2019 Week 4 Preview

With Stanford and UCLA in the top 5 in the coaches’ poll, and Mississippi and Texas Tech receiving votes, there are plenty of Aussies playing for top teams at the moment in varying capacities. However, there are plenty of other places you can find Aussies performing well, including at Illinois, where Ashleigh Lefevre continues to cement her spot in the Fighting Illini’s starting eleven.

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Stanford moved up to #2 in the coaches’ poll this week thanks to a combination of their own outstanding form and UCLA’s loss to Santa Clara, and Beattie Goad and her Cardinal teammates will be hoping to maintain that level as they head down the coast to face Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara. Pepperdine are often a tough opponent, but have struggled to start the season, and Stanford are certainly not a team anyone wants to face when trying to break out of a bad run of form. UC Santa Barbara have had an interrupted start to the season, with a cancelled game against Montana meaning they have played just a single game since August 30, although that one game was a 3-0 win over Idaho. However, given her recent form, Goad will no doubt be champing at the bit to get herself involved in a few more goals against a pair of teams that Stanford really should have little trouble dispatching.

With three wins in their last four games, La Salle are hitting form at the right time, and with Claudia Jenkins playing superbly between the sticks, the Explorers will be confident heading into their last weekend of non-conference play. It won’t be easy though, facing a pair of opponents that are both playing well at this early stage. Delaware have won four of their six games to this point, and with the Fightin’ Blue Hens (yes, that is their nickname) having kept clean sheets in all four of those victories, goals will be at a premium at both ends. Meanwhile, Navy sit at 5-1 and have yet to concede more than a goal in any of their contests, also keeping four clean sheets. However, if Jenkins can reprise the same kind of form shown in her 10-save performance against Florida Gulf Coast, one goal may be enough to secure a result in each game for La Salle. That, fittingly, is where Alyssa Van Heurck comes into the conversation. The sophomore has been a regular starter in attack for the Explorers, and having played solid if unspectacular minutes in most contests to this point, a breakout performance could be just around the corner for the Western Australian, and this would be a perfect time to pull one out.

Illinois have had little trouble scoring goals, but despite their 4-1 record, are yet to record a clean sheet and have conceded multiple goals in all bar one game to this point. Regular starter, sophomore Ashleigh Lefevre and her teammates will have to make this the week that they start locking down oppositions, with the Fighting Illini facing a pair of high-scoring attacks this week in the form of Butler and Colorado College. Butler sit at 4-2 to this point, scoring at least two goals in all bar one of their games, which was a 2-1 loss to then #15 Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Colorado College have banged in 12 goals in moving to 4-0 to start their campaign, and whilst their schedule to this point hasn’t been the strongest, the Tigers have certainly proved their potency in front of goal. Having started three games this season but not played more than 59 minutes in any one game, if Lefevre is going to prove that she deserves to be a 90-minute player, now is the perfect time to show the kind of form that will merit a full-time spot in the lineup.

UCLA slipped to a 2-0 defeat last week against Santa Clara, and whilst Teagan Micah and the Bruins will be looking to make a quick return to form, Wisconsin will be no pushovers, with the Badgers sitting at #22 in this week’s coaches’ poll. With their only loss this season coming in overtime to the same Florida State side that UCLA defeated a couple of weeks ago, Wisconsin have compiled a solid 4-1-1 record to this point, and with this fixture their final non-conference game, the Big Ten side will be looking to enter conference play on a high note. However, UCLA had been riding a 17-game unbeaten streak coming into last week’s game, and a single loss doesn’t undo all that good work, nor does it detract from the fact that the Bruins are still one of a handful of national championship contenders. Wisconsin will also have to contend with the Pac-12’s record-holder for most Goalkeeper of the Week awards in Matildas squad member Micah, and with the Badgers scoring just seven goals in six games despite their solid record, just notching a goal against one of the nation’s top goalkeepers looks to be a stern test for Wisconsin. This may also be the week in which we see the return of Rachel Lowe to the lineup after tallying a few DNPs over the last couple of weeks, particularly if UCLA can jump out to an early lead, something they will be itching to do after last week’s profligacy in and around the area.

Texas Tech have reached the NCAA Tournament in six of the last seven seasons, if they continue in the same form that has seen the Red Raiders post a 5-1 record to this point, they could very easily make it seven in eight. This week, they travel to Pullman to face UC Irvine and Loyola Marymount on neutral ground at Washington State, a venue that has seen a couple of Aussies tear things up in recent years, including Tia Gavin and current Hawaii assistant coach Rachael Doyle. Whilst she won’t be pulling on a Cougars jersey, Demi Koulizakis will be hoping to have the same kind of success that Doyle had on the Palouse, particularly against a pair of teams that have combined for a single win this season. UC Irvine currently sit 1-5 and conceded three or more goals in three of those losses, including a 7-0 drubbing by Virginia, whilst Loyola Marymount gave up 5 goals to Pittsburgh in a thrilling 5-4 defeat and three more to then #7 Penn State in a 3-0 defeat, so there will certainly be opportunities for the senior to not only score goals, but tee up teammates this weekend.

Finally, we have potential for an Aussie v Aussie matchup this week as Sam Roff’s Fairleigh Dickinson side takes on a Hofstra roster featuring Grace Watson Carr and Monique Iannella. However, whilst Roff has been just about ever-present for the Knights, neither of Hofstra’s Aussies have been involved recently, meaning that whilst there may be three Aussies at the venue, only one may actually take to the pitch. However, this remains a crucial game for both teams, with Fairleigh Dickinson looking to shake a 1-2-3 start to hit form coming into the conference season and Hofstra attempting to build on a 3-3 start before attempting to assert their dominance on the CAA.

