2019 Week 3 Preview

With only a couple of weeks until conference play commences, it’s time for teams to start hitting their straps in non-conference action to prepare themselves for their league slate. Teagan Micah, Rachel Lowe, and UCLA will continue their high-level early schedule against Santa Clara, whilst Demi Koulizakis will hope that her Senior Night celebrations extend throughout the night as Texas Tech look to maintain their good form.

(Image Credit: Stanford Athletics)

Beattie Goad has put together a flying start to the season, and will attempt to keep things going in the same direction as Stanford take on a San Francisco side against whom they have had plenty of recent success. Having renewed their rivalry for the first time in a decade in 2017, Stanford have well and truly had the wood over the Dons, winning 8-0 in 2017 before following up with a 5-1 victory last season. Goad started both of those games, and tallied 4 shots in last year’s game, but did not actually have a hand in any of the 13 goals her team scored across those two games. However, this season is a different matter, with Goad having already contributed a goal and two assists in 2019 as the senior from Melbourne positions herself as an integral member of the Cardinal lineup.

Senior Night was once reserved for the final home game of a team’s season, but in recent years an increasing number of teams have moved the occasion to an earlier point in the season, and Demi Koulizakis will be celebrating her career prior to this weekend’s home game against in-state opponent Abilene Christian. Koulizakis’ form to start the season has been electric, and we could very well see the pre-game celebrations extend into the match itself, although the Wildcats could prove a tricky opponent after winning three of their first four matches. Nonetheless, the Red Raiders will be hot favourites even against an Abilene Christian side growing in confidence, and it would not be a surprise at all to see Koulizakis add a goal or assist to her season stats.

Teagan Micah broke the Pac-12 record with her eighth Goalkeeper of the Week award for her efforts against Florida State and Florida, and the senior will get another chance to test herself against high quality opposition as #2 UCLA travel north to the Bay Area to face a Santa Clara that has been free-flowing in attack but let down by its defence in falling to a 1-3 record at this early stage. Despite falling out of the Top 25 rankings, the Broncos still possess an attack that can pose the UCLA defence problems, having scored 9 goals in their first 4 games, putting 2 past #12 Duke in an overtime defeat last week. However, with Micah between the sticks, a UCLA back line that gives up very few shots on target in the first place can be confident that the ones that do slip through will be handled with ease on the majority of occasions. We may also see Rachel Lowe return to the pitch for the Bruins after being an unused substitute on both occasions last week, with the rotation likely to be slightly longer in this contest than it had been against the likes of defending national champions Florida State.

Rhode Island’s two wins in three games to open the season is already two more than the Rams picked up last week, and this week sees Teresa Morrissey’s side take on Pittsburgh in a battle of teams looking to make vast improvements on last season’s performance. Pittsburgh picked up just four wins in 2018, and whilst the Panthers may play in one of the toughest conferences in the nation in the ACC, that doesn’t guarantee success against mid-major schools. Rhode Island will fancy their chances in this one, with Pittsburgh’s leaky defence perhaps providing the Rams an opportunity to finally hit some decent scoring form, with all three of their matches finishing 1-0 one way or the other. However, they’ll still need to keep Pittsburgh at bay, and with Morrissey conceding just a single goal in her first three appearances, the freshman’s form could prove crucial in helping the Rams move to 3-1.

Siena Senatore has been ever-present for Southeast Missouri State in her return campaign after two seasons away from the game, and whilst last week’s games against SEC opponents Mississippi and Arkansas proved a tough occasion for the Redhawks’ defence, they get the chance to return to form against a pair of mid-majors this week. Heading on the road to face Evansville, Senatore and her teammates have a chance to rebound against a team that is yet to secure a win in a competitive fixture this year and scored just two goals in their three games to this point. Arkansas State will likely provide a sterner test than Evansville, with the Red Wolves having picked up wins over Kansas State and Central Arkansas in their opening two fixtures. However, both of these games are eminently winnable fixtures, and with Senatore shoring up the defence, the Redhawks can be confident that leaking goals won’t be an issue.

Finally, we have the chance to be treated to a pair of Aussie v Aussie matchups as Eden Taylor-Wineera and North Dakota State host Hawaii’s trio of Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale, and assistant coach Rachael Doyle before Sarah Clark and Chicago State roll into town for a Sunday afternoon fixture. Taylor-Wineera has seen brief cameos off the bench in the last couple of games, whilst Ammendolia has been steadily forcing her way into the Hawaii lineup. Meanwhile, Clark tallied a trio of shots in Chicago State’s loss to Louisiana-Lafayette last week, leaving Aussie fans with plenty of players to watch as they build towards conference play.

