College Matildas W-League Preview

(Photo: The Southern Conference)

Adelaide United is certainly the place to look for former NCAA Division I players in the W-League in 2019/20, with no less than four members of the Reds having played in college. Usual suspects Alexandra Huynh and Amy Jackson are back for another season in the W-League, whilst former Houston midfielder Rebekah Horsey finally gets a crack at the bigtime, having signed with Canberra United.

Isabel Hodgson | Adelaide United

College Career: East Tennessee State (2015-18)

Isabel Hodgson may have spent four years at East Tennessee State, but the Buccaneers legend was never out of an Adelaide United jersey for too long, even spending one college off-season playing for the Reds in 2015/16. An interrupted stint with the Reds last season saw Hodgson make seven appearances and score one goal before returning to Johnson City to complete her degree, but the dynamic attacker now returns for a first full W-League campaign since 2014/15. Hodgson also finds herself in good scoring form of late, banging home eight goals in nine NPLW appearances with Adelaide City on the way to securing grand final success.

Kahlia Hogg | Adelaide United

College Career: Florida State (2012-13), Colorado (2014-16)

Kahlia Hogg’s 2018/19 season was blighted by injury, but Adelaide United coach Ivan Karlovic nonetheless brought the versatile wide player back into the fold for 2019/20. Having played for Canberra United before leaving for college and Western Sydney Wanderers upon her return, Adelaide is Hogg’s third W-League club, and it may also be the place at which the former Florida State and Colorado winger gets her chance to truly shine. Whether deployed in the backline or further up the pitch, Hogg appears primed for a breakout season in the W-League after appearing 24 times for Illawarra Stingrays in NPL New South Wales this season.

Dylan Holmes | Adelaide United

College Career: Colgate (2015)

It’s fair to say that Dylan Holmes’ year at Colgate wasn’t the most enjoyable or successful time, but since returning to Adelaide, the midfielder has flourished. Holmes picked up the NPL South Australia Coaches’ Player of the Year after a fantastic season for Adelaide City in which the club secured the league and grand final double. Having played 12 games for Adelaide United in 2018/19, Holmes returns for her third W-League season as one of four Aussies to have played in college in the Reds squad. Having started every game in 2018/19, Holmes shapes as an integral player as Adelaide United looks to atone for that campaign’s late-season jitters which eventually cost them a first finals berth.

Laura Johns | Adelaide United

College Career: Massachusetts (2013-16)

A midfielder throughout her college days at Massachusetts, Laura Johns found herself deployed at fullback for much of the 2018/19 W-League season, performing admirably throughout the campaign. Like most of this year’s players, Johns featured for the Reds prior to playing in college, making six appearances in 2012/13 before returning to play 20 more games across the last two seasons. Having made 11 starts in the 2018/19, Johns is firmly entrenched as a member of the Adelaide United squad, emerging as a wide attacking threat whilst capably handling her defensive duties. Johns also enjoyed an outstanding season in NPL South Australia this season, finishing in a tie for fifth in Player of the Year voting with former Kennesaw State defender Nicole Calder.

Isobel Dalton | Brisbane Roar

College Career: Colorado (2016-18)

A Brisbane Roar player even before leaving for college, Isobel Dalton returns home in 2019 after three seasons at Colorado and a brief spell at Nottingham Forest in the English FA Women’s National League North. Despite not receiving a lot of playing time at Colorado as part of a stacked midfield unit, Dalton showed her class on a number of occasions when given the opportunity on a Colorado team that has gained a solid footing in the Pac-12 over the last few seasons. Now, the English-born Queenslander returns home to shore up the Brisbane Roar midfield alongside the likes of Matildas duo Katrina Gorry and Elise Kellond-Knight, and American import Celeste Boureille.

Rebekah Horsey | Canberra United

College Career: Houston (2012-13)

It’s not often that a player returns from college and waits six years to make their W-League debut, but that is exactly how the career of Queenslander Rebekah Horsey has panned out. An integral part of the Lions FC side that completed a Premiership-Championship double in NPL Queensland this year, Horsey was outstanding in the midfield of a team that scored 108 goals whilst giving up just 22 in 24 regular season games. A defensive presence first and foremost, Horsey will likely be tasked with shielding the Canberra United back four as the team in green looks to make a return to the finals for the first time since finishing top of the table in 2016/17.

