2018 End Of Season Wrap

(Featured Image Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

As was the case in 2017, we saw 30 Australians take to the pitch in NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer this season. Although the season didn’t end with a national champion for the first time in three years, there was still no shortage of players enjoying outstanding campaigns in a thoroughly entertaining 2018, with both familiar faces and new stars putting on a show.

(33 Australians were on rosters at the end of the season. However, Caitlin Cantrill, Laura Farrelly, and Grace Watson-Carr did not feature this season and as such are not featured below.) 

Indianna Asimus (Wyoming)
Team Record:
12-4-4 (Mountain West Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 20 games, 9 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

Indianna Asimus enjoyed a solid first college season. (Photo Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

Indianna Asimus may have been the lesser used of the four Australians on the Wyoming roster, but nonetheless the freshman had enough of an impact for the Cowgirls to suggest that her playing time will increase going forward. Asimus started each of the final five games of the season, and although the freshman didn’t manage a goal, she did rattle off seven shots in the final two games. That alone is evidence in itself that Asimus found herself in good positions, which will serve her well over the next three seasons, particularly as she looks to snag one of the positions left by the six graduating seniors from the 2017 team.

Gaby Bentley (Old Dominion)
Team Record:
8-7-4 (Conference USA Quarter-Finals)
Stats: 14 games, 2 goals, 0 assists

An impact player off the bench for much of the season, Gaby Bentley may not have started every game but gave just as much as many of the starters for an Old Dominion side that once again found itself in the Conference USA Tournament before being knocked out in the quarter-finals for the third consecutive season. Although her general play was solid throughout the season, Bentley also doubled her scoring output from last season, tallying two goals for the season. With a number of midfielders graduating after the 2018 season, Bentley may just find herself in the starting lineup on a more regular basis in her senior year. 

Lorena Bugden (William & Mary)
Team Record:
6-10-1
Stats: 5 games, 1 start, 0 goals, 0 assists

Having spent her first season at William & Mary recovering from injury, new issues plagued Lorena Bugden in her sophomore year with the Tribe, culminating in just five appearances in a tough season on both a personal level and for the team. Under a new coach for the 2018 campaign, Bugden earned a start in one of her appearances, but the injury problems curtailed what could have been a promising season that may have set the sophomore up for the next couple of seasons at William & Mary. As it is, Bugden will have to hit the ground running in 2019 in order to put together the kind of season she is capable of producing.

Jodie Burchell (Towson)
Team Record:
4-12-3
Stats: 14 games, 7 starts, 1 goal, 0 assists

Freshman Jodie Burchell took a while to establish herself in the Towson side, but once she did, she latched onto her spot and eventually entrenched herself as a member of the starting lineup. Despite playing just 14 games, all of Burchell’s seven starts came in the last eight games of the season. Although the freshman came up with only a single goal in her 485 minutes on the pitch, Burchell was able to fashion chances on occasion, finishing with 10 shots for the season in a solid first campaign in college soccer.

Tessa Calabria (Nicholls State)
Team Record:
3-15-0
Stats: 6 games, 1 start, 0 goals, 1 assist

Although it was a disappointing season for Nicholls State, things began promisingly for Tessa Calabria, starting her first game and playing more than hour in two of her first three appearances before picking up an assist against Alcorn State in the first game of September. However, that would be the last time the junior college transfer would feature in 2018, as injury reared its ugly head and forced the South Australian out for the remainder of the season. However, Calabria will return next season and the Colonels could certainly use her presence as despite scoring 17 goals, 7 of those came from senior Francesca Curteis, and that production will need to be replaced if the team is to improve on this season’s three wins.

Sarah Clark (Chicago State)
Team Record:
0-16-1
Stats: 8 games, 4 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

Sarah Clark’s first season in Division I after two successful seasons at Lassen Community College looked promising as the Queenslander made four starts in her first eight appearances for the struggling Cougars. However, Clark’s season ended prematurely after those eight appearances, which spelled trouble for a Chicago State side that could have used all the help it could get as a winless streak dating back to August 2018 continued throughout the season, reaching 33 games.

Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
Team Record:
12-4-4 (Mountain West Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 20 games, 20 starts, 4 goals, 2 assists 

Wyoming needed a leader in midfield following Alisha Bass’s graduation after the 2017 season, and Annika Clayton stepped up to fill the void left by her fellow Australian superbly. Four goals and two assists certainly comprised a tidy return for the midfielder, but statistics alone do not paint the picture of Clayton’s importance to her team. Whether pulling the strings in midfield with her passing or making a marauding run forward, the midfielder’s ability to impact the game in a number of ways was vital to the Cowgirls securing a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title and finishing with 12 wins and 4 draws in their 20 games. Clayton also received a Mountain West All-Conference Second Team nomination for her performances throughout the season, just reward for an outstanding campaign.

Kiri Dale (Hawaii)
Team Record:
9-6-1
Stats: 16 games, 12 starts, 0 goals, 2 assists

Kiri Dale enjoyed another solid season for Hawaii, settling into a position in the starting lineup for the majority of the campaign. The Rainbow Wahine narrowly missed out on their first conference tournament berth, but nonetheless even being in contention represented a vast improvement on their dismal league finishes since moving to the Big West in 2012. Dale finished the season with three complete-game performances in among several other high-minute games, tallying a pair of assists for the season as well as 9 shots in her second season at Hawaii but her first with fellow Australian and College Matildas legend Rachael Doyle as part of the coaching staff.

Isobel Dalton (Colorado)
Team Record:
13-4-3
Stats: 12 games, 0 starts, 0 goals, 1 assist

As has been the case for the majority of Isobel Dalton’s time at Colorado, the senior midfielder found herself just outside the regular rotation of players throughout the season, limiting both her appearances and playing time. However, despite a lack of opportunities, Dalton was still able to exhibit her class in midfield and come up with the occasional memorable moment, including a scintillating pass that split the Oregon State defence for the final assist of the senior’s college career. Having played in both the W-League and the English Women’s Super League before heading to college, Dalton’s next move will be one to watch if the former Brisbane Roar player does choose to extend her footballing career.

Lauren Featherstone (North Dakota State)
Team Record:
9-7-0 (Summit League Semi-Finals)
Stats: 10 games, 2 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

Seeking a fresh start at North Dakota State after redshirting her only season at Central Connecticut State in 2017, Lauren Featherstone had what could only be termed as a frustrating year as injury conspired to limit the redshirt freshman to just 10 games. When she actually got the chance to play, Featherstone looked at home for North Dakota State, earning two starts before enduring a three-week break midway through the season and eventually being limited to mere minutes on the pitch by the end of the campaign. However, if Featherstone can overcome her injury problems, the Macarthur Rams product can certainly become an integral part of the North Dakota State lineup going forward.

