2018 Week 6 Wrap

Assists were the theme of the weekend, as Monique Iannella tied the Hofstra school record for a single game and several other Aussies teed up teammates. However, that didn’t stop a couple of players from tallying goals, and there was also a first career appearance for Tenille Harberger.

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(Featured Image Credit: The Southern Conference)

Monique Iannella is certainly well-known for teeing up teammates, but more often than not her assists come from well-placed corners. However, Iannella proved that she is just as adept at setting up her fellow Hofstra players in open play, tying a school record with three assists in the Pride’s 6-0 win over Towson. A pinpoint cross from the senior set up Lucy Porter for the opener in the 15th minute, before laying the ball off for Sabrina Bryan, who rocketed home a world-class strike for Hofstra’s 3rd goal in the 38th minute. Just three minutes later, another cross from Iannella found the head of Miri Taylor, who flicked the ball on for Porter to head home to give Hofstra a 4-0 halftime lead on their way to a 6-0 victory. Unfortunately, the Pride couldn’t round out the weekend with another win, falling 1-0 to James Madison in their second game of the first week of conference play.

East Tennessee State were another team that dominated an opponent as they romped to a 7-1 win over Wofford. Having already secured a 1-0 win over regular conference contenders Furman earlier in the week, the Buccaneers dominated on the scoreboard against Wofford even as both teams finished with 15 shots on target. Izzy Hodgson certainly got in on the action, teeing up teammate Sarah Connolly for her fourth goal of the match just after the hour mark before adding one of her own just a minute later to double her tally for the season. For a side desperate to atone for a fairly dismal 2017 Southern Conference campaign, it was a perfect start for East Tennessee State as they sit atop the league standings alongside Kate Swartwout and Western Carolina, who defeated the same pair of opponents with a 3-1 win over Furman and a 4-1 victory over Wofford.

Isobel Dalton’s name isn’t one we see on the stat sheet too often for Colorado, but the senior reminded everyone of the class that saw her play in both the W-League and the English Women’s Super League before heading to college with a scything pass for an assist in Colorado’s 6-0 win over Oregon State. Winning the ball with a solid tackle in midfield, Dalton split the Oregon State defence with an incisive ball through to Camilla Shymka, who buried the shot across the goalkeeper to round out the six-goal demolition as the Buffaloes got off to the best possible start in the toughest conference in the nation.

It was a mixed week for Wyoming on the road, and ironically enough the highlights for the Aussies came in their loss to San Diego State. Right on the 30-minute mark, freshman Caitlin Pickett teed up senior Annika Clayton, who buried a shot across the goalkeeper from 10 yards out to put Wyoming 1-0. Unfortunately, a five-minute lapse from the Cowgirls was enough for San Diego State to score two quick goals either side of the 70-minute mark to secure a 2-1 victory. However, Wyoming would bounce back in their second game of the week in a thrilling 3-2 victory over New Mexico, and although the Aussies didn’t make a tangible impact, all four made their mark with Clayton, Pickett, and Jessie Gentle starting and Indianna Asimus coming off the bench to play 34 minutes.

Like Hofstra, Emma Heckenberg and Drexel also fell to a loss to James Madison, but bounced back in their second game of the week to defeat Charleston 2-1 in overtime. Having gone down 1-0 in the 55th minute, Heckenberg whipped in a cross from the left which found teammate Morgan Rees who headed the ball down into the bottom corner for the 68th minute equaliser. The Dragons peppered the Charleston goal in overtime, with their fifth shot of the extra minutes finding the back of the net to hand Drexel the win.

In a weekend in Honolulu stacked with games featuring Aussies as Lauren Featherstone and Sandra Hill came to town, it was Hawaii’s Kiri Dale who came away with a pair of wins as well as an assist in a 4-0 win over Hill and her Grand Canyon outfit. Having defeated Featherstone’s North Dakota State side the previous day, Dale set up the Wahine’s third goal, sending in a free kick that would be rocketed home by Mikaelah Johnson-Griggs to put the game out of Grand Canyon’s reach just after halftime before Hawaii added a fourth goal late in the piece to round out a perfect weekend.

Claudia Jenkins was solid once again for La Salle this week, but unfortunately even her best efforts couldn’t quite secure two wins for the Explorers. After being forced into just two saves in a 1-0 overtime win over Davidson, Jenkins was forced into eight saves against Saint Joseph’s, but yet another penalty conceded by the Explorers led to one of the few goals the South Australian has conceded this season. Unfortunately, it was the goal that broke the 1-1 tie and handed the Hawks the win in the local derby. This game was also notable for it being Alyssa Van Heurck’s first collegiate start, with the Western Australian playing 31 minutes and tallying a shot after coming off the bench in each of her eight previous appearances.

However, Van Heurck wasn’t the only player to reach an appearance-related milestone. Jodie Burchell made her first start for Towson in their 1-0 loss to a William & Mary side featuring Lorena Bugden, who had also made a first collegiate start in the Tribe’s previous game, a 2-1 loss to Charleston. Meanwhile, Demi Koulizakis made her first start since 2016 for Texas Tech in a 2-0 loss to West Virginia, playing 58 minutes in the process.

Finally, it’s been a long time coming, but Nicholls State midfielder Tenille Harberger made her first college appearance in the Colonels’ 1-0 loss to Abilene Christian. Having redshirted her first year in Thibodaux, Harberger’s first appearance came more than 12 months after she arrived at Nicholls State, with the 10 minutes of playing time surely giving her an appetite for more. 

Full Schedule:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: lost 1-0 to Western Michigan; @ Northern Illinois – 4am, Monday September 24 

Chicago State (Sarah Clark) 

This week: lost 5-0 to Fort Wayne

Sarah Clark did not feature for Chicago State in their loss to Fort Wayne.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

This week: defeated Oregon State 6-0

Isobel Dalton came off the bench for Colorado in their demolition of Oregon State, securing the assist on the Buffaloes’ final goal in her 21 minutes on the pitch. 

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: lost 1-0 to James Madison; defeated Charleston 2-1 (2OT)

Emma Heckenberg played every minute of the weekend, picking up an assist on Drexel’s equaliser in their overtime win over Charleston.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: defeated Furman 1-0; defeated Wofford 7-1

Isabel Hodgson finished with two shots, both of which were on target in a complete game performance against Furman, before tallying a goal and an assist in 64 minutes of action in the Buccaneers’ demolition of Wofford.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: drew 1-1 with Mount St. Mary’s

Sam Roff played all 110 minutes in Fairleigh Dickinson’s draw with Mount St. Mary’s. 

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen) 

This week: lost 2-1 to Appalachian State

Hannah Allen did not feature for Georgia Southern in their loss to Appalachian State.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 3-2 to North Dakota State (OT); lost 4-0 to Hawaii

Sandra Hill came off the bench to play 43 minutes in the thrilling loss to North Dakota State, but started and played 77 minutes in the loss to Hawaii

Hawaii (Kiri Dale) 

This week: defeated North Dakota State 2-0; defeated Grand Canyon 4-0

Kiri Dale started both games this week, playing 83 minutes in the win over North Dakota State and picking up an assist in a complete game performance in the win over Grand Canyon.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated Towson 6-0; lost 1-0 to James Madison

Monique Iannella tallied a school record-tying 3 assists as well as a shot in her 77 minutes on the pitch against Towson, before playing the full 90 minutes against James Madison and registering another shot. Grace Watson-Carr did not feature for Hofstra in either game this week.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: lost 2-0 to Ohio State; lost 2-1 to Penn State (OT)

Ashleigh Lefevre did not feature for Illinois in either game this week.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: defeated Davidson 1-0; lost 2-1 to Saint Joseph’s

Claudia Jenkins played every minute of the weekend, making two saves in the win over Davidson and eight more in the loss to Saint Joseph’s. Alyssa Van Heurck came off the bench to play 7 minutes against Davidson, but picked up her first career start against St. Joseph’s, playing 31 minutes and registering a shot that tested the Hawks’ goalkeeper. 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: drew 0-0 with Auburn; lost 4-1 to Florida

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

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: defeated UTEP 2-1 (OT); defeated Florida International 3-2

Laura Farrelly did not feature for Marshall in either of their wins this week. 

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

This week: lost 2-1 to Incarnate Word; lost 1-0 to Abilene Christian

Kristy Helmers started in the loss to Incarnate Word, playing 34 minutes and registering a single shot before coming off the bench to play 27 minutes against Abilene Christian. Tenille Harberger did not feature against Incarnate Word, but came off the bench to make her college debut with 10 minutes of playing time against Abilene Christian. Tessa Calabria did not feature in either game this week. 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone) 

This week: defeated Grand Canyon 3-2 (OT); lost 2-0 to Hawaii

Lauren Featherstone came off the bench in both of North Dakota State’s games this week, playing 13 minutes against Grand Canyon and 25 minutes in the loss to Hawaii. 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: lost 3-2 to Louisiana Tech (OT)

Gaby Bentley came off the bench in Old Dominion’s thrilling overtime loss to Louisiana Tech, playing 15 minutes. 

