2018 End Of Season Wrap

(Featured Image Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

College Matildas End Of Season Awards

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

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2018 Week 12 Wrap

A whirlwind weekend to end the regular season has left us with four teams and five Australians securing conference championships, with a raft of other teams having either locked up an at-large bid or still very much in the mix. However, the performance of the week came in a game that saw one Aussie help another to a title as Teagan Micah’s performance in goal helped UCLA to a win over USC that delivered Beattie Goad and Stanford an outright Pac-12 championship with a game to spare.

(Featured Image Credit: Michael Rincon)

The week kicked off with a belter of a goal from Sandra Hill that provided one of the highlights of the week even if Grand Canyon couldn’t secure a victory. The Lopes conceded two early goals to Utah Valley in their WAC quarter-final, but when the ball fell to Hill just outside the area following a corner late in the first half, the sophomore had only one thing in mind and rocketed it into the top corner to halve Utah Valley’s lead. Unfortunately, that was the last goal of the game, with Grand Canyon managing just one shot in the second half as their season came to an end with a 2-1 loss.

Stanford needed a win in either of their two games this week to secure a share of the Pac-12 Championship, and as expected clinched one at the first opportunity with a 2-0 victory over arch-rivals Cal on the road at Berkeley. Beattie Goad started once again and played the full 90 minutes, tallying two shots with one on target and one cannoning back off the post as Stanford secured the win courtesy of a pair of Jordan DiBiasi goals, leaving the Cardinal to await the result of the game between USC and UCLA, with any dropped points from USC resulting in Stanford clinching the championship outright even before they played Arizona State. Stanford would go on to beat the Sun Devils regardless, with Goad coming off the bench to play 53 minutes as the Cardinal completed an undefeated regular season with a dominant 4-1 victory.

Teagan Micah remains perfect in her three games against local rivals USC after a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory for UCLA this week, and the Bruins certainly have their goalkeeper to thank for that. Micah came up with eight saves, including three highlight reel efforts, one of which came with just two seconds to play with the game tied at 2-2. In a game that saw the teams trade goals within six seconds of each other as Hailie Mace’s screamer cancelled out USC’s second goal, it was UCLA who secured the victory as Olivia Athens narrowly beat an onrushing goalkeeper to head home into an open net and extend the Bruins’ winning streak over their arch-rivals to three games, as well as see UCLA jump the Trojans to finish in second spot in the Pac-12 behind Stanford.

Monique Iannella has been ever-present in the Hofstra back four this season, and the Pride’s defensive line came up in a massive way as the Pride secured the CAA title and an NCAA Tournament berth with a 2-0 win over James Madison. Hofstra conceded just two shots on target all game, with Iannella coming up with a goal-saving block from close range in a contest that saw the Pride take an early lead through Lucy Porter before doubling the margin in the 57th minute courtesy of Sabrina Bryan.

Caitlin Cantrill and LSU faced South Carolina in the SEC semi-finals, having already won their way through from the first round last weekend. The Tigers had already upset the Gamecocks once this season in a 2-1 win at home, but South Carolina on paper stil looked to be the favourites. However, LSU would secure the 1-0 victory courtesy of a 66th minute South Carolina own goal that sent the Tigers through to the championship game against Arkansas. LSU went down 1-0 just 13 minutes in, but Shannon Cooke’s long-range screamer in the 72nd minute tied the game at 1-1. Overtime couldn’t split the teams, but cooler heads prevailed in the shootout as a far more confident LSU team converted all four of their penalties for a 4-1 shootout victory that secured the team’s first conference championship. Unfortunately, Cantrill did not feature for the Tigers in either game.

Claire Urquhart and Albany had just one game to get through this week, but it was a big one – the America East Championship against UMass-Lowell. It was hardly a contest befitting a championship game, but Albany won’t mind as they dominated for the entire 90 minutes to roll to a 5-1 victory and book their spot in the NCAA Tournament, with Urquhart featuring in garbage time in the final couple of minutes.

A Texas Tech side featuring Demi Koulizakis couldn’t quite grab the upset win over Baylor in the Big 12 semi-finals, but their season looks set to continue into the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid. The Red Raiders gave up an equaliser just before halftime, but responded with an equaliser ten minutes after the break. An even game that saw each team finish with 18 shots rightly went to overtime, but Baylor found the golden goal in just the third extra minute. Demi Koulizakis played just two minutes in the loss, but the junior will likely have at least one more chance this season as Texas Tech will certainly hear their name called as an NCAA Tournament team on Selection Monday.