Amy Jackson | Melbourne Victory

College Career: Florida International (2007-09)

Anyone who’s watched the W-League for a significant period of time already knows what Amy Jackson brings to the table. A versatile midfielder who has also been deployed in defence during her time with both Melbourne clubs, Jackson returns to Victory after spending the last four seasons with crosstown rivals Melbourne City. A three-time W-League champion with Melbourne City, Jackson now returns to her original club to help them attempt to build on last season’s premiership success. Jackson is also on the cusp of becoming a member of the vaunted 100-game club, having made 90 appearances in the W-League to this point. One of the league’s most experienced players, Jackson will provide outstanding leadership alongside the likes of English star Natasha Dowie and recently capped Matildas centre back Jenna McCormick.

Alexandra Huynh | Western Sydney Wanderers

College Career: Colorado (2013-15), Troy (2016)

To say Alexandra Huynh bleeds red and black would be an understatement, so it is little surprise to see the former Colorado and Troy defender back with Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2019/20 season after not playing in the W-League in 2018/19. Since moving to Brisbane after her return from college, Huynh has spent the last two seasons as a mainstay of the Souths United defence in NPL Queensland, and even scored one of the goals of the season in 2019 with a peach of a free kick. However, Huynh’s actual job this season will be shutting down opposition attacks as a Wanderers squad that looks to be the best the club has put together in a number of seasons attempts to break their finals duck.

Kahlia Hogg Returns To Canberra United

Recent Colorado graduate and 2013 NCAA Tournament runner-up Kahlia Hogg has signed for W-League club Canberra United for the remainder of the 2016/17 season, returning to the club with which the fullback rose to prominence before making the move to college, and will be available for selection immediately.

Kahlia made 24 appearances for Canberra United between 2009 and 2011, chipping in a solitary goal in her time with the club prior to commencing her college career at Florida State. Opportunities were hard to come by in Tallahassee for the fullback, and although her time with the Seminoles provided Kahlia with a chance to be part of a national runner-up squad, the Young Matilda featured in just 10 games across two seasons. Kahlia then decided to transfer to Colorado after her sophomore year, teaming up with fellow Australian Alex Huynh in Boulder.

Kahlia played in 22 games in her first season at Colorado, playing in a variety of positions but finding plenty of success in a wide attacking role. Kahlia scored four goals and also chipped in four assists as Colorado caused a first round boilover in the NCAA Tournament by defeating BYU 2-0 before going down in overtime to perennial powerhouse North Carolina.

Kahlia’s first attempt at a senior season in 2015 was cut short after just six appearances due to injury, but her request for a medical redshirt was granted and 2016 was a far more productive year. Moved into a central defensive role, ironically after Alex Huynh’s transfer to Troy, Kahlia’s attacking output diminished, as was to be expected, as the defender contributed just one goal and one assist in 16 appearances. However, the Colorado defence conceded just 12 goals in Kahlia’s 16 appearances as the team punched well above its weight all season to earn another NCAA Tournament berth, where they went down 1-0 to South Carolina in the second round despite a valiant effort against one of the top sides in the country.

Whilst in the US, Kahlia spent time playing in the now-defunct USL W-League. Kahlia spent the 2012 season playing with Pali Blues, a club which at the time featured the likes of Matildas World Cup representative Servet Uzunlar, US national team player Whitney Engen, former Melbourne City player Anisa Guajardo, former Canberra United player Nikki Washington, and former Western Sydney Wanderers player Camille Levin. Unfortunately for Kahlia, the Blues were defeated on penalties by Katrina Gorry and Ottawa Fury in the championship game after conceding a 94th minute equaliser.

Kahlia also spent the 2014 season playing for Colorado Rush in a team that included the likes of Carson Pickett and Janine Beckie, and suited up for Colorado Storm for 3 games in United Women’s Soccer’s inaugural season in 2016.

Kahlia returns to Canberra United with a bevy of program and conference awards for both academic and athletic achievement, but most importantly, a degree in Mechanical Engineering in her back pocket. Canberra United fans will be fervently hoping that she can keep opposition attackers in her back pocket as she looks to help the team in green make a late charge for the title after last week’s 6-1 setback against Sydney FC.

Kahlia’s return swells the number of Australian college players playing in the W-League to no fewer than six, alongside Melbourne City pair Aivi Luik (Nevada) and Amy Jackson (Florida International), Newcastle Jets’ Liz O’Reilly (Wyoming), Melbourne Victory’s Selin Kuralay (Florida State), and Perth Glory midfielder Jaymee Gibbons (Lander).