Jessie Gentle (Wyoming)
Team Record: 12-4-4 (Mountain West Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 20 games, 20 starts, 1 goal, 3 assists

Alongside classmate and fellow Aussie Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle has been an integral member of the Wyoming lineup for much of her time in Laramie, and nothing about that changed in 2018 as the senior terrorised opposing wide players both in attack and defence. Like Clayton, Gentle started every game for the Cowgirls in 2018 as the experienced Wyoming side put together the first 12-win season in program history whilst also securing a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title. A dynamic combination of athleticism and skill led a number of outstanding performances for Wyoming, culminating in a career-high three assists for the season and a second goal of the senior’s career, which came alongside an assist in a 3-1 win over Colorado College.

Beattie Goad (Stanford)
Team Record:
21-1-1 (Pac-12 Champions, NCAA College Cup Semi-Finals)
Stats: 24 games, 9 starts, 2 goals, 3 assists

Beattie Goad has become an integral part of the Stanford side. (Photo Credit: Stanford Athletics)

Beattie Goad has seen decent playing time throughout her time at Stanford during what could only be termed as a golden era for the program, but this season saw the junior’s impact on the side become far more significant. Starting the first five games of the season as injuries opened up a spot, Goad started 9 of her 24 appearances and finished with multiple goals and assists in a season for the first time in her career. Whilst Stanford may have fallen short of repeating as champions after a 2-0 loss to eventual champions Florida State in the College Cup semi-finals, Goad’s season could only be termed as a successful one as she proved herself to be an integral part of one of the best teams in college soccer.

Tenille Harberger (Nicholls State)
Team Record:
3-15-0
Stats: 3 games, 0 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

Having redshirted her first year at Nicholls State in 2017, Tenille Harberger finally saw her first playing time for the Colonels this year, seeing limited playing time in three games in what was a tough season in general for the team. The midfielder from Mackay was afforded just 21 minutes of playing time in those three appearances, and will no doubt be hoping to increase that playing time in her junior year in 2019 as Nicholls State look to improve on their three wins this season.

Emma Heckenberg (Drexel)
Team Record:
7-7-5 (CAA Quarter-Finals)
Stats: 18 games, 16 starts, 0 goals, 4 assists

Rarely has a player appeared more willing to do whatever is required to get her team a win than Emma Heckenberg, and that has served the senior well. Heckenberg saw 16 starts in her final year of college soccer, the most of any of her four years at Drexel. Ready and willing to slot in wherever required, Heckenberg carved out a spot as a vital member of the backline with a handy ability to deliver a set-piece, much like Monique Iannella at Hofstra. That set-piece ability delivered four assists, with two of those coming in a 2-1 over St. Joseph’s and another on the game-winner in a victory over Charleston. Whilst Heckenberg was never a player that received massive plaudits, replacing a player of her ilk will prove no small task for Drexel in 2019. 

Kristy Helmers (Nicholls State)
Team Record:
3-15-0
Stats: 18 games, 4 starts, 2 goals, 1 assist

After a solid first couple of seasons that saw Kristy Helmers regularly start for Nicholls State, 2018 saw the Canberra product come off the bench in the vast majority of her appearances in a side that struggled for goals for much of the season. Helmers started just four games and rarely played more than half a game, resulting in a diminished return of just two goals after scoring three in 2017 and six in her freshman year of 2016. However, those two goals were good enough for second-highest on a Nicholls State team that scored just 17 and saw 7 of those come from one player. 

Sandra Hill (Grand Canyon)
Team Record:
6-13-2 (WAC Quarter-Finals)
Stats: 15 games, 9 starts, 1 goal, 0 assists

Fresh off making her debut with the Cambodian national team during the off-season, Sandra Hill returned to Grand Canyon for her sophomore year and made a similar impact to what she had done in 2017. Hill certainly looks to have benefitted from having a year under her belt, looking far more composed on the pitch in 2018, and also managed to pick up her first collegiate goal with an absolute worldie in her side’s WAC Tournament quarter-final loss to Utah Valley. After starting 9 of her 15 games in 2018, Hill will no doubt be hoping to ensure that both of those numbers sit closer to 20 in her junior season, and if her development continues, there is no reason that can’t happen. 

Isabel Hodgson (East Tennessee State)
Team Record:
8-12-0 (Southern Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 20 games, 19 starts, 4 goals, 1 assist

Isabel Hodgson will be tough to replace for ETSU. (Photo Credit: Dakota Hamilton/ETSU Athletics)

A star of the East Tennessee State side from the moment she stepped on the field in Johnson City, Isabel Hodgson once again enjoyed an outstanding season, finishing the 2018 season as the program’s record holder for total appearances. Despite playing a defensive role for the Buccaneers, Hodgson was still able to tally 4 goals and 2 assists, her best return since the 2016 campaign in which the South Australian was utilised in an attacking position, to help her team to a Southern Conference semi-final berth as East Tennessee State atoned for a poor non-conference season by finishing third in the league table. Hodgson has already made her next career move, signing with Adelaide United for the remainder of the W-League season, joining other Australian former college players Laura Johns, Dylan Holmes, and Kahlia Hogg.

Monique Iannella (Hofstra)
Team Record: 16-6-1 (CAA Champions, NCAA Tournament Second Round)
Stats: 23 games, 21 starts, 1 goal, 5 assists

The only thing more lethal than Monique Iannella’s defensive presence is her ability to whip in a pinpoint ball from a corner, and the senior demonstrated both with aplomb to help lead Hofstra to a second consecutive CAA title and another NCAA Tournament appearance. In a side teeming with international players, Iannella was just one of many imports playing a vital role as the Pride rolled through the CAA Tournament before demolishing Boston College in an upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Interestingly, although Iannella’s ability from a corner is renowned, the majority of her assists came in other ways, proving her versatility as a player. Three of these came in one game against Towson, all of which came from open play as the former Melbourne City followed up 2017’s six assists with five more in her senior year. 

Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
Team Record:
8-8-1
Stats: 17 games, 17 starts, 5 clean sheets, 1.248 GAA, 0.788 save percentage 

Claudia Jenkins has been La Salle’s saviour on many occasions. (Photo Credit: Greg Carroccio / Sideline Photos)

After spending the 2017 as backup to senior Larisa Zambelli, Claudia Jenkins made the goalkeeper position her own in 2018, proving to be a more-than-reliable option between the sticks for La Salle. Jenkins’ save percentage and goals against average numbers put her in the top half of goalkeepers in the nation, but those numbers could have been far better if not for an early-season flurry of penalties and own goals that at times left the sophomore on a hiding to nothing. Forced to make almost five saves per game, Jenkins stood tall in a tough season for La Salle, who came back to the pack in a massive way after winning the conference title last season as the Explorers looked to replace three defensive starters who had graduated after the 2017 season. 

