We’re getting right down to crunch time now, with plenty of Aussies either fighting to secure a conference tournament berth or simply work themselves back into the hunt. The biggest matchup of the week is in a league with no postseason tournament though as Colorado take on Stanford with both teams eyeing the league crown.
As conference play ramps up, a number of teams featuring Aussies find themselves in intriguing positions heading into crunch time. Meanwhile, Lorena Bugden and Monique Iannella face off in a game that could have serious implications in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Beattie Goad. Teagan Micah. Stanford. UCLA. Last time this matchup occurred, it was in Orlando and culminated in one of the greatest College Cup games in history, with Goad and Stanford taking final honours in a 3-2 victory. This time, the Cardinal defend their home patch, with Micah and UCLA out for redemption. Back on the east coast, a plethora of Aussie v Aussie matchups are set to shake up conference title races even at this early stage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.