2017 Week 9 Preview

As we move into the final few weeks of the regular season, teams are scrambling for position in their respective conferences, and the teams featuring Aussies are no exception. Hofstra and Murray State attempt to continue their run towards regular season titles, whilst Wyoming endeavour to move back into the title race in a tight Mountain West Conference.

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Five points clear, nine points to play for. The equation is simple for Hofstra – win both of their games this week and they will be Colonial Athletic Association regular season champions. The Pride have opened their league schedule with six straight wins, and with Emily Hulbert back in the starting lineup after a couple of weeks coming off the bench after recovering from a knock, the Pride are back to full strength. Hofstra face third-placed Northeastern first up, with the Huskies holding a game in hand but sitting seven points behind the Pride. On paper, this will be the toughest opponent Hofstra face in conference play – Northeastern are also undefeated in league play, but have two draws to their name. Hofstra then host Elon on senior day, with the Phoenix having won just one of their six conference games to this point. With that in mind, four points should be the absolute minimum Hofstra take from this weekend, which would earn our Aussie duo of Monique Iannella and Emily Hulbert no worse than a share of the regular season title, even if fellow Australian Emma Heckenberg and Drexel were to win all of their remaining games and Hofstra were to lose next weekend.

UCLA and Stanford remain the top two teams in the coaches’ poll, but after UCLA’s unexpected 2-2 draw with Arizona, their positions have switched and it is now the Cardinal who sit atop the poll, as well as the Pac-12 standings. Whilst there are very few easy games in the Pac-12, both sides would be expected to win their sole game this week, especially UCLA, who host a Utah side that is yet to tally a single goal in their five league games so far and sit second from bottom in the standings. That bodes well for Teagan Micah’s clean sheet numbers, but maybe not her total saves number as the Utes won’t be expected to trouble the Australian sophomore particularly often. Stanford, on the other hand, face a slightly more difficult challenge as they host fifth placed Washington. The Huskies possess one of the tighter defences in the league, giving up just six goals all season and only one in their five conference games this season. However, there is a counterpoint: Stanford’s defence has given up only five goals all season, and the Cardinal have banged home 54 goals in 13 games. Short of drafting in someone like Becky Sauerbrunn to help out, any defence would find it tough against this Stanford attack, and hopefully we can see Beattie Goad afforded more playing time in this classy outfit, having been used only sparingly in recent games.

Wyoming currently sit on the cusp of the Mountain West Conference tournament spots in a league that is incredibly close at the top with five games to play. To that point, this weekend could be pivotal for the Cowgirls, who play the lowly Utah State before facing fellow mid-table team Boise State. With Wyoming hosting both games this week, this is certainly one pair of games that the Cowgirls will be seeing as one that they can take the full six points from to strengthen their position in the conference standings. After making 14 saves in 135 minutes of play last week, Georgia Rowntree is in some of the best form she has exhibited in her time at Wyoming, which will no doubt boost the confidence of her teammates, including Alisha Bass and Jemma House, who have both been involved in the team’s attacking output recently, chalking up a goal and an assist respectively last week.

Due to a combination of a couple of draws and holding a game in hand at this point, Murray State are surprisingly in third in the Ohio Valley Conference heading into this week’s games. However, the Racers are unlikely to be worried by their current position in the standings, especially with the opportunity to knock off the current top team, Belmont, this week. However, they first have to take on rivals Austin Peay in their first game of the week. Whilst Australian senior Harriet Withers has only gone one game without scoring a goal, due to Murray State’s schedule that now equates to 12 days, and there is no doubt that the Palm Beach product will be itching to get out and bang home a hatful, whilst at the other end, Nyomi Devine remains ever reliable as part of a Racers defence that has given up just two goals in six conference games.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: at Vermont – 10am, Friday October 13; v Maine – 4am, Monday October 16

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v St Francis – 10am, Saturday October 14; v Robert Morris – 3am, Monday October 16

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: at USC – 10am, Saturday October 14

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Charleston – 4am, Monday October 16

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: at Wofford – 10am, Saturday October 14; at Furman – 5am, Monday October 16

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Bryant – 3am, Monday October 16

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: v Alabama State – 8am, Saturday October 14; v Alabama A&M – 5am, Monday October 16

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v Chicago State – 1pm, Saturday October 14; v UMKC – 7am, Monday October 16

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: v UC Santa Barbara – 4pm, Friday October 13; v Cal State Northridge – 2pm, Monday October 16

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: at Northeastern – 9am, Friday October 13; v Elon – 4am, Monday October 16

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: at St. Bonaventure – 10am, Friday October 13; v Fordham – 4am, Monday October 16

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Arkansas – 10am, Saturday October 14

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: v Austin Peay – 7am, Friday October 13; at Belmont – 6am, Monday October 16

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: at Sam Houston State – 11am, Saturday October 14; at Stephen F. Austin – 5am, Monday October 16

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Southern Miss – 7am, Saturday October 14; v Louisiana Tech – 4am, Monday October 16

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: v Arizona – 1pm, Saturday October 14

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at BYU – 1pm, Friday October 13

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: at Central Connecticut State – 10am, Saturday October 14; at Wagner – 4am, Monday October 16

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: v Eastern Illinois – 10:30am, Saturday October 14; v SIU Edwardsville – 6am, Monday October 16

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Washington – 2pm, Saturday October 14

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: v Alcorn State – 11am, Saturday October 14; v Mississippi Valley State – 5am, Monday October 16

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Oklahoma State – 11am, Saturday October 14

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Utah – 2pm, Friday October 13

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: at Furman – 10am, Saturday October 14; at Wofford – 5am, Monday October 16

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: at UNC Wilmington – 10am, Friday October 13; at Northeastern – 4am, Monday October 16

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: v Utah State – 8am, Saturday October 14; v Boise State – 6am, Monday October 16

2017 Week 8 Wrap

Scoring goals has been a theme throughout the season for the Australians in college this season, but this week was all about assists, as four players combined for five assists. There was one goal for Alisha Bass though, and one player set a little-known NCAA Division I all-time record.