Illinois aren’t quite as comfortable as Texas Tech, but some big early season results against Duke and Oklahoma State may have padded the Illini’s resume just enough to see them sneak into the NCAA Tournament. A Big Ten semi-final loss to Penn State on the back of a 67th minute own goal ended the team’s charge for a conference championship as Ashleigh Lefevre played just a minute off the bench, and whilst they can’t get too comfortable yet, those in the know are predicting that Illinois will find their name in the NCAA Tournament bracket come Monday afternoon.

Colorado have been flying for most of the season, but after a tough back end to the season that saw the Buffaloes face Stanford, UCLA, and USC before this week’s game against Utah, the team from Boulder have slipped onto the bubble and they’ll have a sleepless Sunday night before the selection show on Monday afternoon US time. A win against Utah might have been enough to make them safe, but the Buffaloes fell to a 1-0 loss in a game in which Isobel Dalton did not feature. Now, with a solid 13-4-3 record offset by a less-than-stellar strength of schedule and just one RPI Top 50 win, Colorado will be keeping their fingers crossed and collecting every four-leaf clover and rabbit’s foot they can find in the hope that the selection committee looks favourably upon them.

The dream All-Aussie championship game in the Northeast Conference unfortunately did not come to pass this week, with All-Conference selection Sam Roff playing the full 90 minutes but Fairleigh Dickinson falling to a 2-1 defeat in their semi-final against a Central Connecticut State side that has dominated for the majority of the conference season. However, Shelby Milton and Saint Francis did make it through to the final, with the junior playing 27 minutes in the Red Flash’s 4-0 demolition of Mount St. Mary’s in the other semi-final. Unfortunately, though, Central Connecticut State could not be stopped in the championship game. Saint Francis equalised in the 78th minute having given up the opener 11 minutes earlier, but an 89th minute winner was enough to see Central Connecticut State secure the conference title and an NCAA Tournament berth in a game in which Shelby Milton unfortunately did not feature.

Wyoming came into their Mountain West Conference semi-final evenly matched with New Mexico after the pair finished as two of the league’s three co-champions. As it turned out, the match ended up going to overtime as the Cowgirls secured a 78th minute equaliser to cancel out New Mexico’s 33rd minute opener. Unfortunately, it would be New Mexico who grabbed the golden goal winner in the 102nd minute, bringing Wyoming’s season to an end, and with it, the conclusion of Jessie Gentle and Annika Clayton’s brilliant college careers. All four Aussies started for the Cowgirls, with Indianna Asimus managing two shots on target but not finding the back of the net, whilst Clayton and Gentle were solid in their final collegiate appearances and Caitlin Pickett saw 42 minutes of action as a starter. However, it wasn’t all bad news as Clayton rounded out her career with an All-Mountain West Conference second team selection.

We also bade Isabel Hodgson farewell after four outstanding years as East Tennessee State fell to a heavy 5-1 defeat to UNC Greensboro in the Southern Conference semi-finals. Although East Tennessee State had defeated their opponents in the regular season, UNC Greensboro were certainly the favourites to win this, and they came out strongly to grab a goal inside the first 20 minutes on their way to a 2-0 halftime lead. That lead would be doubled in the second half before East Tennessee State picked up a consolation in the 67th minute, before UNCG added one more from the spot with 12 minutes to play. Hodgson played 78 minutes in her final collegiate appearance, tallying one shot that was on target in rounding out a career that sees the South Australian finish as the team’s career appearances record holder and one of just two ETSU players to collect multiple All-Southern Conference Tournament selections after adding to her 2016 nod with another for her performances this year.

Two more players saw their seasons come to an end this week without having much impact on their team’s fortunes, but both will be back for another crack next season. Neither Gaby Bentley and Lauren Featherstone were called upon as their Old Dominion and North Dakota State sides unfortunately fell in conference tournaments, putting an end to their campaigns with both out of the running for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid.

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Massachusetts-Lowell 5-1

Claire Urquhart came off the bench to play the final minute in Albany’s America East Championship game victory over Massachusetts-Lowell. 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Utah

Isobel Dalton did not feature in Colorado’s loss to Utah.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

This week: lost 5-1 to UNC Greensboro

Isabel Hodgson played 79 minutes and tallied a shot on target in her final college match as East Tennessee State fell 5-1 to UNC Greensboro in the Southern Conference semi-finals. 

