2018 Week 11 Wrap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

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

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

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

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

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

Chicago State (Sarah Clark) 

This week: lost 8-0 to UMKC

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

Colorado (Isobel Dalton)

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

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

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

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

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

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

This week: defeated Mercer 1-0

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

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 1-0 to Sacred Heart

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

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: drew 3-3 with Cal State Bakersfield

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

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

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

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

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

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

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

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

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

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

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill) 

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

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

Marshall (Laura Farrelly) 

This week: lost 2-0 to Western Kentucky

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

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

This week: lost 4-0 to Southeastern Louisiana

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

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone) 

This week: defeated South Dakota 1-0

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

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

This week: defeated North Texas 4-0

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

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

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

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

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton) 

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

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

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

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

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

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis) 

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

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

UCLA (Teagan Micah) 

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

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

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout) 

This week: lost 1-0 to Furman

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

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

This week: defeated Colorado State 1-0

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

Player of the Year Points:

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

2018 Week 11 Preview

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

(Featured Image Credit: Jonathan Heisler, Hofstra University)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Schedule: 

Akron (Freyja Murray)

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

Albany (Claire Urquhart) 

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

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

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

Colorado (Isobel Dalton) 

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

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

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

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson) 

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

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

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

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

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

Hawaii (Kiri Dale)

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

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson-Carr)

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

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre) 

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

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

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

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

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

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

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

North Dakota State (Lauren Featherstone)

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

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley) 

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

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore) 

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

St. Francis University (Shelby Milton)

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

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

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

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

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

UCLA (Teagan Micah) 

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

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

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

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

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

2018 Player Previews

30 players will represent Australia in NCAA Division I women’s soccer this season, including 2017 national champion Beattie Goad at Stanford and national runner-up Teagan Micah at UCLA. However, with players such as Georgia Rowntree, Alisha Bass, Harriet Withers, Nyomi Devine, Emily Hulbert, and Paige Hayward having now graduated, it is almost a new era for College Matildas.

Claire Urquhart (Senior, Defender, Albany, Brisbane)

Claire Urquhart was finally given a more extended run in the Albany side in her junior year, playing 12 games in 2017, compared to her seven total appearances in her first two seasons. The senior’s ability to slot into either midfield or the back four helped Urquhart in finding more opportunities last season, and with a number of defensive starters returning in 2018, it may again be the case that Urquhart finds herself splitting time across a number of positions. The Great Danes finished with a 6-11-1 record in 2017 and were knocked out in the first round of the America East tournament, but have scheduled a tough non-conference slate in 2018 that should leave them battle-tested and ready for an improved charge at a conference title this season and a return to the NCAA Tournament following 2016’s appearance in which they fell 4-2 to Connecticut in a tough first-round matchup.

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

Shelby Milton and Lauren Featherstone will face each other in conference play in 2018.

After redshirting her first year at Central Connecticut State, Lauren Featherstone comes into her first year of collegiate play with a year of experience under her belt. What effect this has on the Sydneysider’s play remains to be seen, but there is no doubting that not having to settle into college life whilst playing her first season will be an added positive for Featherstone. Already earmarked for a starting position in the CCSU midfield, Featherstone will still have to ensure she earns that spot in preseason, but it shapes to be an exciting year for the versatile midfielder. CCSU return the majority of players from last year’s Northeast Conference tournament semi-final team, meaning that this year shapes to be one of their best chances at a conference title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Isobel Dalton (Senior, Midfielder, Colorado, Sunshine Coast)

Having played in just 7 times for a total of 86 minutes in 2017, Isobel Dalton will certainly be hoping that her senior year brings more playing time at Colorado. The Buffaloes return the majority of last season’s midfield, but as always there will be some new opportunities opening up with a couple of players graduating after the 2017 season. With a pair of NCAA Tournament berths in the last two seasons, both of which ended in second round defeats, there is no doubt that Colorado will be looking to, at the very least, reach the Sweet 16 in 2018 and finally get over that hurdle.