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: lost 1-0 to Jacksonville State (OT)

Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in their overtime loss to Jacksonville State.

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: defeated Long Island-Brooklyn 1-0

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in their win over Long Island-Brooklyn.

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: defeated Arizona 2-0

Beattie Goad started for Stanford in their win over Arizona and tallied 2 shots in her 42 minutes on the pitch.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 2-0 to West Virginia; defeated Iowa State 3-0

Demi Koulizakis started for Texas Tech against West Virginia and played 58 minutes, before coming off the bench to play 16 minutes against Iowa State.

Towson (Jodie Burchell) 

This week: lost 6-0 to Hofstra; lost 1-0 to William & Mary

Jodie Burchell came off the bench to play 17 minutes in Towson’s loss to Hofstra, but started and played 11 minutes against William & Mary.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: lost 1-0 to Washington State

Teagan Micah did not feature for UCLA in their loss to Washington State after suffering an injury in the warm-up.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: defeated Wofford 4-1; defeated Furman 3-1

Kate Swartwout started in Western Carolina’s win over Wofford and played 67 minutes, before playing 26 minutes off the bench in the win over Furman.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden) 

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

Lorena Bugden made her first career start in the win over Charleston, playing 38 minutes before coming off the bench to play 26 minutes in the win over Towson. 

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

This week: lost 2-1 to San Diego State; defeated New Mexico 3-2

Annika Clayton started both games this week, registering Wyoming’s only goal in their loss to San Diego State as part of an 85-minute effort before registering a single shot in 73 minutes in the win over New Mexico. Jessie Gentle was once again all but ever-present for the Cowgirls, starting both games and playing all bar 12 minutes of the weekend as well as tallying a single shot against New Mexico. Caitlin Pickett also started both games and played around an hour in each game, teeing up Clayton for the goal against San Diego State. Indianna Asimus came off the bench in both games, playing just the five minutes against San Diego State but seeing 34 minutes of action in the win over New Mexico.

Player of the Year Points: 

3: Monique Iannella (Hofstra)
2: Isabel Hodgson (East Tennessee State)
1:
Annika Clayton (Wyoming)

2018 Week 6 Preview

Aussies face each other on both sides of the country this week as Kiri Dale takes on Sandra Hill and Lauren Featherstone in a tournament in Honolulu, whilst Jodie Burchell faces Monique Iannella and Lorena Bugden in Towson’s first two conference games. Elsewhere, Sam Roff and the Fairleigh Dickinson defence look to keep things tight at the back against a Mount St. Mary’s team that has had enough troubles scoring goals as it is.

(Featured Image Credit: Michael Rincon)

Kiri Dale and Hawaii play host to a pair of other teams featuring Australians this week as Sandra Hill’s Grand Canyon outfit and a North Dakota State team featuring Lauren Featherstone head to Manoa for a small tournament prior to conference play kicking off next week. Both Hawaii and North Dakota State have put together decent records approaching the .500 mark to this point, but for Grand Canyon this week provides a chance to continue rebuilding their season as a pair of wins last week lifted the Antelopes from 1-7 to 3-7. With all three Aussies seeing playing time of late and the teams fairly evenly matched, this is certainly a set of games worth watching.

The Colonial Athletic Association is stacked with Aussies, and it shows this week as Jodie Burchell and Towson kick off conference play against another pair of teams featuring Australians. The Tigers face perennial contenders Hofstra in their first game of the week, where they will face a Pride defence featuring Monique Iannella that finds itself in good form of late after keeping two clean sheets last week. Towson then face a William & Mary side featuring Lorena Bugden in their second game of the week, and although this game appears to be the Tigers’ best chance of victory this week, they will still come in as slight underdogs in this one. Home advantage may give Burchell and the Tigers the leg-up they need though as they look to get off to a good start in league play.

Claudia Jenkins has stepped into the void left by La Salle legend Larisa Zambelli superbly, and the Explorers would love for the South Australian goalkeeper to continue that outstanding form as they look to make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament. Starting their Atlantic 10 campaign with a local derby against St. Joseph’s, this game shapes to be a battle between two of the league’s true contenders, particularly given the fact both teams have shown outstanding form in the non-conference season. However, St. Joseph’s don’t have the most potent offence in the country, and with Jenkins giving up just five goals in seven games, La Salle’s defence – which also features fellow Australian Alyssa Van Heurck at times – could prove to be the difference as the Explorers look to hit the ground running in conference action.

Sam Roff and Fairleigh Dickinson fell on penalties in the Northeast Conference championship game last season, and in a conference where only Central Connecticut State have shown any really strong non-conference form, the league is wide open for any team that can get off to a good start. Although the Knights have won just two of their ten games to this point, they start league play against a Mount St. Mary’s outfit with just one win in seven games and only four goals so far this season, of which two came in their sole win of the campaign against Howard. As was the case in 2017, the Fairleigh Dickinson defence hasn’t been at its absolute best in non-conference play, but if they can reprise their conference form of last season, scoring goals will be tough not only for a team like Mount St. Mary’s, but for every team in the NEC.

Wyoming limped home last season to miss the Mountain West conference tournament after losing five of their last six games of the 2017 campaign, but come into this year’s league slate as one of the form teams in the conference after compiling a 5-1-2 record to this point. All four Australians – Caitlin Pickett, Indianna Asimus, Jessie Gentle, and Annika Clayton – have played vital roles for the Cowgirls to this point, and they will look to continue their good form having been given a favourable draw to open the conference slate. San Diego State usually prove to be one of the league contenders, but after winning just two of their eight non-conference games, catching the Aztecs at the start of league play may allow Wyoming to snare a result before San Diego State have the chance to regain winning form. Their second opponent of the week, New Mexico, are faring better at 4-3-0, which also appears to a fair reflection on the team’s quality. Despite being on the road, Wyoming will see themselves as favourites in this one and will have eyes firmly fixed on picking up six points from the first weekend of conference play.

Full Schedule:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: @ Western Michigan – 6am, Saturday September 22; @ Northern Illinois – 4am, Monday September 24 

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Fort Wayne – 5am, Sunday September 23 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: @ Oregon State – 9am, Saturday September 22

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg) 

This week: v James Madison – 9am, Friday September 21; @ Charleston – 2am, Monday September 24

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v Furman – 9am, Saturday September 22; v Wofford – 4am, Monday September 24

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Mount St. Mary’s – 3am, Monday September 24 

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: v Appalachian State – 9am, Monday September 24

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Hawaii – 1pm, Monday September 24

Hawaii (Kiri Dale) 

This week: v North Dakota State – 10am, Sunday September 23; v Grand Canyon – 1pm, Monday September 24 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

This week: v Towson – 9am, Friday September 21; @ James Madison – 3am, Monday September 24

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: v Ohio State – 10am, Friday September 21; v Penn State – 10am, Sunday September 23 

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: @ Davidson – 9am, Friday September 21; v Saint Joseph’s – 3am, Monday September 24 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Auburn – 10am, Friday September 21; @ Florida – 3am, Monday September 24

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ UTEP – 11am, Friday September 21; v Florida International – 3am, Monday September 24

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

This week: @ Incarnate Word – 8am, Saturday September 22; @ Abilene Christian – 4am, Monday September 24 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: @ Hawaii – 10am, Sunday September 23

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: @ Louisiana Tech – 9am, Saturday September 22

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Jacksonville State – 4am, Monday September 24 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: @ Long Island-Brooklyn – 3am, Sunday September 23

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Arizona – 1pm, Saturday September 22 

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v West Virginia – 10:15am, Saturday September 22; v Iowa State – 3am, Monday September 24 

Towson (Jodie Burchell) 

This week: @ Hofstra – 9am, Friday September 21; v William & Mary – 3am, Monday September 24

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Washington State – 1pm, Saturday September 22 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Wofford – 9am, Saturday September 22; v Furman – 6am, Monday September 24

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: @ Charleston – 9am, Friday September 21; @ Towson – 4am, Monday September 24

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

This week: @ San Diego State – 12pm, Saturday September 22; @ New Mexico – 4:30am, Monday September 24

2018 Week 4 Wrap

Demi Koulizakis’ peach of a goal to open her college account was one of the highlights of the week, whilst La Salle goalkeeper Claudia Jenkins was again in brick wall-like form to set a new career high for saves in the Explorers’ 2-2 draw with Rutgers.