NCAA Tournament Preview

This season, seven Australians across six teams will contest the NCAA Tournament. Three of those sides – Stanford, UCLA, and USC – could be considered legitimate challengers for the title, whilst Colorado and Texas Tech could definitely shake things up and spring an upset or two. Beattie Goad and Stanford have secured the overall top seed, but UCLA and USC have also managed to grab seeded positions and could use those favourable draws to their advantage.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

First Round: v Houston Baptist – 2pm, Saturday November 12

Live on Stanford Women’s Soccer Facebook

Beattie Goad
Beattie Goad (Photo Credit: Bill Dally/ISIPhotos.com)

As the overall top seed in the tournament, Stanford go in as favourites to make it to San Jose for the College Cup. First up, they take on Houston Baptist, who qualified for the tournament as champions of the Southland Conference. The Huskies have compiled a 10-10-1 record this season, and sit a lowly 220th in the RPI rankings. If Stanford get through this first game, they will take on the winner of Long Beach State and Santa Clara, two teams in the top 50 of the RPI rankings. Expect to see Beattie Goad play a cameo off the bench for Stanford, as she has done in recent weeks, unless the Cardinal get out to a big lead, which is possible. If that happens, there may be scope for Beattie to play a lot more minutes as some starters are rested.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

First Round: v Seattle – 2pm, Saturday November 12

Live on Pac-12 UCLA Stream

The 4th seed in their quarter of the draw, UCLA will be hard-pressed to reach the final weekend as they must go through heavyweights West Virginia (or a team that defeats them) to reach even the quarter-finals. Before that though, they must take on Seattle in the first round. The WAC champions, Seattle are 93rd in the RPI rankings with a 14-5-1 record to this point. UCLA should win this game comfortably, but a second round matchup with Top 20 side Nebraska would be far tougher. However, with Teagan Micah doing her best impression of a brick wall between the sticks for the Bruins, the path through to a potential game with West Virginia should be much more smooth.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

First Round: v Oklahoma State – 6am, Sunday November 13

Live on Pac-12 Colorado Stream

Of the four Pac-12 teams featuring Aussies to reach the tournament, Colorado are the lowest in the RPI rankings and, as such, face the toughest test in the first round. The 29th ranked Buffaloes face off against 56th ranked Oklahoma State on their home patch. Colorado do have a reasonable history of making things happen in the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2013 after knocking off Denver and BYU in unexpected wins, and taking North Carolina to overtime in 2014 as the Buffaloes came incredibly close to a huge upset. If Colorado can manage a win, they will almost certainly play #1 seed South Carolina in the first round, unless Aussie student assistant coach Shelbi Vienna-Hallam can help Alabama State conjure what would be a ludicrously massive upset. We may not see a lot of Isobel Dalton and Kahlia Hogg in this game due to various circumstances, but you never know how these things pan out.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

First Round: at Utah – 7am, Sunday November 13

Live on Pac-12 Utah Stream

Texas Tech were forced to wait until Selection Monday to learn if they would make the tournament, as they sat firmly on the bubble. Fortunately, Demi Koulizakis and the Red Raiders were granted a bid, and they will travel to Utah for their first round game. At 21st in the RPI rankings, Utah will go into this game as favourites against 42nd ranked Texas Tech. If Texas Tech can manage a victory first up, things only get tougher as they will likely take on ACC champions Florida State. Demi Koulizakis was only seeing limited minutes earlier in the season, but her playing time has exploded recently and it will be interesting to see if this continues through the tournament.

USC (Lulu Pullar)

First Round: v Eastern Washington – 8am, Sunday November 13

Live on Pac-12 USC Stream

The second seed in their quarter of the draw, USC were close to snagging a top seed until their final day loss to UCLA and Florida’s SEC championship victory. The Women of Troy come into this game against Big Sky champion Eastern Washington as hot favourites to advance to the second round and a game against either TCU or Texas A&M. USC sit in the same section of the draw as Demi Koulizakis and Texas Tech, and whilst it might take some upsets, we could see a Sweet 16 matchup between the two Aussies. How much playing time Lulu Pullar gets in that potential game, or indeed in any other, remains to be seen, though.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

First Round: v Connecticut – 10am, Sunday November 13

Live on Husky Vision ($$)

Last season, Claire Urquhart played the first few games, then saw no playing time for the rest of the season until the NCAA Tournament. This season has followed a similar course so far, and we may yet see Claire in the NCAA Tournament again as the Great Danes take on Connecticut in the first round. Certainly, it will be another tough game for Albany. Last season, Penn State were a #1 seed and won the NCAA title after beating Albany in the first round. This season, Connecticut are #8 in the RPI even if they haven’t secured a seeding for the tournament. It’s going to be hard for Albany to get through the first round, but upsets are certainly more likely in soccer than they are in many other sports.