Demi Koulizakis (Texas Tech)
Team Record: 14-5-3
Stats: 21 games, 2 starts, 1 goal, 0 assists

Demi Koulizakis made her first starts since 2016 this season as the junior’s vast improvement became impossible to ignore after a slightly down season in 2017. Koulizakis’ minutes fluctuated wildly throughout the season, but demonstrated her class with a technically sublime finish in the team’s 6-0 win over Florida International, the junior’s only goal for the season. Impressively, the junior played 100 minutes in the Red Raiders’ shootout loss to Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and the fact that Koulizakis has forced her way into increased playing time in a team that is performing just as well as in previous seasons may be the most promising outcome of all from this campaign.

Ashleigh Lefevre (Illinois)
Team Record: 11-8-1
Stats: 15 games, 0 starts, 0 goals, 1 assist

Cameos off the bench were the order of the season for Ashleigh Lefevre, who made 15 appearances for Illinois in her freshman year, but never saw more than 40 minutes of playing time in any one game. Often used at the back end of the first half to give starters an extended halftime break, Lefevre nevertheless managed to maintain a spot in the rotation, and was able to make her first tangible mark on a game with her first career assist in the Illini’s 5-0 win over SIU Edwardsville early in the season. Having been afforded limited opportunities in her freshman year, Lefevre will no doubt be hoping to build on that going forward to become an integral member of the Illinois starting lineup in 2019. 

Teagan Micah (UCLA)
Team Record: 17-3-2 (NCAA Tournament Semi-Finals)
Stats: 17 games, 14 starts, 8 clean sheets, 0.745 GAA, 0.789 save percentage

Teagan Micah was a vital cog in the UCLA side. (Photo Credit: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)

Firmly established as one of the nation’s top goalkeepers, Teagan Micah came up in a massive way for UCLA on a number of occasions this season as the Bruins followed up last year’s national title game appearance with a run to the quarter-finals. Playing behind the Bruins’ outstanding defence meant Micah didn’t always have a ton of work to do, but regularly stepped up when called upon. This was most evident in the crosstown derby against USC, in which the junior made 8 saves in the Bruins’ overtime victory, including an acrobatic tip over the bar with just two seconds to play on a shot that would have otherwise won USC the game at the last possible moment. A concussion midway through the season may have kept Micah out for a few games midway through the season, but nonetheless it was another outstanding campaign for one of the top Australian players in college.

Shelby Milton (Saint Francis)
Team Record: 8-9-3 (Northeast Conference Runner-Up)
Stats: 7 games, 1 start, 0 goals, 0 assists

Once again it was an impressive year for Saint Francis, but also one that saw Shelby Milton receive but limited opportunities for the Red Flash in her final campaign with the team. Despite starting against Duquesne early in the season, even that game saw the defender play only 17 minutes as not one of Milton’s seven appearances saw her play more than 37 minutes. It was the same story that had panned out in each of Milton’s previous seasons at St. Francis, who started games in all three of her seasons with the team but never played more than eight games in any one campaign. 

Freyja Murray (Akron)
Team Record:
8-10-2 (MAC Quarter-Finals)
Stats: 3 games, 0 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

It was a frustrating season in terms of playing time for Akron freshman Freyja Murray, who saw playing time in three early-season games, totalling just 64 minutes of action in her first year with the Zips as those three games turned out to be her only appearances in her freshman year. Unfortunately, it looks as though 2018 may be Murray’s only season with the side, with social media posts suggesting the former Northern Tigers defender may be leaving the program.

Caitlin Pickett (Wyoming)
Team Record: 12-4-4 (Mountain West Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 20 games, 19 starts, 2 goals, 1 assist

Caitlin Pickett came up big in a couple of overtime thrillers. (Photo Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

Caitlin Pickett started her college career in whirlwind fashion, coming off the bench to score an overtime winner in just her second game against Utah Valley. Although that goal comprised half of the freshman’s season tally, the other goal Pickett scored was even more thrilling, coming 16 seconds from the end of overtime in a vital win over Utah State that helped Wyoming on the way to a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title. Impressively, Pickett started 19 games in her first college season, appearing at home in the Wyoming lineup, and looks set to form an integral part of the Wyoming attack alongside fellow Australian and classmate Indianna Asimus.

Sam Roff (Fairleigh Dickinson)
Team Record:
6-10-3 (Northeast Conference Semi-Finals)
Stats: 19 games, 18 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

Sam Roff’s stat line may look as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, but offensive output has never been the junior’s job as a member of the Fairleigh Dickinson backline. The Knights finished in the top four in their conference for both shutout percentage and goals against average, testament to Roff and her defensive teammates’ strength as a unit. Although Fairleigh Dickinson fell in the NEC semi-finals, Roff’s work this season did not go unnoticed as the junior picked up a second consecutive All-Conference First Team selection to solidify her place as one of the top defenders in the league.

Kate Swartwout (Western Carolina)
Team Record:
8-8-2 (Southern Conference Quarter-Finals)
Stats: 16 games, 3 starts, 1 goal, 1 assist

Kate Swartwout showed plenty of scoring ability before making her way to Western Carolina, and those attacking instincts showed this season as the junior picked up the first goal of her college career in the Catamounts’ 2-1 loss to Chattanooga in October. Whilst starts were once again not forthcoming for Swartwout, the versatile junior retained a role as an impact player off the bench, appearing in 16 games in a middling season for the Catamounts that saw the team reach the conference tournament but fail to pick up a win, falling to Furman in the quarter-finals. With seven seniors on the roster this season, there will certainly be chances for Swartwout to become a regular starter in 2019 as she looks to end her college career with a flourish.

Claire Urquhart (Albany)
Team Record: 14-7-2 (America East Champions, NCAA Tournament First Round)
Stats: 7 games, 0 starts, 0 goals, 0 assists

After starting 8 games in 2017, 2018 saw a drop in Claire Urquhart’s playing time in her senior year, with just seven appearances and no starts forthcoming in the Queenslander’s final season in Albany. Urquhart did enjoy a third trip to the NCAA Tournament in four years, but unfortunately did not receive any playing time in the Great Danes’ 5-1 loss to South Florida in the opening round, rounding out a career in which she had been seemingly vastly underutilised throughout.

Alyssa Van Heurck (La Salle)
Team Record:
8-8-1
Stats: 17 games, 6 starts, 1 goal, 0 assists

Alyssa Van Heurck made the most of a positional switch. (Photo Credit: Greg Carroccio/Sideline Photos)

Known more as a fullback in her time prior to college, Alyssa Van Heurck found herself pushed up the pitch into an attacking wide role, and made the most of the switch to tally 17 appearances in her freshman year. Although the Western Australian started just six of those games, Van Heurck could regularly be called upon to provide a spark off the bench, tallying her first college goal in a 24-minute stint against UMBC in just her second college game and rattling off 3 shots in just 22 minutes against St. Bonaventure later in the season as her emergence as an integral part of the rotation became apparent.