Emma Heckenberg (Senior, Defender, Drexel, Melbourne)

Heckenberg started her career at Drexel up front, but has eventually found her niche in the backline, forming part of a stellar Dragons defence that conceded just five goals in conference play. The Victorian was limited to 13 appearances last season, but if she can remain fit in 2018, expect to see Heckenberg as a mainstay in a back four where stability will be vital given former goalkeeper and program stalwart Christiana Ogunsami graduated after last season. Having reached the CAA championship game in 2016 and semi-finals last season, Drexel will once again be gunning for a spot in the conference tournament in a generally tough and evenly-matched conference. If the defence remains as strong as in 2017, there is no reason that can’t happen.

Isabel Hodgson (Senior, Defender, East Tennessee State, Adelaide)

Isabel Hodgson will be looking to help ETSU return to 2016 form. (Photo Credit: Dakota Hamilton)

Isabel Hodgson has played just about every position bar goalkeeper in her three years at East Tennessee State, and whilst she has been successful in every one of them, it appears that fullback will be her position going forward as the Buccaneers look to rebound from a 2017 campaign that saw the team finish with a 6-12 record and a dismal 0-8 road record. Hodgson was one of a pair of Australians in Division I to score more than one goal last season, proving that whilst her chances may not be as plentiful as when she was playing in a more advanced role, the South Australian still has the ability to get forward and join the attack when the opportunity presents itself.

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

One of the first names on the team sheet for Fairleigh Dickinson, Sam Roff has been among the best defenders in the entire Northeast Conference throughout her two seasons in New Jersey. Fairleigh Dickinson finished third in the NEC for average goals conceded per game in 2017, but the majority of those goals came during an extremely tough non-conference slate that set the Knights up for a conference season that saw them reach the conference championship game before falling to Shelby Milton and St. Francis in a shootout in the decider. Roff was rewarded for her outstanding performances in 2017 with a selection in the Northeast Conference All-Conference First Team, and with still two years left in her college career, the Canberra product could yet become one of the greats of the Fairleigh Dickinson program.

Hannah Allen (Freshman, Midfielder, Georgia Southern, Brisbane)

Listed as a forward for Georgia Southern but certainly able to play multiple positions, Hannah Allen joins an Eagles side looking to continue its upward trajectory, having improved from 6-10-1 in 2016 to 8-9-2 in 2017. Having played at school level under Brisbane Roar W-League coach Mel Andreatta, Allen has no doubt benefitted from that elite coaching and will now look to force her way into the team as part of a slightly large 30-player Eagles squad.

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

Sandra Hill will be looking to further cement her spot in the Grand Canyon side. (Photo Credit: Michael Rincon)

Although Sandra Hill won 2017’s College Matildas Freshman of the Year award, there is certainly plenty more to come from the Grand Canyon fullback. Fresh off her first appearances for the Cambodian national team at the AFF Championship, including an appearance against the Young Matildas, Hill returns to Arizona with priceless experience under her belt. Having made a reasonably decent 13 appearances in her freshman year, Hill will no doubt want to increase her playing time in her sophomore season, and with three of Grand Canyon’s eight defenders in their freshman season this year, Hill is now one of the more experienced players in the backline in just her second year of college soccer.

Kiri Dale (Junior, Midfielder, Hawaii, Mullumbimby)

Kiri Dale took a risk last season by transferring from Iona to the much more highly-rated Hawaii, but the move paid off in spades as the versatile wide player secured a spot in the Rainbow Wahine’s rotation. Dale made an instant impact in 2017, coming up with the assist on an overtime golden goal in the very first game of the season. That was Dale’s only assist of the season, but the Iona transfer made her mark in other ways, making 11 starts and 17 appearances for a Hawaii team that finished 6-10-1 but whose progress was hindered by a 1-6-1 conference record. If the Rainbow Wahine can improve that conference record, it will make for a vastly improved season and 10 wins is by no means out of the question. Dale will also not be the only Aussie at Hawaii this season, with former Washington State star and Matildas representative Rachael Doyle joining the program as an assistant coach.