Week 12 Wrap

Whilst at the start of the weekend there was a possibility of up to 10 or more teams with Australians featuring in the NCAA Tournament, it didn’t quite pan out that way. With that being said, many of those teams were outsiders in conference tournaments. Nonetheless, plenty of Aussies performed well even if their teams didn’t quite get the results they wanted.

Isabel Hodgson has flourished since being moved into a more advanced role midway through the season, and conference tournament time saw the South Australian sophomore take on a starring role for East Tennessee State. Isabel volleyed home the opener after her initial shot was blocked, before tallying an assist after her shot cannoned off the crossbar straight into the path of Molly Collinson to restore the Buccaneers’ lead after Mercer had equalised earlier. Isabel then added the insurance with East Tennessee State’s third goal 14 minutes from time.

Isabel then scored the opener in the final against Samford after just two minutes. However, the top seeded side would storm home for a 2-1 win to end the Buccaneers’ season one game shy of reaching the NCAA Tournament.

The final day of the Pac-12 saw three teams with Australians still in the hunt for a conference title: Beattie Goad and Stanford were in the box seat, but Lulu Pullar and USC and Colorado’s pair of Isobel Dalton and Kahlia Hogg were both still in the hunt. Isobel and Kahlia played minor roles off the bench in the opening game of the day as Colorado drew 1-1 with Utah, denying the Buffaloes a chance at the title, but securing third place in the league. That left USC sweating on California beating Stanford to give themselves a chance at the title. Stanford were having none of it though, demolishing their rivals 4-1, with Beattie Goad scoring, with no exaggeration, in the final second of the game as the Cardinal secured the Pac-12 title.

As it was, USC fell to Teagan Micah and UCLA in front of over 8000 people at StubHub Center, the home of LA Galaxy. Teagan was a huge part of the win as well, coming up with seven saves in a 1-0 win. With Annie Alvarado’s winner being one of just two UCLA shots on target, Teagan’s performance was all the more important as the Bruins moved into fourth place to end the Pac-12 season.

Murray State had been undefeated in two consecutive regular season conference schedules and were odds-on to storm their way through the conference tournament after winning the Ohio Valley Conference title last season in overtime against Southeast Missouri State. This year, overtime did not favour the Racers as last year’s wooden spooners SIU Edwardsville got the upset in the semifinals. All three goals came after halftime, with SIU Edwardsville opening the scoring just shy of the hour mark before Harriet Withers equalised ten minutes later. Deep into the first period of overtime, SIU Edwardsville managed to get clear of the Murray State defence and, with just 12 seconds remaining before halftime of overtime, banged home the winner to head to the final.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Isabel Hodgson (East Tennessee State)
2: Teagan Micah (UCLA)
1: Harriet Withers (Murray State)

Complete Results:

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: defeated Prairie View A&M 1-0 (SWAC Quarterfinals), lost 2-1 to Alabama State (SWAC Semifinals)

Paige Hayward had a ridiculous 8 shots against Prairie View A&M but couldn’t find the back of the net in a complete game. Paige did score the opener against Alabama State, but the team featuring Shelbi Vienna-Hallam as an assistant coach stormed home to get the win.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: defeated James Madison 2-0 (CAA Semifinals), lost 3-0 to Northeastern (CAA Final)

Emma Heckenberg started both games for Drexel, playing the full 90 minutes against James Madison and 71 minutes against Northeastern.

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

This week: lost 2-1 (OT) to SIU Edwardsville (OVC Semifinals)

Harriet Withers scored the Racers’ only goal in a 97 minute performance against SIU Edwardsville, whilst Nyomi Devine played all 100 minutes in the loss.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 2-0 to St Francis University (NEC Semifinals)

Sam Roff maintained her starting spot for Fairleigh Dickinson and played a complete game for the fifth consecutive fixture.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

This week: drew 1-1 with Utah

Isobel Dalton and Kahlia Hogg both came off the bench for Colorado, with Isobel playing a single minute and Kahlia playing 12 minutes in her comeback from injury.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated USC 1-0

Teagan Micah played the full 90 minutes for UCLA, coming up with 7 vital saves in the win over USC.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated California 4-1

Beattie Goad came off the bench to play 11 minutes and scored her first college goal with literally one second remaining in the game as Stanford clinched the Pac-12 title.

