Lorena Bugden – Wandering To William & Mary

With a season of W-League experience under her belt, former Western Sydney Wanderers player Lorena Bugden has decided to take her talents to Virginia to play for William & Mary. Bugden will link up with fellow Australian, assistant coach Vanessa Mann, and play in the Colonial Athletic Association, a conference that already features a pair of Australians. Emily Hulbert is entering her senior season at Hofstra, whilst Emma Heckenberg is about to start her junior year at Drexel, making for plenty of matchups between the Aussies in 2017.

The process began early for the young star from Glenmore Park in Western Sydney, who had her eye on college from day 1.

“Well, going to college in America has always been a dream of mine throughout my high school years. But, it first started to become a reality when I was in Year 9,” Bugden explained. “I was approached at a Combined High Schools tournament by a scout from Wyoming who was impressed by my game and gave my coach a business card to give to my parents. That then led to them getting in contact with me and coming to watch me play twice a year.”

The University of Wyoming is certainly one of the premier destinations for Australians looking to make the move to college. Through previous coach Danny Sanchez and current coach Pete Cuadrado, the school has lured several players with W-League experience to the United States. These names include Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras, Liz O’Reilly, Loren Mahoney, and 2017 recruit Brooke Miller. Bugden would talk to Sydney University NPL teammate O’Reilly about playing in college, but the new Tribester’s journey would take a turn of its own as she began to promote herself more actively.

“In April last year, I put together a highlight video of myself playing and uploaded it to YouTube. I also forwarded the link to my friends in the USA so they could show their coaches,” Bugden revealed. “I didn’t realise my video was going to have the impact it had. It resulted in me receiving a number of offers to attend college in the US.”

Suddenly, there was competition for the Sydneysider’s signature. Several schools that have featured Australians on their roster took an interest in Bugden. Fairleigh Dickinson and Albany, two schools which currently have Australians on their rosters in the form of Samantha Roff and Claire Urquhart, both saw something in the former W-League player. Troy University in Alabama also tried to keep their link to Western Sydney alive following Alex Huynh’s graduation, but William & Mary soon had the inside running.

“[William & Mary Head Coach] John Daly got in contact with me after watching my video and we spoke over Skype. He told me he was coming to Sydney to watch me play.

“He came 2 weeks later and was impressed with how I played and asked if I wanted to be a Tribester!”

Soon after, Bugden had made the decision to make the move to Williamsburg to continue her football career, with her reasons for making the change crystal clear.

“I chose to go to the US as it is an unbelievable opportunity for me as a player and person to experience life in another country,” Bugden explained. “I will be playing football at the highest level and I will be studying at a fantastic college. I believe I will be a better player when I return to Australia.”

“My long term goals in football are to represent my country, continue to develop my game and be the best player I can be. I also want to be drafted to a professional team in the NWSL.”

Bugden spent the 2014/15 W-League season with Western Sydney Wanderers. (Photo credit: Eric Berry)

William & Mary is certainly a college that brings an excellent balance of academics and athletics, especially in non-revenue sports such as women’s soccer. The Colonial Athletic Association is one of the better mid-major conferences in the sport, and is referred to as a “public Ivy” for its academic standing and ability to attract high level students in a similar manner to the Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Bugden certainly has her sights set on securing her future beyond football, and moving to an academically elite university is one of the best ways to set about doing exactly that.

“Having a degree is very important; whilst I love football I won’t always be able to play so I need to have a degree and profession to fall back on,” Bugden explained. “I want to major in psychology.”

(Photo credit: Eric Berry)

“Off the pitch I want to be the best student I can be.”

On the field, the Tribe women’s soccer team will be looking to bounce back in 2017, having slipped from 14 wins in 2015 to just scraping by with 10 wins from their 20 games in 2016 to continue their NCAA record-equalling streak of consecutive winning seasons. It is often tough to judge just how much playing time a freshman will get, especially coming in from overseas, but Bugden believes she has a skillset that can assist her team from the outset.

“Firstly I pride myself as being a team player, I am creative and skillful and I have a style of play that is very versatile,” the Sydneysider outlined. “I believe I will be an asset for William and Mary and my goal is to be part of a team that will win their conference and the NCAA Championship.”

An NCAA Championship is an incredibly lofty goal for any mid-major side, but winning a Colonial Athletic Association title is one that is on William & Mary’s agenda every season, with ten conference titles and 25 NCAA Tournament appearances already in the books.

Bugden won’t be the only Australian in the program – former Nevada player Vanessa Mann is now assistant coach at William & Mary. Bugden is understandably happy to have another Australian around, but never let the fact cloud her judgement when choosing a school.

“[Having another Australian at the program] didn’t influence my decision to choose William and Mary but it certainly is a bonus to have a fellow Australian at the college.”

However, Bugden is certainly hopeful that William & Mary can become a destination for Australian players in the same way that programs like Wyoming, Colorado, and Nicholls State have become.

“I can only speak for myself but I will definitely be promoting the college every chance I get. So hopefully in the future other Australian players will have the opportunity to attend William and Mary.”

Slightly ironically, Lorena has another university program to thank for helping her get to college in the US. Having moved to NPL NSW club Sydney University in recent seasons, it was this club that assisted Lorena in bouncing back after suffering a knee injury last season.

Bugden was a member of the championship winning Sydney University NPL side in 2016.

“I sustained a contact ACL injury last year in June which has been the only major injury I have had in my career. My ACL rehab is being managed here by highly qualified surgeon, physiotherapists and also by a great strength and conditioning coach and team from Sydney University,” Lorena explained. However, she also has full confidence in the William & Mary program to ensure she returns to her best.

“The facilities at William and Mary are world class and I am sure they will manage my return to full fitness.”

Many players who have played in the W-League have found success at the college level, and Bugden is well placed to become another, with many coaches of high pedigree in her corner to this point providing her with outstanding guidance, including Australian football legend Heather Garriock and former Matildas player Catherine Cannuli.

“I would like to thank Catherine Cannuli, [Sydney University coach] Heather Garriock and [Westfield Sports High School coach] Rob Bradshaw for their ongoing mentorship and support,” Bugden revealed. “And to thank everyone else involved in this process as this is truly a dream come true.”

Week 11 Wrap

Paige Hayward (Photo Credit: John Posey)

It was a topsy-turvy week this week to say the least, with some vital wins tempered by a couple of brutal losses. Julia De Angelis, Kristy Helmers and Kate Swartwout saw their freshman seasons end with tournament losses, whilst Laura Johns and Jess Coates rounded out their college careers this week as their teams failed to reach conference tournaments. On the other side, Beattie Goad and Stanford are in pole position for a conference title, whilst Demi Koulizakis, Paige Hayward and Isabel Hodgson enjoyed crucial victories.

The undoubted star of the week was Paige Hayward. With Texas Southern needing a win over in-state rival Prairie View A&M in their final league game to secure second place, the junior came up huge for the Tigers. The striker scored both goals for Texas Southern, including a penalty, to ensure that her team would finish in second place and earn a favourable draw for the SWAC conference tournament quarterfinals, where they will play Prairie View A&M again in the 2-7 matchup, with Prairie View A&M hosting the tournament.

Laura Johns’ impact with Massachusetts has been reduced in her senior season after winning the 2015 College Matildas Breakout Player Of The Year, but the South Australian showed just what she could offer in her final college game. Although the Minutewomen lost 3-1 to Dayton in their final game of the season, that goal came courtesy of Laura as she wrapped up her college career in the best way possible on a personal level, if not from a results level.