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: @ Samford – 10am, Saturday September 14; @ Charleston Southern – 4am, Monday September 16

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ SIU-Edwardsville – 7am, Saturday September 14; @ Eastern Illinois – 4am, Monday September 16

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: v Radford – 9am, Saturday September 14; @ Winthrop – 9am, Monday September 16

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Hofstra – 9am, Friday September 13; @ Binghamton – 3am, Monday September 16

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ UC Santa Barbara – 12pm, Saturday September 14; v North Dakota – 12pm, Monday September 16

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: v Fairleigh Dickinson – 9am, Friday September 13; v Columbia – 3am, Monday September 16

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ Butler – 7am, Friday September 13; v Colorado College – 4am, Monday September 16

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v Delaware – 9am, Friday September 13; v Navy – 3am, Monday September 16

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Arizona State – 3am, Monday September 16

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: v High Point – 3am, Monday September 16

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: v Long Beach State – 7am, Friday September 13; v South Alabama – 4am, Monday September 16

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Kristy Helmers, Shauni Reid)

This week: @ Alcorn State – 7am, Saturday September 14; @ Southern – 4am, Monday September 16

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: @ Drake – 9am, Saturday September 14; @ Northern Iowa – 4am, Monday September 16

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: @ East Carolina – 9am, Friday September 13; v William & Mary – 8am, Monday September 16

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: v Holy Cross – 9am, Friday September 13; @ Boston University – 4am, Monday September 16

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Arkansas State – 4am, Monday September 16

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ Pepperdine – 8am, Saturday September 14; @ UC Santa Barbara – 6am, Monday September 16

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Loyola Marymount – 9:30am, Saturday September 14; v UC Irvine – 3:30am, Monday September 16

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Wisconsin – 11am, Sunday September 15

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: @ Lehigh – 8am, Saturday September 14; @ Longwood – 3am, Monday September 16

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v High Point – 9am, Friday September 13; v Radford – 9am, Monday September 16

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: v Southern Utah – 8am, Saturday September 14; @ Montana – 5am, Monday September 16

2019 Week 2 Wrap

The Pac-12 Aussies flexed their national title credentials this week, with UCLA in particular coming up with a pair of massive wins. Meanwhile, down in the Lone Star State, Texas Tech were ruthless in smashing home 8 goals across two games, with Demi Koulizakis playing no small part in their wins.

(Image Credit: Texas Tech Athletics)

Beattie Goad turned last week’s solid start into a scintillating continuation, playing an integral role in Stanford’s 5-0 win over Penn to maintain the Cardinal’s perfect record. Goad opened the scoring for the home side on Thursday night, lashing home Madison Haley’s lay-off into the top corner from the edge of the area for her first goal of the season. The senior followed up shortly after, producing a mazy run from the left wing into the centre of the pitch before finding Abby Greubel, who made the most of Goad’s work with a classy finish into the bottom corner from outside the area. Goad would also start in Stanford’s 7-0 win over San Jose State later in the week, playing 25 minutes.

Staying in the Pac-12, Teagan Micah helped UCLA to a pair of massive wins over Florida State and Florida as the Bruins reminded everyone why they are one of the national championship favourites. The senior made two saves in UCLA’s 2-1 win over Florida State at Banc of California Stadium, before returning home to Wallis Annenberg Stadium to make three saves in the Bruins’ 2-0 win over Florida for her third clean sheet of the still young season. Unfortunately, Rachel Lowe did not feature in either game for the Bruins this week as coach Amanda Cromwell kept the rotation short in these tight contests.

Demi Koulizakis continues to make herself an integral part of the Texas Tech side, with the senior performing admirably as the Red Raiders picked up a pair of 4-0 wins. Texas Tech outshot Oral Roberts 23-3 in their first game of the week, and whilst Koulizakis may not have scored a goal in the drubbing, the former Western Sydney Wanderers W-League player got herself into good positions and managed to finish the game with three shots on target in the win. However, Koulizakis’ good work produced more tangible results against North Texas later in the week. With the Red Raiders and Mean Green locked up at 0-0 at halftime, a second-half blitzkrieg culminated in four goals for Texas Tech, with Koulizakis assisting on both the second goal as well as the final tally of the night as the home side pulled away down the stretch.

Western Carolina senior Kate Swartwout has done just about everything bar score a goal during her time with the Catamounts, but that all changed in a thrilling 5-4 victory over Tennessee-Martin. With her team down 1-0 after eight minutes, Swartwout tied things up from close range, sending the ball home from near the centre of the box. The Catamounts would take a 4-2 lead into halftime, but their lead was cut to 5-4 with still 15 minutes to play, leading to a crazy finish that somehow did not produce more goals as Western Carolina moved to 2-1.

Tessa Calabria may still only be playing limited minutes, but her impact for Nicholls State is anything but as the senior continues to produce for the Colonels. Calabria played only 30 minutes of the contest against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but that was time enough to tally an assist on her team’s fourth goal and also test the goalkeeper with a shot of her own as Nicholls State rolled to a 5-0 win. Kristy Helmers also played 66 minutes for the Colonels in the win, whilst Shauni Reid was an unused substitute.

Sam Roff has never been known as a player to make a significant impact at the attacking end, but that has never stopped the Fairleigh Dickinson defender from being one of the most crucial parts of the Knights lineup, and the senior proved as much this weekend. Having played the first 70 minutes against Lehigh in the New Jersey team’s first game of the week, Roff was forced off with the score at 1-0. Lehigh tied the game late, and with overtime unable to separate the sides, the Knights were forced to settle for the draw. However, Roff returned to play in-state foes Rider, and proved once again to be a rock at the back as Rider were able to tally only three shots on target as the game finished in a 0-0 stalemate, with Roff playing all 110 minutes.

This week also saw two more players make their collegiate debuts in brief cameos off the bench that will no doubt drive the pair to secure more playing time going forward. Mississippi freshman winger Aimee Medwin saw 21 minutes of action in a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over Minnesota, whilst sophomore Grace Watson Carr played 17 minutes between the sticks in the back end of a dominant 6-1 win for Hofstra over local foes Fordham.

