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.

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.

2016 Player Previews

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

Claire Urquhart (Sophomore, Defender, Albany, Brisbane)

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

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

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

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

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

Emma Heckenberg (Sophomore, Midfielder, Drexel, Melbourne)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kiri Dale (Sophomore, Defender, Iona, Mullumbimby)

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

Caitlin Cantrill (Freshman, Midfielder, LSU, Canberra)

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

Laura Johns (Senior, Forward, Massachusetts, Adelaide)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beattie Goad (Freshman, Midfielder, Stanford, Melbourne)

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

Alexandra Huynh (Senior, Defender, Troy, Sydney)

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

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

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

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

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

Teagan Micah (Freshman, Goalkeeper, UCLA, Brisbane)

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

Lulu Pullar (Freshman, Defender, USC, Brisbane)

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

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

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

Jai Jackson (Sophomore, Midfielder, Winthrop, Toowoomba)

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

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

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

Annika Clayton (Sophomore, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

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

Jessie Gentle (Sophomore, Forward, Wyoming, Woolgoolga)

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

Georgia Rowntree (Junior, Goalkeeper, Wyoming, Sydney)

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

Candace Sciberras (Junior, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

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

2015 End Of Season Awards

2015 has been a fairly successful year for the Australians in NCAA Division I college women’s soccer. Four teams reached the NCAA Tournament, with two of those being sides that won their conference tournaments: Murray State and Albany. There have been many success stories, such as the brilliant season that Harriet Withers enjoyed as she picked up the Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player Of The Year award, through to players such as Siena Senatore and Isabel Hodgson establishing themselves as starters in their freshman year. At the end of the day, only so many players can receive awards though, so here they are: the 2015 College Matildas End Of Season Awards.

Freshman Of The Year: Tia Gavin (Washington State)

Restoring the Australian presence at Washington State after Rachael Doyle’s graduation after the 2013 season, Tia saw playing time from the outset at Pullman and made an impact immediately, notching a goal and an assist in her first weekend of college play. The former Western Sydney Wanderers striker was not afforded as much playing time in conference play as she had seen during the early parts of the year, but was still able to tack on a second goal later in the year, a sublime curling strike from the edge of the area. By the end of the season, Tia had almost become known as an impact player for the Cougars, providing a solid backup option to allow starters to be rotated out and rest for longer periods, especially in the dying embers of the first half, where Tia’s presence was almost a guarantee from about the 35 minute mark.

Goalkeeper Of The Year: Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming)

As the only Australian goalkeeper in Division I, this award was never really in doubt. However, Georgia was the starting goalkeeper for much of the season for Wyoming, as coach Pete Cuadrado continued to rotate his goalkeepers as he has done for many seasons. Sharing minutes with local player Cassidy Entsminger, the pair became a solid presence between the posts for the Cowgirls throughout the season.

Defender Of The Year: Emily Hulbert (Hofstra)

Emily had her minutes slightly reduced from last season, but that didn’t stop the former Melbourne Victory player from making an impact as she was used more in a cameo role off the bench, providing half an hour or so of support in many games. None of these cameos was more important than her goal just before halftime in the side’s last regular season conference game which proved to be the game winner and proved to be the goal that secured Hofstra the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title, and definitely helped to improve the side’s seeding in the NCAA Tournament, in which Hofstra were the only side featuring Australians to win their opening round game.

Midfielder Of The Year, Senior Of The Year: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State)

Originally listed as a defender/forward for Alabama State, Shelbi reverted to a deep-lying midfield role for much of the season for the Hornets, providing experience in front of the back four in a side that went all the way to the SWAC championship game. Whilst this meant her output on the stat sheet diminished in comparison to 2014, in which the Tasmanian won Player Of The Year, Shelbi was still a vital cog in the Alabama State machine. Shelbi was also utilised in various other positions throughout the season, spending time in defence, midfield, and leading the line up front.

