2018 Week 10 Preview

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.

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Sam Roff’s Fairleigh Dickinson faced Shelby Milton’s Saint Francis side in last year’s Northeast Conference championship game, with Saint Francis emerging on penalties to take the title, and this week they meet for the first time since that thrilling match. This match sees the teams currently sitting in 2nd and 3rd behind high-flying Central Connecticut State, but with the conference tournament featuring just four teams, neither will want to drop points and potentially open themselves up to being caught by the chasing pack. Both teams are solid at the back, but Fairleigh Dickinson certainly have the edge up front, having scored 14 goals in conference play whereas Saint Francis have scored just six. Nevertheless, this should be a tight game that will do a lot to decide the makeup of the conference tournament.

Stanford v Colorado isn’t a matchup that springs to mind when talking about the Pac-12 conference title race, but Beattie Goad and Isobel Dalton face off this week with the winner moving into pole position alongside USC for the title in a league that features no postseason tournament. Colorado have racked up 17 goals in their six conference games to this point, but Stanford have conceded just two in their five wins in a perfect league slate to this point. Stanford would be favourites in this one at any venue, but on their home patch they are simply unbeatable over the last three seasons, and will no doubt come in with the utmost confidence. Don’t count Colorado out though – the Buffaloes are in this title race on merit and will certainly give things a fair shake.

Claudia Jenkins and Alyssa Van Heurck find themselves right in the mix for the final conference tournament spot in the Atlantic 10 as their La Salle side sit one point behind eighth-placed Dayton heading into the final two games of conference play. They’ll certainly have to be at their best this week though, as the Explorers face 2nd placed VCU and 4th placed George Mason in their final two league games, needing wins in both games and relying on Dayton to drop points at least once to secure that last postseason spot. Jenkins has had her hands full for much of the season, averaging almost five saves per game, and will surely face a lot of work this weekend against two of the better offences in the league. Whilst this isn’t the spot La Salle would have liked to be in at this stage, they do at least have the opportunity to sneak into the tournament, and from there, who knows what may eventuate?

Aussie-laden Hofstra may have already clinched their Colonial Athletic Association tournament berth, but for William & Mary, Drexel, and Towson, their seasons will hinge on this weekend’s results. Lorena Bugden’s William & Mary side are in the best position of the three, sitting in fifth and four points clear of elimination with just two games remaining. They will want to get things wrapped up in the first game of the weekend against seventh-placed Delaware though, as a loss there would leave Delaware within one point of them and also see the Tribe needing a result against second-placed Northeastern to secure their tournament berth. Emma Heckenberg’s Drexel outfit sit in the sixth and final tournament spot as things stand, but play Northeastern first up this weekend. Fortunately, they play bottom side Elon in their second game of the weekend, but three points may not be enough, so they will be hoping to at least sneak a draw against Northeastern. Then there’s Jodie Burchell and Towson, who need to beat UNC Wilmington and hope for a whole raft of results to go their way if they are to rise from their ninth spot in the standings.

Full Schedule:

Akron (Freyja Murray) 

This week: v Bowling Green – 10am, Friday October 19; v Toledo – 4am, Monday October 22 

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v UMBC – 10am, Friday October 19; @ Binghamton – 4am, Monday October 22 

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: v UTRGV – 5am, Saturday October 20

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: @ California – 6am, Friday October 19; @ Stanford – 6am, Monday October 22 

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: @ Northeastern – 9am, Friday October 19; v Elon – 4am, Monday October 22 

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

This week: @ Mercer – 10am, Saturday October 20; @ The Citadel – 5am, Monday October 22 

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff) 

This week: v Saint Francis – 6am, Sunday October 21 

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen) 

This week: @ Arkansas State – 10am, Saturday October 20; @ Arkansas-Little Rock – 4am, Monday October 22

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v New Mexico State – 1pm, Saturday October 20; v Utah Valley – 7am, Monday October 22

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: @ Cal Poly – 1pm, Saturday October 20; @ UC Santa Barbara – 11am, Monday October 22 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: v Charleston – 4am, Monday October 22 

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ Northwestern – 11am, Friday October 19; @ Nebraska – 5am, Monday October 22

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck) 

