple goals just three times in their nine conference games in 2017 as the team finished with a 9-7-3 record and a first-round exit in the Big 12 conference tournament.

Jodie Burchell (Freshman, Forward, Towson, Gold Coast)

A club teammate of former Colorado and Troy star Alex Huynh at Souths United in Queensland’s NPL competition, Burchell’s addition to the Towson lineup brings the number of Colonial Athletic Association teams featuring Aussies to four, alongside William and Mary, Drexel, and Hofstra. A target player with the ability to hold the ball up, Burchell has made 16 appearances for the third placed Souths United in Queensland’s NPL competition in 2018, scoring two goals in the process with most of her appearances coming as a substitute in the last 20 minutes. Towson struggled last season, finishing with just five wins and a fairly dismal 2-6-1 conference record, scoring just 6 goals in their Colonial Athletic Association schedule. With senior Maddie Bove taking 5 of the team’s 14 goals with her after graduating following the 2017 season, the onus will be on Burchell and her fellow forwards to not only make up that deficit, but add a few more in an effort to improve on last season’s record.

Teagan Micah (Junior, Goalkeeper, UCLA, Brisbane)

Having reached the College Cup championship game in 2017 before going down to Stanford in a classic at Orlando City Stadium, only one ending will suffice for Teagan Micah and UCLA in 2018: lifting the NCAA Championship trophy on the final day of the season. Micah has been all but ever-present between the sticks for the Bruins for the last two seasons, establishing herself as one of the better goalkeepers of her class in the process and a vital piece of the UCLA lineup. The Bruins lost a number of players to graduation after last season, but return a stacked team featuring recent US national team debutant Hailie Mace, bona-fide Canadian national team star Jessie Fleming, and a range of US youth team players in front of Micah as they look to make another run to the championship game in 2018.

Kate Swartwout (Junior, Defender, Western Carolina, Gold Coast)

A starter in six of her 17 appearances in 2017, Kate Swartwout will no doubt be hoping to convert more of those appearances into starts in her junior season. Primarily a defender, Swartwout’s height is a particular advantage in the backline, standing at 6 feet tall, a full two inches taller than any other player on the Catamounts roster. However, there is more to Swartwout’s game than standing tall and heading away crosses. Solid on the ball with a history of playing multiple positions during her younger years, the Gold Coast-born but North Carolina-raised junior has tallied an assist in each of her first two seasons in college. Western Carolina came from the clouds to reach the final of the Southern Conference tournament in 2017 before falling to UNC Greensboro in the final, with that run hopefully serving as a launchpad for this season.

Lorena Bugden (Freshman, Midfielder, William & Mary, Sydney)

Lorena Bugden spent her first year at William & Mary recuperating following a serious knee injury, and returns to a vastly changed program as head coach John Daly retired and Australian assistant coach Vanessa Mann took the head coaching job at UMBC. It was a disappointing season in 2017 for the Tribe as an 8-10-2 record saw the team’s 36-season streak of winning records snapped. The former Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder has been preparing herself well for the season, spending the winter regaining her fitness playing for APIA Leichhardt in the New South Wales NPL2 competition. Whilst she may not have been able to play in her freshman year, Bugden still has as good a chance as any player of securing solid minutes in 2018 as an inexperienced Tribe midfield looks to step up in a roster that features just four seniors and a total of eight upperclassmen, two of which are goalkeepers.

Annika Clayton (Senior, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

With the graduation of Alisha Bass and Georgia Rowntree after the 2017 season and Jemma House’s transfer to Nova Southeastern, Annika Clayton is now one of just two Australians on the Wyoming roster. Bass and Rowntree were two of the undoubted leaders of last year’s Cowgirls side, and as a senior, Clayton will no doubt be expected to step up to fulfil that role to some degree in 2018. The senior’s role in midfield will no doubt consist more of providing service to the frontline than creating her own chances, but nonetheless, Clayton will surely be hoping to improve on last season’s tally of a single goal as the Cowgirls look to replace the six goals that Aussie pair Alisha Bass and Jemma House tallied last season which represented one-third of the team’s total scoring for the season. Wyoming finished last season on a five-game losing streak that dropped them from 6-4-2 to 6-9-2, missing out on the Mountain West Conference tournament in the process, and ensuring the same thing does not happen again will be paramount in 2018.

Jessie Gentle (Senior, Forward, Wyoming, Woolgoolga)

Jessie Gentle forms the second half of Wyoming’s Aussie duo alongside Annika Clayton, and with both players in their senior season, we may be looking at the conclusion of an extended era of Aussie presence in the Cowgirls’ squad. However, Gentle, like Clayton, is an integral member of the Wyoming side, so the Australians are unlikely to go quietly into the good night. Able to play in any wide position, Gentle has been utilised both on the front line and as a wingback in her time at Laramie and has performed admirably in all positions. Although scoring hasn’t been Gentle’s forte, tallying just one goal in her three seasons, the Woolgoolga product did pop up with two assists in 2017 to move to four for her career, and a further increase in that number would surely go a long way to helping Wyoming improve on last season’s 6-9-2 record.

National Representative Ashleigh Lefevre headed to Illinois

Young Matildas representative Ashleigh Lefevre has become the latest Australian player with international experience to make the move to college, heading to Big Ten program Illinois.

Young Matildas representative Ashleigh Lefevre has become the latest Australian player with international experience to make the move to college, heading to Big Ten program Illinois. The versatile wide player has three caps for the Young Matildas as part of the 2016 AFF Championship squad, and also chalked up a goal in the team’s 20-0 demolition of Timor-Leste’s full national team in that tournament.

Lefevre spent the 2017 season playing for Alamein FC in the NPL Victoria competition, making 25 appearances and playing alongside former Florida International star and current Melbourne City W-League midfielder Amy Jackson as Alamein snuck into the finals in fourth place but fell in the minor semi-final to eventual grand finalists Geelong Galaxy United. Prior to playing for Alamein, Lefevre featured in the FFV NTC side in the 2016 NPL Victoria competition, making 16 appearances and chipping in with 12 goals as the NTC side finished 7th in the league. That NTC side also featured Melbourne Victory players Kyra Cooney-Cross and MelindaJ Barbieri, as well as Melbourne City youngster Sofia Sakalis, which speaks to the quality of the team.

Speaking in an official release, Illinois coach Janet Rayfield had the following to say with regards to the freshman. ”A multi-sport athlete who has worn the jersey for her country and has competed in the most competitive arena in Australia, Ashleigh Lefevre brings more international and national understanding to our program. Naturally left-footed, pacy and a two-sided player, Ashleigh adds to our flank defence and our flank attack. Her ability in that two-way 1-v-1 battle on the flank and the aerobic engine to go with it, Ashleigh will be able to contribute to shutouts and to goals.”

Illinois suffered through a difficult season in 2017, winning just five of their 19 games, but with a young team that loses just one regular starter to graduation, the Fighting Illini are set for improvement not only in 2018, but for the next few years as the side gains experience.