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: lost 1-0 to UCLA

Lulu Pullar did not feature for USC against UCLA.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: defeated Mercer 3-1 (SoCon Semifinals), lost 2-1 to Samford (SoCon Final)

Despite going down in the final, Isabel Hodgson had a spectacular weekend. Isabel scored twice and tallied an assist in the 3-1 win over Mercer, before scoring the opener in the final before Samford launched a comeback.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 1-0 to Pepperdine

Ellie Papalexiou did not feature this week due to injury.

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

This week: lost 2-1 to Santa Clara

Price Keogh did not feature for San Francisco against Santa Clara.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Hartford 2-1 (America East Final)

Albany reached the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 win but Claire Urquhart did not feature in the final.

Week 12 Preview

We are down to under 15 schools featuring Australians still playing, and all bar two are still in with a shot at making the NCAA Tournament. All four Aussies in the Pac-12 are basically locked into tournament spots already, whilst plenty more have earned high seedings for conference tournaments, giving them excellent shots at winning a conference title and heading to the NCAA Tournament.

Paige Hayward and Texas Southern kick off the weekend with a SWAC tournament quarterfinal against Prairie View A&M on Friday morning. Paige scored two goals against Prairie View A&M just last week to hand the Tigers a 2-0 win and set up a rematch in the #2 v #7 matchup. Texas Southern will be expected to go all the way to the final, and tomorrow morning’s match is just the start of a 3 game campaign to reach the NCAA Tournament.

The Pac-12 has been a dogfight to the last and the Australians have been right amongst it, with USC (Lulu Pullar), Stanford (Beattie Goad), and Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg) all still with at least a slight chance of clinching the conference title on the final matchday. It would be unwise to forget about Teagan Micah and UCLA, though. The Bruins take on USC, and a win would destroy the Trojans’ title chances and almost certainly hand the crown to Stanford or Colorado. Stanford sit top of the pile as things stand, so they only need to win, whilst Colorado need to defeat Utah and rely on other results going their way, as will USC if they are to defeat UCLA.

Murray State were forced to share the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title this year, but still secured the top seed and a first round bye in the conference tournament. Now coming off a week’s rest, the Racers take on SIU Edwardsville in the semifinals. These two sides battled to a 1-1 draw on SIUE’s home patch, but this game will take place at the fortress that is Murray State’s Cutchin Field. Harriet Withers’ goal production has been down slightly recently in recent weeks, but the striker has been creating plenty of opportunities for herself and hopefully will be able to find the back of the net again in this must-win game. Nyomi Devine has been out for a couple of weeks and it is unknown as to whether she will return for this game.

Fairleigh Dickinson missed out on the conference title by virtue of a final-day loss that saw the Knights drop to fourth in the standings. This week, they take on the team that jumped them to win the title, St Francis University, in the semifinals of the Northeast Conference tournament. Whilst Fairleigh Dickinson were able to come away with a 3-2 victory at home in the regular season meeting, they will now have to travel to Pennsylvania for this fixture. Sam Roff has been ever-present for the Knights this season, switching between defence and midfield, and a big performance from the freshman will no doubt go a long way to keeping the St Francis attack at bay for the 90 minutes, or 110 if need be.

Emma Heckenberg and Drexel have flown slightly under the radar this season, but with some excellent early season form of their own combined with some upset losses for teams around them despite no wins in their last four, the Dragons managed to play themselves into second spot in the Colonial Athletic Association and a first-round bye. Their semi-final matchup will see them take on James Madison, a side that looked set to take a top two spot until Emily Hulbert and Hofstra knocked them off, paving Drexel’s way to the bye. If the Dragons can turn around their mediocre recent form, they already have an away win over James Madison under their belt, which will no doubt give the team confidence to do the same at a neutral site.

Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State have already played one tournament game at home, defeating Western Carolina 2-1 in a nail biter this week. This week, they host both the semi-finals and final of the Southern Conference tournament regardless of seedings, and will be looking to make full use of the advantage. First up, they have to get past Mercer, whom they lost to 3-2 away earlier in the year. Since that game, East Tennessee have won 6 of their last 8 games, with their only loss coming to regular season champions Samford. With Isabel Hodgson pushed into a more advanced role for the latter half of the season, the Buccaneers’ attack is firing and revenge is most definitely on the cards.