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff) 

This week: lost 2-1 to Central Connecticut State

Sam Roff played the full 90 minutes in Fairleigh Dickinson’s Northeast Conference semi-final loss to Central Connecticut State.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to Utah Valley

Sandra Hill scored Grand Canyon’s only goal in the loss to Utah Valley in the WAC tournament quarter-finals. 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated James Madison 2-0

Monique Iannella played the full 90 minutes in Hofstra’s CAA Championship win over James Madison, whilst reserve goalkeeper Grace Watson-Carr did not feature.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: lost 1-0 to Penn State

Ashleigh Lefevre came off the bench to play a single minute in Illinois’ Big Ten semi-final loss to Penn State.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

This week: defeated South Carolina 1-0; defeated Arkansas 4-1 on penalties (1-1 after extra time)

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in either game this week as the Tigers secured the SEC Championship.

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone) 

This week: lost 3-0 to Denver

Lauren Featherstone did not feature in North Dakota State’s Summit League quarter-final loss to Denver.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: lost 3-2 to Louisiana Tech (OT)

Gaby Bentley did not feature for Old Dominion in their overtime loss to Louisiana Tech in the Conference USA quarter-finals. 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: defeated Mount St. Mary’s 4-0; lost 2-1 to Central Connecticut State

Shelby Milton came off the bench to play 27 minutes in St. Francis’ Northeast Conference semi-final win over Mount St. Mary’s, but did not feature in the championship game against Central Connecticut State. 

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: defeated California 2-0; defeated Arizona State 4-1

Beattie Goad played the full 90 minutes in Stanford’s win over California, tallying two shots with one on target before playing 53 minutes off the bench against Arizona State.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 2-1 to Baylor (OT)

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench for Texas Tech in their Big 12 semi-final loss to Baylor, playing just two minutes. 

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated USC 3-2 (OT)

Teagan Micah played all 105 minutes of UCLA’s overtime victory over USC, making 8 saves.

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

This week: lost 2-1 to New Mexico (OT)

All four Australians started in Wyoming’s loss to New Mexico in the Mountain West Conference semi-finals. Annika Clayton was a star in midfield, playing 86 minutes and registering a single shot in the process. Jessie Gentle was ever-present at fullback, whilst Caitlin Pickett played 42 minutes. Indianna Asimus had her chances, finishing with four shots including two on target in a 78-minute performance.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Teagan Micah (UCLA)
2: Sandra Hill (Grand Canyon)
1: Isabel Hodgson (East Tennessee State)

2018 Week 12 Preview

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

(Featured Image Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Schedule:

Albany (Claire Urquhart) 

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

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

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

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

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

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

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

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

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

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

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

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

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

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

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

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

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

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

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

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

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

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

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

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

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

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

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

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

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

2018 Week 9 Preview

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

(Featured Image Credit: Michael Rincon)

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

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

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

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

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray) 

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

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

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

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

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

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

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

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

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

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

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

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff) 

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

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen) 

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

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

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

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

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

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

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

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck) 

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

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

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

Marshall (Laura Farrelly) 

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

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

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

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone) 

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

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

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

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore) 

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

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

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

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

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

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis) 

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

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

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

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

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

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

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

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden) 

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

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

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

2018 Week 6 Wrap

Assists were the theme of the weekend, as Monique Iannella tied the Hofstra school record for a single game and several other Aussies teed up teammates. However, that didn’t stop a couple of players from tallying goals, and there was also a first career appearance for Tenille Harberger.

(Featured Image Credit: The Southern Conference)

Monique Iannella is certainly well-known for teeing up teammates, but more often than not her assists come from well-placed corners. However, Iannella proved that she is just as adept at setting up her fellow Hofstra players in open play, tying a school record with three assists in the Pride’s 6-0 win over Towson. A pinpoint cross from the senior set up Lucy Porter for the opener in the 15th minute, before laying the ball off for Sabrina Bryan, who rocketed home a world-class strike for Hofstra’s 3rd goal in the 38th minute. Just three minutes later, another cross from Iannella found the head of Miri Taylor, who flicked the ball on for Porter to head home to give Hofstra a 4-0 halftime lead on their way to a 6-0 victory. Unfortunately, the Pride couldn’t round out the weekend with another win, falling 1-0 to James Madison in their second game of the first week of conference play.

