2017 Week 10 Preview

It’s time for what is always one of the most intriguing Aussie v Aussie games of the season – Kate Swartwout and Western Carolina v Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State in a local derby. However, that is far from being the only intriguing storyline of the week, with playoff pushes and title races coming right down to the wire.

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This weekend sees the Southern Conference’s final matchday of the regular season play out, and for the Australians in the conference, it’s the matchup we’ve been waiting for all season: Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State hosting Kate Swartwout and Western Carolina in a game that will no doubt have ramifications with regards to conference tournament seeding. With the conference playing a 10 team tournament, a win in this game would not only secure local bragging rights – the two schools are less than two hours’ drive apart – but could also mean the difference between playing a first round game and receiving a bye through to the quarter-finals. Depending on the way the teams line up, we may even see Hodgson and Swartwout directly matched up at times, which would add another intriguing factor to the game.

The SWAC has a couple of weeks of regular season play to come, but Priya Gakhar and Grambling State are in pole position in the race for the regular season title. Leading the league on goal difference ahead of Paige Hayward and Texas Southern, the Tigers this week take on Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State – two teams that Texas Southern put a combined 12 goals past last weekend. Grambling State will have to make sure they take the full six points from these two games, as regardless of other results this week there is still likely to be at least one team in the mix going into the final week of the regular season. As for Hayward and Texas Southern, they play third placed Howard this week. Having played one more game than Grambling State, a win is absolutely non-negotiable for the Tigers if they are to remain within striking distance going into the final day of the season. Fortunately, Paige Hayward seems to have hit form at the right time, banging home a hat-trick in an 8-1 win over Mississippi Valley State last weekend.

Wyoming is another program desperate for wins this week, and for a number of reasons. With three games to play in the regular season, the Cowgirls are just two points out of the conference tournament spots in what is an incredibly close Mountain West Conference in 2017. The Aussie quintet travel to San Diego State before returning home to play New Mexico on Sunday on what will be Georgia Rowntree and Alisha Bass’s Senior Day. With San Diego State and New Mexico sitting above Wyoming but within touching distance at this point, this is definitely one that Wyoming need to get six points from, especially after last week’s losses to Boise State and Utah State.

With two weeks remaining in the Northeast Conference, this week could see two Aussies facing off in a game that sets one team ahead of the pack. Shelby Milton’s St. Francis side and Sam Roff’s Fairleigh Dickinson outfit will play on Monday morning, but before that, Fairleigh Dickinson will play their game in hand against 8th placed Robert Morris. With the teams tied going into this week, two wins for Fairleigh Dickinson would really give them the inside running going into the final weekend. However, a win for Saint Francis over the Knights would ensure a chaotic final weekend as both teams hunt for a regular season title.

Two points clear, a game in hand, and a match this week against an Eastern Illinois side that has picked up just one point in league play in 2017. Things look pretty good at the moment for Murray State heading into their final two conference games. A win over Eastern Illinois would secure the title with a game to play, and there is no doubting that the Racers will want to wrap things up as soon as possible, especially considering their recent history with final day opponent SIU Edwardsville. It was the Cougars who caused a boilover in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament last season, defeating the undefeated Murray State side 2-1 in overtime in the semi-finals at a time when the Racers looked like absolute locks to win the tournament and reach the NCAA Tournament. However, with the likes of Harriet Withers up top and Nyomi Devine in defence, the Racers should promptly demolish Eastern Illinois and not even have to worry about the result in the game against SIU Edwardsville.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: at Stony Brook – 10am, Friday October 20

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v Wagner – 10am, Saturday October 21; at Bryant – 6am, Monday October 23

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v Arizona State – 8am, Friday October 20; v Arizona – 6am, Monday October 23

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: at James Madison – 10am, Friday October 20; at Elon – 4am, Monday October 23

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v Western Carolina – 5am, Monday October 23

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: at Robert Morris – 6am, Saturday October 21; at Saint Francis – 4am, Monday October 23

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: at Mississippi Valley State – 11am, Saturday October 21; at Alcorn State – 5am, Monday October 23

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: at Utah Valley – 12pm, Saturday October 21; v Seattle – 7am, Monday October 23

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: v Cal Poly – 2pm, Monday October 23

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: at College of Charleston – 4am, Monday October 23

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: at George Mason – 10am, Friday October 20; v VCU – 4am, Monday October 23

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Texas A&M – 10am, Friday October 20; v Auburn – 9am, Monday October 23

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: v Eastern Illinois – 7am, Friday October 20; v SIU Edwardsville – 6am, Monday October 23

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: v Central Arkansas – 8am, Saturday October 21; v Northwestern State – 5am, Monday October 23

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Rice – 10am, Friday October 20; v North Texas – 4am, Monday October 23

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: at California – 9am, Friday October 20; at Stanford – 7am, Monday October 23

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: v San Francisco – 1pm, Saturday October 21; v Santa Clara – 7am, Monday October 23

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: v Fairleigh Dickinson – 4am, Monday October 23

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: v Jacksonville State – 6am, Monday October 23

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Oregon – 12pm, Friday October 20; v Oregon State – 7am, Monday October 23

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: at Howard – 9am, Saturday October 21

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: at West Virginia – 11am, Friday October 20; at Iowa State – 5am, Monday October 23

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: at Washington State – 1pm, Friday October 20; at Washington – 8am, Monday October 23

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: at East Tennessee State – 5am, Monday October 23

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: v Towson – 5am, Monday October 23

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: at San Diego State – 1pm, Saturday October 21; v New Mexico – 5:30am, Monday October 23

2017 Week 9 Wrap

Once again, it was a week of assists for the Aussies, with a number of players teeing up teammates for goals. However, the top performance of the week belonged to Paige Hayward, who rewrote the Texas Southern record books with some outstanding play.

Paige Hayward was the undisputed star of the week, leading her Texas Southern team to a pair of comprehensive wins. In a game where all four goals came inside the first 31 minutes, Hayward scored the final of goal of the contest in a 3-1 win over Alcorn State after the Braves had earlier pulled back an early Texas Southern lead. However, it would be Hayward’s performance against Mississippi Valley State that would be the pièce du résistance. The senior knocked home two goals and set up a third in the first half, before completing a hat-trick just inside the hour mark in an 8-1 demolition of the Delta Devils. Hayward’s efforts over the weekend secured her the Texas Southern career records for assists and points, and leaves her tied for the career record in goalscoring.

Emma Heckenberg’s performances in her time in college have more often than not suggested that her role is a no-nonsense one where the Drexel junior gets her job done without the limelight that others may receive. However, one moment in Drexel’s win over College of Charleston could not have been more antithetic to that storyline. With the teams locked at 0-0 in the second minute of golden goal overtime, Heckenberg delivered an assist on the winning goal to lock up a senior day win for the Dragons and in the process clinch back-to-back conference tournament berths for the first time in program history.

Staying in the Colonial Athletic Association, Hofstra continued their domination of the league this week with a pair of wins over Northeastern and Elon, with Monique Iannella yet again vital to the team’s success. With Hofstra being outshot by Northeastern but managing to keep the game tied at 0-0, Iannella delivered in a corner that was met first by Jenn Buoncore before being directed home by Lucy Porter for the game’s only goal as the Pride secured a 1-0 win. Emily Hulbert also played 85 minutes against Northeastern despite suffering a world-class black eye, and both Iannella and Hulbert played the full 90 minutes in the win over Elon, with each registering shots.

Grand Canyon freshman Sandra Hill also popped up with an assist this week. In a 7-0 demolition of Chicago State, Hill was afforded a season-high 51 minutes, and delivered the assist on the team’s final goal of the game, sending in a cross which was promptly sent into the back of the net to cap a quite spectacular day of goalscoring for the Antelopes. Hill also came off the bench in the team’s second game of the week, playing ten minutes in a 1-0 win over UMKC.

It was a tough weekend for Wyoming, who went down 3-1 to both Utah State and Boise State, but there was still a taste of personal success for senior Alisha Bass. Things looked good for Wyoming after Bass set up Michaela Stark for the opener against Utah State in the 13th minute, but a 54th minute equaliser coupled with two late goals condemned the Cowgirls to defeat. Bass then delivered a cross for Summer Halle’s 62nd minute equaliser against Boise State. Unfortunately, Boise State re-established their lead just 45 seconds later, and put the game to bed with a third goal in the 80th minute.