It’s not every day that someone sets an all-time NCAA Division I record, but that’s exactly what Monique Iannella did in Hofstra’s win over James Madison, taking a mind-boggling 25 corners for the Pride, more than any player – or team for that matter – had ever taken in one game. More importantly though, two of those corners became assists as teammates were on hand to guide Iannella’s deliveries home as part of a 3-0 win for Hofstra which takes the Long Island-based team within a couple of results of securing the league title. Earlier in the week, Iannella played 75 minutes, earning an early rest as Hofstra knocked off Towson 3-0. Fellow Australian Emily Hulbert returned to the starting lineup for Hofstra in the game against James Madison, completing a successful return from a minor knee injury suffered a few weeks ago.

Staying in the Colonial Athletic Association, Drexel’s Emma Heckenberg continued her successful move into defence as the Dragons slotted into second spot with a pair of wins. Heckenberg and the Drexel defence kept two clean sheets, with the Victorian playing 68 minutes in a 2-0 win over Delaware and 48 minutes in a 1-0 win over UNC Wilmington. Drexel are now the only team that can keep Hofstra from winning the regular season title, but will need to keep winning and hope that Hofstra slip up if they are to have any real chance of stealing the silverware.

It was a mixed weekend for Wyoming, finishing with a win and a loss from their two games in Nevada. Georgia Rowntree did her Great Wall of Laramie nickname justice in the Cowgirls’ 4-2 win over Nevada, making seven saves in the first half as Wyoming earned a 3-0 halftime lead and the Australian goalkeeper earned herself an early rest. Alisha Bass, on the other hand, came back out for the second half and slotted home Wyoming’s fourth goal just after the restart. Rowntree made another seven saves in a complete game effort against UNLV, but Wyoming fell to a 2-1 loss after conceding two early goals. Once again though, an Australian was involved in the scoring, with Jemma House providing the assist on Summer Halle’s headed goal shortly before the hour mark. However, with no second goal coming for the Cowgirls, the team headed back to Laramie with three points from a possible six.

Maddy Cornell has imposed herself on the game a lot more in her senior season at Southeast Missouri State than in past years, and once again reaped a tangible reward for her work. After putting in a solid shift against Austin Peay in a 1-1 draw, Cornell crossed for the assist in Southeast Missouri State’s second goal against Belmont, but unfortunately the Redhawks fell to a 4-2 loss following a crazy second half in a game that was 0-0 at halftime.

Priya Gakhar has been given precious little playing time in which to impress herself upon the Grambling State team, but used what she was given well in a 3-3 draw with Prairie View A&M. After being afforded just 8 minute in the team’s 2-0 win over Texas Southern earlier in the week, Gakhar popped up with an assist for Grambling State’s second goal during a 21 minute stint off the bench as the Tigers gave up a 2 goal lead before securing an equaliser with a penalty 19 seconds (yes, seconds) before time.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Monique Iannella (Hofstra)

2: Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming)

1: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)

Complete Results:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: drew 1-1 with Hartford; lost 2-1 to Massachusetts-Lowell

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany in the draw with Hartford, but came on for the final 19 minutes in the loss to Massachusetts-Lowell.

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: defeated Sacred Heart 1-0

Lauren Featherstone did not feature for Central Connecticut State in the win over Sacred Heart.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: lost 1-0 to California; lost 3-0 to Stanford

Isobel Dalton did not play in Colorado’s loss to California, but came off the bench to play the final four minutes against Stanford.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: defeated Delaware 2-1; defeated UNC Wilmington 1-0

Emma Heckenberg started both games for Drexel, playing 68 minutes against Delaware and 48 minutes against UNC Wilmington.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: defeated Citadel 4-2; defeated Mercer 1-0 (OT)

Isabel Hodgson played all 189 minutes across the two games for East Tennessee State this weekend, registering three shots against Citadel, of which one was on target.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated Wagner 4-0; defeated LIU Brooklyn 2-1 (OT)

Sam Roff played all 190 minutes this week as Fairleigh Dickinson completed a perfect weekend with two wins.

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: defeated Texas Southern 2-0; drew 3-3 with Prairie View A&M

Priya Gakhar came off the bench for Grambling State in both games this week, playing 8 minutes against Texas Southern and 21 minutes against Prairie View A&M, registering the assist on the team’s second goal against Prairie View A&M.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 1-0 to UTRGV; lost 2-1 to New Mexico State

Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon against UTRGV, but came off the bench to play 15 minutes.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 3-2 to UC Irvine

Kiri Dale started for Hawaii and played the entire 90 minutes in the loss to UC Irvine.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: defeated Towson 3-0; defeated James Madison 3-0

Emily Hulbert came off the bench against Towson to play 47 minutes, before returning to the starting lineup against James Madison to play 71 minutes and register two shots in her first start since suffering a minor knee injury. Monique Iannella played 75 minutes and registered three shots against Towson, before playing the entire 90 minutes and tallying two assists in the win over James Madison as the former Melbourne City defender took an NCAA Division I record 25 corners.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: defeated Davidson 6-0; defeated Massachusetts 6-2

Claudia Jenkins did not feature for La Salle in their demolition of Davidson, but came off the bench to play the final 24 minutes in the win over Massachusetts.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: defeated Georgia 2-1; lost 4-1 to Mississippi

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature in either game for LSU this week.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: drew 1-1 with Eastern Kentucky

Nyomi Devine played all 110 minutes in defence for Murray State against Eastern Kentucky, whilst Harriet Withers registered four shots, of which two were on target, in 104 minutes of playing time.

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: lost 2-0 to McNeese State

Kristy Helmers started and played 49 minutes for Nicholls State in the loss to McNeese State, but Tenille Harberger did not feature for the Colonels.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: defeated Florida International 2-0

Gaby Bentley came off the bench for Old Dominion in the win over Florida International, playing 38 minutes.

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

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

Olivia Ellis did not feature for Oregon State in either game this week.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 3-1 to San Diego


Ellie Papalexiou did not feature for Pacific this week as she continues to return to full fitness following injury.