East Tennessee State were another team that dominated an opponent as they romped to a 7-1 win over Wofford. Having already secured a 1-0 win over regular conference contenders Furman earlier in the week, the Buccaneers dominated on the scoreboard against Wofford even as both teams finished with 15 shots on target. Izzy Hodgson certainly got in on the action, teeing up teammate Sarah Connolly for her fourth goal of the match just after the hour mark before adding one of her own just a minute later to double her tally for the season. For a side desperate to atone for a fairly dismal 2017 Southern Conference campaign, it was a perfect start for East Tennessee State as they sit atop the league standings alongside Kate Swartwout and Western Carolina, who defeated the same pair of opponents with a 3-1 win over Furman and a 4-1 victory over Wofford.

Isobel Dalton’s name isn’t one we see on the stat sheet too often for Colorado, but the senior reminded everyone of the class that saw her play in both the W-League and the English Women’s Super League before heading to college with a scything pass for an assist in Colorado’s 6-0 win over Oregon State. Winning the ball with a solid tackle in midfield, Dalton split the Oregon State defence with an incisive ball through to Camilla Shymka, who buried the shot across the goalkeeper to round out the six-goal demolition as the Buffaloes got off to the best possible start in the toughest conference in the nation.

It was a mixed week for Wyoming on the road, and ironically enough the highlights for the Aussies came in their loss to San Diego State. Right on the 30-minute mark, freshman Caitlin Pickett teed up senior Annika Clayton, who buried a shot across the goalkeeper from 10 yards out to put Wyoming 1-0. Unfortunately, a five-minute lapse from the Cowgirls was enough for San Diego State to score two quick goals either side of the 70-minute mark to secure a 2-1 victory. However, Wyoming would bounce back in their second game of the week in a thrilling 3-2 victory over New Mexico, and although the Aussies didn’t make a tangible impact, all four made their mark with Clayton, Pickett, and Jessie Gentle starting and Indianna Asimus coming off the bench to play 34 minutes.

Like Hofstra, Emma Heckenberg and Drexel also fell to a loss to James Madison, but bounced back in their second game of the week to defeat Charleston 2-1 in overtime. Having gone down 1-0 in the 55th minute, Heckenberg whipped in a cross from the left which found teammate Morgan Rees who headed the ball down into the bottom corner for the 68th minute equaliser. The Dragons peppered the Charleston goal in overtime, with their fifth shot of the extra minutes finding the back of the net to hand Drexel the win.

In a weekend in Honolulu stacked with games featuring Aussies as Lauren Featherstone and Sandra Hill came to town, it was Hawaii’s Kiri Dale who came away with a pair of wins as well as an assist in a 4-0 win over Hill and her Grand Canyon outfit. Having defeated Featherstone’s North Dakota State side the previous day, Dale set up the Wahine’s third goal, sending in a free kick that would be rocketed home by Mikaelah Johnson-Griggs to put the game out of Grand Canyon’s reach just after halftime before Hawaii added a fourth goal late in the piece to round out a perfect weekend.

Claudia Jenkins was solid once again for La Salle this week, but unfortunately even her best efforts couldn’t quite secure two wins for the Explorers. After being forced into just two saves in a 1-0 overtime win over Davidson, Jenkins was forced into eight saves against Saint Joseph’s, but yet another penalty conceded by the Explorers led to one of the few goals the South Australian has conceded this season. Unfortunately, it was the goal that broke the 1-1 tie and handed the Hawks the win in the local derby. This game was also notable for it being Alyssa Van Heurck’s first collegiate start, with the Western Australian playing 31 minutes and tallying a shot after coming off the bench in each of her eight previous appearances.

However, Van Heurck wasn’t the only player to reach an appearance-related milestone. Jodie Burchell made her first start for Towson in their 1-0 loss to a William & Mary side featuring Lorena Bugden, who had also made a first collegiate start in the Tribe’s previous game, a 2-1 loss to Charleston. Meanwhile, Demi Koulizakis made her first start since 2016 for Texas Tech in a 2-0 loss to West Virginia, playing 58 minutes in the process.

Finally, it’s been a long time coming, but Nicholls State midfielder Tenille Harberger made her first college appearance in the Colonels’ 1-0 loss to Abilene Christian. Having redshirted her first year in Thibodaux, Harberger’s first appearance came more than 12 months after she arrived at Nicholls State, with the 10 minutes of playing time surely giving her an appetite for more. 