Monique Iannella (Senior, Defender, Hofstra, Melbourne)

Monique Iannella’s ability to deliver crosses could prove vital for Hofstra this year. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Heisler)

2017’s College Matildas Defender of the Year, Iannella has proven herself to be a weapon at both ends of the pitch for Hofstra. Her ability to whip the ball in, particularly from corners, led to six assists last season, whilst her defensive prowess has rarely, if ever, been called into question during her time with the Pride as the team gave up just 14 goals in 21 games last season on the way to an NCAA Tournament appearance in which they were somehow forced to travel to Auburn for their first-round game, where they fell 1-0. Hofstra’s senior class in 2017 was absolutely stacked with talent, so the onus will now be on the likes of Iannella and her own senior class to lead the Pride and ensure that the team remains among the top sides in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Ashleigh Lefevre (Freshman, Defender, Illinois, Melbourne)

The most accomplished of the seven new additions to the list of Australians in Division I, Ashleigh Lefevre is also the only freshman joining a power conference team in 2018. A member of the Young Matildas side that finished 3rd at the 2016 AFF Women’s Championship, Lefevre tallied a goal in the side’s 20-0 demolition of Timor-Leste in that tournament before returning to play 25 games for Alamein FC in 2017’s Victorian NPL competition. The versatile defender returned in 2018 to play 12 games before heading to Illinois. The Fighting Illini finished with just five wins in 2017, their second straight season finishing below .500, but with the vast majority of the most integral parts of the starting lineup returning, the team looks to be on the upswing. But with six seniors graduating, many of whom started at least a few games, there will still be plenty of minutes up for grabs for Lefevre in her senior season even if she doesn’t secure a starting berth from day one.

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

Jenkins spent her freshman season playing the backup role as La Salle stalwart Larisa Zambelli saw the vast majority of minutes between the sticks for an Explorers side that won two consecutive overtime games to win the Atlantic 10 title and reach the NCAA Tournament in 2017. With Zambelli’s graduation following the 2017 season, Jenkins is now the only goalkeeper on the La Salle roster with any college experience whatsoever as the Explorers look to make a return trip to the national stage. La Salle kept clean sheets in all but three conference games last season, and return the majority of starters in defence, whilst at the other end, sisters Madison and Maci Bower combined for 21 goals last season to ensure those solid defensive efforts wouldn’t go to waste and both will return for their senior seasons in 2018.

Alyssa Van Heurck (Freshman, Defender, La Salle, Perth)

Alyssa Van Heurck becomes the second Australian on the La Salle roster this season, making the move from Perth to join the Explorers alongside Claudia Jenkins. A product of the Football West NTC program, Van Heurck will bolster a strong La Salle defence that returns most of its starters, but only five experienced players. With La Salle’s success in 2017 built on defence, Van Heurck, like Jenkins, will be expected to help maintain the team’s level at the back in 2018 as the versatile defender looks to slot straight into the lineup.

Siobhan Longmore (Junior, Midfielder, Lamar, Busselton)

Siobhan Longmore joins a highly successful Lamar side after two years in junior college.

A versatile defensive player with the ability to get forward from the back, Longmore joins a Lamar side that bulldozed its way through the Southland Conference in 2017. Whilst this will be the Busselton product’s first season in Division I, Longmore is no stranger to the world of college soccer, having played the last two seasons at Dodge City Community College in Kansas, and clearly did enough to draw the attention of the coaches at a program that is clearly on the rise after winning 18 of their 23 games last season and battling #6 seed Texas A&M all the way before falling to a 1-0 defeat in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Caitlin Cantrill (Junior, Midfielder, LSU, Canberra)

After featuring 12 times for LSU as a freshman, Cantrill managed just three appearances in 2017 and competition for playing time will be just as fierce in 2018 in a squad with 13 listed midfielders including freshman sensation Abbey Newton, who was recently named Florida’s Gatorade Player of the Year. The junior will be hoping for a return to the kind of playing time she saw in her freshman year, and LSU could do with not only Cantrill but all players firing on all cylinders as they look to hit double figures for wins for the first time since 2015, a season in which the roster featured former Western Sydney Wanderers and current Utah Royals defender Alex Arlitt.