Watson Carr’s Hofstra teammate Monique Iannella also managed to produce a moment to savour this week, tallying the 14th assist of her career even as the Pride fell to a 2-1 loss to Brown. As those who have followed Iannella’s career would be unsurprised to learn, the assist came from a corner, with a short ball played out to the senior, who combined with Sabrina Bryan, with the latter’s shot from long distance managing to find its way into the net with a little help from a defender’s head.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Beattie Goad (Stanford)
2: Demi Koulizakis (Texas Tech)
1: Sam Roff (Fairleigh Dickinson)

Full Schedule

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: lost 1-0 to Purdue-Fort Wayne; lost 2-0 to Louisiana-Lafayette

Sarah Clark featured for Chicago State in both games this week, tallying a trio of shots in the loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: drew 1-1 with Gardner-Webb

D’arne Boato did not feature for East Tennessee State in their draw with Gardner-Webb.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: drew 1-1 with Lehigh; drew 0-0 with Rider

Sam Roff played 70 minutes in the draw with Lehigh before being forced off the pitch, but returned to help Fairleigh Dickinson hold Rider to just 3 shots on target in a 0-0 draw, playing all 110 minutes in the process.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to UTEP; lost 4-0 to UTSA

Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon in the loss to UTEP, but came off the bench to register a shot on target in her 30 minutes on the pitch against UTSA.

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

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

Eliza Ammendolia came off the bench for Nevada in both games this week for Hawaii, playing 43 minutes against Nevada and 39 minutes against Sacramento State. Kiri Dale played 23 minutes off the bench against Nevada, but did not feature against Sacramento State.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: lost 2-1 to Brown; defeated Fordham 6-1

Having not featured in the loss to Brown, sophomore goalkeeper Grace Watson Carr made her Hofstra debut with a 17-minute cameo in the latter stages of the Pride’s 6-1 win over Fordham. Monique Iannella started against Brown and delivered the assist on Hofstra’s only goal in a 59-minute performance, but did not feature against Fordham.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: defeated Pepperdine 3-2; lost 3-0 to San Francisco

Ashleigh Lefevre started for Illinois in the win over Pepperdine, playing 44 minutes before coming off the bench in the loss to San Francisco to play 57 minutes.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: defeated NJIT 1-0; lost 1-0 to Drexel

Claudia Jenkins played all 180 minutes between the sticks for La Salle this week, finishing with 2 saves in the win over NJIT and 4 more in the loss to Drexel. Alyssa Van Heurck started both games, tallying a single shot in 33 minutes in the win over NJIT and seeing 36 minutes of action against Drexel.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

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

Caitlin Cantrill came off the bench to play 9 minutes for LSU in the win over McNeese State, but did not feature in the draw with Samford.

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: defeated Youngstown State 3-0; lost 4-1 to Ohio

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

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: defeated Southeast Missouri State 2-0; defeated Minnesota 3-2 (OT)

Aimee Medwin did not feature against Southeast Missouri State, but came off the bench against Minnesota to make her college debut, registering a single shot in 21 minutes of action.

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Kristy Helmers, Shauni Reid)

This week: defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 5-0

Tessa Calabria started for Nicholls State in the win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, tallying an assist and a shot on target in her 30 minutes on the pitch. Kristy Helmers also started and played 66 minutes, but Shauni Reid did not feature for the Colonels.

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: defeated Vermont 3-0; defeated New Hampshire 1-0

Eden Taylor-Wineera made a brief 5-minute cameo off the bench in North Dakota State’s win over Vermont, but did not feature against New Hampshire.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: drew 1-1 with Liberty

Gaby Bentley did not feature for Old Dominion in their draw with Liberty.

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: defeated Wagner 1-0

Teresa Morrissey once again played the full 90 minutes for Rhode Island, coming up with 3 vital saves in the Rams’ 1-0 win over Wagner.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: lost 2-0 to Mississippi; lost 5-0 to Arkansas

Siena Senatore started both games for Southeast Missouri State this week, playing all 180 minutes across the two contests.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Penn 5-1; defeated San Jose State 7-0

Beattie Goad started for Stanford against Penn, tallying the opening goal and an assist during her 61 minutes on the pitch. The senior also started against San Jose State, playing the first 25 minutes.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated Oral Roberts 4-0; defeated North Texas 4-0

Demi Koulizakis peppered Oral Roberts’ goal with 3 shots in target during her 47 minutes on the pitch in Texas Tech’s win, before coming off the bench to assist on two goals in the Red Raiders’ win over North Texas in a 23-minute cameo.

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Florida State 2-1; defeated Florida 2-0

Teagan Micah played all 180 minutes of the weekend, making two saves in the win over Florida State and another 3 in the victory over Florida. Rachel Lowe did not feature for the Bruins in either game this week.

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: lost 3-1 to Temple; defeated Mount St. Mary’s 3-0

Teal Kilbride started for UMBC in the loss, playing 34 minutes, but did not feature in the win over Mount St. Mary’s. Abi Jordan did not feature for the Retrievers in either game this week.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 4-1 to Middle Tennessee State; defeated Tennessee-Martin 5-4

Kate Swartwout came off the bench against Middle Tennessee State to play 13 minutes, before getting the start against Tennessee-Martin and scoring her first career goal in a 23-minute cameo in the Catamounts’ thrilling 5-4 win.

2019 Goalkeeper Previews

Once the domain of Wyoming legend Georgia Rowntree, the Australian goalkeeping stocks in NCAA Division I are now four deep as freshman Teresa Morrissey joins Claudia Jenkins, Teagan Micah, and Grace Watson Carr in the US, with all four either the incumbent starter or a reasonable chance of securing the berth.

(Featured Image Credit: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)

Claudia Jenkins (Junior, La Salle, Adelaide)

Having served her apprenticeship as a freshman, Jenkins stepped into the starting role between the sticks in 2018 and immediately became one of the most crucial members of the La Salle squad. Jenkins finished the 2018 season with an impressive save percentage of 0.788 and a goals against average of 1.248, a number that was skewed significantly by a number of penalties and own goals that also contributed to La Salle finishing with a middling 8-8-1 record after finishing 17-4-2 in 2017 and reaching the NCAA Tournament. However, with Jenkins back between the sticks for 2019, the Explorers can remain certain that there will always be at least one player on the pitch that they can rely on, with the South Australian remaining assured in goal throughout the 2018 season.