College Matildas End Of Season Awards

Player Of The NCAA Tournament: Teagan Micah (UCLA)
Freshman Of The Year: Caitlin Pickett (Wyoming)
Sophomore Of The Year: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
Junior Of The Year: Beattie Goad (Stanford)
Senior Of The Year: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
Goalkeeper Of The Year: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle) and Teagan Micah (UCLA)
Defender Of The Year: Monique Iannella (Hofstra)
Midfielder Of The Year: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
Forward Of The Year: Caitlin Pickett (Wyoming)
Breakout Player Of The Year: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
Most Consistent Player: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
Top Goalscorer: Annika Clayton (Wyoming) and Isabel Hodgson (ETSU) – 4 Goals
Most Assists: Monique Iannella (Hofstra) – 5 Assists
2018 College Matildas Player Of The Year: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)

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2018 NCAA Tournament Preview

It’s time for the big one – the NCAA Tournament – and two teams featuring Aussies are among the favourites as Stanford and UCLA look to make return trips to the College Cup.

The 2018 NCAA Tournament sees six teams featuring seven Aussies in the mix for a national title, as at-large teams Texas Tech and UCLA joined conference champions Stanford, LSU, Hofstra, and Albany in the big dance. The chips have fallen the right way for a potential rematch between Beattie Goad’s Stanford outfit and Teagan Micah’s UCLA side in the championship game after 2017’s barnburner that resulted in a 3-2 Stanford victory, with the teams again on opposite sides of the draw. Both sides will be fully expecting to at least reach the College Cup again, whilst for LSU and Texas Tech a Sweet 16 berth is certainly a realistic goal, and from there anything is possible. Hofstra and Albany face the toughest draws, but neither are without their chance to upset the applecart against some bigger teams. 

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

First Round: @ South Florida – 11am, Sunday November 11 

Live on South Florida YouTube

Claire Urquhart and Albany certainly have the toughest test of any of the six teams featuring Aussies, travelling to Tampa to face a South Florida side hellbent on making amends for a 3-0 defeat to Memphis in their conference championship game. Albany reached the NCAA Tournament courtesy of a 5-1 win in their own conference championship game, albeit in a much smaller league, but nonetheless come in on far more of a high than their opponents. South Florida will come in as heavy favourites, but there are always a few upsets in the NCAA Tournament in any sport, so don’t write the Great Danes off just yet.

Albany Team South Florida
14-6-2 Record (W-L-D) 13-3-0
96 RPI Rank 16
2.18 Goals Per Game 2.31
1.23 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.88

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

First Round: @ Boston College – 11am, Saturday November 10

Live on ACC Network Extra (US Only)

The only other team here to play on the road first up, Hofstra certainly have a shorter trip than Albany as they travel from Long Island to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College. The Eagles upset the odds to finish fourth in the ACC after being tabbed to finish tenth in the league in the preseason poll, a remarkable feat considering the level of play in that conference. However, Hofstra have plenty of tournament experience, both in terms of conference and national tournament games, and can hopefully use that to their advantage to come up with the upset. If Hofstra can manage to dictate the pace of the game, expect to see plenty of Monique Iannella getting up and down the flank from her fullback position, whilst her delivery from set-pieces could be another ace up Hofstra’s sleeve.

Hofstra Team Boston College
15-5-1 Record (W-L-D) 14-4-1
63 RPI Rank 25
1.67 Goals Per Game 2.26
0.95 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.63

 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

First Round: v Boston University – 6am, Monday November 12 

Live on SEC Network+ (US Only)

LSU were teetering on the bubble with four weeks left in the season, but a remarkable run to the end of the season made talk of an at-large bid moot as the Tigers rolled through the SEC Tournament to secure the conference championship on penalties against Arkansas. LSU are a team nobody will want to face in this sort of form, and more than a few title contenders will be hoping that Boston University can pull off the upset and get the Tigers out of the bracket early. It doesn’t look likely though, as although Boston University are certainly a decent team, LSU should have enough in their locker to secure a comfortable victory as they look to turn what was a decent season a month ago into one for the ages.

LSU Team Boston University
13-6-3 Record (W-L-D) 11-7-3
27 RPI Rank 90
1.50 Goals Per Game 1.24
1.05 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.90

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

First Round: v Seattle – 2pm, Sunday November 11

Live on Stanford Live Stream

As defending champions and riding a 41-match unbeaten streak, facing Seattle in the first round should pose no significant problems for a Stanford side that has been dominant for the past two seasons. The Cardinal won their first-round match in 2017 against Utah Valley 9-1, and whilst a similar result is not exactly expected here against Seattle, a wide margin of victory would not be in the least bit surprising as they look to continue their march to back-to-back championships. Beattie Goad has been in and out of the starting lineup as an occasional member of the matchday eleven, but even off the bench has been providing outstanding play for the entirety of the season, with the junior set to see far more playing time than in the Cardinal’s run to the 2017 title.

Stanford Team Seattle
17-0-2 Record (W-L-D) 10-7-3
1 RPI Rank 152
2.68 Goals Per Game 1.75
0.47 Goals Conceded Per Game 1.15

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

First Round: v Princeton – 11am, Saturday November 10

Live on TexasTech.com

Probably the tightest match on paper of the six involving Australians, Texas Tech host Princeton in a matchup of two teams separated by just ten positions in the RPI rankings, which in a nation of 335 teams is incredibly close. This game is almost a coinflip, with Princeton finishing second in the smaller Ivy League but doing enough throughout the season to earn an at-large bid, and Texas Tech reaching the Big 12 semi-finals to round out a solid season in the high-major Big 12. Both of these teams are the kind of team that could have proven to be banana skins for bigger teams in the opening weekend, particularly Princeton, who knocked off #2 North Carolina in the Sweet 16 last year and will be hungry to make another deep run. Demi Koulizakis has been coming off the bench to provide some spark to the Texas Tech offence on occasion, and it may just come to pass that the junior provides what the Red Raiders need to get over the line in this one.

Texas Tech Team Princeton
13-5-2 Record (W-L-D) 11-3-2
34 RPI Rank 24
1.50 Goals Per Game 1.50
0.60 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.56

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

First Round: v San Jose State – 1pm, Saturday November 10 

Live on UCLA Live Stream

Like Stanford, UCLA are one of the favourites to progress deep into the tournament and as such, will be expected to dominate their game against San Jose State. San Jose State came in as Mountain West Conference champions, having won the tournament despite finishing fourth in the league, so their body of work throughout the season is perhaps not as glittering as most other teams in the tournament. UCLA, on the other hand, finished second in the Pac-12, arguably the toughest league in the country, and did so despite missing Hailie Mace and Jessie Fleming to national team duty for several matches. Teagan Micah is back to her best after a concussion scare earlier in the season, and the Bruins should be primed to make another run towards the College Cup and will be hoping to go one step better than last season’s championship game defeat to Stanford.

UCLA Team San Jose State
14-3-1 Record (W-L-D) 9-6-6
8 RPI Rank 128
2.44 Goals Per Game 0.76
0.83 Goals Conceded Per Game 0.67

2018 Week 12 Preview

15 teams featuring Australians remain standing heading into the final week of the regular season, and all have a shot of reaching the NCAA Tournament. How close each team is varies wildly, but nonetheless it looks set to be a thriller of a week.