Harriet Withers surprisingly went all weekend without a goal, but that didn’t mean the senior didn’t have an impact for Murray State. With 11 minutes to play against Austin Peay, the score remained 0-0 and the game looked destined for overtime. However, Withers delivered in a corner which was met by Miyah Watford and directed into the back of the net for a late lead which the Racers were able to preserve until the final whistle.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Paige Hayward (Texas Southern)
2: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)
1: Monique Iannella (Hofstra)

Complete Results:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Vermont 1-0; defeated Maine 4-1

Claire Urquhart started and played 66 minutes against Vermont, registering a single shot, but did not feature in the win over Maine.

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: defeated St Francis 1-0; defeated Robert Morris 1-0

Lauren Featherstone did not feature in either game for Central Connecticut State this week.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: lost 2-0 to USC

Isobel Dalton did not feature for Colorado in their loss to USC.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: defeated College of Charleston 1-0 (OT)

Emma Heckenberg started for Drexel, played all 91 minutes, and delivered the assist for the overtime game winner in a Senior Day win for the Dragons.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: lost 3-0 to Wofford; lost 5-0 to Furman

Isabel Hodgson started both games for East Tennessee State this week, rattling off 8 shots, of which four were on target, in a 90 minute performance against Wofford, before playing 79 minutes in the loss to Furman.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated Bryant 2-0

Sam Roff started and played her regular full game in defence for Fairleigh Dickinson, helping the team to its fourth clean sheet in five games.

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: defeated Alabama State 2-0; defeated Alabama A&M 4-0

Priya Gakhar came off the bench in both games this week, playing 11 minutes against Alabama State and a healthy 51 minutes against Alabama A&M.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: defeated Chicago State 7-0; lost 1-0 to UMKC

Sandra Hill came off the bench in both games this week, playing 51 minutes against Chicago State and tallying the first assist of her college career on Grand Canyon’s final, before making a 10 minute cameo against UMKC.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: defeated UC Santa Barbara 2-1; lost 2-1 to Cal State Northridge

Kiri Dale played the full 90 minutes in both contests this week, registering a shot against Cal State Northridge.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: defeated Northeastern 1-0; defeated Elon 2-0

Both Emily Hulbert and Monique Iannella started both games this week. Hulbert played 85 minutes against Northeastern and the full 90 minutes against Elon, registering two shots in the latter contest. Iannella played the full 90 minutes on both occasions, tallying an assist against Northeastern and a shot on target against Elon.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: defeated St. Bonaventure 2-0; defeated Fordham 1-0

Claudia Jenkins did not feature in either game for La Salle this week.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: lost 1-0 to Arkansas; lost 4-0 to UCF

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature against Arkansas, but came off the bench to play 30 minutes against UCF.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: defeated Austin Peay 1-0; defeated Belmont 1-0

Nyomi Devine played the full 90 minutes for Murray State in both games this week, registering a shot against Austin Peay and three attempts at goal in the win over Belmont. Harriet Withers unleashed three shots against Austin Peay in 73 minutes, and tallied an assist in a 79 minute effort against Belmont.

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: drew 0-0 with Sam Houston State; lost 3-0 to Stephen F. Austin

Kristy Helmers started both games this week, playing 65 minutes and registering two shots against Sam Houston State, before playing 28 minutes in the loss to Stephen F. Austin. Tenille Harberger did not feature in either game this week.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: drew 1-1 with Southern Miss; drew 1-1 with Louisiana Tech

Gaby Bentley came off the bench for Old Dominion on both occasions this week, registering a shot in each contest.

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: lost 2-0 to Arizona

Olivia Ellis did not feature for Oregon State in the loss to Arizona.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 2-0 to BYU

Ellie Papalexiou came off the bench for Pacific in the loss to BYU, making a short 3 minute cameo as the senior continues her return to full fitness.

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: lost 1-0 to Central Connecticut State (OT); lost 2-0 to Wagner

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in the loss to Central Connecticut State, but came off the bench to play 12 minutes against Wagner.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: defeated Eastern Illinois 3-0; defeated SIU Edwardsville 4-1

Maddy Cornell started both games this week, playing 44 minutes against Eastern Illinois and 49 minutes against SIU Edwardsville, also tallying a shot in the latter contest.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Washington 1-0

Beattie Goad did not feature for Stanford in the win over Washington.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: defeated Alcorn State 3-1; defeated Mississippi Valley State 8-1

Paige Hayward played the full 90 minutes against Alcorn State, slotting a goal in the process, before tallying a hat-trick and an assist against Mississippi Valley State on her way to securing career records for both goals and points for Texas Southern.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 1-0 to Oklahoma State

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench for Texas Tech in the loss to Oklahoma State, playing two minutes.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Utah 2-1

Teagan Micah played the full 90 minutes for UCLA but was only forced into a single save.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 2-1 to Furman (OT); defeated Wofford 4-0

Kate Swartwout did not feature for Western Carolina against Furman, but came off the bench in the win over Wofford, playing 33 minutes.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: defeated UNC Wilmington 2-1; lost 4-2 to Northeastern

Lorena Bugden did not feature for William & Mary this week as she continues to return to fitness following injury.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: lost 3-1 to Utah State; lost 3-1 to Boise State

Georgia Rowntree was between the sticks for all 180 minutes this week, making seven saves against Utah State and another one against Boise State. Alisha Bass was outstanding, tallying an assist on both of Wyoming’s goals this week, playing 85 minutes against Utah State and 74 minutes against Boise State. Annika Clayton started both games this week, playing 44 minutes against Utah State and 48 minutes against Boise State. Jessie Gentle started and played 75 minutes against Utah State before coming off the bench against Boise State to play 59 minutes and register a shot, whilst Jemma House came off the bench to play 45 minutes against Utah State and 59 minutes against Boise State, tallying a shot in the process.

2017 Week 7 Wrap

Harriet Withers continues her charge to becoming one of Murray State’s all-time great players, whilst Emily Hulbert returned from injury and Georgia Rowntree was an absolute saviour for Wyoming.

Harriet Withers continues her remarkable season for Murray State, breaking the team’s record for career goals after bringing up the tying goal last week. Withers’ goal in the 18th minute against Southeast Missouri State not only broke the career goalscoring record, but also proved to be the winner as the Racers secured a 1-0 victory. Withers then extended her record with two goals in less than a minute to lead Murray State to a 3-1 win in a game that was still 0-0 with ten minutes to play. With 12 goals this season, Withers has now eclipsed her personal mark of 11 which she set in 2015, and is now one goal shy of the Racers’ single season record and four points shy of the single season points record, which she already shares.

It’s been a few weeks between goals for Paige Hayward, but the 2016 Player of the Year scored one at the best possible time this week. In a 1-0 win over Alabama State, Hayward’s goal proved the difference in a game that saw Texas Southern outshot 13-4 by the Hornets, but somehow come away with a win courtesy of the Australian’s strike. Hayward had another four shots against Alabama A&M as the Tigers came away with another 1-0 win in a successful trip to Alabama.

In a week during which their goalscoring was lacking, Wyoming could not have been more thankful for the performances of goalkeeper Georgia Rowntree. The senior’s three saves against Fresno State earned the Cowgirls a 0-0 draw as they were unable to find the back of the net despite 8 shots on target. Rowntree then came up big a second time, making four saves against San Jose State as an 81st minute winner proved the difference in a 1-0 win to see Wyoming bounce back from last week’s loss to Air Force with a pair of solid results that moved the team into a solid mid-table position in the Mountain West Conference.

Staying in the south, Kristy Helmers’ week started off less than impressively as her Nicholls State side fell 4-0 to Houston Baptist. Things quickly improved though, with Helmers scoring the opener with her only shot of the game as the Colonels knocked off Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2-1 to salvage something from an initially tough trip to Texas.

Monique Iannella continued her solid form for Hofstra, playing the complete 90 minutes on both occasions this week as the Pride defeated Drexel 2-0 before dispatching with William & Mary 3-1, with Iannella and the Hofstra defence holding their opponents to 8 shots on targets across the two games. However, the highlight of this week was the return of Emily Hulbert from a minor injury to play 39 minutes in the game against William & Mary with no apparent problems in the aftermath.