Teagan Micah (Senior, UCLA, Brisbane)

Not many college players can say they’re coming off a World Cup campaign, but Micah is one of two players on the UCLA roster to have travelled to France in June, alongside Canadian midfield sensation Jessie Fleming. Whilst Micah may have not made an appearance as the third goalkeeper in the Matildas World Cup squad, the experience will nonetheless done the UCLA custodian the world of good and helped to prepare her for leading the Bruins in their quest to return to the College Cup after reaching the national championship game in 2017. Micah has finished in the top 50 in the nation for clean sheets in all three of her college seasons to date, and has also improved her goals against average from 0.96 in her freshman year to 0.74 in her junior year. Whilst the senior will no doubt be aided by a rock-solid UCLA defence, Micah’s own ability helps to make the Bruins an incredibly tough proposition for any opposing forward line.

Teresa Morrissey (Freshman, Rhode Island, Melbourne) 

A member of the Young Matildas’ squad in 2018, Rhode Island have picked up a player with not only potential but the ability to step in immediately if need be in Morrissey. The Victorian has suffered injury troubles in the past, but clearly has class between the sticks and will surely compete for the starting spot at Rhode Island, even if her only competition for the position, junior Julia Freeman, started in five games last season. As well as her experience with the Young Matildas, Morrissey has also made over 40 appearances for the Senior NTC side in NPL Victoria, and despite playing in a young side that often found themselves overmatched against more experienced opposition, demonstrated her class on a regular basis to earn national honours.

Grace Watson-Carr (Freshman, Hofstra, Sydney)

Watson-Carr may not have featured in 2018 as part of a roster that featured five goalkeepers and included two seniors, but the starting berth will now go to one of three players, none of whom have seen any playing time at the college level. An occasional member of a Sydney Olympic side that reached two NPL 2 NSW grand finals in 2017 and 2018, picking up a championship in the latter, Watson-Carr does possess high-level experience, and also helped Sydney Olympic to a reserve grade title in 2018 alongside their first grade success. Being an underclassman goalkeeper on a roster that includes a redshirt junior in the same position rarely bodes well for a player’s minutes, but Watson-Carr will come into this season on level pegging with her rivals for the starting berth as all three goalkeepers on the roster look to make their first appearance in 2019.

2018 End Of Season Wrap

(Featured Image Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

As was the case in 2017, we saw 30 Australians take to the pitch in NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer this season. Although the season didn’t end with a national champion for the first time in three years, there was still no shortage of players enjoying outstanding campaigns in a thoroughly entertaining 2018, with both familiar faces and new stars putting on a show.

(33 Australians were on rosters at the end of the season. However, Caitlin Cantrill, Laura Farrelly, and Grace Watson-Carr did not feature this season and as such are not featured below.) 

Indianna Asimus (Wyoming)
Team Record:
12-4-4 (Mountain West Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 20 games, 9 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

Indianna Asimus enjoyed a solid first college season. (Photo Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

Indianna Asimus may have been the lesser used of the four Australians on the Wyoming roster, but nonetheless the freshman had enough of an impact for the Cowgirls to suggest that her playing time will increase going forward. Asimus started each of the final five games of the season, and although the freshman didn’t manage a goal, she did rattle off seven shots in the final two games. That alone is evidence in itself that Asimus found herself in good positions, which will serve her well over the next three seasons, particularly as she looks to snag one of the positions left by the six graduating seniors from the 2017 team.

Gaby Bentley (Old Dominion)
Team Record:
8-7-4 (Conference USA Quarter-Finals)
Stats: 14 games, 2 goals, 0 assists

An impact player off the bench for much of the season, Gaby Bentley may not have started every game but gave just as much as many of the starters for an Old Dominion side that once again found itself in the Conference USA Tournament before being knocked out in the quarter-finals for the third consecutive season. Although her general play was solid throughout the season, Bentley also doubled her scoring output from last season, tallying two goals for the season. With a number of midfielders graduating after the 2018 season, Bentley may just find herself in the starting lineup on a more regular basis in her senior year. 

Lorena Bugden (William & Mary)
Team Record:
6-10-1
Stats: 5 games, 1 start, 0 goals, 0 assists

Having spent her first season at William & Mary recovering from injury, new issues plagued Lorena Bugden in her sophomore year with the Tribe, culminating in just five appearances in a tough season on both a personal level and for the team. Under a new coach for the 2018 campaign, Bugden earned a start in one of her appearances, but the injury problems curtailed what could have been a promising season that may have set the sophomore up for the next couple of seasons at William & Mary. As it is, Bugden will have to hit the ground running in 2019 in order to put together the kind of season she is capable of producing.

Jodie Burchell (Towson)
Team Record:
4-12-3
Stats: 14 games, 7 starts, 1 goal, 0 assists

Freshman Jodie Burchell took a while to establish herself in the Towson side, but once she did, she latched onto her spot and eventually entrenched herself as a member of the starting lineup. Despite playing just 14 games, all of Burchell’s seven starts came in the last eight games of the season. Although the freshman came up with only a single goal in her 485 minutes on the pitch, Burchell was able to fashion chances on occasion, finishing with 10 shots for the season in a solid first campaign in college soccer.

Tessa Calabria (Nicholls State)
Team Record:
3-15-0
Stats: 6 games, 1 start, 0 goals, 1 assist

Although it was a disappointing season for Nicholls State, things began promisingly for Tessa Calabria, starting her first game and playing more than hour in two of her first three appearances before picking up an assist against Alcorn State in the first game of September. However, that would be the last time the junior college transfer would feature in 2018, as injury reared its ugly head and forced the South Australian out for the remainder of the season. However, Calabria will return next season and the Colonels could certainly use her presence as despite scoring 17 goals, 7 of those came from senior Francesca Curteis, and that production will need to be replaced if the team is to improve on this season’s three wins.

Sarah Clark (Chicago State)
Team Record:
0-16-1
Stats: 8 games, 4 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

Sarah Clark’s first season in Division I after two successful seasons at Lassen Community College looked promising as the Queenslander made four starts in her first eight appearances for the struggling Cougars. However, Clark’s season ended prematurely after those eight appearances, which spelled trouble for a Chicago State side that could have used all the help it could get as a winless streak dating back to August 2018 continued throughout the season, reaching 33 games.

Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
Team Record:
12-4-4 (Mountain West Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 20 games, 20 starts, 4 goals, 2 assists 

Wyoming needed a leader in midfield following Alisha Bass’s graduation after the 2017 season, and Annika Clayton stepped up to fill the void left by her fellow Australian superbly. Four goals and two assists certainly comprised a tidy return for the midfielder, but statistics alone do not paint the picture of Clayton’s importance to her team. Whether pulling the strings in midfield with her passing or making a marauding run forward, the midfielder’s ability to impact the game in a number of ways was vital to the Cowgirls securing a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title and finishing with 12 wins and 4 draws in their 20 games. Clayton also received a Mountain West All-Conference Second Team nomination for her performances throughout the season, just reward for an outstanding campaign.

Kiri Dale (Hawaii)
Team Record:
9-6-1
Stats: 16 games, 12 starts, 0 goals, 2 assists

Kiri Dale enjoyed another solid season for Hawaii, settling into a position in the starting lineup for the majority of the campaign. The Rainbow Wahine narrowly missed out on their first conference tournament berth, but nonetheless even being in contention represented a vast improvement on their dismal league finishes since moving to the Big West in 2012. Dale finished the season with three complete-game performances in among several other high-minute games, tallying a pair of assists for the season as well as 9 shots in her second season at Hawaii but her first with fellow Australian and College Matildas legend Rachael Doyle as part of the coaching staff.

Isobel Dalton (Colorado)
Team Record:
13-4-3
Stats: 12 games, 0 starts, 0 goals, 1 assist

As has been the case for the majority of Isobel Dalton’s time at Colorado, the senior midfielder found herself just outside the regular rotation of players throughout the season, limiting both her appearances and playing time. However, despite a lack of opportunities, Dalton was still able to exhibit her class in midfield and come up with the occasional memorable moment, including a scintillating pass that split the Oregon State defence for the final assist of the senior’s college career. Having played in both the W-League and the English Women’s Super League before heading to college, Dalton’s next move will be one to watch if the former Brisbane Roar player does choose to extend her footballing career.

Lauren Featherstone (North Dakota State)
Team Record:
9-7-0 (Summit League Semi-Finals)
Stats: 10 games, 2 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

Seeking a fresh start at North Dakota State after redshirting her only season at Central Connecticut State in 2017, Lauren Featherstone had what could only be termed as a frustrating year as injury conspired to limit the redshirt freshman to just 10 games. When she actually got the chance to play, Featherstone looked at home for North Dakota State, earning two starts before enduring a three-week break midway through the season and eventually being limited to mere minutes on the pitch by the end of the campaign. However, if Featherstone can overcome her injury problems, the Macarthur Rams product can certainly become an integral part of the North Dakota State lineup going forward.

Jessie Gentle (Wyoming)
Team Record: 12-4-4 (Mountain West Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 20 games, 20 starts, 1 goal, 3 assists

Alongside classmate and fellow Aussie Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle has been an integral member of the Wyoming lineup for much of her time in Laramie, and nothing about that changed in 2018 as the senior terrorised opposing wide players both in attack and defence. Like Clayton, Gentle started every game for the Cowgirls in 2018 as the experienced Wyoming side put together the first 12-win season in program history whilst also securing a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title. A dynamic combination of athleticism and skill led a number of outstanding performances for Wyoming, culminating in a career-high three assists for the season and a second goal of the senior’s career, which came alongside an assist in a 3-1 win over Colorado College.

Beattie Goad (Stanford)
Team Record:
21-1-1 (Pac-12 Champions, NCAA College Cup Semi-Finals)
Stats: 24 games, 9 starts, 2 goals, 3 assists

Beattie Goad has become an integral part of the Stanford side. (Photo Credit: Stanford Athletics)

Beattie Goad has seen decent playing time throughout her time at Stanford during what could only be termed as a golden era for the program, but this season saw the junior’s impact on the side become far more significant. Starting the first five games of the season as injuries opened up a spot, Goad started 9 of her 24 appearances and finished with multiple goals and assists in a season for the first time in her career. Whilst Stanford may have fallen short of repeating as champions after a 2-0 loss to eventual champions Florida State in the College Cup semi-finals, Goad’s season could only be termed as a successful one as she proved herself to be an integral part of one of the best teams in college soccer.

Tenille Harberger (Nicholls State)
Team Record:
3-15-0
Stats: 3 games, 0 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

Having redshirted her first year at Nicholls State in 2017, Tenille Harberger finally saw her first playing time for the Colonels this year, seeing limited playing time in three games in what was a tough season in general for the team. The midfielder from Mackay was afforded just 21 minutes of playing time in those three appearances, and will no doubt be hoping to increase that playing time in her junior year in 2019 as Nicholls State look to improve on their three wins this season.

Emma Heckenberg (Drexel)
Team Record:
7-7-5 (CAA Quarter-Finals)
Stats: 18 games, 16 starts, 0 goals, 4 assists

Rarely has a player appeared more willing to do whatever is required to get her team a win than Emma Heckenberg, and that has served the senior well. Heckenberg saw 16 starts in her final year of college soccer, the most of any of her four years at Drexel. Ready and willing to slot in wherever required, Heckenberg carved out a spot as a vital member of the backline with a handy ability to deliver a set-piece, much like Monique Iannella at Hofstra. That set-piece ability delivered four assists, with two of those coming in a 2-1 over St. Joseph’s and another on the game-winner in a victory over Charleston. Whilst Heckenberg was never a player that received massive plaudits, replacing a player of her ilk will prove no small task for Drexel in 2019. 

Kristy Helmers (Nicholls State)
Team Record:
3-15-0
Stats: 18 games, 4 starts, 2 goals, 1 assist

After a solid first couple of seasons that saw Kristy Helmers regularly start for Nicholls State, 2018 saw the Canberra product come off the bench in the vast majority of her appearances in a side that struggled for goals for much of the season. Helmers started just four games and rarely played more than half a game, resulting in a diminished return of just two goals after scoring three in 2017 and six in her freshman year of 2016. However, those two goals were good enough for second-highest on a Nicholls State team that scored just 17 and saw 7 of those come from one player. 