Full Schedule:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: lost 1-0 to Western Michigan; @ Northern Illinois – 4am, Monday September 24 

Chicago State (Sarah Clark) 

This week: lost 5-0 to Fort Wayne

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

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

This week: defeated Oregon State 6-0

Isobel Dalton came off the bench for Colorado in their demolition of Oregon State, securing the assist on the Buffaloes’ final goal in her 21 minutes on the pitch. 

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: lost 1-0 to James Madison; defeated Charleston 2-1 (2OT)

Emma Heckenberg played every minute of the weekend, picking up an assist on Drexel’s equaliser in their overtime win over Charleston.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: defeated Furman 1-0; defeated Wofford 7-1

Isabel Hodgson finished with two shots, both of which were on target in a complete game performance against Furman, before tallying a goal and an assist in 64 minutes of action in the Buccaneers’ demolition of Wofford.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: drew 1-1 with Mount St. Mary’s

Sam Roff played all 110 minutes in Fairleigh Dickinson’s draw with Mount St. Mary’s. 

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen) 

This week: lost 2-1 to Appalachian State

Hannah Allen did not feature for Georgia Southern in their loss to Appalachian State.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 3-2 to North Dakota State (OT); lost 4-0 to Hawaii

Sandra Hill came off the bench to play 43 minutes in the thrilling loss to North Dakota State, but started and played 77 minutes in the loss to Hawaii

Hawaii (Kiri Dale) 

This week: defeated North Dakota State 2-0; defeated Grand Canyon 4-0

Kiri Dale started both games this week, playing 83 minutes in the win over North Dakota State and picking up an assist in a complete game performance in the win over Grand Canyon.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated Towson 6-0; lost 1-0 to James Madison

Monique Iannella tallied a school record-tying 3 assists as well as a shot in her 77 minutes on the pitch against Towson, before playing the full 90 minutes against James Madison and registering another shot. Grace Watson-Carr did not feature for Hofstra in either game this week.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: lost 2-0 to Ohio State; lost 2-1 to Penn State (OT)

Ashleigh Lefevre did not feature for Illinois in either game this week.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: defeated Davidson 1-0; lost 2-1 to Saint Joseph’s

Claudia Jenkins played every minute of the weekend, making two saves in the win over Davidson and eight more in the loss to Saint Joseph’s. Alyssa Van Heurck came off the bench to play 7 minutes against Davidson, but picked up her first career start against St. Joseph’s, playing 31 minutes and registering a shot that tested the Hawks’ goalkeeper. 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: drew 0-0 with Auburn; lost 4-1 to Florida

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in either game this week.

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: defeated UTEP 2-1 (OT); defeated Florida International 3-2

Laura Farrelly did not feature for Marshall in either of their wins this week. 

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

This week: lost 2-1 to Incarnate Word; lost 1-0 to Abilene Christian

Kristy Helmers started in the loss to Incarnate Word, playing 34 minutes and registering a single shot before coming off the bench to play 27 minutes against Abilene Christian. Tenille Harberger did not feature against Incarnate Word, but came off the bench to make her college debut with 10 minutes of playing time against Abilene Christian. Tessa Calabria did not feature in either game this week. 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone) 

This week: defeated Grand Canyon 3-2 (OT); lost 2-0 to Hawaii

Lauren Featherstone came off the bench in both of North Dakota State’s games this week, playing 13 minutes against Grand Canyon and 25 minutes in the loss to Hawaii. 

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: lost 3-2 to Louisiana Tech (OT)

Gaby Bentley came off the bench in Old Dominion’s thrilling overtime loss to Louisiana Tech, playing 15 minutes. 

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: lost 1-0 to Jacksonville State (OT)

Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in their overtime loss to Jacksonville State.

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: defeated Long Island-Brooklyn 1-0

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in their win over Long Island-Brooklyn.

Stanford (Beattie Goad) 

This week: defeated Arizona 2-0

Beattie Goad started for Stanford in their win over Arizona and tallied 2 shots in her 42 minutes on the pitch.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: lost 2-0 to West Virginia; defeated Iowa State 3-0

Demi Koulizakis started for Texas Tech against West Virginia and played 58 minutes, before coming off the bench to play 16 minutes against Iowa State.