It was a mixed week for the Aussies in the Pac-12, to say the least. Teagan Micah and UCLA lost both their games this weekend to drop out of conference title contention, but one of those losses came at the hands of Colorado. Whilst Colorado were able to get that win over UCLA, they lost 3-0 to Lulu Pullar and USC, but neither Isobel Dalton nor Kahlia Hogg played any minutes all weekend. It was a better weekend for Beattie Goad and Stanford, though. Their trip south to play the two Arizona schools saw them come away with a pair of wins to take a two-point lead at the top of the Pac-12 table with one game to play.

In an Aussie v Aussie matchup in the Southern Conference quarterfinals, it was Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State who got the chocolates over Kate Swartwout and Western Carolina. East Tennessee State opened the scoring on the 20 minute mark through Molly Collinson who finished off some neat play from Irina Brutsch and Eleonora Goldoni. Western Carolina equalised through a penalty in the 73rd minute, but East Tennessee State earned the winner less than 3 minutes later. Isabel Hodgson tallied a single shot, but was heavily involved in the attack throughout the game, opening up several opportunities for the Buccaneers. Meanwhile, Kate Swartwout was solid in defence for the 47 minutes that she played off the bench for the Catamounts.

Demi Koulizakis has been used sparingly off the bench for the most part this season, but in a must-win game against nationally ranked Oklahoma, the Aussie freshman earned a rare start. Koulizakis’ performance must have improved the Texas Tech coaching staff as the Sydneysider saw 69 minutes of playing time in a 1-0 overtime win that saw the Red Raiders steal a Big 12 tournament spot from Monique Iannella and Texas.

This week saw us say goodbye to Nicholls State legend Jess Coates after the Colonels went down 3-0 to Southeastern Louisiana in a game that they had to win to reach the Southland Conference tournament and keep their season alive. Jess finishes her college career as Nicholls State’s all-time assists leader with 19 in 4 seasons, and was also a Senior CLASS Award nominee in her shortened senior season in 2015. Jess also won the 2014 College Matildas Midfielder Of The Year and was also 2nd in the Player Of The Year award in 2014.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Paige Hayward (Texas Southern)
2: Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming)
1: Laura Johns (Massachusetts)

Complete Results:

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: lost 2-1 to Saint Joseph’s; lost 3-1 to Dayton

Laura Johns started in both games this weekend, playing 38 minutes against Saint Joseph’s and 56 minutes against Dayton. Despite the loss against Dayton, Laura rounded off her college career with a goal in her final game.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: lost 1-0 to Colorado; lost 2-0 to Utah

Teagan Micah played two complete games this week, making three saves against Colorado and five saves against Utah.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

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

Neither Isobel Dalton nor Kahlia Hogg saw any playing time for Colorado this weekend.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)

This week: drew 0-0 with Austin Peay

Harriet Withers had six shots for Murray State with two on target as the striker played all 110 minutes. Nyomi Devine continued to sit out through injury, whilst Jade Horcicka also did not feature against Austin Peay.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: lost 2-0 to Arkansas

Caitlin Cantrill came off the bench to play 36 minutes in the loss to Arkansas.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: defeated Tennessee-Martin 4-1

Maddy Cornell came off the bench to play 25 minutes, whilst Siena Senatore played 28 minutes as a substitute.

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: drew 1-1 with Utah; defeated Colorado 3-0

Lulu Pullar did not feature against Utah, but came off the bench to play the final five minutes against Colorado.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

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

Beattie Goad came off the bench to play 15 minutes in both games this week, registering a shot on target in the win over Arizona.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 2-1 to San Diego; lost to BYU 4-0

Ellie Papalexiou missed this week due to injury.

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

This week: defeated Colorado State 1-0

Alisha Bass had four shots, of which three were on target, in 74 minutes of action against Colorado State. Georgia Rowntree played all 90 minutes and saved all five shots that came her way. Annika Clayton and Jessie Gentle both had short stints off the bench, whilst Candace Sciberras missed out through injury.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated Long Island-Brooklyn 4-2; lost 2-1 to Mount St. Mary’s

Sam Roff started both games and played the full 90 minutes on both occasions this week, managing to register a shot against Long Island-Brooklyn.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)

This week: lost 3-0 to Southeastern Louisiana

Kristy Helmers tallied a single shot in 45 minutes of action, whilst Jess Coates had two shots on target in 84 minutes in what would be her final college game.

Texas (Monique Iannella)

This week: lost 3-2 to TCU

Monique Iannella did not feature this week as Texas’ season came to an end with the loss to TCU.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: defeated Prairie View A&M 2-0

Paige Hayward scored both goals for the Tigers, including one from the spot, from seven shots in a complete game effort.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated Oklahoma 1-0 (OT)

Demi Koulizakis managed a rare start for Texas Tech and played 69 of the 103 minutes in the overtime win, tallying a shot from midfield.

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

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

Price Keogh did not feature for San Francisco this week.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: defeated Western Carolina 2-1

Isabel Hodgson played 75 minutes in the win, tallying a shot on target in the process.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 2-1 to East Tennessee State

Kate Swartwout came off the bench to play 75 minutes in defence in the tight quarterfinal loss.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated New Hampshire 1-0

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany in their conference tournament semi-final victory.

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: lost 3-1 to Minnesota

Julia De Angelis came off the bench to play 13 minutes as Indiana’s season ended with a quarter-final loss to Minnesota.

Week 10 Wrap

It was a nervy week for a few Aussies this week as teams relied on other results going their way. It worked out for Alex Huynh and Troy, who snuck into the Sun Belt tournament, but the news was not so good for Emily Hulbert and Hofstra, who missed the CAA tournament despite defeating the top two teams in the league. Elsewhere, other teams were in control of their own destiny, with Murray State and Wyoming amongst teams to solidify their position with victories.

Paige Hayward was the undoubted star of the week, making an impact on both games as Texas Southern earned two wins from two this week. In a 1-0 win over Southern, Paige tallied the assist on the winner, and then scored the equaliser after the Tigers went down 1-0 early against Southern in a game that would see Texas Southern storm home for a 2-1 victory.

Isabel Hodgson has been enjoying her move into midfield for East Tennessee State, and made yet another tangible impact on a game. In a 4-0 demolition of Wofford in the Buccaneers’ first game of the weekend, Isabel played a neat pass for Molly Collinson who tucked home the opener inside 5 minutes to give the South Australian yet another assist for the campaign.  East Tennessee State would go on to defeat Furman 2-0 in their second game of the weekend to jump the Paladins and finish 2nd in the Southern Conference and earn a favourable draw for the conference tournament, of which they will host the final weekend.

Georgia Rowntree was in exemplary form this weekend for Wyoming as the junior kept two clean sheets in some vital games for Wyoming. A draw and a win kept the Cowgirls in the hunt for a spot in the Mountain West tournament, and eight saves from Rowntree formed the backbone of Wyoming’s performance. At the other end, Alisha Bass tallied an assist in the team’s 3-0 win over New Mexico as the SYdneysider continued to enjoy playing in a more advanced role than in previous weeks.

Teagan Micah might be well-known as one of the top young goalkeepers in the nation, but this week she showed that she’s more than just an excellent shot-stopper. Compiling nine saves in two wins over Washington and Washington State, Teagan was also able to tally an assist against Washington State as the Queenslander played the ball long to a teammate who was able to tuck it home.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Paige Hayward (Texas Southern)
2: Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming)
1: Teagan Micah (UCLA)

Complete Results:

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: drew 0-0 with Duquesne; defeated Virginia Commonwealth 3-0

Laura Johns came off the bench to play 11 minutes against Duquesne, and started on senior day against VCU, playing 41 minutes.