Sandra Hill (Grand Canyon)
Team Record:
6-13-2 (WAC Quarter-Finals)
Stats: 15 games, 9 starts, 1 goal, 0 assists

Fresh off making her debut with the Cambodian national team during the off-season, Sandra Hill returned to Grand Canyon for her sophomore year and made a similar impact to what she had done in 2017. Hill certainly looks to have benefitted from having a year under her belt, looking far more composed on the pitch in 2018, and also managed to pick up her first collegiate goal with an absolute worldie in her side’s WAC Tournament quarter-final loss to Utah Valley. After starting 9 of her 15 games in 2018, Hill will no doubt be hoping to ensure that both of those numbers sit closer to 20 in her junior season, and if her development continues, there is no reason that can’t happen. 

Isabel Hodgson (East Tennessee State)
Team Record:
8-12-0 (Southern Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 20 games, 19 starts, 4 goals, 1 assist

Isabel Hodgson will be tough to replace for ETSU. (Photo Credit: Dakota Hamilton/ETSU Athletics)

A star of the East Tennessee State side from the moment she stepped on the field in Johnson City, Isabel Hodgson once again enjoyed an outstanding season, finishing the 2018 season as the program’s record holder for total appearances. Despite playing a defensive role for the Buccaneers, Hodgson was still able to tally 4 goals and 2 assists, her best return since the 2016 campaign in which the South Australian was utilised in an attacking position, to help her team to a Southern Conference semi-final berth as East Tennessee State atoned for a poor non-conference season by finishing third in the league table. Hodgson has already made her next career move, signing with Adelaide United for the remainder of the W-League season, joining other Australian former college players Laura Johns, Dylan Holmes, and Kahlia Hogg.

Monique Iannella (Hofstra)
Team Record: 16-6-1 (CAA Champions, NCAA Tournament Second Round)
Stats: 23 games, 21 starts, 1 goal, 5 assists

The only thing more lethal than Monique Iannella’s defensive presence is her ability to whip in a pinpoint ball from a corner, and the senior demonstrated both with aplomb to help lead Hofstra to a second consecutive CAA title and another NCAA Tournament appearance. In a side teeming with international players, Iannella was just one of many imports playing a vital role as the Pride rolled through the CAA Tournament before demolishing Boston College in an upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Interestingly, although Iannella’s ability from a corner is renowned, the majority of her assists came in other ways, proving her versatility as a player. Three of these came in one game against Towson, all of which came from open play as the former Melbourne City followed up 2017’s six assists with five more in her senior year. 

Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
Team Record:
8-8-1
Stats: 17 games, 17 starts, 5 clean sheets, 1.248 GAA, 0.788 save percentage 

Claudia Jenkins has been La Salle’s saviour on many occasions. (Photo Credit: Greg Carroccio / Sideline Photos)

After spending the 2017 as backup to senior Larisa Zambelli, Claudia Jenkins made the goalkeeper position her own in 2018, proving to be a more-than-reliable option between the sticks for La Salle. Jenkins’ save percentage and goals against average numbers put her in the top half of goalkeepers in the nation, but those numbers could have been far better if not for an early-season flurry of penalties and own goals that at times left the sophomore on a hiding to nothing. Forced to make almost five saves per game, Jenkins stood tall in a tough season for La Salle, who came back to the pack in a massive way after winning the conference title last season as the Explorers looked to replace three defensive starters who had graduated after the 2017 season. 

Demi Koulizakis (Texas Tech)
Team Record: 14-5-3
Stats: 21 games, 2 starts, 1 goal, 0 assists

Demi Koulizakis made her first starts since 2016 this season as the junior’s vast improvement became impossible to ignore after a slightly down season in 2017. Koulizakis’ minutes fluctuated wildly throughout the season, but demonstrated her class with a technically sublime finish in the team’s 6-0 win over Florida International, the junior’s only goal for the season. Impressively, the junior played 100 minutes in the Red Raiders’ shootout loss to Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and the fact that Koulizakis has forced her way into increased playing time in a team that is performing just as well as in previous seasons may be the most promising outcome of all from this campaign.

Ashleigh Lefevre (Illinois)
Team Record: 11-8-1
Stats: 15 games, 0 starts, 0 goals, 1 assist

Cameos off the bench were the order of the season for Ashleigh Lefevre, who made 15 appearances for Illinois in her freshman year, but never saw more than 40 minutes of playing time in any one game. Often used at the back end of the first half to give starters an extended halftime break, Lefevre nevertheless managed to maintain a spot in the rotation, and was able to make her first tangible mark on a game with her first career assist in the Illini’s 5-0 win over SIU Edwardsville early in the season. Having been afforded limited opportunities in her freshman year, Lefevre will no doubt be hoping to build on that going forward to become an integral member of the Illinois starting lineup in 2019. 

Teagan Micah (UCLA)
Team Record: 17-3-2 (NCAA Tournament Semi-Finals)
Stats: 17 games, 14 starts, 8 clean sheets, 0.745 GAA, 0.789 save percentage

Teagan Micah was a vital cog in the UCLA side. (Photo Credit: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)

Firmly established as one of the nation’s top goalkeepers, Teagan Micah came up in a massive way for UCLA on a number of occasions this season as the Bruins followed up last year’s national title game appearance with a run to the quarter-finals. Playing behind the Bruins’ outstanding defence meant Micah didn’t always have a ton of work to do, but regularly stepped up when called upon. This was most evident in the crosstown derby against USC, in which the junior made 8 saves in the Bruins’ overtime victory, including an acrobatic tip over the bar with just two seconds to play on a shot that would have otherwise won USC the game at the last possible moment. A concussion midway through the season may have kept Micah out for a few games midway through the season, but nonetheless it was another outstanding campaign for one of the top Australian players in college.