Olivia Ellis may be coming off the bench for Oregon State at this early point in her career, but over the weekend saw playing time generally reserved for starters in the Beavers’ losses to USC and UCLA. With her side down 2-0 early on against USC, Ellis came on to play 57 minutes in the eventual 4-0 loss to the defending national champions. After another poor defensive start against UCLA, where the Beavers fell behind 2-0 inside 7 minutes, Ellis once again came on in the first half, playing another 68 minutes in a 4-1 loss, and surely it can’t be long until the former Melbourne City defender gets a chance in the starting lineup.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
2: Kristy Helmers (Nicholls State)
1: Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming)

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: lost 1-0 to Binghamton; lost 3-0 to New Hampshire

Claire Urquhart did not feature for Albany in either game this week.

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: lost 1-0 to Fairleigh Dickinson; lost 1-0 to Mount St. Mary’s

Lauren Featherstone did not feature for Central Connecticut State in either game this week.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

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

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

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

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

Emma Heckenberg started both games for Drexel this week, playing 75 minutes and rattling off two shots against Hofstra before playing 61 minutes in the win over Towson.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: lost 2-0 UNC Greensboro; lost 1-0 to VMI

Isabel Hodgson played the full 90 minutes in both games, registering four shots in the loss to VMI.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated Central Connecticut State 1-0

Sam Roff played the full 90 minutes in defence for Fairleigh Dickinson in the Knights’ 1-0 win over Central Connecticut State.

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: defeated Jackson State 2-1; defeated Southern 2-1 (OT)

Priya Gakhar came off the bench in both games for Grambling State this week, playing five minutes against Jackson State and six minutes against Southern.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 1-0 to UC Davis; lost 2-0 to Long Beach State

Kiri Dale played the full 90 minutes in both games this week, managing to register two shots against UC Davis, with one on target.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: defeated Drexel 2-0; defeated William & Mary 3-1

Monique Iannella played the full 90 minutes in both games, even managing to tally a shot on target against William & Mary. Emily Hulbert missed the game against Drexel, but returned from injury against William & Mary to play 39 minutes.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: defeated Dayton 4-0; defeated Rhode Island 2-0

Backup goalkeeper Claudia Jenkins did not feature for La Salle in either game this week.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: lost 3-0 to Kentucky

Caitlin Cantrill came off the bench for LSU in their loss to Kentucky, playing two minutes.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: defeated Southeast Missouri State 1-0; defeated Tennessee-Martin 3-1

Harriet Withers scored the game’s only goal in the win over Southeast Missouri State, and followed up with a brace in the space of 38 seconds to lead the Racers to victory over Tennessee-Martin. Nyomi Devine was again rock solid in defence, playing every minute of the two games.

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: lost 4-0 to Houston Baptist; defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2-1 (OT)

Kristy Helmers started both games this week, playing 63 minutes in the loss to Houston Baptist and scoring with her only shot of the game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as part of a 56 minute shift. Tenille Harberger did not feature for Nicholls State in either game this week.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: defeated Texas-San Antonio 2-1; defeated UTEP 2-1

Gaby Bentley came off the bench in both games for Old Dominion this week, registering a shot in the win over Texas-San Antonio.

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: lost 4-0 to USC; lost 4-1 to UCLA

Olivia Ellis came off the bench in both games, playing 57 minutes against USC and 68 minutes against UCLA.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: lost 2-1 to Gonzaga; defeated Portland 2-0

Ellie Papalexiou did not feature for Pacific this week as the team continues to manage her return from injury.

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: defeated Sacred Heart 2-0; defeated Bryant 2-1

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

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: lost 1-0 to Murray State

Maddy Cornell started for Southeast Missouri State and played 75 minutes in their loss to Murray State.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Arizona 1-0; defeated Arizona State 6-0

Beattie Goad did not feature against Arizona, but came off the bench to play 47 minutes and register a shot.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: defeated Alabama State 1-0; defeated Alabama A&M 1-0

Paige Hayward played every minute of the week for Texas Southern, scoring the game’s only goal in the win over Alabama State.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 3-2 to Texas (OT); lost 1-0 to TCU (OT)

Demi Koulizakis did not feature for Texas Tech in either game this week.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Oregon 2-0; defeated Oregon State 4-1

Teagan Micah played all 180 minutes for UCLA this week, making three saves against Oregon and two more against Oregon State.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: defeated VMI 1-0 (OT); drew 2-2 with UNC Greensboro

Kate Swartwout came off the bench to play 60 minutes and register a shot against VMI, then started against UNC Greensboro, playing 77 minutes.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: drew 0-0 with College of Charleston; lost 3-1 to Hofstra

Lorena Bugden did not feature for William & Mary this week as she continues her recovery from injury.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: drew 0-0 with Fresno State; defeated San Jose State 1-0

Georgia Rowntree lived up to her Great Wall of Laramie moniker, making seven saves two finish with two crucial clean sheets which earned the Cowgirls an undefeated weekend. Alisha Bass started both games, playing 94 minutes against Fresno State and 73 minutes against San Jose State, tallying a pair of shots on target in the latter game and one against Fresno State. Annika Clayton came off the bench to play 47 minutes against Fresno State, but earned the start against San Jose State, playing 62 minutes. Jessie Gentle came off the bench for a pair of extended stints, playing 58 minutes against Fresno State and 47 minutes against San Jose State, whilst Jemma House played 32 minutes off the bench against Fresno State and 9 minutes against San Jose State.

2017 Week 6 Preview

Revenge may be a dish best served 10 months later for Isabel Hodgson and East Tennessee State, whilst the Pac-12 battle for national supremacy between UCLA and Stanford continues to simmer as both teams commence conference play this week. SWAC play also commences for our Aussies this week, with both Priya Gakhar and Paige Hayward hungry for goals.

The last game of the 2016 Southern Conference season was the championship game between East Tennessee State and Samford. Adelaide’s Isabel Hodgson scored the opener just two minutes in, but Samford equalised late in the first half before finding a second half winner to take the title and the NCAA Tournament bid that comes with it. However, the Buccaneers get an early chance at revenge this season, facing the Bulldogs in their opening weekend of conference play. Hodgson and ETSU also take on Chattanooga this week, and if they can pick up the win that their class deserves in that game, it will no doubt go some way to restoring their confidence after falling to four straight losses by two or more goals. Goals have hardly been a problem for Hodgson and the rest of the attack, but better defensive efforts will be required in these two games if they are to start their conference slate on a high.

 

dalton-and-micah
Isobel Dalton and Teagan Micah will renew “hostilities”, if you can call them that, this weekend.

The Pac-12 games featuring Aussies on both sides get started early this season, withTeagan Micah’s UCLA side heading to Boulder to face Isobel Dalton and Colorado. This particular matchup was played much later in the season in 2016, with Colorado picking up an unexpected 1-0 win on their home patch. Forced to travel to Boulder again, UCLA will be hoping to bounce back from a 1-1 draw against Pepperdine in their last fixture in which they did everything except score a second goal which would have clinched victory. The Colorado attack has swung between both ends of the spectrum wildly so far this season, picking up a pair of 6-0 wins but also finding goals hard to come by. Which Colorado turns up to play could have a major say in just how busy Micah will be in each team’s only game of the week. However, UCLA’s attack will have to be on point if they are to beat the Buffaloes’ goalkeeping tandem of Scout Watson and Jalen Tompkins, who have combined for 7 clean sheets in 9 games to this point.

Meanwhile, Beattie Goad and Stanford remain ready to pounce on top spot in the polls if UCLA do slip up against Colorado. The Cardinal take on a Washington State team which, on the face of it, looks to be doing quite well at 5-1-2. However, a 0-0 draw with Montana this week may have exposed some flaws in the attacking side of the Cougars’ game, and against a Stanford side with six clean sheets in eight games, that’s not something you want being made public in the lead-up to the game. Beattie Goad forms part of that defence in the left back role, but her attacking instincts have already delivered a goal and an assist so far this season, and to see the former W-League champion getting up and down the flank to assist attacking raids would not be a surprise in the slightest.