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: defeated Washington State 3-0; defeated Washington 1-0

Lulu Pullar did not feature for USC this week.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Maine 21; defeated UMBC 2-0

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany this week.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: lost 2-1 to Auburn; drew 0-0 with Alabama

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU this week.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

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

Teagan Micah played two complete games this weekend, finishing with five saves against Washington, and four saves plus an assist against Washington State.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Colorado 2-0; defeated Utah 2-0

Beattie Goad came off the bench in both games, playing 23 minutes against Colorado and 2 minutes against Utah, tallying a shot on target against Colorado.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

This week: lost 2-0 to Stanford; defeated California 3-2 (OT)

Neither Isobel Dalton nor Kahlia Hogg featured for Colorado this week.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)

This week: defeated Jacksonville State 1-0 (OT); defeated Belmont 1-0

Nyomi Devine was forced to sit out this week with a minor flare-up in her ankle, but Harriet Withers featured in both games, playing all 184 minutes across the weekend and tallying a total of five shots.

Troy (Alexandra Huynh)

This week: lost 3-2 to Louisiana-Monroe; lost 2-0 to Arkansas-Little Rock

Alexandra Huynh played a full 90 minutes in each game, tallying a shot on both occasions as Troy scraped into the Sun Belt conference tournament thanks to other results despite losing both games this week.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 1-0 to Robert Morris; defeated Central Connecticut State 2-0

Sam Roff started in both games this week and played a full 90 minutes on both occasions as Fairleigh Dickinson kept in touch with the leaders in the Northeast Conference.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: defeated Wofford 4-0; defeated Furman 2-0

Isabel Hodgson started both games, playing 57 minutes and registering an assist on the opener against Wofford, before playing 86 minutes in the vital win over Furman which moved East Tennessee State into second spot in the Southern Conference at the conclusion of league play.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: defeated James Madison 4-1; defeated Towson 1-0

Emily Hulbert started both games for Hofstra, playing 83 minutes against James Madison and the full 90 minutes against Towson, but Hofstra were narrowly eliminated from CAA tournament contention as other results went against them on the final day of league play.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 3-1 to Furman; defeated Wofford 4-0

Kate Swartwout did not feature against Furman, but came off the bench in the win over Wofford as the Catamounts finished 8th in the Southern Conference, but easily claiming the last quarter final berth, nine points clear of 9th placed The Citadel.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 2-0 to Texas; lost 1-0 to TCU

Demi Koulizakis started against Texas and played 26 minutes, before playing 47 minutes off the bench against TCU, registering a shot.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: defeated Jackson State 1-0; defeated Southern 2-1

Paige Hayward was again the leader for Texas Southern, tallying an assist against Jackson State and netting the equaliser in the win over Southern.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)

This week: drew 0-0 with Northwestern State; lost 3-0 to Central Arkansas

Jess Coates played 98 minutes against Northwestern State, registering an amazing 8 shots but was unable to find the back of the net, before putting in a 39 minute shift against Central Arkansas. Kristy Helmers played 44 minutes against Northwestern State and 35 minutes against Central Arkansas.

Texas (Monique Iannella)

This week: defeated Texas Tech 2-0; lost 1-0 to West Virginia – 9am, Monday October 24

Monique Iannella came off the bench against Texas Tech to play 14 minutes, but did not feature against West Virginia.

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

This week: defeated New Mexico 3-0; drew 0-0 with San Diego State

Georgia Rowntree played two complete games this week, making 5 saves against New Mexico and 3 saves against San Diego State. Alisha Bass played 83 minutes against New Mexico and tallied an assist, and played 106 minutes in the draw with San Diego State. Annika Clayton came off the bench to play 34 minutes against New Mexico and 51 minutes against San Diego State, whilst Jessie Gentle played 40 minutes against New Mexico and 20 minutes against San Diego State.

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

This week: lost 3-2 to Loyola Marymount; lost 1-0 to Pepperdine

Price Keogh did not feature for San Francisco this week.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 2-0 to Portland; lost 4-3 to Gonzaga

Ellie Papalexiou did not feature for Pacific this week due to injury.

Iona (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 2-1 to Niagara

Kiri Dale started for Iona in the loss to Niagara, registering a shot on target.

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: drew 2-2 with Purdue

Julia De Angelis started for Indiana but played only 20 or so minutes as her playing time continues to be managed after her return from injury.

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week: defeated Presbyterian 2-1

Jai Jackson started for Winthrop and played 66 minutes in the win over Presbyterian.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: drew 0-0 with Delaware

Emma Heckenberg started for Drexel and played all 110 minutes in the draw.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: defeated Morehead State 3-1

Maddy Cornell came off the bench to play 45 minutes in the win over Morehead State, but Siena Senatore was forced to sit out with an injury.

Week 7 Wrap

It fairly rained goals for the Aussies this week, as no less than four players got on the scoresheet, including one fairly unlikely suspect. But the biggest news of all this week came during USC’s road trip to Oregon, as freshman Lulu Pullar made her college debut with a 10 minute cameo in a 3-1 win over Oregon.

It’s been a long time coming, but after joining USC in January, Lulu Pullar has finally made her college debut a full 9 months after making the move to Los Angeles. With USC up 3-1 with 10 minutes to play, Lulu was given the opportunity to play the final part of the game, replacing star midfielder Morgan Andrews with the game sewn up.

Paige Hayward continued to lead from the front for Texas Southern, making a tangible impact on both games this week as the Tigers took a win and a draw from a trip east. Paige banged home her second penalty in as many weeks to tie the game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which ended 1-1, before contributing an assist in a win over Grambling State which helped the Tigers maintain equal top billing in the SWAC.

Jess Coates was also amongst the goals, but it wasn’t quite the weekend that Nicholls State would have hoped for. Jess tallied the opener in a 2-1 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, but that would be the Colonels’ only win of the weekend. Whilst Jess snared another goal against Houston Baptist, it came after a pair of earlier goals from Houston Baptist, and the game finished 2-1.

Harriet Withers and Nyomi Devine had a slightly more encouraging weekend, and it was Harriet at the centre of things for Murray State as they finished with a win and a draw for their troubles this week. In a 2-2 draw with Maddy Cornell and Southeast Missouri State, Harriet got the opener but it was left to Taylor Richerson to score the equaliser with 34 seconds to play for the Racers to salvage a draw after neither team was able to score in overtime. Harriet also tallied the opening goal against Tennessee-Martin, before a shot from Nyomi Devine ended up leading to an own goal which put Murray State two goals clear. Tennessee-Martin scored in the 90th minute but it proved to be little more than a consolation despite outshooting Murray State 20-17.

Despite playing centre back for Wyoming nowadays, one gets the feeling that Alisha Bass has never really lost her attacking instincts, and she proved that yet again as the Sydneysider headed one home just a minute into the game against Nevada. Wyoming quickly went up 2-0, and after dropping the weekend’s earlier game to UNLV 3-1, the win was no doubt gratefully received by all involved with the program. Georgia Rowntree, with a bit of help from Alisha, kept another clean sheet, her fourth of the season.