Junior Of The Year, Breakout Player Of The Year: Laura Johns (Massachusetts)

After two seasons spent mainly coming off the bench for Massachusetts, Laura was finally able to secure a starting spot for a significant amount of games this season. The Adelaide junior became a regular in the starting frontline, playing around 50 minutes a game and increasing her minutes markedly. The South Australian junior was also able to tee up teammates for goals at some crucial moments as Massachusetts went within a whisker of reaching the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

Player Of The Year, Forward Of The Year, Sophomore Of The Year, Top Goalscorer (11 goals), Top Assists (7 assists): Harriet Withers (Murray State)

Having been named Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player Of The Year, it is hardly unusual that Harriet Withers is also our player of the year. Harriet led the line for a Murray State team that finished a perfect 10-0 in conference league play, before winning the conference tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament, where the side unfortunately went down 1-0 to heavily favoured Ole Miss. The sophomore out of Palm Beach scored 11 goals this season, and also tacked on 7 assists, including one on the winning goal in the Ohio Valley Conference championship game which sent Murray State to the NCAA Tournament and secured a perfect conference season.

Player Of The Year Votes:

1st: Harriet Withers (24 votes)
2nd: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (9 votes)
3rd: Emily Hulbert (6 votes)

Week 9 Wrap

No less than four Aussies got on the scoresheet this week, with Harriet Withers, Laura Johns, Shelbi Vienna-Hallam, and Alisha Bass all finding the net either in midweek games or over the weekend. There was also great news out of Hofstra and Murray State, as both of these sides clinched berths in their respective conference tournaments, marking the first step in reaching the national tournament. Elsewhere, Maddy Cornell was rewarded for her hard work this season with starts in both games for Southeast Missouri State.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week’s result: defeated Northeastern 2-1 (OT)

In a clash of the titans in the Colonial Athletic Association, Hofstra nearly threw away a vital win but managed to grab the win in overtime. The game was dominated by the Pride, who outshot their opponents 7-2 in the first half, but it took until the 67th minute for them to open the scoring as Leah Galton set up Jill Mulholland, who slotted home to give Hofstra the lead. Despite Northeastern having just one shot on target for the entire game, they only needed that one as they scored the equaliser with less than five minutes remaining. However, with just that solitary shot on target, Northeastern’s best hope was to draw the game but the Galton-Mulholland combination popped up again and it was Mulholland who scored her second five minutes into extra time to give Hofstra the 2-1 win. With the Hofstra coach reluctant to use the bench in this game, Emily Hulbert was only afforded 8 minutes of play as one of just two substitutes to see any time on the field.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week’s results: lost to Furman 3-0, lost to Wofford 1-0

East Tennessee State fell out of regular season title contention with two losses this weekend, but still remain well placed for a high seed in the conference tournament after going down to Furman and Wofford. Stephanie DeVita has been Furman’s danger player all season and she once again delivered, setting up two goals in the first 13 minutes to give Furman an early cushion. East Tennessee State had 23 shots in this game, but couldn’t convert on any of them. Furman, on the other hand, scored 3 goals in 11 shots, with DeVita scoring the final goal with a shot from just outside the area. The Buccaneers were even more dominant against Wofford, but again suffered from an inability to put the ball in the net and were punished for it. Another 22 shots from East Tennessee State couldn’t bring a goal, whilst Wofford had just six. A turnover in a dangerous position gave Wofford a late opportunity which led to the only goal of the game in the 87th minute, condeming the Buccaneers to their second loss of the weekend. Isabel Hodgson played a full 90 minutes against Furman, but was taken off as a precaution after appearing to be injured early in the first half against Wofford. After being given the all clear, Isabel returned to play the entire second half, finishing with 58 minutes of playing time.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week’s results: lost to William and Mary 2-0, defeated Elon 2-1 (2OT)