Murray State had a tough weekend last week, dropping their first points of the season in a 1-0 loss to Saint Louis. Despite this, they will go into their first full weekend of Ohio Valley Conference play this week knowing that they have exactly what it takes to dominate this league, and why not? Their only conference loss in the last two seasons came in last year’s conference tournament, and even then it was a game they could easily have won. The Racers have already knocked off a couple of teams considered better than this weekend’s opponents – Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State – and Harriet Withers rarely goes two weeks without banging home a goal. Throw in Nyomi Devine marshalling the defence, and things are still looking pretty good for Murray State as they look to add to last week’s 1-0 win over Morehead State in their conference opener.

Conference play also kicks off for our two players in the SWAC, and whilst the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey may have disrupted things for Paige Hayward and Texas Southern, conference play is where the Australian senior has shone in recent years. The Tigers could have been considered heavily overmatched in their opening few Division I games, all of which they lost 3-0, but with Hayward up front, there is no reason to think the goals won’t start to flow for Texas Southern, commencing with this week’s games against fellow winless sides Jackson State and and Southern. Priya Gakhar and Grambling State also start their league slate this week, facing perennial conference favourites Howard. However, it’s been a surprisingly good start for Grambling State this season. A win over UC Riverside and an overtime loss to Louisiana Tech have shown that the team may be starting to a corner after some utterly abysmal seasons in recent years – the team has already matched its Division I win total from 2016 and conference play hasn’t even started yet. Gakhar has been coming off the bench in a few games to this point, and surely it is just a matter of time before she notches her first college goal.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: at UMBC – 3am, Monday September 25

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: v Temple – 9am, Sunday September 24

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v UCLA – 7:30am, Saturday September 23

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: v Northeastern – 8am, Friday September 22; v William & Mary – 4am, Monday September 25

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v Chattanooga – 9am, Saturday September 23; v Samford – 4am, Monday September 25

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Cornell – 5am, Monday September 25

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: v Howard – 3am, Monday September 25

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: at Cal State Northridge – 12pm, Saturday September 23; at Cal State Fullerton – 10am, Monday September 25

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: at Delaware – 9am, Friday September 22; v UNC Wilmington – 3am, Monday September 25

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: v Duquesne – 9am, Friday September 22; at St Joseph’s – 3am, Monday September 25

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: at Alabama – 10am, Friday September 22; v Mississippi State – 6am, Monday September 25

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: at Tennessee Tech – 10am, Friday September 22; at Jacksonville State – 4am, Monday September 25

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: v Incarnate Word – 7am, Saturday September 23; v Abilene Christian – 4am, Monday September 25

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: at Florida Atlantic – 9am, Saturday September 23

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: at Arizona State – 12pm, Saturday September 23

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: at Cal State Bakersfield – 12pm, Saturday September 23

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: at Morehead State – 8am, Saturday September 23; at Eastern Kentucky – 3am, Monday September 25

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: at Washington State – 11am, Friday September 22;

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: at Southern – 10am, Saturday September 23; at Jackson State – 4am, Monday September 25

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Kansas State – 10am, Saturday September 23; v Kansas – 4am, Monday September 25

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: at Colorado – 7:30am, Saturday September 23

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Samford – 9am, Saturday September 23; v Chattanooga – 4am, Monday September 25

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: at James Madison – 9am, Friday September 22; at Drexel – 3am, Monday September 25

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: at Colorado College – 7am, Saturday September 23; at Air Force – 4am, Monday September 25

2017 Week 4 Preview

The California-based Pac-12 Aussies are flying right now, but nothing is certain and both teams will have to be at their best to remain at the pointy end of the coaches’ poll. Meanwhile, Paige Hayward and Texas Southern return after an enforced break due to Hurricane Harvey, and Sam Roff looks to marshal the Fairleigh Dickinson defence against a Buffalo team that banged home five goals last weekend.

UCLA are flying at this point, winning all six of their games to this point and sitting atop the coaches’ poll for the last two weeks. Teagan Micah has been a massive part of this, with her six-save performance to secure a 1-0 win over BYU of particular significance. The Bruins will face a significant test on the road this week though, taking on #8 ranked Virginia in a battle of top 10 teams. The Cavaliers have compiled a solid 4-1 record to this point, which includes an overtime win over 2016 national runners-up West Virginia, although they did slip to an unexpected 1-0 loss to Wisconsin. This game will certainly be a battle of an attacking blitzkrieg and a wall-like defence. Virginia have given up just two goals in their five games this season, whilst UCLA have scored a mind-boggling 20 goals in their six games to this point. Virginia’s attack has only conjured seven goals in five games so far, but with such a stingy defence, showers of goals haven’t exactly been required for the Cavaliers to pick up wins to this point.

If UCLA do slip up against Virginia, there is another team featuring an Aussie waiting to take that #1 spot in the poll. Beattie Goad and Stanford take on San Francisco in a local derby before taking on Yale later in the week. Like UCLA, Stanford have been on fire in attack, scoring 22 goals in five games so far. Whilst the defence has given up just three goals to this point, those three unfortunately all came in a 3-2 loss to Florida, the only blot on the Cardinal’s copybook so far. Their first opponent this week, San Francisco, started the season solidly, compiling a 2-1-1 record, but dropped both games last week to slip below .500, with Olivia Ellis and Oregon State the most recent team to knock off the Dons. However, nobody has been able to stop Yale so far. Hofstra, with their Australian duo of Emily Hulbert and Monique Iannella, perhaps went closest, taking the Bulldogs to double overtime, but Yale escaped with a 107th minute golden goal to move to 5-0 to commence the season. Despite their brilliant start, Stanford will still be considered significant favourites in this one, especially on their home patch. Beattie Goad secured a start last week against Georgetown, and will no doubt be hoping to make her way back into the starting eleven in any of the number of positions in which she has played to this point in her Stanford career.

After a leaky start to the campaign which saw the Knights give up seven goals in three games, Fairleigh Dickinson have tightened things up at the back to concede just two goals in their most recent three games, with Sam Roff at the heart of everything the FDU defence does. That defence is going to need to be at its best in the team’s two games this week, with goals hard to come by recently and their opponents each in decent goalscoring form. Niagara have scored multiple goals in three of their last four games, compiling a 3-1-1 record to this point, with their only loss coming to Big Ten side Michigan State. The Knights’ second opponents, Buffalo, have done things slightly differently. Coming into last week’s game against Youngstown State, the Bulls had scored just one goal in their three games to that point. However, an attacking explosion saw Buffalo chalk up a 5-0 win to come into this weekend on a high. Roff and the Knights’ defence may be able to slow down both opponents this week, but they will still be relying on what has been a lacklustre attack to this point if Fairleigh Dickinson are going to pick up a win or two this week.

Four games. Six goals. There’s not much more one needs to say about Murray State’s Australian powerhouse Harriet Withers, who is once again setting the world alight up front for the Racers. Whilst the team plays just one game this week, that doesn’t mean we won’t see multiple goals from the senior against an Arkansas-Little Rock team that has compiled a fascinating record to this point. The Trojans gave up five goals in their first two games, falling to losses to Memphis and Texas. However, they then faced some slightly less challenging opposition and proceeded to bang home seven goals in two games. But neither Sam Houston State nor Missouri State have a defender of the calibre of Nyomi Devine, nor a striker of Withers’ lethality, so we could certainly see yet another game in which the Australians are vital at both ends of the field.