(Featured Image Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

It may be conference tournament season, but ironically enough the team with the best shot at a title won’t actually be playing in a tournament at all. That team is Beattie Goad’s Stanford outfit, whose Pac-12 conference champion is decided on league results. Coming into the final week, Stanford are tied atop the standings with USC, but have a rescheduled game against Arizona State in their pocket and as such are the only team to play two games this weekend. First up, the Cardinal take on local rivals California on the road at Berkeley, and with the Golden Bears sitting in 11th spot in the 12-team league, a win to clinch no less than a share of the title looks especially likely for a Stanford team that continues to roll on during an undefeated streak that now stretches the best part of two seasons. Stanford can then secure the title for themselves against Arizona State, where any points would be enough to make the result of USC’s game against third-placed UCLA game moot in terms of Stanford’s position.

Speaking of UCLA, Teagan Micah’s Bruins will play that game against local rivals USC at the StubHub Centre, home of the LA Galaxy, in a game that drew a crowd in excess of 10,000 last season when played on campus at UCLA. A win is the only way that UCLA can mount an unlikely challenge for the Pac-12 title, but even if Stanford’s results don’t go their way, a win against another top team will do wonders for their seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

Rounding out the Pac-12 is Isobel Dalton and Colorado, who need to get a result against Utah in their final match of the regular season to secure their own NCAA Tournament spot. As it stands, the Buffaloes are just about in, but dropping points to a Utah side that sits well below them in the RPI rankings would just about destroy any chance of Colorado holding onto that tournament spot. After a 16-game unbeaten run to start the season, making the tournament is essentially non-negotiable for the Buffaloes at this stage, but they’ll have to put in the work to get there, particularly after Utah were able to snatch a draw against USC last week.

Moving onto conference tournaments, two teams have already secured their spots in championship games in tournaments that started last weekend. Monique Iannella and Grace Watson-Carr’s Hofstra put together a pair of 1-0 wins against Delaware and Northeastern to secure their passage through to the CAA Championship game against James Madison, whilst an Albany side featuring Claire Urquhart has only Massachusetts-Lowell standing between them and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Meanwhile, four other teams have made their way through to conference tournament semi-finals and find themselves two games away from capturing a conference championship and an NCAA Tournament berth. Caitlin Cantrill’s LSU side have probably done enough to secure an at-large bid regardless, but will still want to capture the SEC crown. They’ll face national title contender South Carolina, whilst in the Big 12, Demi Koulizakis and Texas Tech are in the same boat with a solid record to this point and a game against potential national #1 seed Baylor in the semi-finals not threatening to do any damage to their CV even if they were to suffer a loss.

Ashleigh Lefevre and Illinois sit right on the bubble, and facing Penn State in the Big Ten semi-finals not only gives the Illini a chance to reach the conference championship, but also really bolster their CV against a team that sits in the top 25 of the RPI rankings. Like LSU and Texas Tech, they may not need a conference title in order to reach the NCAA Tournament, but they  Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State, on the other hand, are in a completely different situation. Completely out of the race for an at-large bid, winning the Southern Conference championship is the only way the Buccaneers are going to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. They’ll face #2 seed UNC Greensboro in the semi-finals, and whilst the yearly body of work suggests that ETSU come in as underdogs, they do have a win against UNC Greensboro this season under their belts.

Five more teams start their own conference tournaments this week, but we can only see a maximum of four champions from this set as Sam Roff’s Fairleigh Dickinson side and Shelby Milton’s St. Francis outfit both reached the Northeast Conference tournament. The two sides faced off in last year’s championship game, with St. Francis emerging victorious on penalties, and with one team in each of the semi-finals in 2018, there is no reason the same matchup can’t occur again in this year’s tournament.

Lauren Featherstone and North Dakota State will also start in the semi-final round in the Summit League’s four-team tournament, facing Denver in the 2 v 3 matchup. All the numbers point towards a Denver victory in this one, but North Dakota State ran the Pioneers close in their regular season contest, falling 3-2 in a barnburner of a contest.

The Australian quartet at Wyoming earned their way to the semi-finals of the Mountain West Conference tournament through their regular season performance, securing a bye as the 2nd seed in the six-team tournament. The Cowgirls will take on fellow co-champions New Mexico, who defeated Colorado College in the 3 v 6 matchup earlier in the week. With the teams tied atop the table in the regular season, this looks certain to be a tight one, but Wyoming did defeat New Mexico 3-2 in the regular season.

Sandra Hill’s Grand Canyon and Gaby Bentley’s Old Dominion have also reached the WAC and Conference USA tournaments respectively, but if they’re going to secure an unlikely conference title, it’s going to happen the hard way as both will start in the quarter-finals. Grand Canyon will face Utah Valley in their first game of the WAC Tournament, and will start as slight favourites despite playing out a 0-0 draw with the Wolverines just 10 days ago. Meanwhile, Old Dominion will face Louisiana Tech in the 4 v 5 matchup in Conference USA. This is a game in which Old Dominion will start as slight favourites, but Louisiana Tech will be confident after winning their regular season matchup 3-2 in late September.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart) 

This week: v Massachusetts-Lowell – 5am, Monday November 5 (America East Conference Championship Game) 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v Utah – 8am, Saturday November 3 

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v UNC Greensboro – 9:30am, Saturday November 3 (Southern Conference Tournament Semi-Final)

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Central Connecticut State – 4am, Saturday November 3 (Northeast Conference Tournament Semi-Final)

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Utah Valley – 8am, Thursday November 1 (WAC Tournament Quarter-Final) 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

This week: @ James Madison – 4am, Sunday November 4 (Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game) 

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: v Penn State – 2am, Saturday November 3 (Big Ten Conference Tournament Semi-Final) 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

This week: v South Carolina – 10am, Friday November 2 (SEC Tournament Semi-Final) 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v Denver – 10am, Friday November 2 (Summit League Tournament Semi-Final) 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: v Louisiana Tech – 10am, Thursday November 1 (C-USA Tournament Quarter-Final) 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: v Mount St. Mary’s – 7am, Saturday November 3 (Northeast Conference Tournament Semi-Final) 

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: @ California – 9am, Saturday November 3

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Baylor – 8am, Sunday November 4 (Big 12 Conference Tournament Semi-Final) 

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v USC – 1pm, Saturday November 3 

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

This week: v New Mexico – 10am, Friday November 2 (Mountain West Conference Tournament Semi-Final)

2018 Week 11 Wrap

The number of Aussies left standing can only go down from here, but it was a fairly solid week of conference tournament play with a number of teams seeing their way through to next week. However, the news of the weekend was Wyoming clinching a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season title with a final day win over Colorado State.