Full Schedule:

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: v Prairie View A&M – 8:30am, Friday November 4 (SWAC Quarterfinals)

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v James Madison – 5am, Saturday November 5 (CAA Semifinals)

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

This week: v SIU Edwardsville – 5am, Saturday November 5 (OVC Semifinals)

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: at St Francis University – 5am, Saturday November 5 (NEC Semifinals)

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

This week: v Utah – 8am, Saturday November 5

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: at USC – 9am, Saturday November 5

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: at California – 9am, Saturday November 5

USC (Lulu Pullar)

This week: v UCLA – 9am, Saturday November 5

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v Mercer – 10:30am, Saturday November 5 (Southern Conference Semifinals)

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at Pepperdine – 7am, Sunday November 6

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

This week: v Santa Clara – 1pm, Sunday November 6

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Hartford – 10am, Monday November 7 (America East Final)

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 8 Wrap

This week saw some thrilling games, plenty of goals from Aussies, and a huge upset win in the Sun Belt for one Aussie that really shook things up in that particular conference. Colorado kept their perfect conference record intact, but Kahlia Hogg unfortunately went down injured early in the Buffaloes’ first match of the weekend and did not return for their second game.

Stanford v UCLA had all the makings of an absolute heartstopper on paper, and the game didn’t disappoint as fans were treated to an overtime thriller. With both teams dropping points in their first games of the weekend, the pressure was on to secure a result and keep pace with the leaders in the Pac-12. Amber Munerlyn opened the scoring for UCLA in the 12th minute, but recent US National Team call-up Andi Sullivan equalised just 90 seconds later. Michelle Xiao put Stanford ahead just after the hour mark, but Canadian Olympian Jessie Fleming would equalize for UCLA yet again just 4 minutes from time. Teagan Micah made six saves for UCLA, but in the end Beattie Goad would be the Aussie celebrating as Maddie Bauer managed to tuck home the winner for Stanford after a scramble from a corner. The win keeps Stanford just 3 points off the pace in the Pac-12, whilst UCLA sit 5 points off leaders Colorado.

Murray State needed to win twice this weekend to keep themselves atop the Ohio Valley Conference standings, and with a lot of help from Harriet Withers and Nyomi Devine, they did exactly that. Nyomi tallied the assist on the Racers’ only goal in their 1-0 win over Tennessee Tech, before Harriet Withers whipped home a free kick to put Murray State ahead against Eastern Kentucky, with the Racers going on to win 3-0.

Wyoming came into the weekend sitting just shy of .500, with a 5-6-1 mark. That all changed with two victories that took the Cowgirls to a 7-6-1 record and extended their winning streak to three games. Alisha Bass was the star amongst the five Aussies in Laramie. Playing in a more advanced role than her usual defensive position, Alisha tallied an assist in a 4-2 win over Air Force, and then headed home a goal in a 2-0 win over Colorado College as Wyoming moved up to 7th in the Mountain West Conference.

South Alabama had not lost a conference game in 3 seasons, with 33 opponents coming and going in that time. Enter Alexandra Huynh and Troy. In their only game of the week, the Trojans scored in the 7th minute and then hung on for dear life as South Alabama unleashed 13 shots. But Alexandra and the Troy defence ensured that only 5 of those shots would end up on target, and with Mikki Lewis resembling a brick wall in front of the net, Troy emerged with a massive upset win against their in-state rivals. The win also lifted Troy off the bottom of the Sun Belt standings, and they now sit just two points behind a logjam of six teams tied for 3rd.

Paige Hayward has been at the top of her game for most of the season so far, and little changed in a pair of wins for Texas Southern. Paige wrapped up the scoring on both occasions for the Tigers, who defeated Mississippi Valley State 3-1 before knocking off Alcorn State 3-0 in their second game of the week to keep pace with Howard at the top of the Southwestern Athletic Conference standings.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)
2: Paige Hayward (Texas Southern)
1: Harriet Withers (Murray State)

Complete Results:

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week: lost 2-1 to George Mason (OT); lost 2-0 to George Washington

Laura Johns did not feature against George Mason, but played 27 minutes off the bench against George Washington.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton, Kahlia Hogg)

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

Kahlia Hogg was forced off after just 5 minutes against Oregon and did not return for the game against Oregon State. Isobel Dalton did not feature against Oregon, but came off the bench to play 27 minutes in the win over Oregon State.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Binghamton 1-0; drew 2-2 with Hartford

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

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: lost 3-0 to USC; defeated UCLA 3-2 (OT)

Beattie Goad started both games for Stanford this week, playing 83 minutes against USC and 56 minutes in the win over UCLA.

