(Featured Image Credit: The Southern Conference)
Monique Iannella is certainly well-known for teeing up teammates, but more often than not her assists come from well-placed corners. However, Iannella proved that she is just as adept at setting up her fellow Hofstra players in open play, tying a school record with three assists in the Pride’s 6-0 win over Towson. A pinpoint cross from the senior set up Lucy Porter for the opener in the 15th minute, before laying the ball off for Sabrina Bryan, who rocketed home a world-class strike for Hofstra’s 3rd goal in the 38th minute. Just three minutes later, another cross from Iannella found the head of Miri Taylor, who flicked the ball on for Porter to head home to give Hofstra a 4-0 halftime lead on their way to a 6-0 victory. Unfortunately, the Pride couldn’t round out the weekend with another win, falling 1-0 to James Madison in their second game of the first week of conference play.
East Tennessee State were another team that dominated an opponent as they romped to a 7-1 win over Wofford. Having already secured a 1-0 win over regular conference contenders Furman earlier in the week, the Buccaneers dominated on the scoreboard against Wofford even as both teams finished with 15 shots on target. Izzy Hodgson certainly got in on the action, teeing up teammate Sarah Connolly for her fourth goal of the match just after the hour mark before adding one of her own just a minute later to double her tally for the season. For a side desperate to atone for a fairly dismal 2017 Southern Conference campaign, it was a perfect start for East Tennessee State as they sit atop the league standings alongside Kate Swartwout and Western Carolina, who defeated the same pair of opponents with a 3-1 win over Furman and a 4-1 victory over Wofford.
Isobel Dalton’s name isn’t one we see on the stat sheet too often for Colorado, but the senior reminded everyone of the class that saw her play in both the W-League and the English Women’s Super League before heading to college with a scything pass for an assist in Colorado’s 6-0 win over Oregon State. Winning the ball with a solid tackle in midfield, Dalton split the Oregon State defence with an incisive ball through to Camilla Shymka, who buried the shot across the goalkeeper to round out the six-goal demolition as the Buffaloes got off to the best possible start in the toughest conference in the nation.
It was a mixed week for Wyoming on the road, and ironically enough the highlights for the Aussies came in their loss to San Diego State. Right on the 30-minute mark, freshman Caitlin Pickett teed up senior Annika Clayton, who buried a shot across the goalkeeper from 10 yards out to put Wyoming 1-0. Unfortunately, a five-minute lapse from the Cowgirls was enough for San Diego State to score two quick goals either side of the 70-minute mark to secure a 2-1 victory. However, Wyoming would bounce back in their second game of the week in a thrilling 3-2 victory over New Mexico, and although the Aussies didn’t make a tangible impact, all four made their mark with Clayton, Pickett, and Jessie Gentle starting and Indianna Asimus coming off the bench to play 34 minutes.
Like Hofstra, Emma Heckenberg and Drexel also fell to a loss to James Madison, but bounced back in their second game of the week to defeat Charleston 2-1 in overtime. Having gone down 1-0 in the 55th minute, Heckenberg whipped in a cross from the left which found teammate Morgan Rees who headed the ball down into the bottom corner for the 68th minute equaliser. The Dragons peppered the Charleston goal in overtime, with their fifth shot of the extra minutes finding the back of the net to hand Drexel the win.
In a weekend in Honolulu stacked with games featuring Aussies as Lauren Featherstone and Sandra Hill came to town, it was Hawaii’s Kiri Dale who came away with a pair of wins as well as an assist in a 4-0 win over Hill and her Grand Canyon outfit. Having defeated Featherstone’s North Dakota State side the previous day, Dale set up the Wahine’s third goal, sending in a free kick that would be rocketed home by Mikaelah Johnson-Griggs to put the game out of Grand Canyon’s reach just after halftime before Hawaii added a fourth goal late in the piece to round out a perfect weekend.
Claudia Jenkins was solid once again for La Salle this week, but unfortunately even her best efforts couldn’t quite secure two wins for the Explorers. After being forced into just two saves in a 1-0 overtime win over Davidson, Jenkins was forced into eight saves against Saint Joseph’s, but yet another penalty conceded by the Explorers led to one of the few goals the South Australian has conceded this season. Unfortunately, it was the goal that broke the 1-1 tie and handed the Hawks the win in the local derby. This game was also notable for it being Alyssa Van Heurck’s first collegiate start, with the Western Australian playing 31 minutes and tallying a shot after coming off the bench in each of her eight previous appearances.
However, Van Heurck wasn’t the only player to reach an appearance-related milestone. Jodie Burchell made her first start for Towson in their 1-0 loss to a William & Mary side featuring Lorena Bugden, who had also made a first collegiate start in the Tribe’s previous game, a 2-1 loss to Charleston. Meanwhile, Demi Koulizakis made her first start since 2016 for Texas Tech in a 2-0 loss to West Virginia, playing 58 minutes in the process.
Finally, it’s been a long time coming, but Nicholls State midfielder Tenille Harberger made her first college appearance in the Colonels’ 1-0 loss to Abilene Christian. Having redshirted her first year in Thibodaux, Harberger’s first appearance came more than 12 months after she arrived at Nicholls State, with the 10 minutes of playing time surely giving her an appetite for more.
Akron (Freyja Murray)
This week: lost 1-0 to Western Michigan; @ Northern Illinois – 4am, Monday September 24
Chicago State (Sarah Clark)
This week: lost 5-0 to Fort Wayne
Sarah Clark did not feature for Chicago State in their loss to Fort Wayne.
Colorado (Isobel Dalton)
This week: defeated Oregon State 6-0
Isobel Dalton came off the bench for Colorado in their demolition of Oregon State, securing the assist on the Buffaloes’ final goal in her 21 minutes on the pitch.
Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)
This week: lost 1-0 to James Madison; defeated Charleston 2-1 (2OT)
Emma Heckenberg played every minute of the weekend, picking up an assist on Drexel’s equaliser in their overtime win over Charleston.
East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)
This week: defeated Furman 1-0; defeated Wofford 7-1
Isabel Hodgson finished with two shots, both of which were on target in a complete game performance against Furman, before tallying a goal and an assist in 64 minutes of action in the Buccaneers’ demolition of Wofford.
Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)
This week: drew 1-1 with Mount St. Mary’s
Sam Roff played all 110 minutes in Fairleigh Dickinson’s draw with Mount St. Mary’s.
Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)
This week: lost 2-1 to Appalachian State
Hannah Allen did not feature for Georgia Southern in their loss to Appalachian State.
Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)
This week: lost 3-2 to North Dakota State (OT); lost 4-0 to Hawaii
Sandra Hill came off the bench to play 43 minutes in the thrilling loss to North Dakota State, but started and played 77 minutes in the loss to Hawaii
Hawaii (Kiri Dale)
This week: defeated North Dakota State 2-0; defeated Grand Canyon 4-0
Kiri Dale started both games this week, playing 83 minutes in the win over North Dakota State and picking up an assist in a complete game performance in the win over Grand Canyon.
Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)
This week: defeated Towson 6-0; lost 1-0 to James Madison
Monique Iannella tallied a school record-tying 3 assists as well as a shot in her 77 minutes on the pitch against Towson, before playing the full 90 minutes against James Madison and registering another shot. Grace Watson-Carr did not feature for Hofstra in either game this week.
Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)
This week: lost 2-0 to Ohio State; lost 2-1 to Penn State (OT)
Ashleigh Lefevre did not feature for Illinois in either game this week.
La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)
This week: defeated Davidson 1-0; lost 2-1 to Saint Joseph’s
Claudia Jenkins played every minute of the weekend, making two saves in the win over Davidson and eight more in the loss to Saint Joseph’s. Alyssa Van Heurck came off the bench to play 7 minutes against Davidson, but picked up her first career start against St. Joseph’s, playing 31 minutes and registering a shot that tested the Hawks’ goalkeeper.
LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)
This week: drew 0-0 with Auburn; lost 4-1 to Florida
Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in either game this week.
Marshall (Laura Farrelly)
This week: defeated UTEP 2-1 (OT); defeated Florida International 3-2
Laura Farrelly did not feature for Marshall in either of their wins this week.
Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Tenille Harberger, Kristy Helmers)
This week: lost 2-1 to Incarnate Word; lost 1-0 to Abilene Christian
Kristy Helmers started in the loss to Incarnate Word, playing 34 minutes and registering a single shot before coming off the bench to play 27 minutes against Abilene Christian. Tenille Harberger did not feature against Incarnate Word, but came off the bench to make her college debut with 10 minutes of playing time against Abilene Christian. Tessa Calabria did not feature in either game this week.
North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)
This week: defeated Grand Canyon 3-2 (OT); lost 2-0 to Hawaii
Lauren Featherstone came off the bench in both of North Dakota State’s games this week, playing 13 minutes against Grand Canyon and 25 minutes in the loss to Hawaii.
Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)
This week: lost 3-2 to Louisiana Tech (OT)
Gaby Bentley came off the bench in Old Dominion’s thrilling overtime loss to Louisiana Tech, playing 15 minutes.
Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)
This week: lost 1-0 to Jacksonville State (OT)
Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in their overtime loss to Jacksonville State.
St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)
This week: defeated Long Island-Brooklyn 1-0
Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in their win over Long Island-Brooklyn.
Stanford (Beattie Goad)
This week: defeated Arizona 2-0
Beattie Goad started for Stanford in their win over Arizona and tallied 2 shots in her 42 minutes on the pitch.
Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)
This week: lost 2-0 to West Virginia; defeated Iowa State 3-0
Demi Koulizakis started for Texas Tech against West Virginia and played 58 minutes, before coming off the bench to play 16 minutes against Iowa State.
Towson (Jodie Burchell)
This week: lost 6-0 to Hofstra; lost 1-0 to William & Mary
Jodie Burchell came off the bench to play 17 minutes in Towson’s loss to Hofstra, but started and played 11 minutes against William & Mary.
UCLA (Teagan Micah)
This week: lost 1-0 to Washington State
Teagan Micah did not feature for UCLA in their loss to Washington State after suffering an injury in the warm-up.
Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)
This week: defeated Wofford 4-1; defeated Furman 3-1
Kate Swartwout started in Western Carolina’s win over Wofford and played 67 minutes, before playing 26 minutes off the bench in the win over Furman.
William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)
This week: lost 2-1 to Charleston; defeated Towson 1-0
Lorena Bugden made her first career start in the win over Charleston, playing 38 minutes before coming off the bench to play 26 minutes in the win over Towson.
Wyoming (Indianna Asimus, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Caitlin Pickett)
This week: lost 2-1 to San Diego State; defeated New Mexico 3-2
Annika Clayton started both games this week, registering Wyoming’s only goal in their loss to San Diego State as part of an 85-minute effort before registering a single shot in 73 minutes in the win over New Mexico. Jessie Gentle was once again all but ever-present for the Cowgirls, starting both games and playing all bar 12 minutes of the weekend as well as tallying a single shot against New Mexico. Caitlin Pickett also started both games and played around an hour in each game, teeing up Clayton for the goal against San Diego State. Indianna Asimus came off the bench in both games, playing just the five minutes against San Diego State but seeing 34 minutes of action in the win over New Mexico.
Player of the Year Points:
3: Monique Iannella (Hofstra)
2: Isabel Hodgson (East Tennessee State)
1: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)