Texas Southern were forced into a week off last week due to Hurricane Harvey, costing them a couple of games against in-state rivals last week. However, Paige Hayward and the Tigers are back in action this week, hosting two games in Houston. They won’t find it easy though. Lamar have shown at times, especially against SWAC teams, that they can certainly find a way to get the ball in the back of the net, and it has only been against power conference teams that they have really struggled. Southern Miss have also shown a propensity for beating up on lower conference teams, but were brought crashing back to Earth last week with an 8-0 loss to Ole Miss. Whilst Texas Southern will still be heavy underdogs, Paige Hayward may be able to take advantage of a defence that is yet to keep a clean sheet this year to pick up a goal here or there.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: v Dartmouth – 9am, Friday September 8; v Colgate – 5am, Monday September 11

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: at Navy – 3am, Monday September 11

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: at Texas – 10am, Saturday September 9; at Texas-San Antonio – 10am, Monday September 11

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: at Monmouth – 9am, Saturday September 9

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v Virginia Tech – 9am, Friday September 8

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: at Niagara – 9am, Saturday September 9; at Buffalo – 2am, Monday September 11

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: v Cal State Bakersfield – 10am, Saturday September 9; v UC Riverside – 8:30am, Monday September 11

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v UC Santa Barbara – 9am, Friday September 8; at Houston Baptist – 6am, Monday September 11

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: v Fordham – 9am, Saturday September 9; v Monmouth – 3am, Monday September 11

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: at Villanova – 3am, Monday September 11

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: at UCF – 9am, Saturday September 9; v Liberty – 9am, Monday September 11

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: v Arkansas-Little Rock – 6am, Saturday September 9

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: at Alcorn State – 7am, Saturday September 9; at Louisiana-Lafayette – 9am, Monday September 11

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: at UNC Wilmington – 9am, Friday September 8

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: v Portland State – 12pm, Saturday September 9; v BYU – 10am, Tuesday September 12

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: v Yale – 12pm, Saturday September 9; at Northern Arizona – 10am, Monday September 11

St. Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: at Georgetown – 6am, Saturday September 9; at George Washington – 3am, Monday September 11

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v San Francisco – 12pm, Saturday September 9; v Yale – 6am, Monday September 11

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: v Lamar – 10am, Friday September 8; v Southern Miss – 5am, Monday September 11

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: at Arizona – 8am, Saturday September 9; v Arizona State – 5am, Monday September 11

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: at Virginia – 9am, Friday September 8

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Lipscomb – 9am, Friday September 8; v Tennessee-Martin – 4am, Monday September 11

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: at Maryland – 9am, Friday September 8; at DePaul – 4am, Monday September 11

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: at Utah Valley – 11:30am, Saturday September 9; v Northern Colorado – 5am, Monday September 11

2017 Week 2 Wrap

The Paige Hayward v Harriet Withers showdown for top goalscorer is officially on for a second year running as both scored three goals in an entertaining weekend for the Aussies.

Paige Hayward may not have got her name on the scoresheet in the opening week of the season, but returned with a vengeance against NCAA Division III side Concordia of Austin, Texas, banging home a hat-trick in Texas Southern’s 5-0 win. Hayward also teed up a teammate to tally an assist to be directly involved in four goals despite playing just 50 minutes in her team’s only game of the week.

Whilst Hayward was scoring her first goals of the season, fellow SWAC player Priya Gakhar was making the first appearances of her college career for Grambling State. Coming off the bench in both games as the Tigers kicked off their season, Gakhar played 19 minutes in a win over NAIA side Texas A&M-Texarkana before enjoying an extended 52 minute stint in a 1-0 loss at home to New Mexico State. Gakhar wasn’t the only player making their debut this weekend. Claudia Jenkins also managed to find her way onto the pitch for La Salle, playing 24 minutes and making two saves in the Explorers’ 3-0 win over Iona.

It may not have been Gaby Bentley’s first game of college soccer, but the South Australian did pick up her first goal for Old Dominion this week. Coming off the bench against VCU, Bentley tallied the first strike of her college career, but the goal was unfortunately in vain as the Monarchs fell 3-1. Bentley then came off the bench to play 40 minutes in Old Dominion’s second game of the week against Duke, with the Monarchs again falling 3-1.

Harriet Withers was dominant last week for Murray State with two goals, and continued her scintillating early season form to lead the Racers to a pair of wins on their Alabama road trip. Withers scored a 77th minute winner against Troy as the Racers were rightly rewarded for their dominance with a 2-1 win. A tougher opponent came next in the form of South Alabama, but Withers cared not for reputations. South Alabama went up 1-0 on a 16th minute penalty, but the Australian senior tallied a pair of unassisted goals courtesy of her own pressure high up the field, creating her own chances to lead Murray State to a third consecutive win to start the season.

Beattie Goad was almost the hero for Stanford in their only match of the week against Florida. The sophomore swept home Jaye Boissiere’s centring ball to restore Stanford’s lead at 2-1 just shy of the hour mark after Florida had cancelled out a Stanford first half goal with one of their own. Unfortunately, two late goals from the Gators condemned Stanford to their first loss of the season despite outshooting Florida 14-8.

Alisha Bass is generally good for a bit of offensive spark, and brought in the best way possible in Wyoming’s game against Southern Utah. The senior knocked in a header at the far post early in the contest to give the Cowgirls a 1-0 lead, which they would eventually turn into a comprehensive 3-1 win. Unfortunately, things were less positive for Wyoming on their trip to Kentucky later in the weekend, going down 2-1 despite battling into a second overtime period before the Wildcats found the golden goal winner in the 103rd minute.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
2: Paige Hayward (Texas Southern)
1: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)

Complete Results:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Colorado College 2-1; lost 5-1 to Denver

Claire Urquhart started both games for Albany this week, playing the full 90 minutes against Colorado College before backing up to play 67 minutes in the loss to Denver.

Central Connecticut State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: defeated Rhode Island 1-0; lost 1-0 to Providence

Lauren Featherstone did not feature for Central Connecticut State in either contest this week.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: defeated TCU 1-0; defeated UC Riverside 6-0

Isobel Dalton did not feature against TCU, but came off the bench to play 30 minutes against UC Riverside, ripping one 30 yard shot that forced the goalkeeper into a spectacular save.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: defeated Loyola Chicago 1-0; lost 3-0 to DePaul

Emma Heckenberg did not feature for Drexel in either game this week.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: lost 6-1 to Tennessee; defeated Davidson 2-0

Isabel Hodgson played 79 minutes against Tennessee, tallying a single shot, before backing up to play 71 minutes in the win over Davidson, registering three shots.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 3-2 to William & Mary; defeated Rider 2-0

Sam Roff started both games for Fairleigh Dickinson this week, completing the full 90 minutes on both occasions.

Grambling State (Priya Gakhar)

This week: defeated Texas A&M-Texarkana 1-0, lost 1-0 to New Mexico State

Priya Gakhar came off the bench to make her debut, playing 19 minutes against Texas A&M-Texarkana, before following up with 52 minutes off the bench in Grambling State’s loss to New Mexico State.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 1-0 to Northern Arizona; defeated Weber State 2-1

Sandra Hill came off the bench to play 7 minutes against Northern Arizona, but did not feature against Weber State.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 1-0 to Pacific; lost 2-0 to Seattle

Kiri Dale came off the bench against Pacific to play 68 minutes, registering one shot in the process. Dale started against Seattle, playing 20 minutes.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert, Monique Iannella)

This week: drew 1-1 with Columbia – 8am; lost 1-0 to Boston University

Emily Hulbert and Monique Iannella each started both games for Hofstra this week. Hulbert played 45 minutes against Columbia and tallied a shot before completing a full game against Boston University, registering another shot. Iannella also played 45 minutes against Columbia, before registering a shot on target in a complete game against Boston University.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins)

This week: defeated Iona 3-0; defeated Penn 1-0

Claudia Jenkins made her collegiate debut with 24 minutes off the bench against Iona, making two saves. Jenkins did not feature in the win over Penn, however.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: defeated Lamar 2-0

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in their win over Lamar.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: defeated Troy 2-1; defeated South Alabama 2-1

Harriet Withers was the undoubted star for Murray State, scoring the winner against Troy and both goals against South Alabama. Nyomi Devine played two complete games in defence, and even popped up for a couple of shots against South Alabama.

Nicholls State (Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)

This week: Game v Prairie View A&M cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: lost 3-1 to VCU; lost 3-1 to Duke

Gaby Bentley scored her first career goal as part of a half-hour stint off the bench against VCU, before playing 40 minutes against Duke.

Oregon State (Olivia Ellis)

This week: drew 0-0 with Missouri; lost 2-0 to Kansas

Olivia Ellis did not feature for Oregon in either game this week.

Pacific (Ellie Papalexiou)

This week: defeated Hawaii 1-0, lost 3-0 to Seattle

Ellie Papalexiou did not feature for Pacific this week as she continues to recover from injury.