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: defeated Robert Morris 3-0

Shelby Milton came off the bench for St. Francis in the win over Robert Morris, playing the final 8 minutes.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: drew 1-1 with Austin Peay; lost 4-2 to Belmont

Maddy Cornell started both games this week for Southeast Missouri State, playing 95 of the 110 minutes against Austin Peay and 66 minutes against Belmont, tallying the assist for the Redhawks’ second goal in the loss to Belmont.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Utah 3-0; defeated Colorado 3-0

Beattie Goad came off the bench in both games for Stanford this week, playing 17 minutes against Utah and 5 minutes against Colorado.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: lost 2-0 to Grambling State; defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 4-0

Paige Hayward started both games for Texas Southern this week, playing 90 minutes and registering a single shot on target against Grambling State, then backing up with three shots, of which two were on target, in 66 minutes of action in the win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 3-0 to Baylor

Demi Koulizakis did not feature for Texas Tech in their loss to Baylor.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Arizona State 3-0; drew 2-2 with Arizona

Teagan Micah played every minute for UCLA this week, making four saves and keeping a clean sheet against Arizona State, and making a single save in the draw with Arizona.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 3-2 to Mercer; defeated Citadel 2-1

Kate Swartwout started for Western Carolina and played 71 minutes in the loss to Mercer, before coming off the bench to play 14 minutes in the win over Citadel.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: drew 2-2 with Elon; defeated Delaware 2-1 (OT)

Lorena Bugden did not feature for William & Mary this week as she continues her recovery from injury.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: defeated Nevada 4-2; lost 2-1 to UNLV

Georgia Rowntree was at her best in a 45 minute performance against Nevada, making seven saves to keep a first half clean sheet, earning an early rest with the Cowgirls in complete command. Rowntree then made another seven saves in the loss to UNLV, playing the full 90 minutes. Alisha Bass popped up with one of Wyoming’s four goals against Nevada, slotting home shortly after halftime to take the score to 4-0, and also earned a spell, playing just 53 minutes before backing up with 83 minutes against UNLV. Jemma House played 37 minutes off the bench for no tangible reward against Nevada, but tallied the assist on Wyoming’s solitary goal against UNLV in a 32 minute performance. Annika Clayton started both games, playing 53 minutes against Nevada and 65 minutes against UNLV, whilst Jessie Gentle came off the bench in both games, playing 49 minutes in the win over Nevada and 70 minutes against UNLV.

2017 Week 8 Preview

UCLA and Stanford head in completely opposite directions geographically as the Pac-12 pair continue to keep pace with each other, whilst the Aussie duo at Hofstra look to remain atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings. The story is the same for the Australian pair at Murray State, who face an Aussie assistant coach against Eastern Kentucky in a clash of the titans in the Ohio Valley Conference.

We kick off Week 8 a day earlier than usual, with Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State taking on The Citadel on Thursday morning Australian time. The Buccaneers are on a three-game skid and have lost seven of their last eight games as their season threatens to derail, but should still be slightly favoured at home to The Citadel, who have a slightly better record than East Tennessee State, but against a far inferior schedule to this point. It’s been a lean season for the entire East Tennessee State attack, but The Citadel’s defence has been leaky at times this season, so Thursday would be an ideal time for a few confidence-boosting goals. The Buccaneers face Mercer in their second game of the week, an opponent that will pose far more of a challenge. The Bears have the second-best record of any team in the Southern Conference, but East Tennessee State won the last meeting between the teams, notching a 3-1 victory in last year’s conference tournament.

Hofstra sit atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings with four straight wins to start league play, and this week the Pride and their Aussie duo of Emily Hulbert and Monique Iannella face a pair of mid-table teams looking to climb the standings. Towson have won just one of their first three games in conference play, and will need to start winning soon if they are to secure a decent seeding in the conference tournament. However, Hofstra have been dominant so far this season, and with Northeastern right on their tail, will be in no mood to allow Towson even the slightest look. The Pride then face James Madison in their second game of the week. The Dukes have split their first four games in league play to sit at 2-2-0 and 7-6-0 overall. Their attack has produced 25 goals this year in comparison to Hofstra’s 20, but they have also conceded 18 goals in their 13 games. In contrast, the Pride defence, featuring Monique Iannella and shielded by Emily Hulbert in midfield, have conceded just 11 goals in 13 games, with three of those coming in a loss to a powerhouse Penn State team. If the Hofstra defence comes to play this week, one goal in each game may just be enough to secure two victories.

If Hofstra do drop points, Emma Heckenberg and Drexel are right there ready to bridge the gap. The Dragons are 5 points behind Hofstra at the moment in third place in the CAA, but one of those losses is to the Pride. Drexel face Delaware and UNC Wilmington, neither of which will be easy opponents, but both are eminently winnable games for the side from Philadelphia. With Emma Heckenberg shifting between midfield and defence in recent weeks, the Victorian junior has seen her minutes increase as the weeks have continued, and she has now firmly re-established herself as an integral member of the Dragons’ starting eleven. With Drexel giving up just 14 goals in 13 games this season, Heckenberg may be flying under the radar slightly considering the exploits of some other Australians, but her performances have been solid throughout the season to this point and she will no doubt be heavily involved in any Drexel success this weekend.

Pac-12 action continues this week with UCLA and Stanford still sitting in the top two spots in the coaches’ poll. This week sees Teagan Micah and the Bruins head to Arizona to play both Arizona and Arizona State. Neither team has been especially dominant in attack this season, scoring just 11 and 14 goals respectively this season. However, Teagan Micah will still need to be at her best, with her performances to date turning more than a couple of draws into wins for UCLA in 2017. Stanford, on the other hand, head for higher altitude, taking on Colorado and Utah in a true test of fitness for the Cardinal. Beattie Goad has been in and out of the starting lineup this season, but coming up against two teams which spend their entire lives at this altitude means that coach Paul Ratcliffe will almost certainly need to utilise his bench more than usual. Therefore, regardless of whether Goad starts or comes off the bench, there will almost surely be solid minutes in store for the sophomore as the Cardinal look to keep pace with UCLA. In the Pacific Northwest, it will also be intriguing to see if Olivia Ellis continues to see extended minutes for Oregon State as the Beavers take on Washington and Washington State after averaging nearly an hour per game last week.