Isabel Hodgson and Kate Swartwout faced off in an Aussie v Aussie local derby between East Tennessee State and Western Carolina, and it was Isabel who got the chocolates on this occasion. Isabel picked up an assist on the opener, before Western Carolina went 2-1 up with 27 minutes to play. Two late goals to East Tennessee State turned things right around, and the Buccaneers held on for the win, holding Western Carolina to just four shots on target for the game.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
2: Jess Coates (Nicholls State)
1: Paige Hayward (Texas Southern)

Complete Results:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Stony Brook 4-0

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany in the win over Stony Brook.

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: lost 1-0 to La Salle (OT); lost 1-0 to Richmond

Laura Johns came off the bench in both games this week, playing 42 minutes against La Salle and 56 minutes against Richmond. Laura tallied two shots against La Salle, both of which were on target.

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: defeated Oregon 3-1; defeated Oregon State 3-1

Lulu Pullar made her college debut in the win over Oregon, coming off the bench to play 10 minutes.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Oregon State 1-0; defeated Oregon 3-2

Teagan Micah played two complete games yet again this week, making two saves against Oregon State, and four saves against Oregon, including a fingertip effort early on to deflect a goal-bound shot wide.

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

This week: lost 3-1 to San Diego; lost 4-0 to BYU

Price Keogh came off the bench to play 6 minutes against San Diego, but did not feature against BYU.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Washington State 2-1; defeated Washington 3-0

Beattie Goad started both games this week, playing a full 90 minutes in each game.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

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

Kahlia Hogg played two complete games in defence for Colorado this week, but Isobel Dalton did not feature for the Buffaloes.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: drew 1-1 with Arkansas-Pine Bluff; defeated Grambling State 3-2 (OT)

Paige Hayward was on fire this week, scoring the tying goal from the spot in the draw with Arkansas-Pine Bluff and contributing an assist in the overtime win over Grambling State.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)

This week: defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2-1; lost 2-1 to Houston Baptist

Jess Coates started both contests and tallied a goal in each game for Nicholls State, whilst Kristy Helmers also started both games for the Colonels, playing 56 minutes against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and 63 minutes against Houston Baptist.

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

This week: lost 3-1 to UNLV; defeated Nevada 2-0

Georgia Rowntree played two complete games this week, making seven saves against UNLV and three against Nevada, keeping a clean sheet in the latter game. Alisha Bass played 83 minutes against UNLV and 80 minutes against Nevada, and also tallied the opener with a header against Nevada. Jessie Gentle came off the bench in both games, playing 25 minutes against UNLV and 30 minutes against Nevada.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: defeated Western Carolina 3-2

Isabel Hodgson played a full 90 minutes for East Tennessee State, and continued her recent excellent form with yet another assist, this time on Eleonora Goldini’s opener, but also picked up a late yellow card.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: defeated James Madison 1-0; defeated Towson 2-0

Emma Heckenberg continued her run in the starting lineup for Drexel, being part of the first eleven in both games this week. Heckenberg played 90 minutes against James Madison and 75 minutes in the win over Towson.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 3-2 to East Tennessee State

Kate Swartwout started for Western Carolina and played the full 90 minutes in the loss to East Tennessee State.

Troy (Alexandra Huynh)

This week: drew 0-0 with Georgia State; lost 2-1 to Georgia Southern (OT)

Alexandra Huynh played 102 minutes against Georgia State, tallying two shots, but did not feature against Georgia Southern.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: lost 1-0 to College of Charleston; lost 4-1 to UNC Wilmington

Emily Hulbert is still recovering from an injury sustained early in the season and unfortunately did not feature this week.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: drew 2-2 with Murray State; drew 1-1 with Austin Peay

Maddy Cornell came off the bench in both games this week, playing 43 minutes against Murray State and 55 minutes against Austin Peay, but Siena Senatore did not play this week.

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: lost 1-0 to Nebraska

Julia De Angelis started for Indiana and played 32 minutes in the loss to Nebraska.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: lost 3-0 to Florida

Caitlin Cantrill came off the bench for LSU in the loss to Florida.

Texas (Monique Iannella)

This week: lost 2-1 to Oklahoma State; lost 2-1 to Kansas

Monique Iannella started both games for Texas this week, playing 103 minutes against Oklahoma State and 87 minutes against Kansas, registering a shot against Oklahoma State.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)

This week: drew 2-2 with Southeast Missouri State; defeated Tennessee-Martin 2-1

Nyomi Devine played two complete games this week, registering a single shot against Southeast Missouri State and two against Tennessee-Martin. Harriet Withers was the star for Murray State this week, scoring a goal in each game. Jade Horcicka did not feature for the Racers this week.

Iona (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 1-0 to Fairfield

Kiri Dale started for Iona in the loss to Fairfield, registering a single shot.

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week: lost 2-0 to Longwood

Jai Jackson started in midfield for Winthrop, playing the full 90 minutes and tallying a shot.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated St Francis University 3-2 (OT)

Sam Roff started for Fairleigh Dickinson and played all 114 minutes of the overtime victory.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: defeated Saint Mary’s 1-0

Ellie Papalexiou is recovering from a minor knock and was unfortunately unavailable for selection this week.

Week 4 Wrap

It wasn’t the most eventful week for the Australians this week, but there were still a few exceptional performances worthy of mentioning, including Georgia Rowntree’s brick-wall like performance in goal for Wyoming to earn Mountain West Player Of The Week honours.

Wyoming took on Utah Valley and the Australians were the saviours at both ends. With Utah Valley peppering the Wyoming goal with 16 shots, Georgia Rowntree earned the Mountain West Player Of The Week Award for a seven save performance that saw the junior keep a clean sheet. Rowntree’s performance allowed Wyoming to go in search of a winner in a match that eventually went to overtime, where another Australian literally popped up to score. With 10 seconds left in overtime, Alisha Bass nodded home a Sammi Dunda corner to send the Wyoming players and fans into delirium as the Cowgirls stole a victory in a match where they looked least likely to score for large parts, improving to 4-2-1 for the season in the process.

Just over the border in Colorado, Kahlia Hogg scored one of the goals of the season as the Buffaloes managed two decisive victories against Hawaii and Iowa. After dispatching of Hawaii 3-1, Kahlia stepped up and looped home a 35 yard free kick against Iowa on the way to a 4-1 win as Colorado improved to a 5-3 record for the season.

It was a tough old week for Texas Southern as they lost heavily to North Texas before going down to NAIA school Huston-Tillotson. However, Paige Hayward was still able to get amongst the goals. In a 7-1 loss to North Texas, Paige was the Tigers’ lone goalscorer on a tough day for the team. Paige also helped Texas Southern to overtime against Huston-Tillotson, scoring yet another goal as the Tigers went down 3-2 thanks to an early overtime winer from their opponents.

Julia De Angelis’ start to the season may have been delayed due to a stress fracture in her leg, but the Indiana freshman is making up for lost time. The former Canberra United player was one of the few bright sparks for Indiana in a 3-0 loss to Virginia Tech, bossing the midfield and hitting the post with a shot from range. Julia was able to have a more tangible impact on the game against James Madison, tallying an assist on Indiana’s opener as the Hoosiers won 4-2 to improve to 4-3-1 for the season.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming)
2: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)
1: Paige Hayward (Texas Southern)

Complete Results:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: lost 2-1 to Seton Hall (OT); lost 3-1 to Quinnipiac

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany this week.

Iona (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 2-0 to Fordham; lost 8-0 to Bucknell

Kiri Dale started both games in a tough weekend for Iona.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: defeated Fairfield 1-0; lost 5-0 to Rutgers

Emma Heckenberg came off the bench in both games this week, playing 19 minutes against Fairfield and 29 minutes against Rutgers.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: defeated Western Kentucky 1-0; lost 3-0 to Texas A&M

Caitlin Cantrill came off the bench against Western Kentucky, but did not feature against Texas A&M.