Saint Francis (Shelby Milton)

This week: lost 3-0 to Dayton

Shelby Milton did not feature for Saint Francis in their loss to Dayton.

Southeast Missouri State (Maddy Cornell)

This week: lost 1-0 to Wisconsin-Milwaukee; defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay 2-0

Maddy Cornell played 37 minutes in the loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but did not feature against Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: lost 3-2 to Florida

Beattie Goad came off the bench to play 50 minutes, knocking home Stanford’s second goal in their loss to Florida.

Texas Southern (Paige Hayward)

This week: defeated Concordia (Texas) 5-0

Paige Hayward was the star of Texas Southern’s 5-0 drubbing of Concordia, banging home a hat-trick and also tallying an assist in just 50 minutes of playing time.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 3-0 to Pepperdine; defeated San Diego 1-0

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench to play 14 minutes against Pepperdine, but did not feature against San Diego.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Santa Clara 4-2; defeated UC Santa Barbara 3-1

Teagan Micah played two complete games this week, making three saves against Santa Clara but having very little to do against UC Santa Barbara. Micah didn’t make a save all game, but could hardly be blamed for the goal that UCLA conceded.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 3-2 to Belmont; lost 1-0 to Tennessee Tech

Kate Swartwout started and played 77 minutes for Western Carolina in the loss to Belmont, before starting and playing 20 minutes against Tennessee Tech, registering a shot in the process.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: defeated Fairleigh-Dickinson 3-2; defeated Bucknell 3-1

Lorena Bugden did not feature for William & Mary this week as she continues to recover from injury.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Jemma House, Georgia Rowntree)

This week: defeated Southern Utah 3-1; lost 2-1 to Kentucky (OT)

Alisha Bass started both games, scoring the opener against Southern Utah and playing 90 of the 102 minutes against Kentucky. Jemma House started both games but failed to register a shot in either contest. Georgia Rowntree was ever-present between the sticks, making one save against Southern Utah and four against Kentucky, whilst Jessie Gentle came off the bench in both games.

2017 Player Previews

34 players will represent Australia in NCAA Division I women’s soccer this year, down one from 2016. With players spread as far north as New York and Connecticut all the way to Los Angeles and even Hawaii, you’re never far from a College Matilda if you’re in the US, and we take a look at each and every one of them in this comprehensive preview.

Claire Urquhart (Junior, Midfielder, Albany, Brisbane)

Claire Urquhart has had an interesting, albeit possibly frustrating, college career at Albany to this point. In each of her first two seasons, the Queenslander was afforded a couple of starts early in the campaign, but was then rarely seen throughout the remainder of the schedule. With previous coach Caitlin Cucchiella stepping down from college coaching altogether, a new coach may allow Urquhart more playing time as she heads into her penultimate college season. With just six natural defenders on the roster, and two of those being freshmen, Urquhart may even be thrown in the deep end from the outset as she becomes one of the more senior members of the defensive corps.

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

Following the likes of Erin Herd, Nikola Deiter and Leah Blayney, Lauren Featherstone continues the pathway between Australia and Central Connecticut State, joining as a freshman in 2017. An Australian Schoolgirls representative, Featherstone is a product of the Macarthur Rams program, one of the most successful NPL programs in New South Wales over recent years. Adept at fullback or in midfield, Featherstone’s versatility will no doubt serve her well as she looks to settle into the lineup at Central Connecticut State in her freshman year.

Isobel Dalton (Junior, Midfielder, Colorado, Caloundra)

dalton-and-micah
Isobel Dalton and Teagan Micah will again face off in Pac-12 play.

The lone remaining Australian at Colorado following Kahlia Hogg’s graduation, Isobel Dalton comes into her second season with the Buffaloes looking to make more of an impact than in her initial campaign. The former Brisbane Roar midfielder featured in seven matches in 2016, but averaged only 11 minutes per contest as the likes of star freshman Taylor Kornieck saw most of the available minutes not already allocated to the previous year’s starters. However, with minutes in midfield opening up following the graduation of a number of starters, Dalton will have a chance to fight for increased playing time in 2017.

Emma Heckenberg (Junior, Midfielder, Drexel, Melbourne)

A move from the frontline into a deeper position worked wonders for Emma Heckenberg in her sophomore season in 2016, with a spectacular transformation from fringe player to vital part of a Drexel side that reached the Colonial Athletic Association championship game before going down 3-0 to Northeastern. Heckenberg played in 19 of the Dragons’ 20 games, starting on 13 occasions. This allowed the Victorian to increase her playing time from a paltry 246 minutes in 2015 to a comparatively mind-boggling 1378 minutes in 2016. With the Dragons losing a couple of major pieces but returning even more, continuity may be key to another deep conference tournament run, with Heckenberg seemingly vital to these chances.

Isabel Hodgson (Junior, Midfielder, East Tennessee State, Adelaide)

A move into the attack paid dividends for Isabel Hodgson in 2016. (Photo Credit: Dakota Hamilton)

A move out of the backline into a more advanced role worked wonders for Isabel Hodgson last year, culminating in five goals and a tie for team high with nine assists, including the opening goal of the Southern Conference championship game in which East Tennessee State eventually fell 2-1 to Samford to come agonisingly close to securing an NCAA Tournament berth. Hodgson had the most assists of any Australian in NCAA Division I last season, and also picked up the Breakout Player of the Year and Sophomore of the Year awards, and a share of the Midfielder of the Year award with Nicholls State senior Jess Coates. Hodgson is once again listed as a defender on the East Tennessee State roster, but if last season’s successes are anything to go by, the South Australian won’t be spending much time in the backline.

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

Adept in either defence or as a holding midfielder, Sam Roff slotted straight into the Fairleigh Dickinson lineup as a freshman and enjoyed a quite outstanding first season in college. The former Canberra United training partner started 18 of the 19 games in which she played, and her defensive work saw the freshman named to the Northeast Conference All-Rookie team, a just reward for her work in a solid Fairleigh Dickinson defence. The Knights do lose one defensive starter from 2016 to graduation, meaning that Roff will pick up more responsibility in 2017, but it is a challenge that Roff has already shown glimpses of being capable of undertaking.

Priya Gakhar (Junior, Forward, Grambling State, Canberra)

Priya Gakhar comes into the college ranks a little later than some players, joining Grambling State for her junior year. Primarily a reserve team player for Woden-Weston FC in the ACT National Premier League Women, Gakhar has also stepped up at times for the first team, and also has experience playing in the F-League futsal competition. In a shortened 11 game schedule last season, Grambling State managed just one win, and scored just eight goals, three of which came in their win over Alcorn State. Gakhar will be one player tasked with improving the team’s scoring output, especially as only one player who even scored a goal will be returning to the side in 2017.

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

One of five freshman amongst the eight defenders on Grand Canyon’s roster in 2017, Sandra Hill will commence her college career with an immediate battle for a starting spot as the Antelopes head into their first season as a full member of NCAA Division I. A fairly regular fixture in Tuggeranong United’s NPL side over the last two seasons, Hill played alongside Nicholls State’s Kristy Helmers at club level, as well as former Sydney FC and Canberra United player Meg McLaughlin. Hill joins a team that has compiled seven wins in each of the past two seasons, so it is certainly becoming time for Grand Canyon to kick on and put together a 10 win season, especially now as the team is eligible for the postseason for the first time.

Kiri Dale (Sophomore, Midfielder, Hawaii, Mullumbimby)

Following two seasons at Iona, Kiri Dale has transferred to Hawaii for a challenge at a higher level, which she will certainly receive playing for the Rainbow Wahine. After redshirting her first season at Iona, Dale slotted straight into the lineup for the Gaels, starting in nearly every game of 2016. Earning that level of playing time will certainly be tougher in Honolulu, but Dale’s versatility as a defender with a certain attacking prowess may see her gain time in different positions throughout the season. However, that remains to be seen, and as is the case with any transfer student-athlete, there are a lot of questions that will be answered as the season progresses.