This week: v George Mason – 10am, Friday October 19; @ VCU – 4am, Monday October 22 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: @ Tennessee – 10am, Friday October 19; v South Carolina – 4am, Monday October 22

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: v Louisiana Tech – 4am, Monday October 22

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

This week: @ Central Arkansas – 11am, Saturday October 20; @ Northwestern State – 5am, Monday October 22

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone) 

This week: v Oral Roberts – 11am, Saturday October 20; v Nebraska-Omaha – 5am, Monday October 22

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: @ UTSA – 10am, Friday October 19; @ UTEP – 9am, Monday October 22

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Belmont – 10:30am, Friday October 29; v Austin Peay – 6am, Monday October 22

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: @ Fairleigh Dickinson – 6am, Sunday October 21

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Utah – 11am, Friday October 19; v Colorado – 6am, Monday October 22 

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: @ TCU – 11am, Saturday October 20 

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: @ UNC Wilmington – 5am, Monday October 22

UCLA (Teagan Micah) 

This week: v Oregon – 12pm, Friday October 19; v Oregon State – 6am, Monday October 22 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout) 

This week: @ The Citadel – 4am, Saturday October 20; @ Mercer – 5am, Monday October 22

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: @ Delaware – 4am, Friday October 19; v Northeastern – 4am, Monday October 22 

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

This week: v Nevada – 8am, Saturday October 20; v UNLV – 6am, Monday October 22

2018 Week 8 Preview

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.

(Featured Image Credit: The Southern Conference)

The Colonial Athletic Association delivers yet another Aussie v Aussie matchup as Monique Iannella and Hofstra face Lorena Bugden’s William & Mary side. Iannella has been one of the best performed Aussies this season, as well as a mainstay of a Hofstra side that has won three of its first four games to sit just three points out of top spot, whilst William & Mary sit right on the edge of the conference tournament spots, but also just three points behind Hofstra in second spot. However, Hofstra have a game against league leaders Northeastern prior to this game, whilst the game against Hofstra is William & Mary’s only contest of the week. With just two weeks of conference play following this game, getting the three points in this one will be imperative for both teams – for Hofstra, in a quest for the regular season title; for William & Mary, in their attempt to return to the six-team conference tournament after missing out in 2017.

La Salle were expected to be among the leaders in the Atlantic 10, but with only the outstanding performances of Claudia Jenkins keeping the Explorers from giving up buckets of goals in conference play to this point, the 2017 conference champions have a bit of work to do if they are to remain in the top eight and secure a conference tournament spot. Fortunately, after a run of tough games to start conference play, the Explorers this week play the bottom two teams in St. Bonaventure and Rhode Island. Whilst finishing at or near the top of the league this season may be out of the Explorers’ reach, a solid run home could still deliver a decent seeing for the conference tournament in their quest for a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Wyoming are looking to atone for last year’s fairly dismal end to the season, and will need to keep picking up points at regular intervals if they are to maintain their current spot in the conference tournament spots in the Mountain West. The Cowgirls kick off their week by hosting the second-placed Colorado College, where a win would draw them level with the Tigers. Wyoming will be fully expected to pick up a win against Air Force in their second game of the week, and if the Cowgirls can secure a minimum of four points from their two games, it would go a long way to securing a conference tournament berth. With Caitlin Pickett in solid form up front of late and her fellow Aussies providing excellent service from midfield, there is no reason why they can’t bounce back from last week’s loss to Boise State and return to the form that saw them win the previous two games.

Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State are flying in conference play after a dismal start to the season, sitting pretty in second spot at 3-0 after three conference games. However, this week’s two opponents will bring a far tougher challenge than the Buccaneers have faced to this point as they go on the road to face Samford and Chattanooga. Perennial league contenders Samford sit atop the league table with 10 points after 4 games, whilst Chattanooga sit just two points behind East Tennessee State with 7 points from 4 games. Whilst this weekend won’t define the conference regular season title race, it could very well go a long way to determining which teams reach the conference tournament. With the Buccaneers coming into the weekend in good form, these games certainly appear eminently winnable, something that wouldn’t have been said about a team that came into league play with a 1-7 non-conference record.