Drexel managed to grab a win this weekend, but they took up almost as much time as they possibly could to get it as they lost to William and Mary before defeating Elon in double overtime. William and Mary never really gave Drexel a chance to win as the Dragons were limited to just a single shot on target. However, the opening goal didn’t come until the 55th minute and even that was ruled as an own goal. The Tribe would get a second goal with 10 minutes to play, but considering they gave up 20 shots, Drexel could be considered lucky not to concede even more goals. The Dragons had a remarkable turnaround in the game against Elon, peppering the Phoenix goal with 30 shots. However, they were even more inefficient than William and Mary had been against them, as Elon took the lead just before the hour mark. But with Elon only managing to get the ball on target twice all game, Drexel only had to take one really good chance to get back on terms, and Vanessa Kara did just that in the 70th minute as she scored the equaliser unassisted. Kara would score the winner in extra time, with another solo effort bringing Drexel a victory that they really needed as not winning after a performance like theirs would have been shattering for the side’s confidence.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week’s results: drew with Belmont 1-1, defeated Jacksonville State 1-0

Southeast Missouri State remain unbeaten in their last three games after a draw and a win at home this weekend. Belmont and Southeast Missouri State both gave themselves plenty of chances to score, but didn’t put their shots on target which limited the sides’ ability to score. It was Belmont who broke the deadlock in the 69th minute as Megan Micaela slotted home the opener. The Redhawks hit back quickly though, as Angie Mann scored an equaliser just five minutes later. Despite shots for both teams in extra time, the goalkeepers were rarely tested and the game ended in a draw. The Redhawks had no such problems with scoring early against Jacksonville State, scoring through Lauren Kaempfe in just the 5th minute. It was a good thing they got that goal early, as they managed just two shots on target for the entire game. Jacksonville State did little better though, managing to test the goalkeeper only three times. Maddy Cornell had two rare starts for Southeast Missouri State, whilst Siena Senatore started against Belmont and Jenna Collingridge came off the bench against Jacksonville State.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alex Huynh)

This week’s result: lost to Stanford 2-1

Colorado got off to a flying start this weekend against powerhouse side Stanford, but were eventually reeled in as their national tournament hopes all but vanished after a 2-1 loss. With all three goals in the game coming in the first 18 minutes, it was Aussie junior Alex Huynh whose free kick forced a Stanford defender to direct the ball into her own net to give the Buffaloes an unexpected 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, Alex’s free kick was to be Colorado’s only shot of the entire match. Stanford equalised just six minutes later through Tegan McGrady, before Mariah Lee gave the Cardinal the lead inside the 20 minute mark. Stanford had plenty more chances to extend their lead, taking 14 shots, but had just five shots on target from those 14. Alex Huynh played a full 90 minutes for Colorado in this game.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week’s results: defeated Alcorn State 9-0, lost to Mississippi Valley State 5-1

Alabama State went from dishing out a hiding to copping one themselves this weekend as they slipped off the pace in the race for the SWAC league title. Alcorn State were never going to be a match for the Hornets as they started the game with just nine players (although that’s been a regular occurrence lately) and Alabama State went up 5-0 inside 40 minutes, including a goal from Aussie senior Shelbi Vienna-Hallam. The Hornets then tacked on four more goals in the second half for yet another smashing that the Alcorn State players didn’t deserve, but hopefully yet another result like this will make the school’s athletic department take the program seriously in the future. Mississippi Valley State proved to be a different challenge altogether. In what was expected to be a tight game, the play followed the script for the first hour or so, as Mississippi Valley State took a 1-0 lead into the break before Aaliyah Lewis netted an equaliser in the 55th minute. As the game progressed though, Mississippi Valley State found another gear and scored four goals in the last half hour to finish with a 5-1 win. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam had a goal in the Alcorn State game and played a full game against Mississippi Valley State.

Washington State (Tia Gavin)

This week’s result: lost to Arizona 1-0

Washington State had a rare stumble in what has been a top-notch season so far as they went down 1-0 to Arizona. It was a very open game, with the teams combining for 37 shots, but in the end the Cougars had the vast majority of the chances but just couldn’t put the ball in the net. Arizona’s goal came in the 36th minute from a corner, one of 12 chances that the Wildcats had, of which they put six on target. Washington State, on the other hand, had 25 shots and 9 on target, but Wildcats goalkeeper Lainey Burdett was up to the task on each occasion. Tia Gavin came off the bench for Washington State, but played just three minutes.