Claudia Jenkins may have given up two goals in La Salle’s draw with Rutgers in their only game of the weekend, but taking into account that Rutgers finished with 31 shots and 11 on target, the South Australian’s performance was actually one of the finest of the week as La Salle escaped with a share of the points. Jenkins’ nine saves were more than La Salle’s total number of shots for the game and allowed the Explorers to secure a result that they really had no right to leave with and move to 4-1-1 to start the season.

It may have taken until her junior year, but Demi Koulizakis grabbed her first college goal this week, and certainly made up for lost time with a scintillating strike in Texas Tech’s 6-0 win over Florida International. Latching onto a long ball, Koulizakis stopped on a dime to leave her defender out of position, and took advantage of the extra space to find the back of the net from the edge of the area with her left foot. Koulizakis wasn’t able to add to her tally in Texas Tech’s 4-1 win over Oregon State, but did earn another half-hour stint off the bench as her minutes continue to increase as the season progresses.

 

 

It’s been a long time coming, but after battling through a number of knee injuries, Lorena Bugden finally made her college debut this week, coming off the bench against Bucknell in William & Mary’s thrilling 3-2 victory, playing 36 minutes and ending a stint of more than 12 months stuck to the bench. Bugden reprised the role in the Tribe’s second game of the week against Texas A&M, but Aggies star Ally Watt rattled off 12 shots as William & Mary found themselves under pressure all game in falling to a 2-0 defeat.

Two Australians also made their first college starts this week. Lauren Featherstone started both games this week for North Dakota State, playing 16 minutes in a 4-0 loss to Minnesota and 14 minutes in a 2-1 win over Northern Iowa. Meanwhile, Chicago State may have fallen 8-0 to Massachusetts after a six-goal second half from the Minutewomen, but Innisfail junior Sarah Clark started for the first time in her NCAA Division I career, playing 47 minutes for the Cougars.

 

Complete Results:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: lost 3-2 to Dayton; lost 3-0 to Xavier

Freyja Murray did not feature for Akron in either game this week.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Siena 3-0; defeated Rhode Island 4-1

Claire Urquhart came off the bench to play five minutes against Siena, but did not feature against Rhode Island.

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: lost 8-0 to Massachusetts

Sarah Clark earned a start for Chicago State in their only game of the week and played 47 minutes, but Massachusetts rolled with six second-half goals to romp to a dominant victory.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: defeated Marquette 2-1; defeated Michigan State 3-0

Isobel Dalton did not feature in the win over Marquette, but came off the bench to play 14 minutes as Colorado rolled against Michigan State.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: drew 1-1 with St. Joseph’s

Emma Heckenberg started for Drexel in their draw with St. Joseph’s, playing all 110 minutes in the process.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: lost 4-0 to Tennessee

Isabel Hodgson played all 90 minutes for ETSU in their loss to Tennessee, registering a single shot.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 2-1 to Hofstra (2OT); drew 0-0 with Army

Sam Roff played the complete game on both occasions this week, tallying a single shot in the loss to Hofstra.

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Kennesaw State

Hannah Allen did not feature for Georgia Southern in their loss to Kennesaw State.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to Northern Colorado; lost 1-0 to Colorado State

Sandra Hill started both games for Grand Canyon this week, playing the full 90 minutes on each occasion.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 2-1 to UC San Diego

Kiri Dale started and registered a single shot during her 51 minutes on the pitch in Hawaii’s loss to UC San Diego.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated Fairleigh Dickinson 2-1 (2OT); lost 2-1 to Princeton

Monique Iannella played all 196 minutes this week, but Grace Watson-Carr did not feature for Hofstra in either game.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: defeated Illinois State 1-0

Ashleigh Lefevre came off the bench for Illinois in the win over Illinois State, playing 10 minutes.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: drew 2-2 with Rutgers

Claudia Jenkins played the complete game and made a career-high 9 saves in the draw with Rutgers, whilst Alyssa Van Heurck came off the bench to play 7 minutes.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: defeated Stetson 2-0; defeated Samford 2-0

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

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: defeated High Point 1-0; drew 2-2 with Gardner-Webb

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

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

This week: lost 2-0 to Southern Mississippi

Kristy Helmers started and played 40 minutes in Nicholls State’s loss to Southern Mississippi, but Tessa Calabria and Tenille Harberger did not feature for the Colonels this week.

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: lost 4-0 to Minnesota; defeated Northern Iowa 2-1

Lauren Featherstone earned her first career starts this week, playing 16 minutes against Minnesota and 14 minutes against Northern Iowa.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: lost 2-1 to VCU (OT); lost 1-0 to Duke

Gaby Bentley came off the bench to play 18 minutes in Old Dominion’s loss to VCU, but did not feature against Duke.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: defeated Oral Roberts 1-0

Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in their win over Oral Roberts.

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: lost 2-0 to Niagara; lost 3-0 to Buffalo

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in the loss to Niagara, but came off the bench to play 18 minutes against Buffalo.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Notre Dame 3-1; defeated North Carolina 2-1 (OT)

Beattie Goad started and played 47 minutes in the win over Notre Dame, before playing 4 minutes off the bench against North Carolina. 

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated Florida International 6-0; defeated Oregon State 4-1

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench in both games this week, scoring her first collegiate goal in a 23-minute cameo against Florida International, before playing 31 minutes in the win over Oregon State.

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: defeated Loyola Maryland 3-2 (OT); defeated UMBC 2-1

Jodie Burchell did not feature for Towson in either game this week.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Pepperdine 3-0

Teagan Micah made a rare appearance off the bench, playing the second half and rounding out the combined clean sheet with two saves in UCLA’s victory over Pepperdine.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 2-1 to Tennessee-Martin; lost 4-0 to Middle Tennessee State

Kate Swartwout came off the bench to play 22 minutes against Tennessee-Martin, before playing 30 minutes off the bench against Middle Tennessee State.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: defeated Bucknell 3-2; lost 2-0 to Texas A&M

Lorena Bugden came off the bench for her first two college appearances this week, playing 36 minutes against Bucknell and 37 minutes in the loss to Texas A&M.

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

This week: drew 0-0 with Montana; defeated Iowa 1-0

Indianna Asimus started against Montana and played 72 minutes before coming off the bench against Iowa to play 38 minutes. Annika Clayton started both games, tally three shots with one on target in 90 minutes of action against Montana and tallying a single shot in 58 minutes in the win over Iowa. Caitlin Pickett also started both games, tallying a single shot in 80 minutes against Montana and seeing 66 minutes of action against Iowa. Jessie Gentle was also in the starting lineup for both games, playing 96 minutes and tallying a shot against Montana and playing 81 minutes against Iowa.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
2:
Demi Koulizakis (Texas Tech)
1:
Annika Clayton (Wyoming)

2018 Week 1 Wrap

A number of Aussies came up with some utterly clutch plays to help get their teams over the line, with the performances of goalkeepers Teagan Micah and Claudia Jenkins a highlight. But it was Annika Clayton coming up trumps at the other end, banging in two goals to round out a stunning comeback win in Wyoming’s opener against South Dakota.

(Featured Image Credit: Greg Carroccio / Sideline Photos)

Annika Clayton was the undoubted star of the week as the senior continued the trend of Australian midfielders banging in goals for Wyoming following the graduation of Alisha Bass after the 2017 season. Down 2-0 just after halftime, Clayton scored the game-tying goal in the 64th minute. The Cowgirls scored just two minutes later to take the lead, before Clayton rounded out the victory, doubling the lead with just over 15 minutes to play. The Cowgirls found the going slightly tougher in their home opener against Utah Valley in their second game of the week, but managed to eke out a 1-0 overtime victory to preserve their perfect start to the season, with newly arrived Geelong freshman Caitlin Pickett picking up the winner in overtime to tally her first college goal in just her second game. Newcastle freshman Indianna Asimus also featured in both games of the first week of her college career, starting against South Dakota before coming off the bench against Utah Valley.

La Salle pair Claudia Jenkins and Alyssa Van Heurck also enjoyed an excellent first week of the season, with Jenkins perhaps pulling out the moment of the week in the Explorers’ 1-0 win over Syracuse. With the Explorers up a goal after Madison Bower’s early strike, Syracuse were gifted a chance to equalise after a foul in the box resulted in a penalty for the Orange. But Jenkins stood tall to deny penalty taker Taylor Bennett and maintain her side’s lead, with the Explorers holding on to secure the 1-0 victory, with Van Heurck playing 24 minutes off the bench in her first college appearance.

Alyssa Van Heurck (Photo Credit: Greg Carroccio / Sideline Photos)

The Explorers enjoyed a far more comfortable victory in their second game of the week against UMBC. Jenkins once again kept a clean sheet, making four saves, whilst Van Heurck picked up the first goal of her college career as the Explorers jumped out to a 4-0 lead before halftime on their way to a comprehensive 5-0 win, scoring on all bar two of their shots on target to start their campaign to return to the NCAA Tournament on a high.