Conference tournaments kicked off this week, with mixed fortunes for teams featuring Australians. Hofstra have perhaps been the most impressive to this point, with Monique Iannella a mainstay in the lineup for a Pride team that will play in the CAA championship game next weekend. Hofstra dominated Delaware in the quarterfinals, holding their opponents to just six shots for the entire game, all of which came in the first half. However, despite having the run of play for the whole evening, Hofstra could only tally a single 33rd minute goal, but secured a 1-0 victory to face perennial contenders Northeastern in the semi-finals. This time, it was Hofstra who found themselves under the pump throughout, but a ninth-minute goal from Lucy Porter on one of just two shots on target for the Pride proved enough as Northeastern were unable to convert any one of their twenty shots into a goal. Iannella played every minute of the two games, and Hofstra will now face James Madison in the conference title game. The Dukes have a link to Australia of their own – first-year head coach Josh Walters was an assistant at UCLA prior to moving to James Madison, and in fact helped to recruit Teagan Micah to the Bruins.

Unfortunately, Emma Heckenberg and Drexel were unable to join Hofstra in the semi-finals after falling 3-2 to Charleston in an overtime thriller. Heckenberg rattled off two shots, with one on target, in a game that saw Drexel rally from two goals down with an 87th minute equaliser before eventually giving up the golden goal winner with just five minutes remaining in extra time. The loss also spells the conclusion of an outstanding career for Heckenberg, who took a while to find her spot in the Drexel lineup, but eventually carved out her spot as an integral member of the Dragons’ team.

Isabel Hodgson also played the full 90 minutes in a defensive struggle against Mercer as East Tennessee State won their quarterfinal contest in the Southern Conference tournament. In a game that saw each team manage just six shots apiece, and it took East Tennessee State until the 80th minute to break the deadlock through Sarah Connolly. The Buccaneers will now face UNC Greensboro in the semi-finals, a team they beat 2-1 on their home patch in the regular season.

Demi Koulizakis and Texas Tech secured a win over Texas on the final day of the regular season to set up a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal against TCU. In a pulsating fixture that somehow failed to yield a goal, Koulizakis saw 14 minutes on the pitch before Texas Tech advanced after a 5-3 win on penalties.

Unfortunately, the remaining six Australians failed to see the pitch in their teams’ conference tournament matches. Ashleigh Lefevre’s Illinois, Claire Urquhart’s Albany and Caitlin Cantrill’s LSU sides remain in contention for conference titles next weekend, but for Freyja Murray’s Akron, Siena Senatore’s Southeast Missouri State and Kate Swartwout’s Western Carolina outfits, their next games will come in 2019 after falling in their own conference tournament games.

Back in league action, Wyoming came into their game against arch-rivals Colorado State knowing that a win would not only give them the 2nd seed in the Mountain West conference tournament, but also give them a chance of securing a share of the regular season title if Boise State were to lose later in the afternoon. On a windy day in Laramie, the Cowgirls had the edge in the first half despite running into the gale, and once the teams switched sides for the second half, Wyoming dominated. However, it took until the 76th minute for a ball pinging around in the box to finally be slotted home by Adalyn Vergara for the 1-0 victory. Whilst the Australian quartet weren’t involved in the goal, they were highly impressive. Indianna Asimus found herself in good positions on multiple occasions and should possibly have done better with her three shots, all of which went narrowly over the bar, whilst seniors Annika Clayton and Jessie Gentle saw out their careers at Laramie in style with solid performances. Caitlin Pickett also started, but came out of the game after 33 minutes. As it turns out, Boise State did fall in their final game of the season against Utah State, handing Wyoming and New Mexico a three-way split of the league title ahead of next week’s conference tournament.

Beattie Goad has been given a slightly increased role in the Stanford lineup of late, and the junior continued to be a threat for the nation’s top team as the Cardinal continued to extend their unbeaten streak. Earning the start in Stanford’s 2-0 win over Washington, Goad was solid in midfield and managed to tally a single shot before showing more promise against Washington State. The junior tallied another two shots, forcing a point-blank save from Cougars’ goalkeeper Rachel Thompson in a game that looked certain to end in a Stanford win. However, a calamitous misplay at the back from Stanford allowed Washington State to tally an open-goal equaliser late on, and with neither team able to break the deadlock in extra time, the spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw.

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: defeated Buffalo 3-2; lost 1-0 to Western Michigan

Freyja Murray did not feature for Akron in either game this week as the Zips’ season ended with a first-round conference tournament loss to Western Michigan.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated New Hampshire 1-0; defeated Hartford 1-0

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany in either game this week as Albany advanced to the America East conference championship game.

Chicago State (Sarah Clark) 

This week: lost 8-0 to UMKC

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

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: lost 1-0 to USC; lost 2-1 to UCLA

Isobel Dalton did not feature for Colorado in either game this week. 

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: lost 3-2 to Charleston (OT)

Emma Heckenberg played all 104 minutes in her final game of college soccer, registering two shots with one on target in Drexel’s season-ending loss to Charleston.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

This week: defeated Mercer 1-0

Isabel Hodgson played the full 90 minutes as East Tennessee State advanced to the Southern Conference tournament semi-finals with a 1-0 win over Mercer.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 1-0 to Sacred Heart

Sam Roff played the full 90 minutes for Fairleigh Dickinson in their loss to Sacred Heart.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: drew 3-3 with Cal State Bakersfield

Sandra Hill started and played all 110 minutes for Grand Canyon in their thrilling draw with Cal State Bakersfield.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: defeated UC Riverside 2-0; lost 2-1 to Cal State Fullerton

Kiri Dale started both games this week, registering a shot in 68 minutes against UC Riveride before tallying another in the dying seconds of Hawaii’s season-ending loss to Cal State Fullerton as part of a 35-minute performance. 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated Delaware 1-0; defeated Northeastern 1-0

Monique Iannella played the full 90 minutes on both occasions this week as Hofstra advanced to the CAA championship game with a pair of 1-0 wins. Reserve goalkeeper Grace Watson-Carr did not feature in either game. 

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: defeated Wisconsin 3-0 on penalties (0-0 after extra time)

Ashleigh Lefevre did not feature as Illinois defeated Wisconsin on penalties to advance to the Big Ten tournament semi-finals.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

This week: defeated Mississippi State 2-1; defeated Missouri 3-2 (OT)

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in either game this week as the Tigers advanced to the SEC tournament semi-finals with an overtime win over Missouri.

Marshall (Laura Farrelly) 

This week: lost 2-0 to Western Kentucky

Laura Farrelly did not feature for Marshall in their loss to Western Kentucky. 

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

This week: lost 4-0 to Southeastern Louisiana

Kristy Helmers came off the bench for Nicholls State in their loss to Southeastern Louisiana to play 42 minutes, whilst Tenille Harberger and Tessa Calabria did not feature. 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone) 

This week: defeated South Dakota 1-0

Lauren Featherstone did not feature for North Dakota State in their win over South Dakota. 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: defeated North Texas 4-0

Gaby Bentley came off the bench for Old Dominion in their win over North Texas, playing 23 minutes and registering a single shot on target.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: defeated Belmont 4-3 on penalties (0-0 after extra time); lost 3-2 on penalties to Eastern Illinois (1-1 after extra time)

Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in either game this week as the Redhawks’ season ended in a shootout loss to Eastern Illinois.