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

This week’s results: defeated UNLV 2-1, lost to Nevada 1-0

It was a mixed weekend for Wyoming on their trip to Nevada as they defeated UNLV but went down to Nevada. The Cowgirls went down 1-0 to UNLV in the 21st minute, but came out firing in the second half. Aussie sophomore Alisha Bass scored the equaliser in the 48th minute off an assist from Laurel Ramer, before Shaina Ashouri gave Wyoming the lead in the 68th minute. UNLV fired shot after shot at Wyoming but could not find an equaliser and Wyoming claimed a 2-1 win. The game against Nevada proved to be a far more cagey affair as Wyoming could only manage 5 shots for the entire game, whilst Nevada managed 10. It was Nevada who managed the only goal of the game just before halftime, as Georgia Rowntree managed to save a shot but couldn’t keep out the follow-up effort from Erin Saxton. Once again, all four available Aussies started, with Alisha Bass’s goal being the highlight.

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week’s result: defeated Campbell 1-0

Winthrop picked up a huge upset win this weekend as they knocked off Campbell, one of the more fancied teams in the Big South conference. It was by no means a smash and grab victory either, as whilst Campbell did outshoot Winthrop 13-9, the Fighting Camels had just one shot on target throughout the game. Winthrop, on the other hand, had three shots on target and more corners than Campbell as well. Eventually the only goal of the game came in the 75th minute via Emily Crick as Winthrop proved to be more than nuisance value for a Campbell side chasing a conference regular season title. Jai Jackson started for the second game in a row, and played the entire 90 minutes again too.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week’s result: lost to Providence 3-2

In a game that was billed as a tight encounter, the event did not disappoint at all as Creighton just fell short of a comeback win against Providence. Lauren Sullivan opened the scoring for Creighton in the 12th minute, but Providence hit back with two goals of their own in 3 minutes around the half-hour mark to go into the break 2-1 up. The Friars tacked on another one in the first ten minutes after the break to leave Creighton in a bit of a hole, down 3-1 with 35 minutes to play. Sullivan picked up her second in the 68th minute, but despite eight shots to four in the second half, the Bluejays couldn’t find an equaliser and a thrilling match ended 3-2 to Providence. Anastasia McCleary came off the bench to play 10 minutes for Creighton.

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week’s result: defeated Rhode Island 4-2

After demolishing Davidson 4-0 in midweek, Massachusetts again slotted four goals in a slightly closer contest (on the scoreboard, at least) against Rhode Island. Early on, it didn’t look good for the Minutewomen as they gave up a goal in just the second minute as the lowly Rhode Island side sparked early thoughts of a boilover victory. It wouldn’t last though, as Massachusetts scored three goals in the next 25 minutes to take a 3-1 lead into halftime. The third of these was scored by Aussie junior Laura Johns, who turned home a deflected corner. Rhode Island didn’t let the barrage get them down, and six minutes after halftime they made the score 3-2 and it was game on once again. However, with 16 shots on target to their opponents’ 3, it was always likely that Massachusetts would extend their lead again, and they did so on the hour mark, as Jackie Bruno headed home for the final goal of the game. Laura Johns’ goal came as part of a 37 minute performance off the bench.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week’s result: defeated Vermont 2-0

Albany snapped a three game losing streak with a much-needed 2-0 victory over Vermont. The Great Danes outshot Vermont 21-4, with the Catamounts only managing 2 shots on target all game. Albany, on the other hand, had ten shots on target but both of their goals came in a five minute span just after the hour mark as Kelly Kempf and Mariah Williams both scored on assists from Kiana Rugar. Unfortunately, Claire Urquhart did not get any playing time in this game.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week’s result: defeated Tennessee Tech 2-1