Teagan Micah also came up big between the sticks as UCLA laboured in putting Long Beach State away in their opening game of the season. Although the junior made just two saves, they proved to be vital as the Bruins scored the only goal of the game with just two seconds left on the clock as Hailie Mace managed to beat the goalkeeper with the last kick of the ball for the 1-0 victory.

Beattie Goad made a solid start to her junior year as Stanford dismantled UC Davis 5-0 on the road in the opening game of their title defence. The two-time W-League champion secured a starting berth for the Cardinal, playing 79 minutes and putting the ball on a plate for Tierna Davidson to head home Stanford’s second of their five goals as the defending champions outshot their opponents 20-1 in the dominant victory.

Finally, we saw six players make their Division I debut this week, with Ashleigh Lefevre, Tessa Calabria, and Lauren Featherstone joining the aforementioned Alyssa Van Heurck, Indianna Asimus, and Caitlin Pickett in seeing their first minutes at the top level of college play. Lefevre and Illinois led North Carolina early in the piece, but were ultimately chased down by the Tar Heels in a 3-1 loss, but the Illini had clearly grown in confidence and used that momentum to secure a come from behind win over #3 Duke, with Lefevre coming off the bench in both games to see over an hour of playing time across the weekend. Calabria got the start in her debut against North Dakota in a 3-0 loss, playing 61 minutes, but came off the bench in Nicholls State’s loss to Grambling State, registering a pair of shots on target in her 46 minutes in the Colonels’ 1-0 defeat. However, Featherstone’s debut was the most pleasing to see from a neutral standpoint, with the redshirt freshman having been through injuries, an academic redshirt in 2017, and a last-minute transfer in her 12 months in college before finally seeing her first playing time, tallying 20 minutes of action off the bench in North Dakota State’s 4-1 win over Green Bay.

Complete Results:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: lost 2-1 to Morehead State

Freyja Murray did not feature for Akron in their loss to Morehead State.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Arizona 1-0; defeated New Mexico State 3-1

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany in their win over Arizona, but came off the bench to play 46 minutes in the Great Danes’ victory over New Mexico State.

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: drew 2-2 with Youngstown State; lost 3-1 to Cleveland State

Sarah Clark did not feature for Chicago State in either game this week.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: defeated Air Force 3-0; drew 0-0 with Colorado State

Isobel Dalton came off the bench to play a solitary minute in Colorado’s win over Air Force, but did not feature in the draw with Colorado State.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: drew 1-1 with Rider; lost 2-1 to Rutgers

Emma Heckenberg did not feature for Drexel in the draw with Rider, but came off the bench to play 33 minutes in the loss to Rutgers.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: lost 1-0 to George Mason

Isabel Hodgson played the full 90 minutes in East Tennessee State’s loss to George Mason.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated Marshall 1-0; lost 1-0 to Providence

Sam Roff picked up where she left off last season, playing the full 90 minutes in both of Fairleigh Dickinson’s games this week as the Knights’ stingy defence conceded only a solitary goal over the course of the weekend.

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: lost 3-0 to Florida Gulf Coast; lost 3-0 to Chattanooga

Hannah Allen did not feature for Georgia Southern in either of the Eagles’ games this week.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to Gonzaga (2OT); lost 1-0 to Washington State (OT)

Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon in either game this week as the Lopes fell to a pair of heartbreaking overtime losses.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 4-0 to Texas A&M; defeated Bowling Green 1-0 (OT)

Kiri Dale did not feature for Hawaii in the loss to Texas A&M, but came off the bench for a 20-minute cameo in the Wahine’s overtime win over Bowling Green.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated Bucknell 1-0; lost 1-0 to Fairfield

Monique Iannella came off the bench in both games this week, playing 39 minutes against Bucknell and registering a single shot on target in 51 minutes in the loss to Fairfield. Reserve goalkeeper Grace Watson-Carr did not feature for Hofstra in either game this week. 

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

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

Ashleigh Lefevre came off the bench in both games this week, playing 40 minutes against North Carolina and 36 minutes in the upset win over highly-rated Duke.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck) 

This week: defeated Syracuse 1-0; defeated UMBC 5-0

Goalkeeper Claudia Jenkins kept a pair of clean sheets to start the season, playing all 180 minutes and coming up with a penalty save in the win over Syracuse. Alyssa Van Heurck came off the bench to make her first two college appearances, playing 24 minutes in both games and tallying La Salle’s fourth goal in the 5-0 win over UMBC. 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

This week: lost 2-1 to Villanova (OT)

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in their overtime loss to Villanova. 

Marshall (Laura Farrelly) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Fairleigh Dickinson; drew 2-2 with Army

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

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

This week: lost 3-0 to North Dakota; lost 2-1 to Grambling State

Tessa Calabria started against North Dakota to make her first collegiate appearance, registering a single shot in 61 minutes. Calabria came off the bench against Grambling State, tallying 2 shots in 46 minutes, both of which were on target. Kristy Helmers came off the bench in both games, playing 26 minutes against North Dakota and 14 minutes against Grambling State. Tenille Harberger did not feature for the Colonels in either game this week.

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: match abandoned v Wisconsin due to weather; defeated Green Bay 4-1

Lauren Featherstone finally made her long-awaited collegiate debut, playing 20 minutes off the bench and tallying a single shot in North Dakota State’s win over Green Bay. 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: drew 1-1 with East Carolina; defeated Mount St. Mary’s 3-0

Gaby Bentley came off the bench for Old Dominion to play 20 minutes or so in the draw with East Carolina, before starting against Mount St. Mary’s but only playing 13 minutes.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: lost 2-1 to Evansville

Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in their loss to Evansville. 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: drew 2-2 with Radford; lost 3-2 to Canisius (OT)

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

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: defeated UC Davis 5-0

Beattie Goad started for Stanford in their win over UC Davis, playing 79 minutes and delivering the assist on the Cardinal’s second goal.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated New Mexico 2-0; defeated Pepperdine 1-0

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench in both games this week, playing 32 minutes and registering two shots against New Mexico before playing 39 minutes and tallying a single shot on target in the upset win over Pepperdine. 

Towson (Jodie Burchell) 

This week: lost 2-1 to South Florida (OT); lost 2-1 to Stetson

Jodie Burchell did not feature for Towson in either game this week. 

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Long Beach State 1-0

Teagan Micah played the full 90 minutes between the sticks for UCLA in the win over Long Beach State, keeping a vital clean sheet with two saves as the Bruins scored the game-winner with just two seconds remaining. 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 3-0 to Kennesaw State; defeated UNC Asheville 1-0

Kate Swartwout got the start against Kennesaw State, playing 62 minutes before coming off the bench against UNC Asheville to play 18 minutes. 

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden) 

This week: lost 2-1 to Maryland; lost 2-1 to Dayton (OT)

Lorena Bugden did not feature for William & Mary in either game this week.

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

This week: defeated South Dakota 4-2; defeated Utah Valley 1-0 (OT)

Annika Clayton was the saviour for Wyoming in their opening game, scoring two goals in the Cowgirls’ comeback victory before playing 78 minutes in the overtime win over Utah Valley. Caitlin Pickett tallied the overtime winner against Utah Valley in a 53-minute effort after playing 63 minutes against South Dakota, whilst Indianna Asimus started and played 40 minutes against South Dakota before making a 24-minute cameo off the bench against Utah Valley. Jessie Gentle also started both games, playing 45 minutes against South Dakota and the entire 93 minutes in the win over Utah Valley.

Player of the Year Votes: 

3: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
2: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
1: Teagan Micah (UCLA)

2018 Week 1 Preview

It looked as if the numbers may be lacking slightly this season, but a late flurry of signings sees 32 Aussies start their 2018 Division I season this weekend, with 12 of those a chance to make their debut this week. We also see a couple of Aussie v Aussie matchups, including one with a difference.

Laura Farrelly may have travelled halfway around the world to continue her soccer career, but the Marshall freshman just can’t get away from the Aussies as she takes on Fairleigh Dickinson and their Aussie captain Sam Roff in their opening game of the season. Fairleigh Dickinson may play in the much smaller Northeast Conference when compared to Marshall’s Conference-USA, but it’s Roff and the Knights who are coming off a much more successful 2017, having compiled a 9-8-4 record, whilst Marshall managed just five wins last year. Marshall then face Army in their second game of the week, a team also looking to improve in 2018 after a fairly dismal 4-11-2 season in 2017.

There’ll be no bedding in period for Ashleigh Lefevre and her fellow Illinois freshmen as the Fighting Illini travel to the Southeast to take on two national powerhouses in North Carolina and Duke in their first two games of the season. It certainly is a tough start for an Illinois side looking to bounce back from a 2017 in which they finished with just four wins, particularly considering that both North Carolina and Duke will be in the mix for a national championship come the end of the season. If Illinois can pick up even a point on the road in these two games, it will certainly be a confidence boaster for a team playing one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation.