Towson (Jodie Burchell) 

This week: lost 6-0 to Hofstra; lost 1-0 to William & Mary

Jodie Burchell came off the bench to play 17 minutes in Towson’s loss to Hofstra, but started and played 11 minutes against William & Mary.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: lost 1-0 to Washington State

Teagan Micah did not feature for UCLA in their loss to Washington State after suffering an injury in the warm-up.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: defeated Wofford 4-1; defeated Furman 3-1

Kate Swartwout started in Western Carolina’s win over Wofford and played 67 minutes, before playing 26 minutes off the bench in the win over Furman.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden) 

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

Lorena Bugden made her first career start in the win over Charleston, playing 38 minutes before coming off the bench to play 26 minutes in the win over Towson. 

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

This week: lost 2-1 to San Diego State; defeated New Mexico 3-2

Annika Clayton started both games this week, registering Wyoming’s only goal in their loss to San Diego State as part of an 85-minute effort before registering a single shot in 73 minutes in the win over New Mexico. Jessie Gentle was once again all but ever-present for the Cowgirls, starting both games and playing all bar 12 minutes of the weekend as well as tallying a single shot against New Mexico. Caitlin Pickett also started both games and played around an hour in each game, teeing up Clayton for the goal against San Diego State. Indianna Asimus came off the bench in both games, playing just the five minutes against San Diego State but seeing 34 minutes of action in the win over New Mexico.

Player of the Year Points: 

3: Monique Iannella (Hofstra)
2: Isabel Hodgson (East Tennessee State)
1:
Annika Clayton (Wyoming)

2018 Week 6 Preview

Aussies face each other on both sides of the country this week as Kiri Dale takes on Sandra Hill and Lauren Featherstone in a tournament in Honolulu, whilst Jodie Burchell faces Monique Iannella and Lorena Bugden in Towson’s first two conference games. Elsewhere, Sam Roff and the Fairleigh Dickinson defence look to keep things tight at the back against a Mount St. Mary’s team that has had enough troubles scoring goals as it is.

(Featured Image Credit: Michael Rincon)

Kiri Dale and Hawaii play host to a pair of other teams featuring Australians this week as Sandra Hill’s Grand Canyon outfit and a North Dakota State team featuring Lauren Featherstone head to Manoa for a small tournament prior to conference play kicking off next week. Both Hawaii and North Dakota State have put together decent records approaching the .500 mark to this point, but for Grand Canyon this week provides a chance to continue rebuilding their season as a pair of wins last week lifted the Antelopes from 1-7 to 3-7. With all three Aussies seeing playing time of late and the teams fairly evenly matched, this is certainly a set of games worth watching.

The Colonial Athletic Association is stacked with Aussies, and it shows this week as Jodie Burchell and Towson kick off conference play against another pair of teams featuring Australians. The Tigers face perennial contenders Hofstra in their first game of the week, where they will face a Pride defence featuring Monique Iannella that finds itself in good form of late after keeping two clean sheets last week. Towson then face a William & Mary side featuring Lorena Bugden in their second game of the week, and although this game appears to be the Tigers’ best chance of victory this week, they will still come in as slight underdogs in this one. Home advantage may give Burchell and the Tigers the leg-up they need though as they look to get off to a good start in league play.

Claudia Jenkins has stepped into the void left by La Salle legend Larisa Zambelli superbly, and the Explorers would love for the South Australian goalkeeper to continue that outstanding form as they look to make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament. Starting their Atlantic 10 campaign with a local derby against St. Joseph’s, this game shapes to be a battle between two of the league’s true contenders, particularly given the fact both teams have shown outstanding form in the non-conference season. However, St. Joseph’s don’t have the most potent offence in the country, and with Jenkins giving up just five goals in seven games, La Salle’s defence – which also features fellow Australian Alyssa Van Heurck at times – could prove to be the difference as the Explorers look to hit the ground running in conference action.

Sam Roff and Fairleigh Dickinson fell on penalties in the Northeast Conference championship game last season, and in a conference where only Central Connecticut State have shown any really strong non-conference form, the league is wide open for any team that can get off to a good start. Although the Knights have won just two of their ten games to this point, they start league play against a Mount St. Mary’s outfit with just one win in seven games and only four goals so far this season, of which two came in their sole win of the campaign against Howard. As was the case in 2017, the Fairleigh Dickinson defence hasn’t been at its absolute best in non-conference play, but if they can reprise their conference form of last season, scoring goals will be tough not only for a team like Mount St. Mary’s, but for every team in the NEC.