Murray State continued on their merry way atop the Ohio Valley Conference, moving on to 7-0 in league play with a 2-1 win over second placed Tennessee Tech. It wasn’t an easy game by any stretch, but the Racers did what was required of them to maintain their unbeaten record against conference opponents this season. Remarkably, the Racers were outshot 16-12, but scored two goals on three shots on target whilst Tennessee Tech could only muster a single goal from their 9 attempts on target, and even that came from a goalkeeping error. Harriet Withers was involved on both of Murray State’s goals. In the 19th minute, the sophomore forward slid a pass through to Taylor Richerson who converted from close range. Then, in the 57th minute, Harriet played a ball into Taylor Stevens who reached the ball just before the goalkeeper to put the Racers up 2-0. Mackenzie Miller did get one back for Tennessee Tech in the 70th minute, but their profligacy in front of goal meant that the Golden Eagles stood little chance of grabbing a share of the spoils and eventually the game finished 2-1. As well as Harriet Withers’ 2 assist effort, Nyomi Devine played 90 minutes in defence for the Racers.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
2: Laura Johns (Massachusetts)
1: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)

Week 3 Wrap

A bit of a tough weekend for the Aussies as there were some heavy losses suffered by a few teams. On the plus side, Emma Heckenberg played her first serious batch of minutes this weekend after playing just token minutes in other games, whilst all five Australians at Wyoming started in the same game for the first time against Drake.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week’s results: defeated George Washington 1-0, lost to Rutgers 3-0

Results went pretty much as expected for Drexel this weekend, as a 1-0 victory over George Washington was followed by a 3-0 loss to nationally ranked Rutgers. George Washington showed more attacking impetus than the Dragons, but it was Drexel who used the few chances they received more efficiently, scoring the only goal of the game in the 50th minute despite only managing three shots for the entire game. Drexel goalkeeper Eve Badana was huge, making five saves to keep a clean sheet. The Rutgers game saw Emma Heckenberg given her first batch of decent minutes for the season, as the Victorian freshman played over half an hour off the bench, but Rutgers opened the scoring just 49 seconds into the game and didn’t really look back after that. A shot line of 20-6 led to two more goals for the Scarlet Knights as they finished off a comprehensive 3-0 win.

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

This week’s results: defeated Morehead State 1-0, defeated Drake 3-1

After starting the season with 3 draws, Wyoming kept their undefeated record alive in a much more emphatic way this weekend with two wins. The Cowgirls left their run late against Morehead State, though. In a game in which Wyoming took 25 shots and had 11 on target, it took until the 88th minute to secure the victory with the lone goal of the game as overtime looked all but certain. The Wyoming attackers were far more deadly against Drake, especially Shaina Ashouri, who scored the opening two goals in the 35th and 47th minutes. Alyssa Murray tacked on a 3rd five minutes from time, before Drake scored a late consolation. The five Australians all saw plenty of playing time, with all bar Annika Clayton starting against Morehead State, before all five got the start against Drake. Interestingly, all four outfield Aussies managed to fire off shots in the game against Morehead State, with even defender Alisha Bass managing two, but despite this none were able to score.

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week’s results: drew with Central Connecticut State 1-1 (2OT), lost to Yale 1-0

Massachusetts notched up their second draw of the season with a result against Central Connecticut State, but finished the weekend still without a win as they lost the second game to Yale. Massachusetts and Central Connecticut State played out a remarkably even game, with both sides notching almost 20 shots, and it’s really no shock that the game finished even. Howver, that it finished just 1-1 is slightly surprising, after CCSU opened the scoring in the 28th minute, before Massachusetts evened it up just before halftime, with Laura Johns getting the assist. The Minutewomen have nobody but themselves to blame for their loss to Yale. Outshooting the Ivy League side 18-10, and allowing just 3 shots on target, Massachusetts had all the chances to win this one, but went down 1-0 courtesy of an 8th minute goal. Laura Johns came off the bench in both games to play around 50 minutes in each game, registering the aforementioned assist in the game against CCSU.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week’s results: defeated Nebraska-Omaha 4-0, lost to South Dakota State 1-0

Creighton started the weekend with a bang, but by the end of it were back down to earth after a 1-0 loss to South Dakota State. The local derby against Nebraska-Omaha was a walk in the park for the Bluejays, scoring as many goals as they allowed shots on target in a smashing 4-0 win. Creighton were 2-0 up within half an hour, and Omaha may still have stood a chance in the second half had they not conceded a third just 9 seconds before halftime. A fourth goal 7 minutes after the break killed off the game and Creighton cruised to the 4-0 victory. South Dakota State proved to be a far more challenging proposition. After being shut down almost completely for the first half, Creighton could count themselves lucky to go in at the break 0-0 after being outshot 10-2. In a cruel turn of events, the Bluejays turned the stat line around in the second half, but South Dakota State scored the only goal of the game in the 49th minute. Anastasia McCleary started both games for Creighton this weekend, playing around an hour in each game.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alex Huynh)