Claudia Jenkins spent her first season at La Salle as backup goalkeeper, but has the chance to secure a starting berth this season, and with fellow Australian, freshman Alyssa Van Heurck, in the backline, the Explorers could be heavily reliant on their Aussie pair to keep the goals out. Whilst their first game of the season will be against Syracuse, it is their match against UMBC later in the week that looms as the most interesting as UMBC’s new head coach this season is Australia’s own Vanessa Mann. For La Salle, these two games will hopefully form the springboard for a campaign that ends in a return trip to the NCAA Tournament, whilst for UMBC, they will be hoping that Mann’s reign as head coach can start on the front foot.

Of course, there are plenty of other freshmen and junior college transfers looking to kick off their Division I careers in the best way possible. Including those already mentioned, a grand total of 12 Australians could make their Division I debuts this weekend, with eyes especially focused on Tenille Harberger, Lorena Bugden, and Lauren Featherstone, who all missed out on playing in their first seasons for various reasons and will be hungry to make an impact from the outset.

Finally, the title favourite pairing of Beattie Goad’s Stanford side and Teagan Micah’s UCLA outfit kick off their seasons against a pair of in-state opponents as they begin a campaign that both teams will be hoping results in a return trip to the championship game. UCLA host Long Beach State, whilst Stanford will make the short drive north to face UC Davis. Both teams will be expected to win handsomely, and it will be interesting to see if Goad in particular can secure increased playing time in the early stages of 2018.

Full Schedule:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: v Morehead State – 9am, Saturday August 18

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: @ Arizona – 12pm, Saturday August 18; v New Mexico – 5am, Monday August 20

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Youngstown State – 9am, Saturday August 18; at Cleveland State – 3am, Monday August 20

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v Air Force – 10am, Saturday August 18; v Colorado State – 7:30am, Monday August 20

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Rider – 9am, Saturday August 18; @ Rutgers – 7am, Monday August 20

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v George Mason – 9am, Friday August 17

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Marshall – 9am, Saturday August 18; @ Providence – 3am, Monday August 20

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: at Florida Gulf Coast – 9am, Saturday August 18; v Chattanooga – 3am, Monday August 20

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Gonzaga – 12pm, Saturday August 18; @ Washington State – 6am, Monday August 20

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: @ Bucknell – 3am, Saturday August 18; v Fairfield – 3am, Monday August 20

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ North Carolina – 7am, Friday August 17; @ Duke – 3am, Monday August 20

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: @ Syracuse – 8am, Friday August 17; v UMBC – 3am, Monday August 20

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Villanova – 4am, Monday August 20

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ Fairleigh Dickinson – 9am, Friday August 17; @ Army – 3am, Monday August 20

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

This week: v North Dakota – 7am, Saturday August 18; v Grambling – 4am, Monday August 20

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: @ Wisconsin – 10am, Friday August 17; at Green Bay – 4am, Monday August 20

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v East Carolina – 9am, Saturday August 18; v Mount St. Mary’s – 8am, Monday August 20

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: v Evansville – 9:30am, Friday August 17

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: @ Radford – 9am, Friday August 17; v Canisius – 4am, Monday August 20

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ UC Davis – 9am, Saturday August 18

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v New Mexico – 10:15am, Saturday August 18; v Pepperdine – 10am, Monday August 20

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: @ South Florida – 9am, Friday August 17; @ Stetson – 3am, Monday August 20

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Long Beach State – 12pm, Saturday August 18 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: @ Kennesaw State – 9am, Saturday August 18; v UNC Asheville – 2am, Monday August 20

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: v Maryland – 6:30am, Friday August 17; v Dayton – 1:30am, Monday August 20

Wyoming (Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle)

This week: @ South Dakota – 7am, Friday August 17; v Utah Valley – 5am, Monday August 20

2018 Player Previews

30 players will represent Australia in NCAA Division I women’s soccer this season, including 2017 national champion Beattie Goad at Stanford and national runner-up Teagan Micah at UCLA. However, with players such as Georgia Rowntree, Alisha Bass, Harriet Withers, Nyomi Devine, Emily Hulbert, and Paige Hayward having now graduated, it is almost a new era for College Matildas.

Claire Urquhart (Senior, Defender, Albany, Brisbane)

Claire Urquhart was finally given a more extended run in the Albany side in her junior year, playing 12 games in 2017, compared to her seven total appearances in her first two seasons. The senior’s ability to slot into either midfield or the back four helped Urquhart in finding more opportunities last season, and with a number of defensive starters returning in 2018, it may again be the case that Urquhart finds herself splitting time across a number of positions. The Great Danes finished with a 6-11-1 record in 2017 and were knocked out in the first round of the America East tournament, but have scheduled a tough non-conference slate in 2018 that should leave them battle-tested and ready for an improved charge at a conference title this season and a return to the NCAA Tournament following 2016’s appearance in which they fell 4-2 to Connecticut in a tough first-round matchup.

Lauren Featherstone (Freshman, Midfielder, Central Connecticut State, Sydney)

Shelby Milton and Lauren Featherstone will face each other in conference play in 2018.

After redshirting her first year at Central Connecticut State, Lauren Featherstone comes into her first year of collegiate play with a year of experience under her belt. What effect this has on the Sydneysider’s play remains to be seen, but there is no doubting that not having to settle into college life whilst playing her first season will be an added positive for Featherstone. Already earmarked for a starting position in the CCSU midfield, Featherstone will still have to ensure she earns that spot in preseason, but it shapes to be an exciting year for the versatile midfielder. CCSU return the majority of players from last year’s Northeast Conference tournament semi-final team, meaning that this year shapes to be one of their best chances at a conference title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

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

Having played in just 7 times for a total of 86 minutes in 2017, Isobel Dalton will certainly be hoping that her senior year brings more playing time at Colorado. The Buffaloes return the majority of last season’s midfield, but as always there will be some new opportunities opening up with a couple of players graduating after the 2017 season. With a pair of NCAA Tournament berths in the last two seasons, both of which ended in second round defeats, there is no doubt that Colorado will be looking to, at the very least, reach the Sweet 16 in 2018 and finally get over that hurdle.

Emma Heckenberg (Senior, Defender, Drexel, Melbourne)

Heckenberg started her career at Drexel up front, but has eventually found her niche in the backline, forming part of a stellar Dragons defence that conceded just five goals in conference play. The Victorian was limited to 13 appearances last season, but if she can remain fit in 2018, expect to see Heckenberg as a mainstay in a back four where stability will be vital given former goalkeeper and program stalwart Christiana Ogunsami graduated after last season. Having reached the CAA championship game in 2016 and semi-finals last season, Drexel will once again be gunning for a spot in the conference tournament in a generally tough and evenly-matched conference. If the defence remains as strong as in 2017, there is no reason that can’t happen.

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

Isabel Hodgson will be looking to help ETSU return to 2016 form. (Photo Credit: Dakota Hamilton)

Isabel Hodgson has played just about every position bar goalkeeper in her three years at East Tennessee State, and whilst she has been successful in every one of them, it appears that fullback will be her position going forward as the Buccaneers look to rebound from a 2017 campaign that saw the team finish with a 6-12 record and a dismal 0-8 road record. Hodgson was one of a pair of Australians in Division I to score more than one goal last season, proving that whilst her chances may not be as plentiful as when she was playing in a more advanced role, the South Australian still has the ability to get forward and join the attack when the opportunity presents itself.

Sam Roff (Junior, Defender, Fairleigh Dickinson, Canberra)

One of the first names on the team sheet for Fairleigh Dickinson, Sam Roff has been among the best defenders in the entire Northeast Conference throughout her two seasons in New Jersey. Fairleigh Dickinson finished third in the NEC for average goals conceded per game in 2017, but the majority of those goals came during an extremely tough non-conference slate that set the Knights up for a conference season that saw them reach the conference championship game before falling to Shelby Milton and St. Francis in a shootout in the decider. Roff was rewarded for her outstanding performances in 2017 with a selection in the Northeast Conference All-Conference First Team, and with still two years left in her college career, the Canberra product could yet become one of the greats of the Fairleigh Dickinson program.

Hannah Allen (Freshman, Midfielder, Georgia Southern, Brisbane)

Listed as a forward for Georgia Southern but certainly able to play multiple positions, Hannah Allen joins an Eagles side looking to continue its upward trajectory, having improved from 6-10-1 in 2016 to 8-9-2 in 2017. Having played at school level under Brisbane Roar W-League coach Mel Andreatta, Allen has no doubt benefitted from that elite coaching and will now look to force her way into the team as part of a slightly large 30-player Eagles squad.