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: @ UAB – 10am, Friday September 6; v Jacksonville State – 4am, Monday September 9

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ North Dakota – 6am, Saturday September 7; @ North Dakota State – 4am, Monday September 9

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: @ Navy – 9am, Saturday September 7; @ Delaware State – 3am, Monday September 9

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Monmouth – 9am, Saturday September 7; @ William & Mary – 3am, Monday September 9

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v Northern Colorado – 12pm, Friday September 6; v Colorado State – 12pm, Monday September 9

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: @ North Dakota State – 10am, Saturday September 7; @ North Dakota – 7am, Monday September 9

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: @ Rutgers – 9am, Friday September 6; @ Stony Brook – 3am, Monday September 9

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ Illinois State – 9am, Monday September 9

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: @ Florida Gulf Coast – 9am, Friday September 6; @ St. John’s – 3am, Monday September 9

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v North Carolina – 6:30am, Friday September 6; v Duke – 3:30am, Monday September 9

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ Lipscomb – 7:30am, Saturday September 7; @ Vanderbilt – 5:30am, Monday September 9

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: @ Western Kentucky – 10am, Friday September 6; @ Murray State – 5am, Monday September 9

Nicholls State (Tessa Calabria, Kristy Helmers, Shauni Reid)

This week: @ Prairie View A&M – 4am, Monday September 9

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: v Hawaii – 10am, Saturday September 7; v Chicago State – 4am, Monday September 9

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: v Longwood – 9am, Friday September 6; @ VCU – 7am, Monday September 9

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: @ Pittsburgh – 7am, Saturday September 7; v Sacred Heart – 3am, Monday September 9

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Evansville – 10am, Saturday September 7

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ San Francisco – 10am, Monday September 9

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Abilene Christian – 10am, Saturday September 7; v Arkansas State – 4am, Monday September 9

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: @ Santa Clara – 12:30pm, Friday September 6

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: @ Towson – 6am, Friday September 6

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: @ Davidson – 9am, Friday September 6; @ Charlotte – 3am, Monday September 9

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: v Baylor – 8am, Saturday September 7; v Idaho State – 5am, Monday September 9

2019 Forward Previews

A seven-player group of forwards light on goalscoring returns but full of potential lines up in 2019, with Nicholls State’s senior trio of Tessa Calabria, Kristy Helmers, and Shauni Reid looking to improve the Colonels’ attack. Meanwhile, Demi Koulizakis will look to make an impact in her senior year after winning Texas Tech’s Most Improved Player in 2018.

Indianna Asimus (Sophomore, Wyoming, Newcastle)

A starter in 9 of her 20 appearances in her freshman year, Asimus comes into the 2019 season looking to help fill the void left by fellow Australians, Caitlin Pickett, Annika Clayton and Jessie Gentle in the Wyoming attack. Wyoming may have finished as regular season champions in the Mountain West Conference in 2018, but several players from that team have now graduated and departed the program. With multiple forwards returning, how many additional starts Asimus picks up this year remains to be seen, but there will certainly be extra minutes available for the sophomore from Newcastle. Asimus also spent her offseason playing in the Northern NSW Premier League for Merewether United, which should provide her with a leg-up in terms of match fitness upon her return to Laramie for the upcoming season.

Sophie Bui (Freshman, Alabama State, Canberra)

Shelbi Vienna-Hallam may have left Alabama State after the 2017 season after stints as both a player and coach, but the Australian presence in Montgomery has returned with the signing of Tuggeranong United forward Sophie Bui. A club teammate of Nicholls State senior Kristy Helmers, Bui has made 29 NPL Capital Football appearances over the past two seasons, having banged in goals for fun at the youth level. Bui secured the Golden Boot at both Under 16 and Under 17 level in the Capital Football Women’s Premier League, and whilst goals haven’t been quite as forthcoming at the senior level, Bui clearly has pedigree and the Alabama State faithful will be hoping the freshman can bolster an attack that has lost a little bit of its bite since the graduation of a number of star forwards over the last couple of seasons, with 2018’s production of 24 goals paling in comparison to the previous year’s output of 39.

Tessa Calabria (Senior, Nicholls State, Adelaide)

A goalscoring assassin at the junior college level, injury prevented Calabria from making any real impact in her first season at Nicholls State, but the South Australian comes into her senior season with scoring pedigree in a team that is in desperate need of goals. The Colonels finished just 3-15 last season, posting a scoring average of less than a goal per game for the second consecutive season. Although Calabria tallied just a single goal in six injury-plagued appearances, the senior averaged a goal per game in her final season of junior college soccer whilst also tallying nine assists, and it may turn out that her ability to tee up teammates proves as valuable as her goalscoring prowess as the Colonels look to atone for a fairly dismal 2018.