Wyoming limped home last season to miss the Mountain West conference tournament after losing five of their last six games of the 2017 campaign, but come into this year’s league slate as one of the form teams in the conference after compiling a 5-1-2 record to this point. All four Australians – Caitlin Pickett, Indianna Asimus, Jessie Gentle, and Annika Clayton – have played vital roles for the Cowgirls to this point, and they will look to continue their good form having been given a favourable draw to open the conference slate. San Diego State usually prove to be one of the league contenders, but after winning just two of their eight non-conference games, catching the Aztecs at the start of league play may allow Wyoming to snare a result before San Diego State have the chance to regain winning form. Their second opponent of the week, New Mexico, are faring better at 4-3-0, which also appears to a fair reflection on the team’s quality. Despite being on the road, Wyoming will see themselves as favourites in this one and will have eyes firmly fixed on picking up six points from the first weekend of conference play.

Full Schedule:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: @ Western Michigan – 6am, Saturday September 22; @ Northern Illinois – 4am, Monday September 24 

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Fort Wayne – 5am, Sunday September 23 

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: @ Oregon State – 9am, Saturday September 22

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg) 

This week: v James Madison – 9am, Friday September 21; @ Charleston – 2am, Monday September 24

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: v Furman – 9am, Saturday September 22; v Wofford – 4am, Monday September 24

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ Mount St. Mary’s – 3am, Monday September 24 

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: v Appalachian State – 9am, Monday September 24

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Hawaii – 1pm, Monday September 24

Hawaii (Kiri Dale) 

This week: v North Dakota State – 10am, Sunday September 23; v Grand Canyon – 1pm, Monday September 24 

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr) 

This week: v Towson – 9am, Friday September 21; @ James Madison – 3am, Monday September 24

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

This week: v Ohio State – 10am, Friday September 21; v Penn State – 10am, Sunday September 23 

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: @ Davidson – 9am, Friday September 21; v Saint Joseph’s – 3am, Monday September 24 

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v Auburn – 10am, Friday September 21; @ Florida – 3am, Monday September 24

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ UTEP – 11am, Friday September 21; v Florida International – 3am, Monday September 24

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

This week: @ Incarnate Word – 8am, Saturday September 22; @ Abilene Christian – 4am, Monday September 24 

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: @ Hawaii – 10am, Sunday September 23

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: @ Louisiana Tech – 9am, Saturday September 22

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Jacksonville State – 4am, Monday September 24 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

This week: @ Long Island-Brooklyn – 3am, Sunday September 23

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Arizona – 1pm, Saturday September 22 

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v West Virginia – 10:15am, Saturday September 22; v Iowa State – 3am, Monday September 24 

Towson (Jodie Burchell) 

This week: @ Hofstra – 9am, Friday September 21; v William & Mary – 3am, Monday September 24

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Washington State – 1pm, Saturday September 22 

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Wofford – 9am, Saturday September 22; v Furman – 6am, Monday September 24

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: @ Charleston – 9am, Friday September 21; @ Towson – 4am, Monday September 24

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

This week: @ San Diego State – 12pm, Saturday September 22; @ New Mexico – 4:30am, Monday September 24

2018 Week 5 Preview

Yet another Aussie v Aussie affair highlights this week, with Sam Roff and Fairleigh Dickinson face La Salle’s Australian pairing of Claudia Jenkins and Alyssa Van Heurck. Elsewhere, Sandra Hill continues her comeback for Grand Canyon and Demi Koulizakis looks to build on last week’s excellent outing against Florida International.

(Featured Image Credit: Greg Carroccio/Sideline Photos)

Sam Roff has been seeing Aussies everywhere she has looked lately, and things don’t look like changing this weekend as Fairleigh Dickinson take on La Salle, their third match this season against a team featuring an Australian, following games against Marshall and Hofstra earlier in the season. It won’t be easy against a La Salle team in good form though, particularly with the Explorers’ Australian goalkeeper Claudia Jenkins in outstanding form recently, making nine saves last week against Rutgers to ensure her side escaped with an unexpected point from their trip to New Jersey. However, Roff has been her ever-reliable self in defence for the Knights to this point, so La Salle are unlikely to find goals easy to come by themselves.