Sandra Hill (Sophomore, Defender, Grand Canyon, Canberra)

Sandra Hill will be looking to further cement her spot in the Grand Canyon side. (Photo Credit: Michael Rincon)

Although Sandra Hill won 2017’s College Matildas Freshman of the Year award, there is certainly plenty more to come from the Grand Canyon fullback. Fresh off her first appearances for the Cambodian national team at the AFF Championship, including an appearance against the Young Matildas, Hill returns to Arizona with priceless experience under her belt. Having made a reasonably decent 13 appearances in her freshman year, Hill will no doubt want to increase her playing time in her sophomore season, and with three of Grand Canyon’s eight defenders in their freshman season this year, Hill is now one of the more experienced players in the backline in just her second year of college soccer.

Kiri Dale (Junior, Midfielder, Hawaii, Mullumbimby)

Kiri Dale took a risk last season by transferring from Iona to the much more highly-rated Hawaii, but the move paid off in spades as the versatile wide player secured a spot in the Rainbow Wahine’s rotation. Dale made an instant impact in 2017, coming up with the assist on an overtime golden goal in the very first game of the season. That was Dale’s only assist of the season, but the Iona transfer made her mark in other ways, making 11 starts and 17 appearances for a Hawaii team that finished 6-10-1 but whose progress was hindered by a 1-6-1 conference record. If the Rainbow Wahine can improve that conference record, it will make for a vastly improved season and 10 wins is by no means out of the question. Dale will also not be the only Aussie at Hawaii this season, with former Washington State star and Matildas representative Rachael Doyle joining the program as an assistant coach.

Monique Iannella (Senior, Defender, Hofstra, Melbourne)

Monique Iannella’s ability to deliver crosses could prove vital for Hofstra this year. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Heisler)

2017’s College Matildas Defender of the Year, Iannella has proven herself to be a weapon at both ends of the pitch for Hofstra. Her ability to whip the ball in, particularly from corners, led to six assists last season, whilst her defensive prowess has rarely, if ever, been called into question during her time with the Pride as the team gave up just 14 goals in 21 games last season on the way to an NCAA Tournament appearance in which they were somehow forced to travel to Auburn for their first-round game, where they fell 1-0. Hofstra’s senior class in 2017 was absolutely stacked with talent, so the onus will now be on the likes of Iannella and her own senior class to lead the Pride and ensure that the team remains among the top sides in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Ashleigh Lefevre (Freshman, Defender, Illinois, Melbourne)

The most accomplished of the seven new additions to the list of Australians in Division I, Ashleigh Lefevre is also the only freshman joining a power conference team in 2018. A member of the Young Matildas side that finished 3rd at the 2016 AFF Women’s Championship, Lefevre tallied a goal in the side’s 20-0 demolition of Timor-Leste in that tournament before returning to play 25 games for Alamein FC in 2017’s Victorian NPL competition. The versatile defender returned in 2018 to play 12 games before heading to Illinois. The Fighting Illini finished with just five wins in 2017, their second straight season finishing below .500, but with the vast majority of the most integral parts of the starting lineup returning, the team looks to be on the upswing. But with six seniors graduating, many of whom started at least a few games, there will still be plenty of minutes up for grabs for Lefevre in her senior season even if she doesn’t secure a starting berth from day one.

Claudia Jenkins (Sophomore, Goalkeeper, La Salle, Adelaide)

Jenkins spent her freshman season playing the backup role as La Salle stalwart Larisa Zambelli saw the vast majority of minutes between the sticks for an Explorers side that won two consecutive overtime games to win the Atlantic 10 title and reach the NCAA Tournament in 2017. With Zambelli’s graduation following the 2017 season, Jenkins is now the only goalkeeper on the La Salle roster with any college experience whatsoever as the Explorers look to make a return trip to the national stage. La Salle kept clean sheets in all but three conference games last season, and return the majority of starters in defence, whilst at the other end, sisters Madison and Maci Bower combined for 21 goals last season to ensure those solid defensive efforts wouldn’t go to waste and both will return for their senior seasons in 2018.

Alyssa Van Heurck (Freshman, Defender, La Salle, Perth)

Alyssa Van Heurck becomes the second Australian on the La Salle roster this season, making the move from Perth to join the Explorers alongside Claudia Jenkins. A product of the Football West NTC program, Van Heurck will bolster a strong La Salle defence that returns most of its starters, but only five experienced players. With La Salle’s success in 2017 built on defence, Van Heurck, like Jenkins, will be expected to help maintain the team’s level at the back in 2018 as the versatile defender looks to slot straight into the lineup.

Siobhan Longmore (Junior, Midfielder, Lamar, Busselton)

Siobhan Longmore joins a highly successful Lamar side after two years in junior college.

A versatile defensive player with the ability to get forward from the back, Longmore joins a Lamar side that bulldozed its way through the Southland Conference in 2017. Whilst this will be the Busselton product’s first season in Division I, Longmore is no stranger to the world of college soccer, having played the last two seasons at Dodge City Community College in Kansas, and clearly did enough to draw the attention of the coaches at a program that is clearly on the rise after winning 18 of their 23 games last season and battling #6 seed Texas A&M all the way before falling to a 1-0 defeat in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Caitlin Cantrill (Junior, Midfielder, LSU, Canberra)

After featuring 12 times for LSU as a freshman, Cantrill managed just three appearances in 2017 and competition for playing time will be just as fierce in 2018 in a squad with 13 listed midfielders including freshman sensation Abbey Newton, who was recently named Florida’s Gatorade Player of the Year. The junior will be hoping for a return to the kind of playing time she saw in her freshman year, and LSU could do with not only Cantrill but all players firing on all cylinders as they look to hit double figures for wins for the first time since 2015, a season in which the roster featured former Western Sydney Wanderers and current Utah Royals defender Alex Arlitt.

Laura Farrelly (Freshman, Midfielder, Marshall, Central Coast)

Hailing from the same club as former College Matildas Freshman of the Year, Tia Gavin, Laura Farrelly joins a Marshall side looking to make some vast strides in 2018 after finishing 5-11-1 in 2017, missing the Conference USA tournament in the process after collecting just three wins in league play. Although Farrelly is primarily an attacking midfielder, the Manly United product can slot into a variety of positions in the centre of the park, and in a team overflowing with midfielders, that versatility could prove to be the ace up Farrelly’s sleeve that secures her more playing time than a player that is only comfortable in one position. With two senior midfielders in the starting lineup this year, 2018 may very well be Farrelly’s proving ground in an attempt to secure one of those spots that will open up in 2019.

Tessa Calabria (Junior, Forward, Nicholls State, Adelaide)

Tessa Calabria joins Siobhan Longmore as junior college transfers joining the Division I ranks this season, and the pair will face off at the top level as Calabria makes the move to Nicholls State, a Southland Conference foe of Longmore’s Lamar side. Calabria becomes the third Australian at Nicholls State, alongside Kristy Helmers and Tenille Harberger, continuing the pipeline from Australia to Thibodaux. Having established a reputation as an outstanding goalscorer during her time at Iowa Lakes Community College, the Nicholls State faithful will be hoping that this transfers to the Division I level for a team in severe need of improved scoring in 2018 after finishing 265th of 335 teams in Division I for total goals in 2017.

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

Kristy Helmers will once again lead the line for Nicholls State. (Photo Credit: Misty McElroy)

Helmers comes into the 2018 season as one of just two returning Australians to have scored more than one goal in 2017. However, the Canberra product will be hoping for a return to 2016’s output of 6 goals rather than last season’s 3 goals as the Colonels struggled to find the back of the net as a team in 2017, tallying just six goals in conference play. The team will no doubt be helped by the fact that 12 of their 19 games in 2018 will be played at home but will have to make sure that home advantage counts after finishing 2-5 on their own patch in 2017 despite registering a 4-6-1 record on the road against many of the same opponents they will face in 2018.

Tenille Harberger (Freshman, Midfielder, Nicholls State, Mackay)

Having redshirted her first season in Thibodaux, Tenille Harberger will now look to make an impact on the pitch in 2018 after a year easing into college. Now one of three Australians on the Colonels roster, Harberger will be tasked with providing midfield service to her countrywomen in Tessa Calabria and Kristy Helmers, but will have to earn her spot on the pitch in a roster stacked with midfielders. With no less than 13 players on the roster listed as midfielders, Harberger will have to carve out her own spot in the rotation, perhaps with a view towards taking a spot held by one of the senior midfielders once they move on in 2019.