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: @ Ohio – 6am, Friday October 5; v Kent State – 4am, Monday October 8 

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Vermont – 9am, Friday October 5; @ Maine – 4am, Monday October 8 

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Utah Valley – 3am, Saturday October 6; @ Seattle – 7am, Monday October 8

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

This week: v Washington State – 7:30am, Friday October 5; v Washington – 7am, Monday October 8

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v UNC Wilmington – 8am, Friday October 5; v Delaware – 5am, Monday October 8 

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: @ Samford – 9am, Saturday October 6; @ Chattanooga – 5am, Monday October 8

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Bryant – 4am, Monday October 8 

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen) 

This week: v Troy – 9am, Saturday October 6; @ Texas State – 4am, Monday October 8 

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v UTRGV – 12pm, Saturday October 6; v Cal Baptist – 7am, Monday October 8

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: v Long Beach State – 3pm, Friday October 5; v UC Davis – 2pm, Monday October 8

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

This week: v Northeastern – 9am, Friday October 5; v William & Mary – 4am, Monday October 8

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ Maryland – 9am, Friday October 5; @ Rutgers – 4am, Monday October 8

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v St. Bonaventure – 9am, Friday October 5; v Rhode Island – 4am, Monday October 8

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: @ Arkansas – 9:30am, Friday October 5; v. Missouri – 5am, Monday October 8

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ UTSA – 5am, Monday October 8

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

This week: @ McNeese State – 10am, Saturday October 6

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v Denver – 10am, Friday October 5; @ North Dakota – 5am, Monday October 8

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: @ Middle Tennessee State – 9am, Saturday October 6

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Tennessee Tech – 10am, Saturday October 6

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: v Mount St. Mary’s – 3am, Monday October 8

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: @ Oregon – 10am, Friday October 5; @ Oregon State – 9am, Monday October 8

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: @ Oklahoma State – 10am, Saturday October 6 

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: v James Madison – 6am, Friday October 5; @ Charleston – 4am, Monday October 8

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Arizona State – 10am, Friday October 5; v Arizona – 9am, Monday October 8

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout) 

This week: @ Chattanooga – 9am, Saturday October 6; @ Samford – 10am, Monday October 8 

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: @ Hofstra – 4am, Monday October 8

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

This week: v Colorado College – 7am, Saturday October 6; v Air Force – 5:30am, Monday October 8

2018 Week 7 Preview

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.

Games don’t get much bigger than a rematch of the previous year’s College Cup championship, and that’s exactly what we have this week as Beattie Goad and Stanford face Teagan Micah’s UCLA side on Friday afternoon Sydney time. Stanford are currently on a 31-match unbeaten streak dating back to early last season, but for UCLA, they will be looking to bounce back after falling 1-0 to Washington State in their only game last week. Teagan Micah missed that game after suffering a knock during the warm-ups, and will be hoping to return to the side for one of the most highly anticipated games of the season. On the other hand, Beattie Goad continues to make the most of her extended time on the pitch in a Stanford side that has suffered a few injuries of its own recently, continuing to be one of the best-performed players for the Cardinal in recent weeks.

Staying in the Pac-12, Isobel Dalton and Colorado travel south to Arizona to take on Arizona State before facing Arizona to round out the week. The Buffaloes have put together an outstanding 9-0-1 record to this point, but the two Arizona schools represent an entirely different proposition to what they have faced in non-conference play and in the 6-0 win in last week’s conference opener against Oregon State. Now sitting at #18 in the rankings, Colorado will be out to show that they deserve that ranking against a pair of solid opponents, and Isobel Dalton will hopefully be able to secure some more playing time after an impressive outing off the bench against Oregon State. Of particular note was the delightful pass that set up the team’s final goal, a ball that reminded everyone of the senior’s class in midfield.

Heading east, we find another highly-anticipated game in the form of the local derby between Kate Swartwout’s Western Carolina and Isabel Hodgson’s East Tennessee State outfit. Swartwout and the Catamounts certainly have the bragging rights at the moment, having won in both 2016 and 2017, and with a 5-3-2 record to this point in comparison to ETSU’s 3-7, will be favourites for this one. However, the Buccaneers’ offence appears to be humming again with everyone back after defeating Wofford 7-1 last week as both of these teams beat the same two opponents last week to sit tied atop the Southern Conference standings after one week of play. Isabel Hodgson picked up a goal and an assist in the space of a minute in that win over Wofford, whilst Kate Swartwout has been an integral part of the Western Carolina side for much of the year, so expect both Aussies to be heavily involved in what should be an entertaining game.