Harriet Withers may be chalking up record after record for Murray State at the moment, but that all gets pushed aside briefly this week in a top-of-the-table clash with Eastern Kentucky. Former Washington State defender and once-capped Matilda Rachael Doyle will be on the sidelines as assistant coach for Eastern Kentucky, turning this already intense battle into an Aussie v Aussie matchup of sorts. Like Murray State, Eastern Kentucky have a potent offence, but their defence has been leaky at times. This will need to change quickly if they are to stop Withers and the Murray State attack, whilst at the other end, Nyomi Devine and the Racers’ defence have given up just nine goals in eleven games to this point. Whilst this is a battle of the top teams in the conference at this point, it’s safe to say that Murray State should be considered strong favourites in this one.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Hartford – 10am, Friday October 6; v Massachusetts-Lowell – 7am, Monday October 9

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: at Sacred Heart – 3am, Monday October 9

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v California – 8:30am, Friday October 6; v Stanford – 5am, Monday October 9

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: at Delaware – 10am, Friday October 6; at UNC Wilmington – 4am, Monday October 9

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v Citadel – 10am, Thursday October 5; v Mercer – 5am, Monday October 9

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Wagner – 10am, Saturday October 7; at LIU Brooklyn – 4am, Monday October 9

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: at Texas Southern – 11am, Saturday October 7; at Prairie View A&M – 5am, Monday October 9

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: at UTRGV – 12pm, Saturday October 7; at New Mexico State – 6am, Monday October 9

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: v UC Irvine – 2pm, Monday October 9

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: at Towson – 6am, Friday October 6; v James Madison – 4am, Monday October 9

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: v Davidson – 10am, Friday October 6; at Massachusetts – 4am, Monday October 9

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Georgia – 10am, Friday October 6; at Mississippi – 6am, Monday October 9

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: at Eastern Kentucky – 7am, Friday October 6

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: v McNeese State – 8am, Saturday October 7

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Florida International – 6am, Monday October 9

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: v Washington – 1pm, Friday October 6; v Washington State – 8am, Monday October 9

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at San Diego – 1pm, Sunday October 8

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: v Robert Morris – 4am, Monday October 9

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: at Austin Peay – 11am, Saturday October 7; v Belmont – 6am, Monday October 9

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: at Utah – 10am, Friday October 6; at Colorado – 5am, Monday October 9

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: v Grambling State – 11am, Saturday October 7; v Arkansas-Pine Bluff – 5am, Monday October 9

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: at Baylor – 11am, Saturday October 7

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: at Arizona State – 1pm, Friday October 6; at Arizona – 6am, Monday October 9

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Mercer – 10am, Saturday October 7; v Citadel – 5am, Monday October 9

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: at Elon – 10am, Friday October 6; v Delaware – 5am, Monday October 9

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: at Nevada – 10:30am, Saturday October 7; at UNLV – 7am, Monday October 9

2017 Week 7 Wrap

Harriet Withers continues her charge to becoming one of Murray State’s all-time great players, whilst Emily Hulbert returned from injury and Georgia Rowntree was an absolute saviour for Wyoming.

Harriet Withers continues her remarkable season for Murray State, breaking the team’s record for career goals after bringing up the tying goal last week. Withers’ goal in the 18th minute against Southeast Missouri State not only broke the career goalscoring record, but also proved to be the winner as the Racers secured a 1-0 victory. Withers then extended her record with two goals in less than a minute to lead Murray State to a 3-1 win in a game that was still 0-0 with ten minutes to play. With 12 goals this season, Withers has now eclipsed her personal mark of 11 which she set in 2015, and is now one goal shy of the Racers’ single season record and four points shy of the single season points record, which she already shares.

It’s been a few weeks between goals for Paige Hayward, but the 2016 Player of the Year scored one at the best possible time this week. In a 1-0 win over Alabama State, Hayward’s goal proved the difference in a game that saw Texas Southern outshot 13-4 by the Hornets, but somehow come away with a win courtesy of the Australian’s strike. Hayward had another four shots against Alabama A&M as the Tigers came away with another 1-0 win in a successful trip to Alabama.

In a week during which their goalscoring was lacking, Wyoming could not have been more thankful for the performances of goalkeeper Georgia Rowntree. The senior’s three saves against Fresno State earned the Cowgirls a 0-0 draw as they were unable to find the back of the net despite 8 shots on target. Rowntree then came up big a second time, making four saves against San Jose State as an 81st minute winner proved the difference in a 1-0 win to see Wyoming bounce back from last week’s loss to Air Force with a pair of solid results that moved the team into a solid mid-table position in the Mountain West Conference.

Staying in the south, Kristy Helmers’ week started off less than impressively as her Nicholls State side fell 4-0 to Houston Baptist. Things quickly improved though, with Helmers scoring the opener with her only shot of the game as the Colonels knocked off Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2-1 to salvage something from an initially tough trip to Texas.

Monique Iannella continued her solid form for Hofstra, playing the complete 90 minutes on both occasions this week as the Pride defeated Drexel 2-0 before dispatching with William & Mary 3-1, with Iannella and the Hofstra defence holding their opponents to 8 shots on targets across the two games. However, the highlight of this week was the return of Emily Hulbert from a minor injury to play 39 minutes in the game against William & Mary with no apparent problems in the aftermath.