Gaby Bentley (Junior, Midfielder, Old Dominion, Adelaide)

Gaby Bentley barely saw any playing time in her freshman season, but 2017 was a vastly different affair as the sophomore midfielder developed into an integral part of the Old Dominion team. Having appeared in just two games in 2016, Bentley finished with a single goal in her 17 appearances in midfield for an Old Dominion team that finished with a 9-5-4 record, a slight improvement on their 7-12 record in 2016. Whilst the Monarchs will have to replace C-USA Defender of the Year Jackie Stroud and starting goalkeeper Krista Moisio, who both graduated after the 2017 season, most of the team’s other starters return, including Bentley, who comes into this season as one of the more experienced midfield players for the Monarchs. Having finished 6-2-2 in conference play last season, Old Dominion will no doubt be seeing this season as the time to make that final jump to secure a conference title and make an NCAA Tournament appearance.

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

Senatore had a year away from the game due to injury in 2017 after a solid first two seasons at Southeast Missouri State, but now returns to shore up the Redhawks’ defence in her senior season. The only Aussie on the roster following Maddy Cornell’s graduation after the 2017 season, Senatore’s return is a timely one as the Redhawks feature only five pure defenders on the roster, although two other players have been known to slot into the backline. Having been just about ever-present in the Redhawks lineup prior to her injury, if Senatore can return to the form she showed before her absence, it will be a significant advantage for a team that finished 8-8-4 last season but was let down by their play on the road, finishing 1-5-4 away from Cape Girardeau.

Shelby Milton (Senior, Defender, St. Francis, Wollongong)

Shelby Milton and St. Francis secured the Northeast Conference on penalties last season, delivering the team an NCAA Tournament berth in the process. However, the defender out of Wollongong was rarely sighted on the pitch for the Red Flash, playing just six games and 233 minutes, although two of those appearances were starts. There will be a spot opening up in the backline at St. Francis in 2018 though, as captain and NEC All-Conference First Team selection Allison LaDuke recently graduated. If Milton can return to the form that saw her feature in 19 games in 2016, that spot could certainly become hers in 2018 as the Red Flash look to make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Beattie Goad (Junior, Midfielder, Stanford, Melbourne)

Having won a national championship in 2017, Beattie Goad and Stanford will be gunning for back-to-back titles and they will come into the season among the favourites after returning the vast majority of their title-winning team from last season. On a personal level, Goad will no doubt be hoping to secure more playing time than she managed in either of her first two seasons. Whilst the Victorian played in the majority of the games in both of her first two seasons, much of her playing time came in short stints, resulting in about 40 minutes of action in most of her appearances. There aren’t many spots opening up in the starting lineup for the Cardinal, so Goad will have to do plenty in preseason to earn a starting spot, where the junior’s improving versatility may prove to be another asset.

Demi Koulizakis (Junior, Midfielder, Texas Tech, Sydney)

‘Vastly underutitlised’ would probably be the most accurate way to describe Demi Koulizakis in 2017. Having played in 18 games in 2016, Koulizakis was afforded minimal playing time her sophomore year, with most of her 10 appearances allowing her far too little playing time to have any realistic chance of impacting a game. The forward stocks aren’t quite as overflowing at Texas Tech this season, but the Red Raiders do return a number of starters from 2017 in attacking roles. Whatever the case may be with regards to Koulizakis’ playing time this season, there is no doubt the Red Raiders could use some more goals, scoring multiple goals just three times in their nine conference games in 2017 as the team finished with a 9-7-3 record and a first-round exit in the Big 12 conference tournament.

Jodie Burchell (Freshman, Forward, Towson, Gold Coast)

A club teammate of former Colorado and Troy star Alex Huynh at Souths United in Queensland’s NPL competition, Burchell’s addition to the Towson lineup brings the number of Colonial Athletic Association teams featuring Aussies to four, alongside William and Mary, Drexel, and Hofstra. A target player with the ability to hold the ball up, Burchell has made 16 appearances for the third placed Souths United in Queensland’s NPL competition in 2018, scoring two goals in the process with most of her appearances coming as a substitute in the last 20 minutes. Towson struggled last season, finishing with just five wins and a fairly dismal 2-6-1 conference record, scoring just 6 goals in their Colonial Athletic Association schedule. With senior Maddie Bove taking 5 of the team’s 14 goals with her after graduating following the 2017 season, the onus will be on Burchell and her fellow forwards to not only make up that deficit, but add a few more in an effort to improve on last season’s record.

Teagan Micah (Junior, Goalkeeper, UCLA, Brisbane)

Having reached the College Cup championship game in 2017 before going down to Stanford in a classic at Orlando City Stadium, only one ending will suffice for Teagan Micah and UCLA in 2018: lifting the NCAA Championship trophy on the final day of the season. Micah has been all but ever-present between the sticks for the Bruins for the last two seasons, establishing herself as one of the better goalkeepers of her class in the process and a vital piece of the UCLA lineup. The Bruins lost a number of players to graduation after last season, but return a stacked team featuring recent US national team debutant Hailie Mace, bona-fide Canadian national team star Jessie Fleming, and a range of US youth team players in front of Micah as they look to make another run to the championship game in 2018.

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

A starter in six of her 17 appearances in 2017, Kate Swartwout will no doubt be hoping to convert more of those appearances into starts in her junior season. Primarily a defender, Swartwout’s height is a particular advantage in the backline, standing at 6 feet tall, a full two inches taller than any other player on the Catamounts roster. However, there is more to Swartwout’s game than standing tall and heading away crosses. Solid on the ball with a history of playing multiple positions during her younger years, the Gold Coast-born but North Carolina-raised junior has tallied an assist in each of her first two seasons in college. Western Carolina came from the clouds to reach the final of the Southern Conference tournament in 2017 before falling to UNC Greensboro in the final, with that run hopefully serving as a launchpad for this season.

Lorena Bugden (Freshman, Midfielder, William & Mary, Sydney)

Lorena Bugden spent her first year at William & Mary recuperating following a serious knee injury, and returns to a vastly changed program as head coach John Daly retired and Australian assistant coach Vanessa Mann took the head coaching job at UMBC. It was a disappointing season in 2017 for the Tribe as an 8-10-2 record saw the team’s 36-season streak of winning records snapped. The former Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder has been preparing herself well for the season, spending the winter regaining her fitness playing for APIA Leichhardt in the New South Wales NPL2 competition. Whilst she may not have been able to play in her freshman year, Bugden still has as good a chance as any player of securing solid minutes in 2018 as an inexperienced Tribe midfield looks to step up in a roster that features just four seniors and a total of eight upperclassmen, two of which are goalkeepers.

Annika Clayton (Senior, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

With the graduation of Alisha Bass and Georgia Rowntree after the 2017 season and Jemma House’s transfer to Nova Southeastern, Annika Clayton is now one of just two Australians on the Wyoming roster. Bass and Rowntree were two of the undoubted leaders of last year’s Cowgirls side, and as a senior, Clayton will no doubt be expected to step up to fulfil that role to some degree in 2018. The senior’s role in midfield will no doubt consist more of providing service to the frontline than creating her own chances, but nonetheless, Clayton will surely be hoping to improve on last season’s tally of a single goal as the Cowgirls look to replace the six goals that Aussie pair Alisha Bass and Jemma House tallied last season which represented one-third of the team’s total scoring for the season. Wyoming finished last season on a five-game losing streak that dropped them from 6-4-2 to 6-9-2, missing out on the Mountain West Conference tournament in the process, and ensuring the same thing does not happen again will be paramount in 2018.

Jessie Gentle (Senior, Forward, Wyoming, Woolgoolga)

Jessie Gentle forms the second half of Wyoming’s Aussie duo alongside Annika Clayton, and with both players in their senior season, we may be looking at the conclusion of an extended era of Aussie presence in the Cowgirls’ squad. However, Gentle, like Clayton, is an integral member of the Wyoming side, so the Australians are unlikely to go quietly into the good night. Able to play in any wide position, Gentle has been utilised both on the front line and as a wingback in her time at Laramie and has performed admirably in all positions. Although scoring hasn’t been Gentle’s forte, tallying just one goal in her three seasons, the Woolgoolga product did pop up with two assists in 2017 to move to four for her career, and a further increase in that number would surely go a long way to helping Wyoming improve on last season’s 6-9-2 record.

Worth The Wait: Lauren Featherstone on redshirting her first year at CCSU

Imagine this: you’ve been heavily recruited by a school, decided it’s where you want to go, you’re all set to head there and start playing college soccer, and then suddenly – not so fast. Well, that’s what happened to Lauren Featherstone as she prepared to make the move from southwest Sydney to Central Connecticut State University, with the freshman falling foul of the NCAA’s academic rules for incoming freshmen. Whilst she could still head over, she wouldn’t be playing that first season.

“Basically, I didn’t have enough academic credits,” Featherstone explains. “I didn’t do the right subjects, and I also dropped one of my classes in Year 12. I really didn’t realise about the college credits, which didn’t help my case. I basically didn’t do the right subjects.”

“It was around signing day in 2017 that I found out that was going to happen, so it was pretty late in the process. I had been talking to CCSU for about 10 months before that. It was an every week thing. I had to send them transcripts, then they’d ask for something I’d have to send to the NCAA or something, so it was pretty late.”