Wyoming have given a good account of themselves in the first part of the season, and it is no small part due to the play of their Australian foursome. The Cowgirls have dropped just one game to this point, a 4-1 loss to local rivals Northern Colorado, and aside from that blip have looked dangerous throughout. A victory over Big Ten side Iowa last week will no doubt have boosted the side’s confidence, and with Australian freshmen Indianna Asimus and Caitlin Pickett forcing their way into the starting lineup alongside seniors Annika Clayton and Jessie Gentle, Wyoming’s game against Southern Utah will no doubt be one to follow this week.

Grand Canyon may have started the season 1-7, but with Sandra Hill back in the lineup after making her first two appearances of the season last week, the time may just be right for the Antelopes to turn things around and set themselves up for conference play. Portland State and Cal State Fullerton won’t exactly roll over, with both sides having put together better records than Grand Canyon to this point, but the Antelopes aren’t without a chance in either game. GCU do have another couple of weeks before conference play starts, but they won’t want to come into league action still on a losing streak that has already extended to five games.

Demi Koulizakis opened her account for Texas Tech last week with a stunner of a goal, and was rewarded in the team’s second game of the week, being the first player called off the bench in the Red Raiders’ win over Oregon State. It will then be interesting to see how the junior gets on this week on the team’s trip to California to play Cal State Northridge and Loyola Marymount. At 6-1, Texas Tech will certainly come into both games this week as heavy favourites and will look to press on with what has been a successful non-conference slate to this point as they attempt to put together a season that culminates in an NCAA Tournament berth.

A couple of teams do kick off conference play this week, with Ashleigh Lefevre and Illinois in particular looking to parlay outstanding non-conference form into a solid league season. The Illini sit at 5-2 with a couple of big wins over Duke and Oklahoma State under their belt, and if they can pick up results against Minnesota and Wisconsin, it will not only be a great start to league play, but also add to an ever-improving resume for 2018.

Full Schedule (many cancellations in the southeast are expected due to Hurricane Florence):

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: @ Robert Morris – 5am, Saturday September 15

Albany (Claire Urquhart) 

This week: v Northeastern – 9am, Friday September 14; @ Dartmouth – 3am, Monday September 17

Chicago State (Sarah Clark) 

This week: v Western Illinois – 4am, Saturday September 15; @ Indiana State – 4am, Monday September 17

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: v Utah Valley – 7:30am, Friday September 14; v Denver – 5am, Monday September 17 

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg) 

This week: @ Providence – 6am, Friday September 14; @ Princeton – 8am, Monday September 17

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: @ South Carolina State – 6am, Monday September 17

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: @ La Salle – 9am, Friday September 14; @ Hartford – 3am, Monday September 17 

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen)

This week: @ Georgia State – 9am, Saturday September 15; v Louisiana – 2am, Monday September 17

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v Cal State Fullerton – 6am, Monday September 17

Hawaii (Kiri Dale) 

This week: @ Nevada – 11:30am, Friday September 14; @ San Francisco – 6am, Monday September 17

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: @ Columbia – 8am, Friday September 14; v Stony Brook – 3am, Monday September 17 

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ Minnesota – 9am, Saturday September 15; @ Wisconsin – 3am, Monday September 17 

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v Fairleigh Dickinson – 9am, Friday September 14

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: @ Texas A&M – 10:30am, Saturday September 15; @ Cincinnati – 3am, Monday September 17

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: v Florida Atlantic – 9am, Saturday September 15

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

This week: v Lamar – 7am, Saturday September 15; v Southern – 4am, Monday September 17

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v North Texas – 9am, Saturday September 15; v Richmond – 8am, Monday September 17

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore) 

This week: v Murray State – 9:30am, Friday September 14; v Tennessee-Martin – 5am, Monday September 17 

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: @ Duquesne – 9am, Saturday September 15; @ West Virginia – 3am, Monday September 17 

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Cal Poly – 12pm, Friday September 14; v Santa Clara – 9am, Monday September 17

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: @ Cal State Northridge – 12pm, Friday September 14; @ Loyola Marymount – 6am, Monday September 17

Towson (Jodie Burchell) 

This week: v Pennsylvania – 4am, Monday September 17

UCLA (Teagan Micah) 

This week: @ Loyola Marymount – 12pm, Friday September 14; @ San Diego State – 11am, Monday September 17

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: @ South Florida – 9am, Friday September 14; v Davidson – 3am, Monday September 17

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: v VMI – 4am, Monday September 17 

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

This week: @ Southern Utah – 8am, Saturday September 15