Indiana (Julia De Angelis)

This week: drew 1-1 with Penn State; drew 2-2 with Rutgers

Julia De Angelis started both games for Indiana this week, with her minutes increasing markedly this week as the freshman continues to make progress since her return from injury.

USC (Lulu Pullar)

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

Lulu Pullar did not feature for USC this week.

LSU (Caitlin Cantill)

This week: lost 3-1 to Tennessee; lost 3-0 to Georgia

Caitlin Cantrill did not play against Tennessee, but came off the bench against Georgia to play part of the first half and the entire second half.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: drew 1-1 with California; lost 3-2 to Stanford (OT)

Teagan Micah played two complete games for UCLA this week, making five saves against California and six saves in the loss to Stanford.

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

This week: defeated Tennessee Tech 1-0; defeated Eastern Kentucky 3-0

Nyomi Devine played two complete games this week, and also tallied an assist on the only goal in the win over Tennessee Tech. Harriet Withers played 66 minutes against Tennessee Tech, tallying four shots, before registering a superb goal from a free kick as well as an assist against Eastern Kentucky.

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

This week: defeated Air Force 4-2; defeated Colorado College 2-0

Georgia Rowntree played two complete games this week, but made just the one save, against Colorado College. Alisha Bass played 82 minutes against Air Force, tallying an assist on Summer Halle’s hat-trick goal, before heading home a goal of her own against Colorado College in a 75 minute effort. Annika Clayton tallied an assist against Air Force on the game-tying goal, and played 41 minutes off the bench against Colorado College in her return from a concussion sustained a few weeks ago. Jessie Gentle came off the bench in both games, playing 15 minutes on each occasion.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 1-0 to Oklahoma State; lost 1-0 to Baylor

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

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: defeated UNC Greensboro 1-0; defeated VMI 3-0

Isabel Hodgson played 74 minutes against UNC Greensboro, registering two shots. Isabel came off the bench on Senior Day against VMI, playing 67 minutes and setting up Thomai Vardali for East Tennessee State’s third goal.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: defeated College of Charleston 3-0; drew 1-1 with UNC Wilmington

Emma Heckenberg started both games for Drexel this week, playing 82 minutes against College of Charleston and 65 minutes against UNC Wilmington.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

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

Kate Swartwout started both games for Western Carolina this week as the Catamounts split their games.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week: defeated Elon 3-1; lost 1-0 to William & Mary

Emily Hulbert finally made her return from a foot injury sustained over a month ago, starting both games and playing a total of 107 minutes across the weekend.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

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

Maddy Cornell came off the bench in both games, playing 57 minutes against Jacksonville State and 43 minutes against Belmont, but Siena Senatore did not feature this week.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates, Kristy Helmers)

This week: lost 4-0 to McNeese State

Jess Coates and Kristy Helmers both started for Nicholls State. Jess played 79 minutes whilst Kristy put in a 50 minute shift.

Troy (Alexandra Huynh)

This week: defeated South Alabama 1-0

Alexandra Huynh played the full 90 minutes for Troy in a massive upset win over South Alabama.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: defeated Mississippi Valley State 3-1; defeated Alcorn State 3-0

Paige Hayward played 69 minutes against Mississippi Valley State, scoring Texas Southern’s third goal, before tallying the Tigers’ final goal against Alcorn State.

Texas (Monique Iannella)

This week: defeated Kansas State 2-0

Monique Iannella played the full 90 minutes for Texas in their victory, also tallying a shot.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 3-0 to Santa Clara; lost 1-0 to San Francisco

Ellie Papalexiou did not feature this week as she continues to recover from an injury.

San Francisco (Price Keogh)

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

Price Keogh did not feature against Saint Mary’s, but played 54 minutes against Pacific, 6 more than her combined total minutes for the rest of the season.

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week: lost 3-2 to Campbell

Jai Jackson started in defence for Winthrop and played all 102 minutes in the overtime loss.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated Wagner 1-0

Sam Roff started for Wagner and played all 90 minutes in the win, tallying a shot.