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: lost 3-1 to Central Michigan

Laura Johns came off the bench to play 35 minutes against Central Michigan.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 1-0 to Dartmouth

Sam Roff started and played the full 90 minutes for Fairleigh Dickinson in the loss to Dartmouth.

Texas (Monique Iannella)

This week: lost 2-1 to Ohio State; defeated Miami (Ohio) 2-0

Monique Iannella played 39 minutes against Ohio State, but did not feature against Miami (Ohio).

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

This week: defeated Hawaii 3-1; defeated Iowa 4-1

Kahlia Hogg started both games this week, playing 83 minutes against Hawaii and 75 minutes against Iowa, scoring from a 35 yard free kick against Iowa. Isobel Dalton came off the bench to play 12 minutes against Iowa.

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

This week: defeated Utah Valley 1-0 (OT)

Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, and Jessie Gentle all started for Wyoming in the win over Utah Valley. Alisha Bass played the entire game and scored the winner for Wyoming with 10 seconds remaining in overtime. Jessie Gentle played 90 minutes, registering a shot. Georgia Rowntree played a full match in goal, making seven vital saves and being rewarded with Mountain West Player Of The Week. Annika Clayton and Candace Sciberras were forced to sit this week.

Troy (Alexandra Huynh)

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

Alexandra Huynh played the full 110 minutes against Mercer, but did not play against Florida State due to a suspension resulting from an accumulation of yellow cards.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 2-1 to Morehead State; lost 1-0 to Eastern Kentucky

Kate Swartwout started both games this week, registering a shot on target against Western Kentucky.

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: lost 3-0 to Virginia Tech; defeated James Madison 4-2

Julia De Angelis started both games, hitting the post with a shot from range against Virginia Tech and tallying an assist on the opener against James Madison.

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

This week: defeated Arizona State 2-1; lost 1-0 to Arizona

Price Keogh came off the bench to play 3 minutes against Arizona State, but did not feature against Arizona.

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: defeated Loyola Marymount 2-0; defeated North Carolina 3-0

Lulu Pullar did not feature this week for USC.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated Oral Roberts 1-0; defeated Appalachian State 2-1

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench to play 34 minutes against Oral Roberts and 23 minutes against Appalachian State.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: lost 7-1 to North Texas; lost 3-2 to Huston-Tillotson (OT)

Paige Hayward played all 182 minutes of the weekend, notching a goal in each game.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Minnesota 4-1; drew 2-2 with Notre Dame

Beattie Goad came off the bench in both games, playing 12 minutes against Minnesota and 87 minutes in the overtime match against Notre Dame.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 2-0 to Fresno State; drew 1-1 with Sacramento State

Ellie Papalexiou started both games for Pacific this week, tallying a shot on target against Sacramento State.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

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

Teagan Micah played two complete games this week, registering 2 saves against North Carolina and 4 against San Diego.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: lost 3-1 to Army

Emily Hulbert did not feature for Hofstra this week.

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week: defeated Marist 3-2

Jai Jackson came off the bench to play 54 minutes in the win over Marist.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)

This week: lost 2-1 to Louisiana Tech (match shortened due to lightning)

Kristy Helmers and Jess Coates both started for Nicholls State, with Kristy playing 55 minutes and Jess playing 53.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: defeated Florida Atlantic 1-0

Maddy Cornell came off the bench to play 24 minutes and tally a single shot, whilst Siena Senatore played 5 minutes off the bench in the win.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)

This week: lost 5-0 to Kentucky

Nyomi Devine and Harriet Withers both started for Murray State, with Nyomi playing the full 90 minutes and Harriet playing 85 minutes. Jade Horcicka did not feature for the Racers.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: drew 1-1 with Tennessee Tech

Isabel Hodgson played the complete 110 minutes for East Tennessee State, also registering a shot.

Week 1 Wrap

The first week of the college soccer season brought more than a bit of success for the Australians. Sam Roff, Caitlin Cantrill, Demi Koulizakis, Isobel Dalton, Kiri Dale, and Teagan Micah made their debuts, with Teagan being recognised by the Pac-12 for an excellent debut performance. Paige Hayward also picked up SWAC Offensive Player of the Week for an outstanding shift for Texas Southern against Texas A&M-Texarkana.

From an attacking standpoint, Jessie Gentle was the first Australian this season to have a tangible impact on a game, tallying an assist on Wyoming’s second goal as the Cowgirls won their opener 2-0 against Houston Baptist. Goalkeeper Georgia Rowntree played all 90 minutes in keeping a clean sheet, with Alisha Bass forming part of her back four. Wyoming’s second game saw Annika Clayton go one better than Jessie, scoring the team’s second goal in a 2-0 win over Idaho State as Georgia kept a second successive clean sheet.

Kahlia Hogg also registered an assist, in Colorado’s first game of the season. Playing a full 90 minutes against both Air Force and Colorado State this week, Kahlia tallied her assist on the Buffs’ second goal against Air Force as Colorado won 2-0 before following up with a 2-1 win over Colorado State. Sophomore transfer Isobel Dalton came off the bench to make her debut against Air Force, registering a shot in her 6 minutes of play.

Murray State’s first game of the season was cancelled as the Racers were due to travel to the flood-ravaged state of Louisiana for their opener. However, once the side got on the field, reigning Player of the Year Harriet Withers showed that she will certainly be in the reckoning for the award again as the striker banged home two goals against Alabama. Unfortunately for Murray State, they imploded in the second half as their opponents tallied four unanswered goals to storm home for a 4-2 win.

Perhaps playing slightly out of position in an overlapping left fullback role, Beattie Goad nevertheless earned starts in her first two college games as Stanford picked up wins over Navy and Georgetown on their trip to the national capital. Goad played 53 minutes against Navy and 69 minutes against Georgetown as the Cardinal picked up 2-1 and 3-0 wins on the first weekend of the season.

Paige Hayward and Texas Southern had a slow start to the season, going down 3-0 to Houston in the side’s opening game. Playing NAIA team Texas A&M-Texarkana proved to be far less of a challenge for the Tigers. Paige assisted on Texas Southern’s first three goals before banging home one of her own as the Tigers racked up a 4-1 win. Paige’s performance against Texas A&M-Texarkana was pivotal in her being named SWAC Offensive Player of the Week.

Teagan Micah proved to be the surprise packet of the week. Earning the start in UCLA’s first game of the season, Teagan kept a clean sheet in the Bruins’ 5-0 win over San Diego State. Teagan’s highlight of the game was a brilliant save to deny the Aztecs a goal in the bottom left corner. Whilst Despite not featuring in UCLA’s second game of the week, an exhibition against Beijing Normal University, Teagan was named Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week for her debut performance.

Player Of The Year Votes:

3: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
2: Paige Hayward (Texas Southern)
1: Teagan Micah (UCLA)

Complete Results:

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: defeated Buffalo 1-0; lost 3-1 to Penn State.

Hulbert played 90 minutes in both games, picking up a yellow card against Penn State.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 3-1 to UNLV; defeated UTRGV 3-2 (OT)

Roff started against UNLV, playing 40 minutes, and came off the bench to play 58 minutes against UTRGV, registering a shot on target.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: lost 1-0 to Virginia Tech; defeated College of Charleston 1-0

Cantrill started both games, playing 68 minutes against Virginia Tech and 51 minutes against College of Charleston.