Laura Farrelly (Freshman, Midfielder, Marshall, Central Coast)

Hailing from the same club as former College Matildas Freshman of the Year, Tia Gavin, Laura Farrelly joins a Marshall side looking to make some vast strides in 2018 after finishing 5-11-1 in 2017, missing the Conference USA tournament in the process after collecting just three wins in league play. Although Farrelly is primarily an attacking midfielder, the Manly United product can slot into a variety of positions in the centre of the park, and in a team overflowing with midfielders, that versatility could prove to be the ace up Farrelly’s sleeve that secures her more playing time than a player that is only comfortable in one position. With two senior midfielders in the starting lineup this year, 2018 may very well be Farrelly’s proving ground in an attempt to secure one of those spots that will open up in 2019.

Tessa Calabria (Junior, Forward, Nicholls State, Adelaide)

Tessa Calabria joins Siobhan Longmore as junior college transfers joining the Division I ranks this season, and the pair will face off at the top level as Calabria makes the move to Nicholls State, a Southland Conference foe of Longmore’s Lamar side. Calabria becomes the third Australian at Nicholls State, alongside Kristy Helmers and Tenille Harberger, continuing the pipeline from Australia to Thibodaux. Having established a reputation as an outstanding goalscorer during her time at Iowa Lakes Community College, the Nicholls State faithful will be hoping that this transfers to the Division I level for a team in severe need of improved scoring in 2018 after finishing 265th of 335 teams in Division I for total goals in 2017.

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

Kristy Helmers will once again lead the line for Nicholls State. (Photo Credit: Misty McElroy)

Helmers comes into the 2018 season as one of just two returning Australians to have scored more than one goal in 2017. However, the Canberra product will be hoping for a return to 2016’s output of 6 goals rather than last season’s 3 goals as the Colonels struggled to find the back of the net as a team in 2017, tallying just six goals in conference play. The team will no doubt be helped by the fact that 12 of their 19 games in 2018 will be played at home but will have to make sure that home advantage counts after finishing 2-5 on their own patch in 2017 despite registering a 4-6-1 record on the road against many of the same opponents they will face in 2018.

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

Having redshirted her first season in Thibodaux, Tenille Harberger will now look to make an impact on the pitch in 2018 after a year easing into college. Now one of three Australians on the Colonels roster, Harberger will be tasked with providing midfield service to her countrywomen in Tessa Calabria and Kristy Helmers, but will have to earn her spot on the pitch in a roster stacked with midfielders. With no less than 13 players on the roster listed as midfielders, Harberger will have to carve out her own spot in the rotation, perhaps with a view towards taking a spot held by one of the senior midfielders once they move on in 2019.

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

Gaby Bentley barely saw any playing time in her freshman season, but 2017 was a vastly different affair as the sophomore midfielder developed into an integral part of the Old Dominion team. Having appeared in just two games in 2016, Bentley finished with a single goal in her 17 appearances in midfield for an Old Dominion team that finished with a 9-5-4 record, a slight improvement on their 7-12 record in 2016. Whilst the Monarchs will have to replace C-USA Defender of the Year Jackie Stroud and starting goalkeeper Krista Moisio, who both graduated after the 2017 season, most of the team’s other starters return, including Bentley, who comes into this season as one of the more experienced midfield players for the Monarchs. Having finished 6-2-2 in conference play last season, Old Dominion will no doubt be seeing this season as the time to make that final jump to secure a conference title and make an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Siena Senatore (Senior, Defender, Southeast Missouri State, Canberra)

Senatore had a year away from the game due to injury in 2017 after a solid first two seasons at Southeast Missouri State, but now returns to shore up the Redhawks’ defence in her senior season. The only Aussie on the roster following Maddy Cornell’s graduation after the 2017 season, Senatore’s return is a timely one as the Redhawks feature only five pure defenders on the roster, although two other players have been known to slot into the backline. Having been just about ever-present in the Redhawks lineup prior to her injury, if Senatore can return to the form she showed before her absence, it will be a significant advantage for a team that finished 8-8-4 last season but was let down by their play on the road, finishing 1-5-4 away from Cape Girardeau.