Emily Hulbert (Senior, Defender, Hofstra, Melbourne)

A mainstay for her first two seasons at Hofstra, Emily Hulbert’s junior season was unfortunately cut short due to injury. The former Melbourne Victory player played in 20 or more games in each of her first two seasons, but was restricted to just nine appearances in 2017. However, Hofstra compiled a 6-2-1 record with Hulbert on the pitch, a significant contrast to their rather indifferent 4-5 record whilst the Australian was out. Able to play either in defence or midfield and on either flank, Hulbert’s ability to get forward has seen her chip in three goals and an assist, including two game-winners, as she heads into her final season of college soccer.

Monique Iannella (Senior, Defender, Hofstra, Melbourne)

Originally recruited by Hofstra before eventually choosing Texas for 2016, Monique Iannella has transferred to the Pride, where she will play alongside fellow Victorian, Emily Hulbert. Despite injury, Iannella enjoyed a relatively successful first college season, starting 12 of the 13 matches in which she played and tallying over 900 minutes of playing time as Texas finished with an 8-9-1 record in a perhaps slightly disappointing season for the Longhorns. Iannella now moves to Hofstra, where her presence will no doubt be cherished among a roster with just seven other recognised defenders, many of whom are likely to slot into the midfield at times.

And so preseason begins 🙌🏽 ..stay tuned for the attractive soccer facials to come out 🙃 ft baby bib #HUWS 🦁⚽️

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

Touted as one of the best Australian freshmen in 2016, Julia De Angelis has unfortunately suffered through a frustrating run of injuries since arriving at Indiana. The Young Matildas and Canberra United midfielder had the start of her college career delayed, but did manage to accumulate 15 appearances, albeit on apparently restricted minutes. Whilst on field though, De Angelis, looked right at home in the Big Ten, one of the premier conferences in NCAA Division I. However, yet another injury will see De Angelis miss out on playing this season after undergoing surgery in March.

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

For a couple of years, there had been just one Australian goalkeeper in NCAA Division I: Georgia Rowntree. Last year, Teagan Micah doubled that number, and now Claudia Jenkins has made it a trio by joining La Salle University in Philadelphia. The former Adelaide United W-League player, who spent 17 games on the bench for the Lady Reds, has been ever-present for Fulham United in NPL South Australia over the last two seasons. Jenkins helped her side to a 2016 preliminary final appearance where they forced Adelaide City all the way to penalties, eventually going down 5-4 in the shootout. Jenkins was among a number of players with college experience in that side, including East Tennessee State’s Isabel Hodgson, former Colgate midfielder Dylan Holmes, and former Middle Tennessee State defender Nenita Burgess. Jenkins will have a challenge on her hands attempting to unseat redshirt senior goalkeeper Larisa Zambelli from the starting job at La Salle, but even if her freshman season is more of a learning experience, the South Australian will be in the box seat for a starting spot between the sticks going forward.

Caitlin Cantrill (Sophomore, Midfielder, LSU, Canberra)

The lone Australian on a power conference team without W-League playing experience, Caitlin Cantrill nonetheless made her mark at LSU in her freshman season after training with Canberra United in previous years. The midfielder started the first four games of her college career and made 12 appearances in total, also picking up the first goal of her career against Julia De Angelis’ Indiana side, albeit in a game that De Angelis missed through injury. Cantrill will have to fight off the challenge of LSU’s handful of incoming freshman midfielders, but with a season of experience under her belt, the Canberran is certainly in the box seat to continue to receive playing time in her sophomore year.

Nyomi Devine (Senior, Defender, Murray State, Beaudesert)

The rock at the back for Murray State, Nyomi Devine has been a vital part of the Racers’ defence since her freshman season. From starting 13 of her 17 appearances in her freshman season, Devine started all 21 games in Murray State’s Ohio Valley Conference championship run in 2015 before 2016’s campaign was hindered slightly due to injury. As well as being an outstanding defender, Devine also added an attacking string to her bow in 2016. The Queenslander tallied the first assist of her career, whilst her only goal of the season – and her career to this point – was the game-winner against Tennessee-Martin. With 7 of her 11 shots for the season on target, her 64% clip is certainly a number worthy of any attacking player.

Harriet Withers (Senior, Forward, Murray State, Murwillumbah)

If Nyomi Devine is a defensive rock for the Racers, then Harriet Withers is an attacking weapon, and will be hoping to lead the line as the Racers look to atone for last year’s disappointing 2-1 overtime loss to SIU-Edwardsville in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament that cut their almost two-season long unbeaten streak at the worst possible time. An exceptional goalscorer, Withers has tallied 25 goals and 13 assists in her 58 games for the Racers to this point. A ten goal this season would not only cap an outstanding college career for Withers, but deliver the Palm Beach product the all-time goalscoring record for Murray State.

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

A five-sport athlete at St. Patrick’s College in Mackay, Tenille Harberger becomes the latest in what is becoming a long line of Australians to join Nicholls State. Aside from representing her school, Harberger has developed into a goalscoring midfielder in the Mackay regional competition, with 18 goals in her 22 appearances for Mackay Lions in 2016. Harberger will no doubt be hoping to pick up some of the minutes that have opened up following the graduation of fellow Australian Jess Coates, but there will be quite a fight for that spot amongst what is a young midfield corps for the Colonels.

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

An instant sensation at Nicholls State, Kristy Helmers comes into her sophomore season in Thibodaux on the back of an outstanding freshman year. The Canberra product was behind only fellow Australian Jess Coates in terms of attacking output, tallying six goals and five assists and starting all 16 of the Colonels’ games. Helmers received a share of the College Matildas Freshman of the Year award in 2016, and if she can handle the additional responsibility that will surely come her way following Coates’ graduation, she may just parlay that into a Sophomore of the Year award in 2017.

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

Gaby Bentley was used sparingly in her first season at Old Dominion, and will certainly be hoping to increase her playing time in 2017. The former Adelaide United W-League midfielder featured in just two games in 2016, but was used far more in the team’s 2017 spring exhibition games, playing both in midfield and up front. A number of attacking options from the 2016 season have since graduated, leaving some playing time on the table, but Bentley will still have to fight off the challenge from the incoming freshmen if she is to pick up those additional minutes.

Olivia Ellis (Freshman, Defender, Oregon State, Melbourne)

Lulu Pullar and Kahlia Hogg may be gone from the Pac-12’s Aussie contingent, but Melbourne City fullback Olivia Ellis has shored up the numbers by joining Oregon State. Whilst Ellis featured just twice for Melbourne City in her two seasons with the club, the young fullback featured 19 times for FC Bulleen in NPL Victoria in 2016 as the Lions finished third before going down to Geelong Galaxy United in the first week of the finals. Ellis was also involved with the Young Matildas at the 2016 AFF Women’s Championship, picking up two goals in the team’s 20-0 demolition of Timor-Leste’s full national team. With the Oregon State roster featuring just seven defenders, there will certainly be chances for Ellis to play, either as an immediate starter or off the bench, as Oregon State look to improve on last season’s 3-8 record in Pac-12 play, as well as their overall record of 8-10-2, their fifth consecutive season under .500.

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

After an extended stint on the sidelines in 2016 with yet another knee injury, Ellie Papalexiou returns for her senior year at Pacific desperate to make an impact on her final season in college soccer. Papalexiou’s freshman season saw her play in 17 games and become a vital part of the Tigers’ side, before injury cruelly struck the Palm Beach product down and forced her to miss the entire 2015 season. 2016 saw Papalexiou play seven games, before succumbing to injury for a second time. In her brief stints on the pitch, Papalexiou has exuded class, and it will now be a matter of putting that together for a full season for the first time since 2014 for the predominantly left-sided utility player.

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

After starting her college career as a utility player who slotted in where required, Maddy Cornell has well and truly cemented her spot in the rotation up front for Southeast Missouri State heading into her final season. Cornell has played in 18 games in each of the last two seasons, and earned three starts in her junior year on her way to averaging 40 minutes per contest. Despite playing over 700 minutes, Cornell failed to find the back of the net in 2016, and this will be one facet in which she will need to improve if she is to increase that playing time yet again in 2017. Junior Lauren Kaempfe will lead the line for the Redhawks following the graduation of 12-goal striker Natasha Minor, but with Minor taking nearly half of the team’s goals with her, all of the forwards, including Cornell, will have to step up and take on more of the scoring load in 2017.