Iona (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 3-1 to Holy Cross; lost 2-0 to Bryant

Dale started for Iona against Holy Cross, but did not feature against Bryant.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: defeated USC Upstate 1-0; defeated Radford 1-0

Hodgson played a full 90 minutes in both games, registering 2 shots against USC Upstate.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Navy 2-1; defeated Georgetown 3-0

Goad started both matches, playing 53 minutes against Navy and 69 minutes against Georgetown.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week: defeated Tennessee 1-0; defeated Illinois-Springfield 3-1

Cornell and Senatore both came off the bench in both games. Cornell played 33 minutes against Tennessee and 53 minutes against Illinois-Springfield, registering a shot which was on target against Illinois-Springfield. Senatore played 26 minutes against Tennessee and 25 minutes against Illinois-Springfield.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Army 2-0; lost 3-0 to St John’s

Urquhart started both games, playing a full 90 minutes against Army and 79 minutes against St. John’s.

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

This week: defeated Houston Baptist 2-0; defeated Idaho State 2-0

Alisha Bass played 66 minutes against Houston Baptist and 90 minutes against Idaho State, registering a shot in each game. Annika Clayton sat out the Houston Baptist game as a precaution but played 35 minutes against Idaho State, scoring the team’s 2nd goal. Jessie Gentle played 41 minutes against Houston Baptist and 35 minutes against Idaho State, tallying an assist on Wyoming’s 2nd goal against Houston Baptist. Georgia Rowntree played a full 90 minutes in each game, registering a clean sheet in each game. Candace Sciberras was rested from both games.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: defeated Temple 2-1; defeated Villanova 3-0

Heckenberg played 38 minutes against Temple, but did not feature against Villanova.

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: drew with Louisville 1-1; lost 2-0 to Western Michigan

De Angelis was rested from both games this week.

Troy (Alexandra Huynh)

This week: defeated Gardner-Webb 2-0; lost 2-0 to Samford

Huynh played 90 minutes in each game, registering a single shot on both occasions.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 5-1 to Charlotte; defeated Winthrop 3-1

Swartwout did not feature in either game this weekend.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Jade Horcicka, Harriet Withers)

This week: lost 4-2 to Alabama

Harriet Withers played 87 minutes and scored 2 goals on 6 shots. Nyomi Devine played a full 90 minutes in defence. Jade Horcicka did not feature in this game.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: lost 3-0 to Houston; defeated Texas A&M-Texarkana 4-1

Hayward played 90 minutes in both games, scoring a goal and tallying 3 assists against Texas A&M-Texarkana.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated New Mexico 2-1; defeated Missouri State 1-0

Koulizakis came off the bench in both games, playing 8 minutes against New Mexico and 10 minutes against Missouri State.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

This week: defeated Air Force 2-0; defeated Colorado State 2-1

Kahlia Hogg played 90 minutes in both games, registering an assist on the 2nd goal against Air Force. Isobel Dalton came off the bench to play 6 minutes against Air Force, tallying a shot, but did not feature against Colorado State.

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

This week: defeated Florida Gulf Coast 2-1; defeated UC Riverside 2-1

Keogh did not feature in either game this week.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated San Diego State 5-0; defeated Beijing Normal University 7-0

Micah played the full 90 minutes against San Diego State, keeping a clean sheet, but was rotated out for the Beijing Normal University game.

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: lost 3-2 to Santa Clara (OT); defeated Beijing Normal University 5-1

Pullar did not feature in either game this week.

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

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

Jackson came off the bench in both games, playing 20 minutes against Western Carolina and 31 minutes against USC Upstate.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 2-0 to Cal Poly

Papalexiou started for Pacific, registering a shot.

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: defeated Holy Cross 2-0

Johns started for Massachusetts, playing 39 minutes.

2016 Player Previews

2016 will see a massive 33 Australians suiting up in NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer, an increase of 6 on last year and nearly double the number of players we saw in 2014. Ten of these players are freshmen, whilst one newcomer, Isobel Dalton, is an NAIA transfer from Lindsey Wilson College. With no less than 13 players, including 4 freshmen, possessing W-League experience and several others featuring for youth national teams, there is definitely plenty of Aussie talent in the college ranks this season.

Claire Urquhart (Sophomore, Defender, Albany, Brisbane)

Claire was used sparingly at Albany in 2015, but returns in 2016 ready to have more of an impact in defence. The Albany defence is exceedingly young this season, with four sophomores and one freshman comprising the five natural defenders in the squad, so opportunities may just open up for the sophomore from Brisbane. Claire played 5 games last season, starting in 2 of these contests, as Albany won the America East title before going down to eventual national champions Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

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

Isobel adds to the Australian contingent at Colorado following a season playing NAIA soccer in Kentucky with Lindsey Wilson College, helping the Blue Raiders to a national championship final berth. A former Brisbane Roar W-League player, Isobel has also played in England’s Women’s Super League for Bristol Academy before making the move to the US. Isobel played in 23 games for Lindsey Wilson, scoring 7 goals and also contributing a pair of assists for the Blue Raiders.

Kahlia Hogg (Senior, Defender/Midfielder, Colorado, Canberra)

Kahlia had an excellent first season for Colorado in 2014 after transferring from Florida State, and looked set to continue in the same vein in her senior season. Unfortunately, after starting in six games and playing an average of 85 minutes, Kahlia suffered an injury and was forced to sit out the remainder of the season. Fortunately, Kahlia has been awarded an additional season and will compete again as a senior in 2016, looking to make amends for 2015. One of the fittest players in the team, Kahlia averaged over 85 minutes of playing time per game in 2015, playing a full 90 minutes in four of her six games as Colorado conceded less than 0.7 goals per game with Kahlia on the pitch.

Emma Heckenberg (Sophomore, Midfielder, Drexel, Melbourne)

Emma made a reasonable if not spectacular start to her college career last season, featuring in 8 matches. The Victorian forward also started two of these games, both of which were conference games. The Drexel forward line is young, but features Vanessa Kara, who scored 11 goals last season, which represented almost half of the team’s offensive output. With Kara a lock to start again this season, Emma and the remaining forwards will be fighting for the other spot up front. Emma was a star in the classroom last season though, picking up the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award.

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

Isabel enjoyed a fantastic first season at East Tennessee State, quickly establishing herself as the team’s starting right back. A product of Adelaide United’s W-League team, Isabel played in all 19 games for the Buccaneers in 2015 as the team finished with a respectable 9-9-1 record. With star midfielder and Austrian national team player Sarah Zadrazil having graduated following the 2015 season, the returning starters will all have to step up if the Buccaneers are to be competitive again in 2016 and Isabel is no different.

Sam Roff (Freshman, Midfielder, Fairleigh Dickinson, Canberra)

One of four players from the same ACT Academy of Sport class to make the move to Division I this year, Sam links up with a fellow Australian at Fairleigh Dickinson, with assistant coach Julia Bazi hailing from Sydney. Primarily a midfielder but also with the ability to play in defence, Sam has been a member of the ACT Academy of Sport for three seasons and also trained with W-League club Canberra United before making the move to Fairleigh Dickinson. The Knights went 16-6 last season, winning the Northeast Conference title and only narrowly losing to Rutgers in the first round of the national tournament, going down 1-0. However, they have lost a massive ten seniors to graduation and star Canadian forward Rachel Hoekstra is transferring to Georgia Southern, taking with her 16 of the side’s 50 goals from last season, so expect this to be a rebuilding season for the team.