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

Shelby Milton and St. Francis secured the Northeast Conference on penalties last season, delivering the team an NCAA Tournament berth in the process. However, the defender out of Wollongong was rarely sighted on the pitch for the Red Flash, playing just six games and 233 minutes, although two of those appearances were starts. There will be a spot opening up in the backline at St. Francis in 2018 though, as captain and NEC All-Conference First Team selection Allison LaDuke recently graduated. If Milton can return to the form that saw her feature in 19 games in 2016, that spot could certainly become hers in 2018 as the Red Flash look to make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Beattie Goad (Junior, Midfielder, Stanford, Melbourne)

Having won a national championship in 2017, Beattie Goad and Stanford will be gunning for back-to-back titles and they will come into the season among the favourites after returning the vast majority of their title-winning team from last season. On a personal level, Goad will no doubt be hoping to secure more playing time than she managed in either of her first two seasons. Whilst the Victorian played in the majority of the games in both of her first two seasons, much of her playing time came in short stints, resulting in about 40 minutes of action in most of her appearances. There aren’t many spots opening up in the starting lineup for the Cardinal, so Goad will have to do plenty in preseason to earn a starting spot, where the junior’s improving versatility may prove to be another asset.

Demi Koulizakis (Junior, Midfielder, Texas Tech, Sydney)

‘Vastly underutitlised’ would probably be the most accurate way to describe Demi Koulizakis in 2017. Having played in 18 games in 2016, Koulizakis was afforded minimal playing time her sophomore year, with most of her 10 appearances allowing her far too little playing time to have any realistic chance of impacting a game. The forward stocks aren’t quite as overflowing at Texas Tech this season, but the Red Raiders do return a number of starters from 2017 in attacking roles. Whatever the case may be with regards to Koulizakis’ playing time this season, there is no doubt the Red Raiders could use some more goals, scoring multiple goals just three times in their nine conference games in 2017 as the team finished with a 9-7-3 record and a first-round exit in the Big 12 conference tournament.

Jodie Burchell (Freshman, Forward, Towson, Gold Coast)

A club teammate of former Colorado and Troy star Alex Huynh at Souths United in Queensland’s NPL competition, Burchell’s addition to the Towson lineup brings the number of Colonial Athletic Association teams featuring Aussies to four, alongside William and Mary, Drexel, and Hofstra. A target player with the ability to hold the ball up, Burchell has made 16 appearances for the third placed Souths United in Queensland’s NPL competition in 2018, scoring two goals in the process with most of her appearances coming as a substitute in the last 20 minutes. Towson struggled last season, finishing with just five wins and a fairly dismal 2-6-1 conference record, scoring just 6 goals in their Colonial Athletic Association schedule. With senior Maddie Bove taking 5 of the team’s 14 goals with her after graduating following the 2017 season, the onus will be on Burchell and her fellow forwards to not only make up that deficit, but add a few more in an effort to improve on last season’s record.

Teagan Micah (Junior, Goalkeeper, UCLA, Brisbane)

Having reached the College Cup championship game in 2017 before going down to Stanford in a classic at Orlando City Stadium, only one ending will suffice for Teagan Micah and UCLA in 2018: lifting the NCAA Championship trophy on the final day of the season. Micah has been all but ever-present between the sticks for the Bruins for the last two seasons, establishing herself as one of the better goalkeepers of her class in the process and a vital piece of the UCLA lineup. The Bruins lost a number of players to graduation after last season, but return a stacked team featuring recent US national team debutant Hailie Mace, bona-fide Canadian national team star Jessie Fleming, and a range of US youth team players in front of Micah as they look to make another run to the championship game in 2018.