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

After a year playing in NCAA Division II with St. Joseph’s in Indiana in 2015, Shelby Milton got out just in time as the university suspended operations earlier this year. Milton then transferred to St. Francis University in Pennsylvania, and hit the ground running with the Red Flash, making 19 appearances in her first season, and starting 9 games. Whilst the St. Francis defence was in the bottom half of the national rankings for goals conceded in 2016, they were certainly a young group last season. With a year of experience under their belts, they should see their defensive numbers improve this season and potentially improve on their 10-12 record from 2016.

Beattie Goad (Sophomore, Midfielder, Stanford, Melbourne)

Beattie Goad made the most of a shift to fullback in her freshman year. (Photo Credit: Hector Garcia-Molina/ISIPhotos.com)

Probably the most well-known of the Australian college players among the wider football community, Beattie Goad came to Stanford as a winger but reinvented herself as a fullback in the opening stages of her career with the Cardinal. Making her debut at left fullback, Goad was utilised on both sides of defence before making a move to a more attacking role later in the season for a Stanford side whose chances for a title were hindered by an injury to US national team midfielder Andi Sullivan and then extinguished by Santa Clara in a penalty shootout in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Victorian also picked up her first goal with literally the last kick of the regular season, tying a bow on a 4-1 win over arch rivals California. Having shown her ability to play in a number of positions, there will almost certainly be a spot for Goad somewhere after she made 10 starts in 21 appearances in 2016.

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

The reigning College Matildas Player of the Year, Paige Hayward was recently named to the All-SWAC preseason second team, a nod to her supreme goalscoring ability amongst all players in the conference. The Sydneysider banged home 13 goals in 2016, including a perfect five of five from the spot and three game-winning goals, as well as chipping in five assists in 19 appearances  to secure a spot in the All-SWAC Second Team. Alongside her College Matildas Player of the Year award, Hayward was also the top goalscorer amongst Australians, and was awarded Junior of the Year, Forward of the Year, and Most Consistent Player.

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

Demi Koulizakis returns to Lubbock in 2017 looking to make just as many appearances as she was able to in 2016, but perhaps turn those into more extended stints on the pitch. The former Sydney University forward featured 18 times for Texas Tech in her freshman year, but averaged only just over 20 minutes per contest despite starting on three occasions. In spite of this, things did start looking up for Koulizakis late in the season, as she played 47 minutes against TCU before rounding out the regular season with 69 minutes of playing time in a final day win over Oklahoma that clinched a Big 12 Tournament berth for the Red Raiders. The former Western Sydney Wanderers W-League player will now be aiming to ensure those extended outings become the norm, rather than the exception in 2017.

Teagan Micah (Sophomore, Goalkeeper, UCLA, Brisbane)

Teagan Micah came to UCLA seemingly set for a major battle for the starting goalkeeper berth at UCLA, but instead slotted seamlessly into the Bruins’ lineup, playing the whole season for a team that eventually went down to national runner-up West Virginia in a penalty shootout (that Micah didn’t take part in) in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The freshman won two College Matildas awards for an outstanding season, earning a share of the Freshman of the Year award with Nicholls State’s Kristy Helmers, as well as a share of the Goalkeeper of the Year award with Wyoming’s Georgia Rowntree. Micah became the first true freshman to start a game for UCLA since 2004, and was also named Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week three times in an outstanding first season in Westwood. Recently, Micah was an emergency call-up to the Matildas squad that won the Tournament of Nations against the United States, Japan, and Brazil, filling a spot on the bench for the 6-1 win over Brazil after regular starter Lydia Williams suffered an injury.

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

Gold Coast born but North Carolina raised, Kate Swartwout slotted straight into the lineup at Western Carolina, a college that could almost be considered local for the Lake Norman product. Swartwout featured in 16 games for a Catamounts side that finished with an 8-12 record, not flash by any means, but certainly something to build on in 2017. Although primarily a defender, Swartwout does have the ability to play in midfield, and did pop up with one assist last season, helping Western Carolina to a 3-2 win over Kennesaw State. Assists are nice, but Swartwout’s main focus is keeping the ball out of the net rather than putting it in the one at the other end.

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

Lorena Bugden links up with Australian assistant coach Vanessa Mann at William & Mary this season. (Photo Credit: Eric Berry)

William & Mary’s first Australian recruit since fellow Australian, Vanessa Mann, became assistant coach for the Tribe, Lorena Bugden arrives at Williamsburg with significant club experience. With a season of W-League experience at Western Sydney Wanderers under her belt, and two NPLNSW titles, one each with FNSW Institute and Sydney University, Bugden has carved out quite a career even at this early stage. Having played everywhere from fullback to up top, the freshman can certainly slot in wherever she is required, but will hopefully play in her preferred advanced midfield position. An Australian Schoolgirls representative and national youth team camp invitee, Bugden will certainly be one to watch this upcoming season.

Alisha Bass (Senior, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

Alisha Bass has been a vital part of the Wyoming lineup for her entire college career. (Photo Credit: Ted Brummond)

Whether it’s in the centre of defence, up front, or in behind the strikers as an attacking midfielder, Alisha Bass has been one of the standout players in the Mountain West Conference for the last few seasons. Having redshirted her first year at Laramie, this will be Bass’s fifth year with the Cowgirls, but the senior has long been one of the leaders of the team. Bass topped the Cowgirls in minutes played and assists in 2016, tallying four of the latter in addition to three goals, which included a stunning header with 10 seconds remaining in double overtime against Utah Valley. A highly technically adept player, Bass put nearly 60% of her shots on target last season to also lead Wyoming in that category.

Annika Clayton (Junior, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

Alisha Bass may be the creative force of the Wyoming attack, but Annika Clayton provides an industrious counterpoint in midfield for the Cowgirls. Ever-present in the middle of the park in her freshman season, 2016 was a slightly more stop-start campaign for the former Sydney University midfielder. Clayton was only able to garner one start in her 11 appearances as injury forced her to sit out at various times. However, Clayton was able to tally three assists for the season, which were enough for third in the team, and tallied a goal against Idaho State. With 2016’s injury problems hopefully behind her, 2017 looks to be far more promising for the Sydneysider.

Jessie Gentle (Junior, Midfielder, Wyoming, Woolgoolga)

An occasional starter but a regular fixture in the side, Jessie Gentle has carved out a position for herself within the Wyoming roster, being deployed in a number of positions over the last couple of years. Whether up front on the wing or in a fullback role, Gentle is now one of the mainstays of the Cowgirls’ lineup, playing 39 games over her first two seasons, 22 of those as part of the starting lineup. Although Gentle tallied just one goal last season, it was an important one: the game winner against Fresno State which earned Wyoming its first away win in conference play of the 2016 season.

Jemma House (Junior, Forward, Wyoming, Newcastle)

Already a star of college soccer in Wyoming after two emphatically successful years at Laramie County Community College, Jemma House has made the 50 mile journey to the state’s flagship university for the final two seasons of her college career. With 47 goals and 14 assists in 44 junior college games, House was a two-time All American at LCCC, and was also named to the NJCAA All-Tournament team in both 2015 and 2016. Now, House comes to Wyoming ready to fight for the chance to lead the line and potentially be on the end of some of the magical passes that fellow Australian Alisha Bass has delivered time and again for Cowgirls strikers over the last few seasons.

Georgia Rowntree (Senior, Goalkeeper, Wyoming, Sydney)

Georgia Rowntree has firmly established herself between the sticks for Wyoming. (Photo Credit: Ted Brummond)

Georgia Rowntree came into the 2016 season fighting for a starting berth, but emerged as the primary option between the sticks for the entire season to play all but seven minutes of the season and also earn a share of the 2016 College Matildas Goalkeeper of the Year with UCLA’s Teagan Micah. Having started games since her freshman year, Rowntree sits firmly in the Wyoming top 10 lists for minutes played and career shutouts, and is also second all-time for goals against average. Her eight clean sheets in 2016 also set a single-season record for the Cowgirls, and the Sydneysider needs just four more to move into the top 3 all time for career shutouts at Wyoming. Although Rowntree will face competition from the other two goalkeepers in the Cowgirls’ squad, she certainly has the inside running at this point.