Shelby Milton (Saint Francis)
Team Record: 8-9-3 (Northeast Conference Runner-Up)
Stats: 7 games, 1 start, 0 goals, 0 assists

Once again it was an impressive year for Saint Francis, but also one that saw Shelby Milton receive but limited opportunities for the Red Flash in her final campaign with the team. Despite starting against Duquesne early in the season, even that game saw the defender play only 17 minutes as not one of Milton’s seven appearances saw her play more than 37 minutes. It was the same story that had panned out in each of Milton’s previous seasons at St. Francis, who started games in all three of her seasons with the team but never played more than eight games in any one campaign. 

Freyja Murray (Akron)
Team Record:
8-10-2 (MAC Quarter-Finals)
Stats: 3 games, 0 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

It was a frustrating season in terms of playing time for Akron freshman Freyja Murray, who saw playing time in three early-season games, totalling just 64 minutes of action in her first year with the Zips as those three games turned out to be her only appearances in her freshman year. Unfortunately, it looks as though 2018 may be Murray’s only season with the side, with social media posts suggesting the former Northern Tigers defender may be leaving the program.

Caitlin Pickett (Wyoming)
Team Record: 12-4-4 (Mountain West Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 20 games, 19 starts, 2 goals, 1 assist

Caitlin Pickett came up big in a couple of overtime thrillers. (Photo Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

Caitlin Pickett started her college career in whirlwind fashion, coming off the bench to score an overtime winner in just her second game against Utah Valley. Although that goal comprised half of the freshman’s season tally, the other goal Pickett scored was even more thrilling, coming 16 seconds from the end of overtime in a vital win over Utah State that helped Wyoming on the way to a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title. Impressively, Pickett started 19 games in her first college season, appearing at home in the Wyoming lineup, and looks set to form an integral part of the Wyoming attack alongside fellow Australian and classmate Indianna Asimus.

Sam Roff (Fairleigh Dickinson)
Team Record:
6-10-3 (Northeast Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 19 games, 18 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

Sam Roff’s stat line may look as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, but offensive output has never been the junior’s job as a member of the Fairleigh Dickinson backline. The Knights finished in the top four in their conference for both shutout percentage and goals against average, testament to Roff and her defensive teammates’ strength as a unit. Although Fairleigh Dickinson fell in the NEC semi-finals, Roff’s work this season did not go unnoticed as the junior picked up a second consecutive All-Conference First Team selection to solidify her place as one of the top defenders in the league.

Kate Swartwout (Western Carolina)
Team Record:
8-8-2 (Southern Conference Quarter-Finals)
Stats: 16 games, 3 starts, 1 goal, 1 assist

Kate Swartwout showed plenty of scoring ability before making her way to Western Carolina, and those attacking instincts showed this season as the junior picked up the first goal of her college career in the Catamounts’ 2-1 loss to Chattanooga in October. Whilst starts were once again not forthcoming for Swartwout, the versatile junior retained a role as an impact player off the bench, appearing in 16 games in a middling season for the Catamounts that saw the team reach the conference tournament but fail to pick up a win, falling to Furman in the quarter-finals. With seven seniors on the roster this season, there will certainly be chances for Swartwout to become a regular starter in 2019 as she looks to end her college career with a flourish.

Claire Urquhart (Albany)
Team Record: 14-7-2 (America East Champions, NCAA Tournament First Round)
Stats: 7 games, 0 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

After starting 8 games in 2017, 2018 saw a drop in Claire Urquhart’s playing time in her senior year, with just seven appearances and no starts forthcoming in the Queenslander’s final season in Albany. Urquhart did enjoy a third trip to the NCAA Tournament in four years, but unfortunately did not receive any playing time in the Great Danes’ 5-1 loss to South Florida in the opening round, rounding out a career in which she had been seemingly vastly underutilised throughout.

Alyssa Van Heurck (La Salle)
Team Record:
8-8-1
Stats: 17 games, 6 starts, 1 goal, 0 assists

Alyssa Van Heurck made the most of a positional switch. (Photo Credit: Greg Carroccio/Sideline Photos)

Known more as a fullback in her time prior to college, Alyssa Van Heurck found herself pushed up the pitch into an attacking wide role, and made the most of the switch to tally 17 appearances in her freshman year. Although the Western Australian started just six of those games, Van Heurck could regularly be called upon to provide a spark off the bench, tallying her first college goal in a 24-minute stint against UMBC in just her second college game and rattling off 3 shots in just 22 minutes against St. Bonaventure later in the season as her emergence as an integral part of the rotation became apparent.

College Matildas End Of Season Awards

Player Of The NCAA Tournament: Teagan Micah (UCLA)
Freshman Of The Year: Caitlin Pickett (Wyoming)
Sophomore Of The Year: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
Junior Of The Year: Beattie Goad (Stanford)
Senior Of The Year: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
Goalkeeper Of The Year: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle) and Teagan Micah (UCLA)
Defender Of The Year: Monique Iannella (Hofstra)
Midfielder Of The Year: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
Forward Of The Year: Caitlin Pickett (Wyoming)
Breakout Player Of The Year: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
Most Consistent Player: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
Top Goalscorer: Annika Clayton (Wyoming) and Isabel Hodgson (ETSU) – 4 Goals
Most Assists: Monique Iannella (Hofstra) – 5 Assists
2018 College Matildas Player Of The Year: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)

2018 NCAA Tournament Preview

It’s time for the big one – the NCAA Tournament – and two teams featuring Aussies are among the favourites as Stanford and UCLA look to make return trips to the College Cup.

The 2018 NCAA Tournament sees six teams featuring seven Aussies in the mix for a national title, as at-large teams Texas Tech and UCLA joined conference champions Stanford, LSU, Hofstra, and Albany in the big dance. The chips have fallen the right way for a potential rematch between Beattie Goad’s Stanford outfit and Teagan Micah’s UCLA side in the championship game after 2017’s barnburner that resulted in a 3-2 Stanford victory, with the teams again on opposite sides of the draw. Both sides will be fully expecting to at least reach the College Cup again, whilst for LSU and Texas Tech a Sweet 16 berth is certainly a realistic goal, and from there anything is possible. Hofstra and Albany face the toughest draws, but neither are without their chance to upset the applecart against some bigger teams. 