Emily Hulbert (Junior, Defender/Midfielder, Hofstra, Melbourne)

An instrumental part of Hofstra’s side for two seasons, Emily will again be part of a solid Hofstra side that will look to limit the damage of the graduation of English international and NWSL player Leah Galton, who was the star of the Pride team last season. Emily’s chances last season were slightly down from 2014, starting just 4 matches in comparison to the 14 she started two seasons ago. Nonetheless, the fullback was able to contribute enough to earn the 2015 College Matildas Defender of the Year award. With another season under her belt, she may just have enough in her locker to win the same award again.

Julia De Angelis (Freshman, Midfielder, Indiana, Canberra)

An integral part of Canberra United’s W-League squad since 2014, Julia will no doubt be one of the top Australian freshmen in college this season as she joins an Indiana side desperate to improve on last seasons 3-10-6 record. Julia has represented Australia at several youth team levels and was also named Canberra United’s Rising Star in both 2014 and 2015. With a pair of midfield spots opening up in 2016 following the graduation of two players, Julia will certainly have the chance to earn a starting spot from the outset.

Kiri Dale (Sophomore, Defender, Iona, Mullumbimby)

One of no less than five Palm Beach products playing in Division I this season, Kiri unfortunately did not see any playing time in her freshman year, but that will surely just make her hungrier to make an impact in her sophomore year. Iona are yet to reveal their freshman class for 2016, but with only four natural defenders returning from last season, this may just be Kiri’s chance to shine and establish herself going forward for Iona. With the Gaels only winning 3 games last year and giving up 49 goals in 19 games, that defence is going to have to stand up this season if the team is to compete.

Caitlin Cantrill (Freshman, Midfielder, LSU, Canberra)

One of the first Australians to commit to a college amongst this year’s freshmen, Caitlin joins an LSU side looking to progress from last season’s SEC semi-final berth and a first round loss to South Alabama in the NCAA Tournament. They do have a slight issue though, that being the loss of nine players to graduation after the 2015 season. Whilst this may be a transition season of sorts for LSU, it also offers Caitlin the chance to see plenty of playing time from the outset. A former member of the Australian Under 17 national team, Caitlin is yet another of the ACT Academy of Sport graduates in this year’s freshman class.

Laura Johns (Senior, Forward, Massachusetts, Adelaide)

The 2015 College Matildas Breakout Player of the Year, Laura tallied the first goal of her college career last season and also notched four assists, a marked improvement on the total of one she managed in the previous two years. More notably, Laura transitioned from what had mainly been a rotational role off the bench to a starter for the majority of the 2015 season. One of four Australian seniors this year, Laura’s continued rise at Massachusetts may just make her the dark horse for the College Matildas Senior of the Year award this season.

Nyomi Devine (Junior, Defender, Murray State, Gold Coast)

A starter from the outset at Murray State, Nyomi was instrumental in keeping things tight at the back during last season’s perfect conference slate as Murray State won the Ohio Valley conference title. Whilst fellow Palm Beach product Harriet Withers may have received the accolades in 2015, there is no doubting that Nyomi was one of the key parts of the Racers’ defence which conceded just 22 goals in 21 games in 2015. Nyomi was also named to the Ohio Valley Conference All-Tournament team to go along with her championship ring.

Jade Horcicka (Freshman, Midfielder, Murray State, Gold Coast)

The newest member of the Palm Beach contingent at Murray State, Jade has not featured for the senior Palm Beach team nearly as much as both Nyomi Devine and Harriet Withers did before they moved on to college, but that doesn’t mean Jade doesn’t come with a solid pedigree. After a single appearance in the Palm Beach first team in 2015, Jade was a regular with the team in 2016 before leaving for college, and was also a mainstay of the Under 20s team last season. Jade has also played for the Queensland Schoolgirls side in 2014 and 2015. The Murray State midfield is burgeoning with players, but many are young and others are employed in other roles, so there may just be some playing time available for Jade early on. The early non-conference games will be telltale, though.

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

Harriet enjoyed a solid first season for Murray State in 2014, scoring six goals and contributing 2 assists in 20 games. That was simply a precursor for an exceptional 2015 season which saw the striker win College Matildas Player Of The Year honours. Harriet banged home 11 goals and also tallied 7 assists as the Racers enjoyed a perfect Ohio Valley conference season before going down in a 1-0 loss to Ole Miss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Harriet will need to have another season of similar ilk if Murray State are going to have a chance of repeating, as they lose 11 goals and 11 assists from last season through the graduation of Taylor Stevens and Marissa Burroughs.

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

A broken wrist put paid to what should have been a glorious senior season for Jess, but after a long wait has been awarded an additional season and will get the chance to play out a proper senior campaign. Jess’ attacking partner, Spencer Valdespino, has now graduated but that may open up a chance for Jess to combine with a fellow Australian, freshman Kristy Helmers, in her senior season. With seven assists in her junior year in 2014, expect Jess to once again be feeding the strikers perfectly – the only question from there is whether they can step up to fill the void left by Valdespino.

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

Kristy Helmers will be one of the Nicholls State forwards tasked with making up Spencer Valdespino’s 14 goal tally from last season. With only four recognised forwards in the Nicholls State squad this season, Kristy will no doubt be thrust into the action from the outset. One of four recent ACTAS graduates to be starting college this season, Kristy scored 12 goals in 14 appearances in last season’s Capital Football WPL, following up with 7 goals in 7 appearances this season.

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

A dreaded ACL injury put paid to Ellie’s season in 2015, but the fullback returns this season as a redshirt sophomore looking to showcase the kind of form that saw her enjoy a successful 2014 season with Pacific. With a new coach on board in Stockton, Ellie will be forced to prove herself once again, but was able to do this as a freshman and there’s no reason she won’t be able to do so again. Able to play either at left back or on the wing, this versatility should stand Ellie in good stead as she looks to earn back her starting position.

Price Keogh (Sophomore, Defender, San Francisco, Charlotte)

Price represents a slight change of pace amongst the 34 Australians in NCAA Division I this season in that she is actually from Charlotte, North Carolina. The 5’4 defender played in just the one game in her first season in San Francisco, but with two of the team’s starting defenders finishing their careers in 2015, opportunities will surely open up for Price. San Francisco had a reasonably solid year in 2015, finishing 13-4-3 and finishing in 2nd place in the West Coast Conference. Unfortunately, the WCC does not play a postseason tournament, denying the Dons an opportunity to secure a bid to the national tournament, with the team well out of the at-large picture.

Maddy Cornell (Junior, Defender, Southeast Missouri State, Nowra)

Three becomes two with regards to the number of Australians at Southeast Missouri State following midfielder Jenna Collingridge’s graduation. Maddy Cornell is the more senior of the two, with the versatile fullback moving into her junior season in 2016. Maddy featured in 18 games in 2015, starting six of these, which is double the number of both appearances and starts that she saw in 2014. Maddy’s goal now will be to convert those 12 appearances off the bench into starts this year as Southeast Missouri State attempt to make a return trip to the Ohio Valley Conference championship game, with the aim this year to go one better than last year’s overtime loss to Murray State.

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

An Under 17 Australian representative before making the move to college, Siena took a few games to find her groove last season, but eventually became a vital part of the defence before suffering an injury late on in the season. After starting the first three games of the season, Siena came off the bench for a few weeks before being returned to the starting lineup as the Redhawks kept 4 clean sheets in a row in the space of 9 days. Siena sat for a couple of weeks with injury, but returns in 2016 ready to slot straight back into the starting lineup in the centre of defence.