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

A starter in six of her 17 appearances in 2017, Kate Swartwout will no doubt be hoping to convert more of those appearances into starts in her junior season. Primarily a defender, Swartwout’s height is a particular advantage in the backline, standing at 6 feet tall, a full two inches taller than any other player on the Catamounts roster. However, there is more to Swartwout’s game than standing tall and heading away crosses. Solid on the ball with a history of playing multiple positions during her younger years, the Gold Coast-born but North Carolina-raised junior has tallied an assist in each of her first two seasons in college. Western Carolina came from the clouds to reach the final of the Southern Conference tournament in 2017 before falling to UNC Greensboro in the final, with that run hopefully serving as a launchpad for this season.

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

Lorena Bugden spent her first year at William & Mary recuperating following a serious knee injury, and returns to a vastly changed program as head coach John Daly retired and Australian assistant coach Vanessa Mann took the head coaching job at UMBC. It was a disappointing season in 2017 for the Tribe as an 8-10-2 record saw the team’s 36-season streak of winning records snapped. The former Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder has been preparing herself well for the season, spending the winter regaining her fitness playing for APIA Leichhardt in the New South Wales NPL2 competition. Whilst she may not have been able to play in her freshman year, Bugden still has as good a chance as any player of securing solid minutes in 2018 as an inexperienced Tribe midfield looks to step up in a roster that features just four seniors and a total of eight upperclassmen, two of which are goalkeepers.

Annika Clayton (Senior, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

With the graduation of Alisha Bass and Georgia Rowntree after the 2017 season and Jemma House’s transfer to Nova Southeastern, Annika Clayton is now one of just two Australians on the Wyoming roster. Bass and Rowntree were two of the undoubted leaders of last year’s Cowgirls side, and as a senior, Clayton will no doubt be expected to step up to fulfil that role to some degree in 2018. The senior’s role in midfield will no doubt consist more of providing service to the frontline than creating her own chances, but nonetheless, Clayton will surely be hoping to improve on last season’s tally of a single goal as the Cowgirls look to replace the six goals that Aussie pair Alisha Bass and Jemma House tallied last season which represented one-third of the team’s total scoring for the season. Wyoming finished last season on a five-game losing streak that dropped them from 6-4-2 to 6-9-2, missing out on the Mountain West Conference tournament in the process, and ensuring the same thing does not happen again will be paramount in 2018.

Jessie Gentle (Senior, Forward, Wyoming, Woolgoolga)

Jessie Gentle forms the second half of Wyoming’s Aussie duo alongside Annika Clayton, and with both players in their senior season, we may be looking at the conclusion of an extended era of Aussie presence in the Cowgirls’ squad. However, Gentle, like Clayton, is an integral member of the Wyoming side, so the Australians are unlikely to go quietly into the good night. Able to play in any wide position, Gentle has been utilised both on the front line and as a wingback in her time at Laramie and has performed admirably in all positions. Although scoring hasn’t been Gentle’s forte, tallying just one goal in her three seasons, the Woolgoolga product did pop up with two assists in 2017 to move to four for her career, and a further increase in that number would surely go a long way to helping Wyoming improve on last season’s 6-9-2 record.

2016 Player Previews

2016 will see a massive 33 Australians suiting up in NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer, an increase of 6 on last year and nearly double the number of players we saw in 2014. Ten of these players are freshmen, whilst one newcomer, Isobel Dalton, is an NAIA transfer from Lindsey Wilson College. With no less than 13 players, including 4 freshmen, possessing W-League experience and several others featuring for youth national teams, there is definitely plenty of Aussie talent in the college ranks this season.