Olivia Ellis may be coming off the bench for Oregon State at this early point in her career, but over the weekend saw playing time generally reserved for starters in the Beavers’ losses to USC and UCLA. With her side down 2-0 early on against USC, Ellis came on to play 57 minutes in the eventual 4-0 loss to the defending national champions. After another poor defensive start against UCLA, where the Beavers fell behind 2-0 inside 7 minutes, Ellis once again came on in the first half, playing another 68 minutes in a 4-1 loss, and surely it can’t be long until the former Melbourne City defender gets a chance in the starting lineup.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
2: Kristy Helmers (Nicholls State)
1: Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming)

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: lost 1-0 to Binghamton; lost 3-0 to New Hampshire

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

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: lost 1-0 to Fairleigh Dickinson; lost 1-0 to Mount St. Mary’s

Lauren Featherstone did not feature for Central Connecticut State in either game this week.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

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

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

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: lost 2-0 to Hofstra; defeated Towson 1-0

Emma Heckenberg started both games for Drexel this week, playing 75 minutes and rattling off two shots against Hofstra before playing 61 minutes in the win over Towson.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: lost 2-0 UNC Greensboro; lost 1-0 to VMI

Isabel Hodgson played the full 90 minutes in both games, registering four shots in the loss to VMI.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated Central Connecticut State 1-0

Sam Roff played the full 90 minutes in defence for Fairleigh Dickinson in the Knights’ 1-0 win over Central Connecticut State.

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: defeated Jackson State 2-1; defeated Southern 2-1 (OT)

Priya Gakhar came off the bench in both games for Grambling State this week, playing five minutes against Jackson State and six minutes against Southern.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 1-0 to UC Davis; lost 2-0 to Long Beach State

Kiri Dale played the full 90 minutes in both games this week, managing to register two shots against UC Davis, with one on target.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: defeated Drexel 2-0; defeated William & Mary 3-1

Monique Iannella played the full 90 minutes in both games, even managing to tally a shot on target against William & Mary. Emily Hulbert missed the game against Drexel, but returned from injury against William & Mary to play 39 minutes.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: defeated Dayton 4-0; defeated Rhode Island 2-0

Backup goalkeeper Claudia Jenkins did not feature for La Salle in either game this week.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: lost 3-0 to Kentucky

Caitlin Cantrill came off the bench for LSU in their loss to Kentucky, playing two minutes.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: defeated Southeast Missouri State 1-0; defeated Tennessee-Martin 3-1

Harriet Withers scored the game’s only goal in the win over Southeast Missouri State, and followed up with a brace in the space of 38 seconds to lead the Racers to victory over Tennessee-Martin. Nyomi Devine was again rock solid in defence, playing every minute of the two games.

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: lost 4-0 to Houston Baptist; defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2-1 (OT)

Kristy Helmers started both games this week, playing 63 minutes in the loss to Houston Baptist and scoring with her only shot of the game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as part of a 56 minute shift. Tenille Harberger did not feature for Nicholls State in either game this week.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: defeated Texas-San Antonio 2-1; defeated UTEP 2-1

Gaby Bentley came off the bench in both games for Old Dominion this week, registering a shot in the win over Texas-San Antonio.

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: lost 4-0 to USC; lost 4-1 to UCLA

Olivia Ellis came off the bench in both games, playing 57 minutes against USC and 68 minutes against UCLA.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 2-1 to Gonzaga; defeated Portland 2-0

Ellie Papalexiou did not feature for Pacific this week as the team continues to manage her return from injury.

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: defeated Sacred Heart 2-0; defeated Bryant 2-1

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

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: lost 1-0 to Murray State

Maddy Cornell started for Southeast Missouri State and played 75 minutes in their loss to Murray State.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Arizona 1-0; defeated Arizona State 6-0

Beattie Goad did not feature against Arizona, but came off the bench to play 47 minutes and register a shot.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: defeated Alabama State 1-0; defeated Alabama A&M 1-0

Paige Hayward played every minute of the week for Texas Southern, scoring the game’s only goal in the win over Alabama State.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 3-2 to Texas (OT); lost 1-0 to TCU (OT)

Demi Koulizakis did not feature for Texas Tech in either game this week.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Oregon 2-0; defeated Oregon State 4-1

Teagan Micah played all 180 minutes for UCLA this week, making three saves against Oregon and two more against Oregon State.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: defeated VMI 1-0 (OT); drew 2-2 with UNC Greensboro

Kate Swartwout came off the bench to play 60 minutes and register a shot against VMI, then started against UNC Greensboro, playing 77 minutes.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: drew 0-0 with College of Charleston; lost 3-1 to Hofstra

Lorena Bugden did not feature for William & Mary this week as she continues her recovery from injury.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: drew 0-0 with Fresno State; defeated San Jose State 1-0

Georgia Rowntree lived up to her Great Wall of Laramie moniker, making seven saves two finish with two crucial clean sheets which earned the Cowgirls an undefeated weekend. Alisha Bass started both games, playing 94 minutes against Fresno State and 73 minutes against San Jose State, tallying a pair of shots on target in the latter game and one against Fresno State. Annika Clayton came off the bench to play 47 minutes against Fresno State, but earned the start against San Jose State, playing 62 minutes. Jessie Gentle came off the bench for a pair of extended stints, playing 58 minutes against Fresno State and 47 minutes against San Jose State, whilst Jemma House played 32 minutes off the bench against Fresno State and 9 minutes against San Jose State.

2017 Week 7 Preview

It’s the first week of the second half of the regular season, but it also appears to be the Week of the Aussie v Aussie Matchup, with at least two cracking games littered with Australians set to come this week. Elsewhere, Ellie Papalexiou continues to make her return from serious injury for Pacific.

More than a few potential Aussie v Aussie battles have fallen by the wayside due to injuries this season, but in Drexel v Hofstra, we have a potentially electrifying battle alongside the presence of Emma Heckenberg for the Dragons and Monique Iannella for the Pride. Both teams went undefeated in their opening weekend of Colonial Athletic Association play, with Hofstra picking up wins over Delaware and UNC Wilmington, whilst Drexel drew 1-1 with Northeastern and knocked off William & Mary by a score of 2-0. Both teams have won six of their first eleven games, and are separated by just 11 spaces in the RPI at this point, meaning we are likely to see a close contest with two Australians at the heart of things, even if Hofstra may still be missing Emily Hulbert this week.