This week’s results: defeated Cincinnati 1-0, defeated Iowa State 2-1 (1OT)

Colorado didn’t have the easiest time of it this weekend, but still came away with two wins to continue an excellent start to the season. The Buffaloes had all the running against Cincinnati but just couldn’t seem to put the ball in the net in the first half, but as it turns out they wouldn’t have had to do it much anyway as Cincinnati only forced goalkeeper Kate Scheele into one save throughout the 90 minutes. The second half quickly brought the decisive goal though, as Erin Greening smashed one home from 10 yards out. Against Iowa State, the Buffaloes needed slightly more to get the win, including a period of overtime. The first half was as close as they come with regards to the stats, but the Cyclones went to the break with a 1-0 lead after a 4th minute goal put the Buffaloes behind the eight ball early on. Despite dominating the play against a team that was looking to defend its one goal lead rather than press for a second, Colorado had to wait until the 81st minute to score a second, as Portland transfer Danica Evans grabbed the equaliser. The final 9 minutes could not bring a goal, but the 5th minute of overtime saw Colorado win a penalty which Brie Hooks calmly converted for a 2-1 win. Alex Huynh and Kahlia Hogg each started both games. Both Aussies received yellow cards against Cincinnati, although neither was deserved (in fact, Alex’s was a case of mistaken identity!), and both played the full 95 minutes against Iowa State.

Washington State (Tia Gavin)

This week’s result: defeated Montana 1-0 (1OT)

Washington State kept their fans on the edge of their seats yet again, being taken to overtime by a Montana side that they should really have had no problems defeating. The Cougars peppered Montana with shots, but could only get 5 of their 18 on target in nearly 100 minutes of soccer. Montana offered little in the way of attacking play, only managing four shots for the entire match, but defended resolutely and in the end it was a penalty just 12 seconds from the end of the first half of overtime that saw Kailiana Johnson step up and slot home the golden goal winner. In such a tightly contested match, it was left mostly up to the more experienced players in the squad to get the win, and as such Tia Gavin unfortunately didn’t see any playing time in this game.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week’s result: defeated Marist 2-0

Just one game this weekend for Albany, but it was a big one for multiple reasons. The Great Danes got their second win in a row to bring their record back to 3-3, and did it with real fight as time and again the defence did just enough to keep Marist out as the side was outshot 15-8. 8 shots were more than enough for Albany though, as they scored their two goals on just five shots on target. Most importantly, though, Claire Urquhart did enough in her performance off the bench against Holy Cross last week to earn a start, and played a full game in defence for Albany.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week’s results: defeated Yale 5-4 (2OT), defeated Central Connecticut State 4-0

Hofstra were well and truly amongst the goals this weekend as their two games saw the ball in the net no less than 13 times. The Pride went down 1-0 to Yale in the opening minute of the game, but quickly recovered and tied things up just 7 minutes later. Surprisingly for such a high-scoring match, there were no more goals until the 43rd minute, when Yale went up 2-1, before making it 3-1 three minutes after halftime, putting Hofstra in a big hole. In traditional Hofstra fashion, though, they came back with three more goals of their own, scoring just two minutes after Yale before knocking in another two to take the lead. A speculative shot from Yale with just a minute left snuck in off the post in the 89th minute, and we would head to overtime with Yale taking the momentum. Unbelievably, it took until the 14th minute of overtime for a winner to come, and it was Hofstra who would get the win, with Jeannine Molleda slotting home a cross from the right wing for a 5-4 win. Things were a whole lot easier for the Pride in their second match against Central Connecticut State. Two goals in the opening 10 minutes for Jill Mulholland set the tone for the game as Hofstra scored four goals in the first half to allow them to cruise in the second half for a 4-0 win as the Blue Devils had plenty of attacking chances but made little use of any of them. Emily Hulbert came off the bench against Yale and played just 27 minutes, before starting against Central Connecticut State and registering an assist on Mulholland’s opener in 75 minutes played.