Emma Heckenberg’s Drexel side and Lorena Bugden’s William & Mary outfit each split their opening Colonial Athletic Association league games this week, meaning that a win in this Aussie v Aussie matchup could go a long way to keeping whichever team gets the three points in contention for top spot in a league season consisting of just nine games. Both teams played College of Charleston last week, with William & Mary falling 2-1, but Drexel winning by the same scoreline in overtime as Heckenberg delivered an assist on the equaliser before the Dragons completed the comeback in the extra minutes. Drexel are certainly the team expected to do better in conference play this season, but William & Mary always pose a threat and will certainly not roll over easily.

Laura Farrelly and Marshall got away to a flyer in Conference USA last week with wins over UTEP and Florida International, and this week will see the Thundering Herd attempt to keep the good times rolling against Gaby Bentley and Old Dominion. The Monarchs had a far less successful opening to league play, falling to Louisiana Tech and Charlotte, and need to pick up some points fairly quickly if they want to make their way into a conference tournament that selects only the top 8 in the 14-team league. Whilst this game does have the potential to be an Aussie v Aussie matchup, it will take some selection changes from coaches for it to happen, as Farrelly is yet to make her debut and Bentley has seen only limited minutes in recent weeks. However, to paraphrase Murray Walker, anything happens in college women’s soccer, and it usually does.

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: v Eastern Michigan – 9am, Saturday September 29; v Central Michigan – 3am, Monday October 1

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Stony Brook – 9am, Friday September 28; @ UMass Lowell – 7am, Monday October 1 

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: v Cal State Bakersfield – 4am, Saturday September 29; v Cal Baptist – 4am, Monday October 1 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: @ Arizona State – 7am, Friday September 28; @ Arizona – 5am, Monday September 1

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg) 

This week: @ William & Mary – 4am, Monday October 1

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

This week: @ Western Carolina – 9am, Saturday September 29; v King – 9am, Tuesday October 2

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Central Connecticut State – 8am, Saturday September 29; v Robert Morris – 6am, Monday October 1 

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: @ Louisiana-Monroe – 9am, Saturday September 29; @ South Alabama – 3am, Monday October 1 

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Seattle – 6am, Monday October 1

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: @ UC Irvine – 12pm, Saturday September 29; @ Cal State Northridge – 10am, Monday October 1

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

This week: v Delaware – 9am, Friday September 28; @ UNC Wilmington – 2am, Monday October 1

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: v Michigan State – 9am, Sunday September 30 

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck) 

This week: @ Duquesne – 9am, Friday September 28; v Massachusetts – 3am, Monday October 1 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

This week: v Alabama – 10am, Friday September 28

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ Old Dominion – 9am, Saturday September 29; @ Charlotte – 3am, Monday October 1 

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

This week: v Houston Baptist – 7am, Saturday September 29; v Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – 4am, Monday October 1 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: @ Western Illinois – 7am, Saturday September 29; @ Fort Wayne – 1:30am, Monday October 1 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Marshall – 9am, Saturday September 29; v Western Kentucky – 3am, Monday October 1 

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore) 

This week: v Eastern Kentucky – 9:30am, Friday September 28; v Morehead State – 5am, Monday October 1 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: @ Sacred Heart – 2am, Saturday September 29; @ Bryant – 5am, Monday October 1 

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: v UCLA – 1pm, Friday September 28; v USC – 6am, Monday October 1 

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis) 

This week: v Oklahoma – 10am, Saturday September 29; v Baylor – 4am, Monday October 1

Towson (Jodie Burchell) 

This week: v Northeastern – 5am, Friday September 28; @ Elon – 3am, Monday October 1

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: @ Stanford – 1pm, Friday September 28; @ California – 8am, Monday October 1

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v East Tennessee State – 9am, Saturday September 29 

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: v UNC Wilmington – 9am, Friday September 28; v Drexel – 4am, Monday October 1 

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

This week: @ Utah State – 8am, Saturday September 29; @ Boise State – 5am, Monday October 1

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.

(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 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