If we turn our heads in a southwesterly direction towards Kentucky, we find Murray State taking on Southeast Missouri State, where there will also be Australians on both sides. Harriet Withers and Nyomi Devine are two of the best players in the entire Ohio Valley Conference, with Devine picking up the conference defensive player of the week last week and Withers recently tying the Murray State career goalscoring record. Whilst Maddy Cornell doesn’t have the same credentials as the Racers’ pair, the Southeast Missouri State senior has forged quite a season to this point, chipping in two goals in the process. Murray State will be heavily favoured going into this one, but the game isn’t played on paper, and the Racers have already had one tough contest in conference play against the otherwise-lowly Morehead State.

Heading even further west, Oregon State v UCLA could also feature Aussies on both sides. Teagan Micah’s exploits for UCLA in her season and a half in Westwood are well known to this point, and the sophomore’s efforts between the sticks this year have helped see the Bruins maintain their grip on the #1 spot in the coaches’ poll for the last few weeks. Freshman Olivia Ellis has been in and out of the Oregon State lineup, not featuring last week, but with the Beavers currently sitting at a mediocre 3-4-2 record, a bit of change may not be the worst thing in the world for the team from Corvallis. However, throwing an experimental lineup at a rampant UCLA side probably isn’t the safest option available.

Finally, it will certainly be fascinating to continue to monitor the progress of Pacific senior Ellie Papalexiou as she continues to make her comeback from an injury suffered last season. Papalexiou made her season debut with a brief spell off the bench last week, but as her fitness improves, her minutes will surely increase as the season progresses and hopefully that will be the case as Pacific take on Gonzaga and Portland this week. Gonzaga sit at a healthy 8-1-1 record and that will no doubt be a tough game, but Portland’s 3-6-1 record is almost identical to Pacific’s 3-6-2 to this point, and the Tigers will surely have their eye on that as a real chance to take the three points.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Binghamton – 9am, Friday September 29; at New Hampshire – 5am, Monday October 2

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: at Fairleigh Dickinson – 9am, Saturday September 30; at Mount St. Mary’s – 4am, Monday October 2

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: at Washington State – 10:30am, Friday September 29; at Washington – 6am, Monday October 2

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: at Hofstra – 9am, Friday September 29; v Towson – 5am, Monday October 2

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: at UNC Greensboro – 9am, Saturday September 30; at VMI – 5am, Monday October 2

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Central Connecticut State – 9am, Saturday September 30

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: v Jackson State – 7am, Saturday September 30; v Southern – 5am, Monday October 2

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: at UC Davis – 7am, Friday September 29; at Long Beach State – 12pm, Monday October 2

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: v Drexel – 9am, Friday September 29; at William & Mary – 5am, Monday October 2

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: v Dayton – 9am, Friday September 29; at Rhode Island – 4am, Monday October 2

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: at Kentucky – 9:30am, Saturday September 30

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: v Southeast Missouri State – 6am, Friday September 29; v Tennessee-Martin – 7am, Monday October 2

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: at Houston Baptist – 10am, Saturday September 30; at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – 5am, Monday October 2

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Texas-San Antonio – 9am, Saturday September 30; at UTEP – 9am, Monday October 2

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: at USC – 8:30am, Friday September 29; at UCLA – 7am, Monday October 2

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: v Gonzaga – 12pm, Saturday September 30; v Portland – 7am, Monday October 2

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: v Sacred Heart – 5am, Saturday September 30; v Bryant – 4am, Monday October 2

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: at Murray State – 6am, Friday September 29

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Arizona – 12pm, Friday September 29; v Arizona State – 7am, Monday October 2

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: at Alabama State – 10am, Saturday September 30; at Alabama A&M – 5am, Monday October 2

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: at Texas – 10am, Saturday September 30; v TCU – 5am, Monday October 2

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Oregon – 10am, Friday September 29; v Oregon State – 7am, Monday October 2

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v VMI – 6am, Saturday September 30; at UNC Greensboro – 5am, Monday October 2

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: v College of Charleston – 9am, Friday September 29; v Hofstra – 5am, Monday October 2

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: v Fresno State – 8am, Saturday September 30; v San Jose State – 6am, Monday October 2

2017 Week 5 Wrap

This week wasn’t exactly one big highlight reel for the Aussies, but there were still a number of excellent performances, whilst one player also made her comeback after significant time out of the game.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Isabel Hodgson after taking a knock to the ankle a few games ago, but despite East Tennessee State going down to George Mason, the South Australian managed to pick up her first goal of the season. Despite the heavy 6-1 loss, Hodgson’s shot from just inside the area nestled in the bottom left corner to give the Buccaneers a small piece of good news and just perhaps get the junior’s season back on track after an interrupted beginning.

Jemma House took a few weeks to find the back of the net for the first time for Wyoming, but scored her second goal in three games this week as Wyoming rolled to a 3-0 win over Idaho State, extending their non-conference home winning streak to 1457 days. Fellow Australian Jessie Gentle delivered a delightful cross from deep on the right flank which forced an indecisive Idaho State goalkeeper to make a late, and ultimately incorrect, decision to come for the ball, which sailed straight through to House, who belted the ball home from about an inch out with not a single defender in sight.

That game also saw the return of Annika Clayton to the Wyoming lineup. Having been out for several weeks with concussion-related issues, Clayton was eased back into the lineup with 16 minutes off the bench which was surely just a prelude to more extended minutes in the future.

Monique Iannella continued her outstanding run in the Hofstra defence, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 local derby win over Stony Brook. The ex-Melbourne City defender resembled something of a moving wall at times as the Stony Brook defence was able to get off just two shots on target all game, with Iannella and the remainder of the Hofstra defence ensuring that their goalkeeper was largely untroubled throughout. Emily Hulbert was also solid in midfield for the Pride, but her night was unfortunately cut short after taking a knock late in the first half, bringing a premature end to what had been a good night to that point for the senior.

Kristy Helmers and Nicholls State found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline in their conference opener against Lamar, but bounced back with a 4-0 win over Southern in their final non-conference game of the season. Providing some spark off the bench, Helmers scored the Colonels’ third goal in the 66th minute to put the game to bed early in the piece, capitalising on a blocked shot to follow up the rebound and double her tally for the season.