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

First Round: @ South Florida – 11am, Sunday November 11 

Live on South Florida YouTube

Claire Urquhart and Albany certainly have the toughest test of any of the six teams featuring Aussies, travelling to Tampa to face a South Florida side hellbent on making amends for a 3-0 defeat to Memphis in their conference championship game. Albany reached the NCAA Tournament courtesy of a 5-1 win in their own conference championship game, albeit in a much smaller league, but nonetheless come in on far more of a high than their opponents. South Florida will come in as heavy favourites, but there are always a few upsets in the NCAA Tournament in any sport, so don’t write the Great Danes off just yet.

Albany Team South Florida
14-6-2 Record (W-L-D) 13-3-0
96 RPI Rank 16
2.18 Goals Per Game 2.31
1.23 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.88

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

First Round: @ Boston College – 11am, Saturday November 10

Live on ACC Network Extra (US Only)

The only other team here to play on the road first up, Hofstra certainly have a shorter trip than Albany as they travel from Long Island to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College. The Eagles upset the odds to finish fourth in the ACC after being tabbed to finish tenth in the league in the preseason poll, a remarkable feat considering the level of play in that conference. However, Hofstra have plenty of tournament experience, both in terms of conference and national tournament games, and can hopefully use that to their advantage to come up with the upset. If Hofstra can manage to dictate the pace of the game, expect to see plenty of Monique Iannella getting up and down the flank from her fullback position, whilst her delivery from set-pieces could be another ace up Hofstra’s sleeve.

Hofstra Team Boston College
15-5-1 Record (W-L-D) 14-4-1
63 RPI Rank 25
1.67 Goals Per Game 2.26
0.95 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.63

 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

First Round: v Boston University – 6am, Monday November 12 

Live on SEC Network+ (US Only)

LSU were teetering on the bubble with four weeks left in the season, but a remarkable run to the end of the season made talk of an at-large bid moot as the Tigers rolled through the SEC Tournament to secure the conference championship on penalties against Arkansas. LSU are a team nobody will want to face in this sort of form, and more than a few title contenders will be hoping that Boston University can pull off the upset and get the Tigers out of the bracket early. It doesn’t look likely though, as although Boston University are certainly a decent team, LSU should have enough in their locker to secure a comfortable victory as they look to turn what was a decent season a month ago into one for the ages.

LSU Team Boston University
13-6-3 Record (W-L-D) 11-7-3
27 RPI Rank 90
1.50 Goals Per Game 1.24
1.05 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.90

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

First Round: v Seattle – 2pm, Sunday November 11

Live on Stanford Live Stream

As defending champions and riding a 41-match unbeaten streak, facing Seattle in the first round should pose no significant problems for a Stanford side that has been dominant for the past two seasons. The Cardinal won their first-round match in 2017 against Utah Valley 9-1, and whilst a similar result is not exactly expected here against Seattle, a wide margin of victory would not be in the least bit surprising as they look to continue their march to back-to-back championships. Beattie Goad has been in and out of the starting lineup as an occasional member of the matchday eleven, but even off the bench has been providing outstanding play for the entirety of the season, with the junior set to see far more playing time than in the Cardinal’s run to the 2017 title.

Stanford Team Seattle
17-0-2 Record (W-L-D) 10-7-3
1 RPI Rank 152
2.68 Goals Per Game 1.75
0.47 Goals Conceded Per Game 1.15

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

First Round: v Princeton – 11am, Saturday November 10

Live on TexasTech.com

Probably the tightest match on paper of the six involving Australians, Texas Tech host Princeton in a matchup of two teams separated by just ten positions in the RPI rankings, which in a nation of 335 teams is incredibly close. This game is almost a coinflip, with Princeton finishing second in the smaller Ivy League but doing enough throughout the season to earn an at-large bid, and Texas Tech reaching the Big 12 semi-finals to round out a solid season in the high-major Big 12. Both of these teams are the kind of team that could have proven to be banana skins for bigger teams in the opening weekend, particularly Princeton, who knocked off #2 North Carolina in the Sweet 16 last year and will be hungry to make another deep run. Demi Koulizakis has been coming off the bench to provide some spark to the Texas Tech offence on occasion, and it may just come to pass that the junior provides what the Red Raiders need to get over the line in this one.

Texas Tech Team Princeton
13-5-2 Record (W-L-D) 11-3-2
34 RPI Rank 24
1.50 Goals Per Game 1.50
0.60 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.56

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

First Round: v San Jose State – 1pm, Saturday November 10 

Live on UCLA Live Stream

Like Stanford, UCLA are one of the favourites to progress deep into the tournament and as such, will be expected to dominate their game against San Jose State. San Jose State came in as Mountain West Conference champions, having won the tournament despite finishing fourth in the league, so their body of work throughout the season is perhaps not as glittering as most other teams in the tournament. UCLA, on the other hand, finished second in the Pac-12, arguably the toughest league in the country, and did so despite missing Hailie Mace and Jessie Fleming to national team duty for several matches. Teagan Micah is back to her best after a concussion scare earlier in the season, and the Bruins should be primed to make another run towards the College Cup and will be hoping to go one step better than last season’s championship game defeat to Stanford.

UCLA Team San Jose State
14-3-1 Record (W-L-D) 9-6-6
8 RPI Rank 128
2.44 Goals Per Game 0.76
0.83 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.67

2018 Week 12 Preview

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

(Featured Image Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart) 

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

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

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

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

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

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

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

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

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

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

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

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

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

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

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

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

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

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

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

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

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

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

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

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

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

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

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

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

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

2018 Week 11 Preview

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

(Featured Image Credit: Jonathan Heisler, Hofstra University)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

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

Albany (Claire Urquhart) 

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

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

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

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

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

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

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

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

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

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

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

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

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

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

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

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

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

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

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

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

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

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

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

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

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

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

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

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

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

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore) 

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

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

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

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

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

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

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

UCLA (Teagan Micah) 

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

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

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

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

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