Sarah Clark (Senior, Chicago State, Innisfail)

Having made eight appearances, including four starts, in her first Division I season in 2018, junior college transfer Clark will be hoping to put together a season with fewer interruptions in her final year of college soccer. A scorer of 8 goals in her only full season in junior college, Clark certainly has proven her ability to put the ball in the back of the net, and with Chicago State losing very few seniors from last year’s team, a bolstered roster should hopefully be able to provide Clark with the service she requires. However, a bolstered roster also means more competition for places, so the senior will have to be at the top of her game in pre-season to maintain a starting spot.

Kristy Helmers (Senior, Nicholls State, Canberra)

A tough season for Nicholls State on the whole saw Helmers tally just two goals in 2018, but the senior has proven in the past that she can bang in the goals and, with Tessa Calabria’s assistance, will be hoping to improve the Colonels’ output. Helmers registered six goals and five assists in her freshman year in 2016 whilst playing alongside fellow Aussie, Jess Coates, but goals have hardly been as forthcoming since that time as Nicholls State have struggled across the pitch. Whilst additional goals won’t be the antidote to the defensive problems that have also plagued the Colonels in recent times, Helmers is a proven goalscorer and will no doubt want to return to the form she has shown in previous years in her final season in Thibodaux.

Demi Koulizakis (Senior, Texas Tech, Sydney)

An option off the bench for most of her college career until last season, Koulizakis stepped up for Texas Tech in 2018 and now has the chance to put together a senior season that can set her up for a professional career, with a starting berth for the Red Raiders beckoning. Koulizakis enjoyed a strong spring campaign before returning to Sydney to spend her offseason playing NPLNSW for Sydney Olympic, a move that the senior believes will assist her in hitting the ground running for her final college season as she maintains her match fitness. How that preparation translates come August remains to be seen, but Koulizakis has certainly put herself in position to enjoy an outstanding senior year.

Shauni Reid (Senior, Nicholls State, Perth)

A crucial member of the Tyler Junior College side that reached the NJCAA Championship in 2016 and won the title in 2017, Reid tallied 5 goals and 4 assists in their championship-winning campaign, paving the way for the Western Australian to secure a spot on a Division I roster. Reid will be one of three Australian forwards on the Nicholls State roster this season alongside Kristy Helmers and Tessa Calabria, with the trio tasked with improving the Colonels’ lacklustre offence of recent seasons. Fortunately, Reid, like Calabria and Helmers, is adept at both teeing up teammates and scoring goals herself, providing new head coach Danny Free with plenty of options up front.

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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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)

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 4 Wrap

Demi Koulizakis’ peach of a goal to open her college account was one of the highlights of the week, whilst La Salle goalkeeper Claudia Jenkins was again in brick wall-like form to set a new career high for saves in the Explorers’ 2-2 draw with Rutgers.

Claudia Jenkins may have given up two goals in La Salle’s draw with Rutgers in their only game of the weekend, but taking into account that Rutgers finished with 31 shots and 11 on target, the South Australian’s performance was actually one of the finest of the week as La Salle escaped with a share of the points. Jenkins’ nine saves were more than La Salle’s total number of shots for the game and allowed the Explorers to secure a result that they really had no right to leave with and move to 4-1-1 to start the season.

It may have taken until her junior year, but Demi Koulizakis grabbed her first college goal this week, and certainly made up for lost time with a scintillating strike in Texas Tech’s 6-0 win over Florida International. Latching onto a long ball, Koulizakis stopped on a dime to leave her defender out of position, and took advantage of the extra space to find the back of the net from the edge of the area with her left foot. Koulizakis wasn’t able to add to her tally in Texas Tech’s 4-1 win over Oregon State, but did earn another half-hour stint off the bench as her minutes continue to increase as the season progresses.



It’s been a long time coming, but after battling through a number of knee injuries, Lorena Bugden finally made her college debut this week, coming off the bench against Bucknell in William & Mary’s thrilling 3-2 victory, playing 36 minutes and ending a stint of more than 12 months stuck to the bench. Bugden reprised the role in the Tribe’s second game of the week against Texas A&M, but Aggies star Ally Watt rattled off 12 shots as William & Mary found themselves under pressure all game in falling to a 2-0 defeat.

Two Australians also made their first college starts this week. Lauren Featherstone started both games this week for North Dakota State, playing 16 minutes in a 4-0 loss to Minnesota and 14 minutes in a 2-1 win over Northern Iowa. Meanwhile, Chicago State may have fallen 8-0 to Massachusetts after a six-goal second half from the Minutewomen, but Innisfail junior Sarah Clark started for the first time in her NCAA Division I career, playing 47 minutes for the Cougars.


Complete Results:

Akron (Freyja Murray)

This week: lost 3-2 to Dayton; lost 3-0 to Xavier

Freyja Murray did not feature for Akron in either game this week.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: defeated Siena 3-0; defeated Rhode Island 4-1

Claire Urquhart came off the bench to play five minutes against Siena, but did not feature against Rhode Island.