3: Monique Iannella (Hofstra)
2: Jemma House (Wyoming)
1: Isabel Hodgson (East Tennessee State)

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: lost 2-1 to Rhode Island; lost 3-0 to Missouri

Claire Urquhart started for Albany against Rhode Island, playing 48 minutes before coming off the bench to play the final 26 minutes against Missouri.

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: defeated Vermont 2-0; lost 2-1 to Brown

Lauren Featherstone did not feature for Central Connecticut State this week.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: defeated Denver 6-1

Isobel Dalton came off the bench to play 21 minutes in Colorado’s demolition of Denver.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: defeated Penn 2-1; defeated Villanova 2-1

Emma Heckenberg did not feature against Penn, but started for Drexel in the win over Villanova, playing the full 90 minutes in the process.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: lost 6-1 to George Mason

Isabel Hodgson returned to the starting lineup for East Tennessee State and provided the only real piece of good news for the Buccaneers all night, scoring their lone goal in a heavy loss to George Mason.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 5-1 to Gonzaga; lost 3-2 to Eastern Washington

Sam Roff started both games for Fairleigh Dickinson on their trip to Washington, playing all 180 minutes across the two contests.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to Stetson; lost 2-1 to Hawaii

Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon against Stetson, but came off the bench to play six minutes against Hawaii.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: defeated Arizona State 1-0 (OT); defeated Grand Canyon 2-1

Kiri Dale came off the bench to play 85 of the 96 minutes against Arizona State, before starting and playing the complete 90 minutes against Grand Canyon.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: defeated Stony Brook 1-0

Both Emily Hulbert and Monique Iannella started for Hofstra in their win over local rivals Stony Brook. Iannella played the full 90 minutes, registering two shots, but Hulbert was forced off late in the first half after taking a knock.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: lost 1-0 to Delaware (OT); lost 1-0 to West Virginia

Claudia Jenkins did not feature for La Salle in either game this week.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: defeated Cincinnati 1-0; lost 1-0 to Vanderbilt

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in either game this week.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: defeated Morehead State 1-0 (OT); lost 1-0 to St Louis

Both Harriet Withers and Nyomi Devine started both games for Murray State this week. Devine played all 98 minutes against Morehead State, whilst Withers played 88 minutes and tallied two shots. Devine also played the complete 90 minutes in the loss to St Louis, whilst Withers played 76 minutes, again registering two shots.

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: lost 3-1 to Lamar; defeated Southern 4-0

Kristy Helmers played 58 minutes off the bench in the loss to Lamar before scoring a goal in a 66 minute effort off the bench in the win over Southern. Tenille Harberger did not feature in either game this week.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: defeated Western Kentucky 1-0 (OT); defeated Richmond 2-1 (OT)

Gaby Bentley started both games this week, playing 48 minutes against Western Kentucky and 26 minutes against Richmond.

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: lost 1-0 to Portland

Olivia Ellis yet again came off the bench for Oregon State this week, playing 13 minutes in the loss to Portland.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: drew 2-2 with UC Santa Barbara; lost 2-1 to Cal Poly (OT)

Ellie Papalexiou did not feature for Pacific this week as she continues her recovery from injury.

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: drew 2-2 with UMBC; defeated Radford 3-0

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis against UMBC, but started and played the full 90 minutes in the win over Radford.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: defeated Tennessee Tech 1-0 (OT); lost 1-0 to Tennessee-Martin

Maddy Cornell started against Tennessee Tech, playing 63 minutes and registering a shot. The senior then came off the bench against Tennessee-Martin, but still managed to play 57 minutes in the loss.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Santa Clara 2-1

Beattie Goad started at left fullback for Stanford and played the entire 90 minutes in the win over Santa Clara.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: lost 1-0 to LSU-Alexandria

Paige Hayward started for Texas Southern and rattled off three shots in her 81 minutes on the pitch, but couldn’t find an equaliser in the loss to LSU-Alexandria.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated San Diego State 1-0; v Cal State Northridge – 4am, Monday September 18

Demi Koulizakis did not feature for Texas Tech against San Diego State,

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: drew 1-1 with Pepperdine

Teagan Micah played the entire 110 minutes in UCLA’s draw with Pepperdine, making one save.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: defeated Campbell 4-3; lost 1-0 to North Carolina State

Kate Swartwout started for Western Carolina against Campbell, but played only 15 minutes or so before coming off the bench and playing just two minutes against North Carolina State.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: lost 1-0 to UNC Greensboro

Lorena Bugden did not feature for William & Mary this week as she continues her recovery from injury.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: defeated Idaho State 3-0

All five Australians saw playing time in Wyoming’s win over Idaho State. Jemma House scored the second goal of her college career, smashing home a cross from fellow Australian Jessie Gentle, who picked up the assist on House’s goal. Georgia Rowntree played all bar the last 15 minutes of the contest, making three saves, whilst Alisha Bass was solid in attack for 63 minutes. The story of the day belonged to Annika Clayton, who made her return to the field for Wyoming after spending significant time out with concussion-related issues, playing 16 minutes off the bench.

2017 Week 5 Preview

Week 5 really represents a leap into the middle portion of the 12 week college regular season. The first third of the campaign is in the book, and slowly but surely conference play is beginning to ramp up, with a couple of Aussies starting their league campaigns this week.

We dip our toes into the waters of conference play this week, with Caitlin Cantrill and LSU kicking off their SEC campaign against Vanderbilt on Monday morning. The pundits have this pegged to be a tough season for the Tigers, so they will certainly need to get some good results early on in the piece before they face some of the conference’s heavy hitters such as Florida and South Carolina later in the season.

Gaby Bentley and Old Dominion kick off their Conference USA slate against Western Kentucky on Saturday morning, with both teams rated an outside chance at making a run at the title. A win in this one would be the perfect start, with points against other top teams a must if the Monarchs are to secure a favourable seeding in the conference tournament.

Kristy Helmers, Tenille Harberger and Nicholls State also kick off conference play this week, taking on Lamar in their first game of the week to begin Southland Conference action. Results have been up and down to this point, with a couple of losses to SWAC teams real sticking points for the Colonels so far. Both teams look set to finish in the middle of the pack in the Southland, but with Lamar definitely the more fancied of the two sides. Kristy Helmers picked up a goal and an assist against Jackson State recently, and if she can maintain that good attacking form, an upset win isn’t out of the question.