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Central Connecticut State; defeated Wagner 5-0

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in their loss to Central Connecticut State, but came off the bench play 27 minutes in the win over Wagner.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Washington 2-0; drew 1-1 with Washington State

Beattie Goad started and tallied a shot in 49 minutes in the win over Washington before coming off the bench to register two shots in 52 minutes against Washington State, with one on target. 

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis) 

This week: defeated Texas 1-0; defeated TCU 5-3 on penalties (0-0 after extra time)

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench in both games this week, playing 24 minutes in the win over Texas and 14 minutes in the shootout victory over TCU that handed Texas Tech a Big 12 tournament semi-final berth. 

UCLA (Teagan Micah) 

This week: defeated Utah 5-1; defeated Colorado 2-1

Teagan Micah played the full 90 minutes against Utah but did not make a save before playing the second half against Colorado, making one save and giving up the one goal that UCLA conceded. 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Furman

Kate Swartwout did not feature for Western Carolina in their season-ending Southern Conference tournament loss to Furman. 

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

This week: defeated Colorado State 1-0

All four Aussies started for Wyoming in their win over Colorado State. Annika Clayton played 82 minutes, whilst Jessie Gentle was a menace out wide for her 86 minutes. Indianna Asimus registered three shots, all of which went narrowly over the bar, in her 62 minutes on the pitch, whilst Caitlin Pickett played 33 minutes.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Indianna Asimus (Wyoming)
2:
Beattie Goad (Stanford)
1:
Emma Heckenberg (Drexel)

2018 Week 11 Preview

21 teams featuring Aussies remain in the mix for the NCAA Tournament, and with six of those teams kicking off conference tournaments this week, it’s certainly crunch time for a number of players. Meanwhile, the thrilling fight for conference tournament spots in the Northeast Conference continues with Fairleigh Dickinson and Saint Francis right in the mix coming into the final matchday.

(Featured Image Credit: Jonathan Heisler, Hofstra University)

Six conference tournaments featuring Aussies kick off this weekend, with those players set to have varying degrees of impact on their teams’ fortunes. Undoubtedly, the two tournaments to watch this week are the Southern Conference and Colonial Athletic Association tournaments, both of which feature multiple teams for whom Aussies have played integral roles in getting them this far.

In the Southern Conference, both Isabel Hodgson’s East Tennessee State side and Kate Swartwout’s Western Carolina outfit have both earned spots in the tournament, with both teams earning byes to the quarter-finals as the 3rd and 4th seeds. Hodgson and the Buccaneers will face 6th seeded Mercer in their first game, whilst Swartwout’s Catamounts side face a Furman side that is usually among the contenders but has slipped to 5th this season. Although both sides come in as the higher seeds, neither of these games will be easy and coming in to the game in top form is an absolute must if both Hodgson and Swartwout are to advance.

Meanwhile, in the Colonial, a Hofstra team featuring Monique Iannella and Grace Watson-Carr will be hoping to go back-to-back, whilst Emma Heckenberg and Drexel are looking to go a couple of steps further than last year’s semi-final defeat to Northeastern. Both Iannella and Heckenberg have played vital roles to this point, and with Hofstra and Drexel on opposite sides of the draw, don’t bet against an Aussie v Aussie final in what has been a tight conference all season.

Ashleigh Lefevre is one more player we may see a bit of this week as Illinois head into the Big Ten tournament, where they will face Wisconsin on the road in the first round. Used occasionally off the bench, how much time Lefevre sees in these crunch games remains to be seen but the freshman certainly has done a job when called upon in past games. Siena Senatore, Claire Urquhart, and Caitlin Cantrill have also reached their respective conference tournaments with Southeast Missouri State, Albany, and LSU, but given the events of the season to this point, unfortunately it is unlikely that the trio will see any playing time this week.

Shelby Milton and Saint Francis may have knocked off Sam Roff and Fairleigh Dickinson last week, but both teams remain right in the mix for spots in next week’s Northeast Conference tournament. In a league with a four-team tournament, the teams form part of a three-way tie for second place on 13 points, with fifth-placed Mount St. Mary’s two points back. Both teams have a real chance to pick up a win in this last week of league play to cement their spots in the tournament, with Fairleigh Dickinson taking on Sacred Heart and Saint Francis facing Wagner. Saint Francis are also the only team in the league to play two games this week, but that additional game comes against league leaders Central Connecticut State, who have been all but untouchable in conference play to this point.

Amazingly, the Mountain West Conference league title could be shared between four teams this season, and Aussie-laden Wyoming are one of those teams. One of three teams sitting three points behind league leaders Boise State, a win against arch-rivals Colorado State on their home patch combined with other results could see the Cowgirls snag an unexpected share of the regular season title.

Whilst the Pac-12 does not feature a conference tournament, that doesn’t mean the premier conference in the nation isn’t building to a thrilling conclusion. Isobel Dalton and Colorado may have had their slender hopes of a conference title crushed by Beattie Goad’s Stanford side with a 7-0 loss last week, but the Buffaloes remain a decent chance of picking up an NCAA Tournament berth, but they’ll have to navigate a tough path to do so. Dalton’s side face national heavyweights UCLA and USC this week, and will almost certainly have to pick up at least one result to retain their at-large hopes before facing Utah in their final game of the regular season next weekend. Meanwhile, Beattie Goad and Stanford are sitting pretty tied atop the standings with USC with a game in hand and a favourable run home. The Cardinal travel north this week to face mid-table Washington as well as Washington State, who have lost five games on the trot to all but destroy any hopes the Cougars had of reaching the NCAA Tournament after winning their first ten games. Finally, Teagan Micah and UCLA may be out of league title contention, but can still nab a national seed for the NCAA Tournament with a good finish to the season. Their game against aforementioned Colorado will be a chance to put another decent win on the board, and with Micah back to her best after her recent concussion scare and Hailie Mace and Jessie Fleming back from US and Canadian national team duties respectively, the Bruins will be heavily favoured, although Dalton and Colorado will be desperate to bounce back from last week’s loss to Stanford in what will be a crucial game for both sides for different reasons.