Nicholls State (Jess Coates)

This week’s results: lost to Mississippi State 4-0, lost to Louisiana Tech 4-1

It had shaped up to be a tough weekend for Nicholls State, but nobody was really expecting results this emphatic as the Colonels shipped 8 goals across the weekend in two heavy losses. Mississippi State has been pegged as one of the bottom SEC teams this season, but that mattered little here as the Bulldogs scored two goals in the first 17 minutes to jump out to an early lead. Not that Mississippi State needed multiple goals, as Nicholls State were unable to register even a single shot. The Bulldogs tacked on two more goals in the second half to cap a dominant 4-0 win. The Colonels were at least able to get six shots away against Louisiana Tech, and after going 2-0 down early again, Spencer Valdespino slotted home a penalty to get one back. It remained close until the final ten minutes, when Louisiana Tech kicked in the home stretch to score another two goals for a 4-1 win. Jess Coates again started both games for Nicholls State, playing an hour in each game.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week: lost to Northern Arizona 6-0 lost to Grand Canyon 4-0

Alabama State’s first trip to Arizona may have been a great experience for the team, but the results weren’t quite so positive, with two heavy losses. The Hornets were only able to get three shots away for the entire game against Northern Arizona, whilst they gave away that many goals either side of the break as the home team romped to a 6-0 win, despite Gianna Guyot’s 8 saves. Somehow, Grand Canyon were even more dominant, notching up a massive 34 shots, but again Gianna Guyot kept the scoreline semi-reasonable, with 14 saves on 18 on-target shots as GCU finished up with a 4-0 win. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam started at the back for the Hornets, playing 74 minutes against Northern Arizona and 55 minutes against Grand Canyon.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week’s result: lost to Navy 6-1

A game that started promisingly for East Tennessee State went south quickly as the game progressed, as Navy scored the last five goals of the game to waltz away with a 6-1 victory. Navy opened the scoring in the 13th minute, but were quickly pegged back by the Buccaneers as a free kick was whipped into the left corner to tie things up just 4 minutes later. Navy tacked on two goals shortly before halftime to take the score to 3-1, which left ETSU with a slim chance, but that was extinguished with goals in the 66th, 74th, and 80th minutes as Navy rolled on home to the win. Isabel Hodgson did start for East Tennessee State, continuing her streak of games started in her freshman year.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week’s result: lost to Tennessee 3-0

Murray State took a 2-1 record into this weekend, but came up against by far their toughest this week against Tennessee. Despite the 3-0 result, Murray State were not without their chances, with 11 shots in comparison to Tennessee’s 15. Unfortunately, the Racers couldn’t get those shots on target, with just 2 of 11 troubling the goalkeeper. Tennessee scored in the 13th and 55th minutes to make things tough for Murray State, before sealing it 19 minutes from time. Harriet Withers had 3 shots (1 on target) in 62 minutes up front, whilst Nyomi Devine played a full 90 minutes in defence. Nyomi has now played 358 of the side’s 360 minutes so far this season.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week’s result: lost to Louisville 2-0

Southeast Missouri State fought admirably, but a couple of defensive lapses proved costly in a 2-0 loss to Louisville this week, and it almost appeared as if Siena Senatore being off the pitch was the issue. After starting on the bench, Siena was subbed on shortly after Louisville scored their opener in the 7th minute. Louisville did have a penalty in the 25th minute but it was sprayed high and the score remained 1-0. The score remained this way until the 79th minute, four minutes after Senatore was subbed off, when Louisville scored their second to put the game away. As well as Siena playing 61 minutes, Jenna Collingridge came off the bench to play 42 minutes, whilst Maddy Cornell had a 28 minute cameo.

Player Of The Week Points:

3: Emily Hulbert (Hofstra)
2: Laura Johns (Massachusetts)
1: Alex Huynh (Colorado)