Maddy Cornell and Southeast Missouri State round out our teams commencing their conference campaigns, taking on Tennessee Tech and Tennessee-Martin to commence Ohio Valley Conference play. The senior has already tallied two goals this season, one more than she had managed in her entire college career before 2017, forcing her way into the starting lineup and retaining her spot in the process. Neither the Redhawks nor their two opponents this weekend have had particularly good starts to the season, so no combination of results would be completely surprising, but the team from Cape Girardeau should be able to take at least four points from the two games if they play to their potential.

Despite being forced to bide her time at Oregon State, Olivia Ellis made her debut a couple of weeks ago and has seen reasonable playing time since. Ellis saw 45 minutes of action in Oregon State’s 3-0 loss to BYU, putting in a solid shift at fullback which will hopefully see the former Melbourne City defender rewarded with more minutes in the Beavers’ outing against in-state foe Portland on Saturday morning. It’s been a tough start to the season for the Pilots, but they are a program with a lot of history, and with that comes a lot of pride, meaning that this team will no doubt fight for the full 90 minutes and longer if they have to, so Oregon State will need to ensure there are no slip-ups.

Isabel Hodgson took a knock in East Tennessee State’s 4-1 loss to Radford and was forced to miss the Buccaneers’ game against Virginia Tech last weekend. After coming off the bench to play 73 minutes in a loss to Eastern Kentucky in midweek, the South Australian will no doubt be primed to make her return to the starting lineup against George Mason on Saturday morning. Having lost five of their last six matches, the Buccaneers need to start firing on all cylinders quickly, and this game against a 1-6 George Mason side may just be the confidence booster they need – if they can secure a solid victory, that is.

UCLA remain unbeaten thanks largely to the performances of Teagan Micah, and this weekend they face the always-dangerous Pepperdine in a local derby of sorts, with just 20 miles of Pacific Coast Highway separating the two sides. The Waves are amongst the favourites in a reasonably strong West Coast Conference, and whilst this isn’t the same Waves team that featured the likes of US national team player Lynn Williams, UCLA will still be wary of Pepperdine’s threats. Micah could be in for a slightly busier day than she had against Weber State, where the Queenslander was forced into a grand total of zero saves, but she has proven time and again that she is a top-class goalkeeper at this level and can face whatever challenges are thrown at her.

Whilst Teagan Micah has been class between the sticks, Harriet Withers has been making life hell for goalkeepers throughout the southeastern United States. The Murray State striker leads the nation in both total goals and goals per game, and the leaky defence of Morehead State will certainly need to shape up if they don’t want to be her next victim. The Eagles have given up 10 goals in their six games to this point, and with just one win to their name, Murray State will have their eye on moving to six straight wins to start the season. Things get tougher in the Racers’ second game of the week against Saint Louis, though. The Billikens are undefeated at 6-0-1 to start the season, and have scored 21 goals in comparison to the 3 that they have conceded. Both Withers and fellow Australian, defender Nyomi Devine, will need to be at their absolute best, as will the remainder of the Murray State side, if they are to take two wins this week.

With Monique Iannella showing her class in a fullback role and Emily Hulbert continuing her emergence as a true box-to-box threat, the Australians at Hofstra are certainly showing their worth out on Long Island. This week, they travel without even leaving that very landmass as they head to Stony Brook, less than 45 minutes’ drive away. It’s been a tough start to proceedings for the Seawolves, who have compiled a 2-5 record to this point, and whilst some of those losses were against much larger programs, they don’t cover up the losses to some of the smaller teams they have faced to this point. Hofstra, on the other hand, sit at .500 with a 3-3-2 record so far, with one of those losses coming to Penn State, and the two others being games that the Pride should probably have sneaked a point in. A complete-game effort from the Pride should see the Hofstra side take bragging rights on Long Island back to Hempstead, with Hulbert and Iannella certain to play large parts in any success the team may have in this contest.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: at Rhode Island – 9am, Friday September 15; at Missouri – 10am, Monday September 18

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v Vermont – 9am, Saturday September 16; at Brown – 5am, Monday September 18

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: at Denver – 11am, Sunday September 17

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Penn – 9am, Friday September 15; v Villanova – 3am, Monday September 18

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v George Mason – 9am, Saturday September 16

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: at Gonzaga – 12pm, Saturday September 16; at Eastern Washington – 6am, Monday September 18

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v Stetson – 9am, Friday September 15; v Hawaii – 9am, Monday September 18

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: at Arizona State – 12pm, Saturday September 16; at Grand Canyon – 9am, Monday September 18

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: at Stony Brook – 9am, Friday September 15

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: v Delaware – 9am, Saturday September 16; v West Virginia – 3am, Monday September 18

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Cincinnati – 9am, Friday September 15; v Vanderbilt – 7am, Monday September 18

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: at Morehead State – 9am, Friday September 15; v St Louis – 5am, Monday September 18

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: at Lamar – 10am, Saturday September 16; at Southern – 4am, Monday September 18

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Western Kentucky – 9am, Saturday September 16; v Richmond – 8am, Monday September 18

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: at Portland – 12pm, Saturday September 16

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at UC Santa Barbara – 10:30am, Saturday September 16; at Cal Poly – 5am, Monday September 18

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: at UMBC – 9am, Friday September 15; v Radford – 4am, Monday September 18

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: v Tennessee Tech – 9:30am, Saturday September 16; at Tennessee-Martin – 5am, Monday September 18

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: at Santa Clara – 12pm, Monday September 18

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: v LSU-Alexandria – 6am, Monday September 18

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v San Diego State – 10am, Saturday September 16; v Cal State Northridge – 4am, Monday September 18

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Pepperdine – 12pm, Saturday September 16

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: at Campbell – 9am, Saturday September 16; at North Carolina State – 3am, Monday September 18

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: v UNC Greensboro – 4am, Monday September 18

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: v Idaho State – 8am, Friday September 15