Beattie Goad (Freshman, Midfielder, Stanford, Melbourne)

The undoubted star of the 2016 freshman class, Beattie already has a W-League title under her belt, having been an instrumental part of a Melbourne City side that finished undefeated in 2015/16. One of the best young Australian players, Beattie combined those football skills with outstanding academic achievement to open up the chance to play for Stanford, one of the most successful programs in NCAA women’s soccer. A pacy winger with excellent technical abilities, Beattie will face stiff competition for playing time from the likes of United States youth national team representatives Jordan DiBiasi and Andi Sullivan. However, Beattie has spent the year learning from some of the best players in the world, including Lisa De Vanna, and will push all the way for a spot in the lineup.

Alexandra Huynh (Senior, Defender, Troy, Sydney)

After three outstanding seasons at Colorado, Alexandra has this season made the move south to Troy for her senior year. A three year starter at Boulder, the centre back was almost ever-present for the Buffaloes save for an injury midway through her sophomore year. As a member of a Colorado defence that set school clean sheet records in 2015, Alexandra will no doubt be a vital part of the back line in her new team. Troy kept 10 clean sheets in winning 14 of 20 games last season, and with Alexandra now set to replace graduating stalwart Payton Donley in defence, Troy will be well placed to use defence as the foundation of a successful season in 2016.

Paige Hayward (Junior, Forward, Texas Southern, Sydney)

The lone Australian player in the SWAC this season following the graduation of Alabama State’s Shelbi Vienna-Hallam, Paige transferred to Texas Southern in 2015 after a season of NAIA play, and immediately slotted into the team. Hayward played a full 90 minutes on six occasions last season, starting on all 17 occasions that she played. Hayward contributed 2 goals and 5 assists in 2015 as Texas Southern compiled an 8-11 record, going down to Alabama State in the first round of the SWAC Tournament. With no seniors amongst the forwards in 2015, Paige and her fellow strikers will have the opportunity to improve on last year’s output. They may have to if the team is to stay competitive, with last season’s starting goalkeeper and two defenders graduating after the 2015 season.

Demi Koulizakis (Freshman, Forward, Texas Tech, Sydney)

The scorer of the W-League’s 900th goal, Demi saw regular playing time for Western Sydney Wanderers last season but has now made the move to the Lone Star state to become Australia’s sole representative in the powerful Big 12 conference this season. Able to play in the midfield or up front, Demi is likely to be used in a more attacking role at Texas Tech. Demi will be part of the group tasked with replacing graduating Canadian national team player Janine Beckie, who is now playing with the NWSL’s Houston Dash.

Teagan Micah (Freshman, Goalkeeper, UCLA, Brisbane)

Teagan made the move from Brisbane to Western Sydney this past W-League season, but that was nothing in comparison to the jump the goalkeeper has made in 2016. UCLA have been one of the most successful programs of the last decade, winning a national title and producing players such as Lauren Holiday, Sydney Leroux, Samantha Mewis, Megan Oyster, Caprice Dydasco, Abby Dahlkemper, Sarah Killion, McCall Zerboni, Zakiya Bywaters, Lauren Barnes, and Katelyn Rowland. Teagan will have to fight for every minute of playing time, but with last season’s backup Arielle Schechtman making the move to Georgetown, it will now be a fight between 3 rather than 4 players for the starting spot.

Lulu Pullar (Freshman, Defender, USC, Brisbane)

Lulu had been on USC’s radar for over a year, and made the move to Los Angeles in January to get a headstart on her college career. Set to be used in either the back line or anchoring the midfield, Lulu has represented Australian Schoolgirls and has trained with Brisbane Roar’s W-League squad before moving to college. Having already seen plenty of playing time in USC’s spring friendlies, Lulu is well-placed to hit the ground running when competitive play starts in late August.

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

Originally from the Gold Coast but having learned her trade in Lake Norman, North Carolina, Kate’s new college isn’t actually all that far from home for the freshman. In a young side, but one that only lost a single defender to graduation after 2015, Kate’s ability to also play in midfield looks as if it may stand her in good stead as she vies for playing time in her freshman year. Not without goalscoring ability either, Kate once banged home a hat-trick in a single half playing up front for her club team in Lake Norman.

Jai Jackson (Sophomore, Midfielder, Winthrop, Toowoomba)

A rotational player early on in 2015, Jai finished her freshman season with a flourish, playing full games in each of Winthrop’s last six games as the Eagles finished with a 6-9-3 record, falling to Liberty in the first round of the Big South tournament. Primarily employed deeper in midfield, Jai has also shown a knack for getting forward when required, with her footballing IQ clearly amongst the best in the Winthrop squad. There is little doubt that Jai will reprise her role as an integral part of the Winthrop midfield going forward, with the Queenslander well placed to be a vital cog for her remaining three seasons.

Alisha Bass (Junior, Defender/Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

Is she a midfielder? Is she a defender? Well, ask most people in the Sydney women’s soccer community and they’ll tell you Alisha is an attacking midfielder every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But ask people in Wyoming and they’ll tell you she’s a vital part of the Cowgirls’ defence that helped the team compile a 10-6-4 record before falling in the first round of the Mountain West tournament to Colorado College. Alisha also tallied a pair of goals last season and notched an assist, proving that she still has the attacking instincts that saw her represent Australia at youth level. With no seniors in the 2015 squad, Wyoming have a real chance to build on last year’s successes and become a real force in the Mountain West this season.

Annika Clayton (Sophomore, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

A starter in 14 games in 2015, Annika featured in all 20 of Wyoming’s contests last season, notching two goals and an assist from midfield in her freshman campaign. Whilst her tangible stats are not out of this world, Annika certainly did enough to average over an hour of playing time per game by the end of last season, with the Wyoming coaching staff clearly impressed by the Sydneysider. With Wyoming’s squad barely changing from last season, Annika should see at least as much time on the field in 2016 as the Cowgirls attempt to build on last season’s 10 wins.

Jessie Gentle (Sophomore, Forward, Wyoming, Woolgoolga)

Like Annika Clayton, Jessie joined Wyoming last season and played in all 20 games, starting in 16. Lining up on the wing for the most part, Jessie averaged over 70 minutes per game, tallying a single assist on Laurel Ramer’s opener against Hawaii in a 2-2 draw early on in the season. Jessie will be looking to create a more tangible impact this season, but has clearly shown that she has the ability to be a major part of the Wyoming side in 2016.

Georgia Rowntree (Junior, Goalkeeper, Wyoming, Sydney)

A starter in 16 games in 2015, Georgia shared the goalkeeping responsibilities with local player Cassidy Entsminger last season and things appear set to stay the same in 2016. Conceding an average of just a single goal per game, Georgia notched a .786 save percentage in 2015, representing an improvement on 2014’s 1.20 goals conceded per game, but with an identical save percentage. However, the most notable of Georgia’s stats was her minutes played. After playing 9 games and earning 451 minutes of playing time in 2014, Georgia played 810 minutes in 2015 as she and Entsminger established themselves as an excellent pairing in goal. Running unopposed for Goalkeeper of the Year for the last two seasons, Georgia has competition for the first time, in the form of UCLA’s Teagan Micah.

Candace Sciberras (Junior, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

Candace came to Wyoming in 2013 alongside Alisha Bass, but has followed a slightly different course since that time. The winger suffered an ACL injury and was forced to sit out most of the 2015 season after a promising start to the season which saw Candace start the first five games of the campaign. With very little change to the Wyoming roster, expect to see Candace back in the rotation this season and hopefully earning back that starting spot that she had rightfully claimed before last season’s injury.