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: lost 8-0 to Massachusetts

Sarah Clark earned a start for Chicago State in their only game of the week and played 47 minutes, but Massachusetts rolled with six second-half goals to romp to a dominant victory.

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

This week: defeated Marquette 2-1; defeated Michigan State 3-0

Isobel Dalton did not feature in the win over Marquette, but came off the bench to play 14 minutes as Colorado rolled against Michigan State.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week: drew 1-1 with St. Joseph’s

Emma Heckenberg started for Drexel in their draw with St. Joseph’s, playing all 110 minutes in the process.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week: lost 4-0 to Tennessee

Isabel Hodgson played all 90 minutes for ETSU in their loss to Tennessee, registering a single shot.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 2-1 to Hofstra (2OT); drew 0-0 with Army

Sam Roff played the complete game on both occasions this week, tallying a single shot in the loss to Hofstra.

Georgia Southern (Hannah Allen) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Kennesaw State

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

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to Northern Colorado; lost 1-0 to Colorado State

Sandra Hill started both games for Grand Canyon this week, playing the full 90 minutes on each occasion.

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 2-1 to UC San Diego

Kiri Dale started and registered a single shot during her 51 minutes on the pitch in Hawaii’s loss to UC San Diego.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

This week: defeated Fairleigh Dickinson 2-1 (2OT); lost 2-1 to Princeton

Monique Iannella played all 196 minutes this week, but Grace Watson-Carr did not feature for Hofstra in either game.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: defeated Illinois State 1-0

Ashleigh Lefevre came off the bench for Illinois in the win over Illinois State, playing 10 minutes.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: drew 2-2 with Rutgers

Claudia Jenkins played the complete game and made a career-high 9 saves in the draw with Rutgers, whilst Alyssa Van Heurck came off the bench to play 7 minutes.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: defeated Stetson 2-0; defeated Samford 2-0

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

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: defeated High Point 1-0; drew 2-2 with Gardner-Webb

Laura Farrelly did not feature for Marshall in either game this week.

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

This week: lost 2-0 to Southern Mississippi

Kristy Helmers started and played 40 minutes in Nicholls State’s loss to Southern Mississippi, but Tessa Calabria and Tenille Harberger did not feature for the Colonels this week.

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

This week: lost 4-0 to Minnesota; defeated Northern Iowa 2-1

Lauren Featherstone earned her first career starts this week, playing 16 minutes against Minnesota and 14 minutes against Northern Iowa.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: lost 2-1 to VCU (OT); lost 1-0 to Duke

Gaby Bentley came off the bench to play 18 minutes in Old Dominion’s loss to VCU, but did not feature against Duke.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: defeated Oral Roberts 1-0

Siena Senatore did not feature for Southeast Missouri State in their win over Oral Roberts.

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

This week: lost 2-0 to Niagara; lost 3-0 to Buffalo

Shelby Milton did not feature for St. Francis in the loss to Niagara, but came off the bench to play 18 minutes against Buffalo.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Notre Dame 3-1; defeated North Carolina 2-1 (OT)

Beattie Goad started and played 47 minutes in the win over Notre Dame, before playing 4 minutes off the bench against North Carolina. 

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated Florida International 6-0; defeated Oregon State 4-1

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench in both games this week, scoring her first collegiate goal in a 23-minute cameo against Florida International, before playing 31 minutes in the win over Oregon State.

Towson (Jodie Burchell)

This week: defeated Loyola Maryland 3-2 (OT); defeated UMBC 2-1

Jodie Burchell did not feature for Towson in either game this week.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Pepperdine 3-0

Teagan Micah made a rare appearance off the bench, playing the second half and rounding out the combined clean sheet with two saves in UCLA’s victory over Pepperdine.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 2-1 to Tennessee-Martin; lost 4-0 to Middle Tennessee State

Kate Swartwout came off the bench to play 22 minutes against Tennessee-Martin, before playing 30 minutes off the bench against Middle Tennessee State.

William & Mary (Lorena Bugden)

This week: defeated Bucknell 3-2; lost 2-0 to Texas A&M

Lorena Bugden came off the bench for her first two college appearances this week, playing 36 minutes against Bucknell and 37 minutes in the loss to Texas A&M.

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

This week: drew 0-0 with Montana; defeated Iowa 1-0

Indianna Asimus started against Montana and played 72 minutes before coming off the bench against Iowa to play 38 minutes. Annika Clayton started both games, tally three shots with one on target in 90 minutes of action against Montana and tallying a single shot in 58 minutes in the win over Iowa. Caitlin Pickett also started both games, tallying a single shot in 80 minutes against Montana and seeing 66 minutes of action against Iowa. Jessie Gentle was also in the starting lineup for both games, playing 96 minutes and tallying a shot against Montana and playing 81 minutes against Iowa.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)
Demi Koulizakis (Texas Tech)
Annika Clayton (Wyoming)