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: @ Buffalo – 6am, Friday October 26 

Albany (Claire Urquhart) 

This week: v New Hampshire – 10am, Friday October 26 (America East Tournament 1st Round)

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ UMKC – 5am, Sunday October 28 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

This week: v USC – 8am, Friday October 26; v UCLA – 7am, Monday October 29

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Charleston – 4am, Saturday October 27 (CAA Tournament First Round)

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

This week: v Mercer – 4am, Monday October 29 (Southern Conference Tournament First Round) 

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Sacred Heart – 4am, Monday October 29

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Cal State Bakersfield – 11am, Saturday October 27

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: v UC Riverside – 4pm, Friday October 26; v Cal State Fullerton – 11am, Monday October 29 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: v Delaware – 4am, Saturday October 27 (CAA Tournament First Round)

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: @ Wisconsin – 4am, Monday October 29 (Big Ten Tournament First Round)

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: @ Mississippi State – 11am, Friday October 26; TBD (SEC Tournament) 

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ Western Kentucky – 11am, Saturday October 27

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

This week: @ Southeastern Louisiana – 11am, Saturday October 27 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: @ South Dakota – 7am, Saturday October 27

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: v Charlotte – 10am, Saturday October 27

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore) 

This week: v Belmont – 4am, Saturday October 27 (Ohio Valley Conference Tournament First Round) 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: v Central Connecticut State – 6am, Saturday October 27; v Wagner – 3am, Monday October 29 

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ Washington – 11am, Friday October 26; @ Washington State – 7am, Monday October 29

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Texas – 11:15am, Friday October 26

UCLA (Teagan Micah) 

This week: v Colorado – 7am, Monday October 29

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Furman – 10am, Sunday October 28 (Southern Conference Tournament First Round)

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

This week: v Colorado State – 8am, Saturday October 27

2018 Week 9 Preview

Sandra Hill and Grand Canyon need wins to keep pace with the leaders in the WAC, but Sarah Clark and Chicago State stand in their way and will be hungry for a first win of 2018. Elsewhere, Sam Roff and Isabel Hodgson look to maintain positions among the top of their respective leagues, whilst Emma Heckenberg faces both Jodie Burchell and Monique Iannella in yet more CAA Aussie v Aussie affairs.

(Featured Image Credit: Michael Rincon)

Chicago State and Grand Canyon face off this week, and whilst it may not be the most high-profile game of the season, it does feature an Aussie on either side and could prove to be a vital game in Grand Canyon’s run towards a conference tournament spot. Sarah Clark has been an occasional feature in the Chicago State lineup, and with the Cougars once again struggling through the season, time is running out to pick up their first win. They’ll need goals if they are going to get a result, and now would be the perfect time for Clark to score her first in Division I. Sandra Hill will be part of the Grand Canyon back line that will be determined to prolong Chicago State’s winless streak, particularly as they need to pick up points regularly if they are to reach the conference tournament. The WAC Tournament features six teams, and the Antelopes currently sit tied for sixth with a single win after three games. They’ll likely need at least two more wins to secure a postseason berth, so letting their most winnable game of the season slip is simply out of the question.

Once again, the CAA dishes up some Aussie v Aussie affairs as Emma Heckenberg and Drexel face two teams featuring Aussies this weekend. First up, the Dragons face Monique Iannella and Hofstra, where a win would put them just a point behind the currently fourth-placed Pride side. Drexel then round out the weekend against bottom side Towson, for whom freshman Jodie Burchell scored her first career goal in a 3-3 draw with third-placed Charleston last week. That draw showed that whilst Towson may be bottom of the pile, they can certainly match it with the conference’s top teams, so Heckenberg and her team will have to ensure that they are in top form heading to this weekend.

Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State have won just four games this season, but three of those have come in conference play to leave the Buccaneers sitting in a solid fourth position in the Southern Conference. However, their opponents this week could hardly be more disparate as the weekend begins by taking on a 10-2-1 UNC Greensboro side that has won all five of its league fixtures before facing a VMI team that has lost all five conference games and shipped 16 goals in the process. A win against VMI is an absolute non-negotiable for Hodgson and the Buccaneers this week, whilst a win against UNC Greensboro would do plenty to solidify their position in the conference tournament spots heading into the final week of league play.

Fairleigh Dickinson have one of the better defensive records in the Northeast Conference so far this season, with Sam Roff and her fellow backline members helping the Knights to equal third midway through league play. Having already faced two of the other teams in the top four already, Roff and the Knights this week face the bottom two teams in the conference in Wagner and LIU Brooklyn. Wagner have had enough trouble scoring without facing a defence as stingy as Fairleigh Dickinson’s, tallying just three goals all season, so expect Roff to be in lockdown mode in this game. However, LIU Brooklyn have scored as many or more goals than all bar two teams in the conference this season. This is one game where Roff will be called on to be at her outstanding best, as the Blackbirds will be ready to pounce on any opportunity, although the Fairleigh Dickinson attack should get plenty of chances of their own. With Roff known for unleashing the occasional shot, perhaps a game against the league’s leakiest defence could be her best opportunity to tally a first collegiate goal.

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray) 

This week: @ Ball State – 7am, Saturday October 13; @ Miami (Ohio) – 4am, Monday October 15 

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: @ Hartford – 10am, Friday October 12; v New Hampshire – 5am, Monday October 15 

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: v Grand Canyon – 5am, Saturday October 13; @ New Mexico State – 8am, Monday October 15 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

This week: v Oregon – 6am, Sunday October 14 

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Hofstra – 9am, Friday October 12; @ Towson – 4am, Monday October 15 

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

This week: v VMI – 10am, Saturday October 13; v UNC Greensboro – 5am, Monday October 15

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff) 

This week: v LIU Brooklyn – 7am, Saturday October 13; @ Wagner – 4am, Monday October 15

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen) 

This week: v Coastal Carolina – 10am, Saturday October 13 

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Chicago State – 5am, Saturday October 13; @ UMKC – 5am, Monday October 15

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

This week: @ Drexel – 9am, Friday October 12; @ Elon – 3am, Monday October 15

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: v Purdue – 11am, Friday October 12; v Indiana – 5am, Monday October 15

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck) 

This week: @ Dayton – 10am, Friday October 12; @ Fordham – 4am, Monday October 15

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

This week: v Mississippi – 10am, Friday October 12 

Marshall (Laura Farrelly) 

This week: v Rice – 10am, Saturday October 13; v North Texas – 3am, Monday October 15 

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

This week: v Sam Houston State – 8am, Saturday October 13; v Stephen F. Austin – 5am, Monday October 15

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone) 

This week: v South Dakota State – 5am, Monday October 15

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: @ Florida Atlantic – 10am, Friday October 12; v UAB – 4am, Monday October 15

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore) 

This week: @ Eastern Illinois – 6am, Friday October 12; @ SIU Edwardsville – 5am, Monday October 15

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: @ Robert Morris – 4am, Sunday October 14

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: @ Arizona State – 1pm, Sunday October 14

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis) 

This week: @ Kansas State – 11am, Saturday October 13; @ Kansas – 5am, Monday October 15

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: @ Delaware – 10am, Friday October 12; v Drexel – 4am, Monday October 15 

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: @ Washington – 12pm, Saturday October 13 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v UNC Greensboro – 10am, Saturday October 13; v VMI – 4am, Monday October 15 

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden) 

This week: v Elon – 10am, Friday October 12; v James Madison – 5am, Monday October 15

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

This week: @ Fresno State – 1pm, Saturday October 13; @ San Jose State – 6am, Monday October 15

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