However, Featherstone’s journey to college started much earlier, as many of her teammates at Westfields Sports High School started heading over, piquing the midfielder’s interest.

“I’d say about Year 9 I heard about it, and then ever since then I was interested in it,” Featherstone reveals. “It was actually pretty early on during high school, because the older girls, like (former Colorado and Troy defender) Alex Huynh, they were there and they were going to college and ever since then it’s been like, a dream of mine to go to college.”

So how does a player who has been interested in college for so long end up being forced to sit out her freshman season due to academic ineligibility?

“I think the problem with me was that I was kind of naïve,” the Macarthur Rams product revealed. “I thought it would be fine, I didn’t really look into it, or think it was that much of a process.”

Although she would not be able to play in 2017, Featherstone maintained a positive mindset. Secure in the fact that Central Connecticut State had gone all-out to secure her signature, the midfielder came in knowing that even though she couldn’t impact games in her first season, she would be able to make her mark on the field in the long-term. Featherstone also had someone with plenty of experience in her corner: former Matildas midfielder and conference player of the year at CCSU Leah Blayney, who now coaches at Westfields Sports High as well as in the Matildas setup, helped kickstart the process for Featherstone.

“So, Leah helped me a lot in the recruiting process, she said that she had these three schools for me that said that they have full scholarships. It was Fairleigh Dickinson, William & Mary, and Central Connecticut State,” Featherstone revealed.

“I was emailing all three of them at first.  I sent them each a highlights video and a player resume which is like a timeline of all my achievements.”

All three schools have pre-existing links to Australia. Defender Sam Roff is a rock at the heart of defence for Fairleigh Dickinson, whilst Lorena Bugden was part of William & Mary’s freshman class last season and current UMBC head coach Vanessa Mann was an assistant for the Tribe until last season. But the women’s soccer program at Central Connecticut State almost resembles an Australian embassy, with Blayney and Featherstone just two of a handful of Aussies to feature for the Blue Devils in recent seasons, including Sydney FC W-League winning goalkeeper Nikola Deiter, who started for the Sky Blues’ title-winning team in 2009 even before heading over to college.

“Leah told me about the others, and that they definitely love their Aussies over there,” Featherstone explained.

“it’s a great place for us over there, they’re really accepting. They were definitely very keen. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to Central, they were very keen on me.

“Pretty early on I decided on Central. They really stood out to me, the coach seemed like he really wanted me. We did a lot of Skyping, and he showed me around the school, he just made everything really clear, and pretty early on I knew I wanted to go there.”

However, it hardly matters how much a coach wants a player to play and how much a player wants to play for the team once the NCAA gets involved. Despite this, CCSU coach Mick D’Arcy did everything he could to ensure Featherstone would get to school as soon as possible, and once she was there, the team’s newest Australian took it all her in her stride.

My coach, he really fought the NCAA on the case. He said ‘we’ll take her and she can just redshirt for the first semester’, so it was an official redshirt. I wasn’t allowed to practice, wasn’t allowed to travel, I had to stay on campus when they travelled and everything. So it was just a whole lot of sidelining for that first semester, and next semester I was back into it.

“To be honest, I didn’t really have any concerns because I knew it would happen wherever I went. It’s just credits, it’s not Central’s fault or anything,” Featherstone states philosophically. “They told me they had a lot of stuff I could do still, like I still did workouts. Even though I wasn’t allowed to practice with the team, I could still lift. So it wasn’t like I was just sitting there studying, I was still doing a lot.”

Whilst she may have been doing a lot of training, Featherstone couldn’t do any of it with the team, either on or off the field. Rather than lament the situation, the freshman chose to see the positives that she could take from redshirting.

“At first it was tough, but then I enjoyed it. I was there by myself, but I was still getting the workout in,” says Featherstone.

“I really felt like when I got back into training like my strength got up, like I had more endurance, I feel like it prepared me.”

Lauren (#12) with a pair of CCSU teammates

For all that preparation though, Featherstone still had to come back into the team with a group of players who had no doubt heard about how good their new player might be, and that she’d been training hard by herself, but to whom she had yet to prove herself. It didn’t take long for the Australian to settle into the team dynamic.

“It was quite challenging at first, because they all knew me and I felt like there was a lot of anticipation to see how good I really was, and if I was as good as the coaches said,” Featherstone reveals. “But they were all very welcoming. They’re a great group of girls; I felt at home from my very first practice. The nerves were there but I felt at home.”

Whilst the playing group may have been welcoming, impressing the coaching staff can often be a completely different case. Clearly, Featherstone has the class that the coach saw when recruiting her in previous years, as shown by what the midfielder has been told during spring practice.

“Basically, they said that the midfield role is going to be my role. They did try me out at right back, so they know I can do that as well. But for this season I think I fit in pretty well in midfield, at the 6 or 8,” Featherstone revealed.

“The 8 role is probably my favourite. I can play the 10 as well, but we’ve got a really great 10 at the moment, she does a really good job there. But I said to the coach I think I’d work well in the midfield in that team, because I understand the playmaker role, distributing from defence to forward.”

They did say that I have a good chance of getting that starting role when the season comes around, but it’s obviously not just going to be given to me, I have to work for it.

“From the start of spring semester to the end we did weekly fitness tests, and I did really well. They basically said ‘you’re doing well, just keep doing that,’ and that’s basically what I have to do, keep maintaining the improvement and I’ll be in there.”

Featherstone appears to have come into the team at the perfect time. Having finished 6-2 in conference play last season and reached the conference semi-finals, and with only a small number of players graduating earlier this year, CCSU are primed for a run at the conference championship this season, and the entire team is motivated, Featherstone included.

“The last spring semester, all the senior players said it’s the hardest spring semester they’ve ever had. So, I think the coach is really pushing us this year, and he’s really motivated all of us; we really want to win the NECs and get into the NCAA Tournament. I definitely think we’re very ready for the season that’s coming up.”

If they are to win the conference championship, the Blue Devils will have to get through two teams featuring Australians. Sam Roff’s Fairleigh Dickinson reached the championship game last season, but it was St. Francis University that got past them in the final to win the championship and ultimately reach the NCAA Tournament. That St. Francis team features Shelby Milton, not just another Aussie, but someone who Featherstone knows quite well, to say the least. Although Featherstone couldn’t travel to road games last season, the pair did get to see each other when St. Francis travelled to CCSU for the conference semi-final, where St. Francis picked up a 2-1 victory.

Shelby Milton and Lauren after the NEC Semi-Final in 2017

“Shelby is actually a really close family friend, and it’s funny because they’re our rivals. Luckily, that (semi-final) was at home so I got to see Shelby after the game. It was good to see another Aussie. It’ll definitely be a funny thing, because after the game, some of the girls barely look each other in the eye to say good game, but we’ll run up to each other and give each other a hug,” Featherstone explains. When asked if she wants to get revenge on Milton and SFU, she simply laughs and says “Yeah.”

Whilst academics and athletics combined get you that college scholarship, academics last much longer than athletics and Featherstone realises this, which was the basis for her decision to go to college as she looks to achieve her long-term goals both on and off the field.

“I knew what I wanted and I really wanted to go to Central. But I did really look at William & Mary in the early stages because of how well they do academically, as that’s really important to me as well,” Featherstone revealed.

“My grades in high school were kind of up and down; they weren’t really that great. I did have some trouble outside of school that affected my grades pretty early on, but they said ‘It wasn’t the easiest path for you throughout high school, but we’ve got this study hall specifically for athletes, we’ve got tutors, we’ve got advisors,’ and it’s been great. I’m best friends with all these advisors, I go in there every day, they help me with any issues I have, and they’ve been really helpful.

“One of the main reasons I wanted to go overseas is so I could play my sport and get the degree. I could’ve done it here, but it just meshes together over there. It’s a lifestyle. I think that’s one of the main reasons, to get my degree and achieve my goals in soccer as well.”

“Basically, my main goal is to get that degree, and get a good job set up, because soccer isn’t forever. I was majoring in exercise science the first two semesters. I really enjoyed all the science stuff, but I realised I didn’t want a job from that degree so I changed to sociology. I did some research into it before I switched, and I think I’d enjoy an advisor role or a human resources officer, something like that.”

“On-field, I think my long-term goals would be to make the Matildas, get recruited into the NWSL, and just enjoy my college, win some championships, win some rings if I can.”

Whatever the future may bring, Featherstone’s first year has provided her with the opportunity to provide some sage advice for players so that they can avoid winding up in the situation that she found herself in.

“Just do your preparation, do your research, talk to the colleges, ask them any questions, they’ll tell you everything. Just don’t be scared to ask questions. It’s definitely a long process, so it’s never too early to start preparing yourself for it.”