Claire Urquhart (Sophomore, Defender, Albany, Brisbane)

Claire was used sparingly at Albany in 2015, but returns in 2016 ready to have more of an impact in defence. The Albany defence is exceedingly young this season, with four sophomores and one freshman comprising the five natural defenders in the squad, so opportunities may just open up for the sophomore from Brisbane. Claire played 5 games last season, starting in 2 of these contests, as Albany won the America East title before going down to eventual national champions Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Isobel Dalton (Sophomore, Midfielder, Colorado, Sunshine Coast)

Isobel adds to the Australian contingent at Colorado following a season playing NAIA soccer in Kentucky with Lindsey Wilson College, helping the Blue Raiders to a national championship final berth. A former Brisbane Roar W-League player, Isobel has also played in England’s Women’s Super League for Bristol Academy before making the move to the US. Isobel played in 23 games for Lindsey Wilson, scoring 7 goals and also contributing a pair of assists for the Blue Raiders.

Kahlia Hogg (Senior, Defender/Midfielder, Colorado, Canberra)

Kahlia had an excellent first season for Colorado in 2014 after transferring from Florida State, and looked set to continue in the same vein in her senior season. Unfortunately, after starting in six games and playing an average of 85 minutes, Kahlia suffered an injury and was forced to sit out the remainder of the season. Fortunately, Kahlia has been awarded an additional season and will compete again as a senior in 2016, looking to make amends for 2015. One of the fittest players in the team, Kahlia averaged over 85 minutes of playing time per game in 2015, playing a full 90 minutes in four of her six games as Colorado conceded less than 0.7 goals per game with Kahlia on the pitch.

Emma Heckenberg (Sophomore, Midfielder, Drexel, Melbourne)

Emma made a reasonable if not spectacular start to her college career last season, featuring in 8 matches. The Victorian forward also started two of these games, both of which were conference games. The Drexel forward line is young, but features Vanessa Kara, who scored 11 goals last season, which represented almost half of the team’s offensive output. With Kara a lock to start again this season, Emma and the remaining forwards will be fighting for the other spot up front. Emma was a star in the classroom last season though, picking up the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award.

Isabel Hodgson (Sophomore, Defender, East Tennessee State, Adelaide)

Isabel enjoyed a fantastic first season at East Tennessee State, quickly establishing herself as the team’s starting right back. A product of Adelaide United’s W-League team, Isabel played in all 19 games for the Buccaneers in 2015 as the team finished with a respectable 9-9-1 record. With star midfielder and Austrian national team player Sarah Zadrazil having graduated following the 2015 season, the returning starters will all have to step up if the Buccaneers are to be competitive again in 2016 and Isabel is no different.

Sam Roff (Freshman, Midfielder, Fairleigh Dickinson, Canberra)

One of four players from the same ACT Academy of Sport class to make the move to Division I this year, Sam links up with a fellow Australian at Fairleigh Dickinson, with assistant coach Julia Bazi hailing from Sydney. Primarily a midfielder but also with the ability to play in defence, Sam has been a member of the ACT Academy of Sport for three seasons and also trained with W-League club Canberra United before making the move to Fairleigh Dickinson. The Knights went 16-6 last season, winning the Northeast Conference title and only narrowly losing to Rutgers in the first round of the national tournament, going down 1-0. However, they have lost a massive ten seniors to graduation and star Canadian forward Rachel Hoekstra is transferring to Georgia Southern, taking with her 16 of the side’s 50 goals from last season, so expect this to be a rebuilding season for the team.

Emily Hulbert (Junior, Defender/Midfielder, Hofstra, Melbourne)

An instrumental part of Hofstra’s side for two seasons, Emily will again be part of a solid Hofstra side that will look to limit the damage of the graduation of English international and NWSL player Leah Galton, who was the star of the Pride team last season. Emily’s chances last season were slightly down from 2014, starting just 4 matches in comparison to the 14 she started two seasons ago. Nonetheless, the fullback was able to contribute enough to earn the 2015 College Matildas Defender of the Year award. With another season under her belt, she may just have enough in her locker to win the same award again.

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

An integral part of Canberra United’s W-League squad since 2014, Julia will no doubt be one of the top Australian freshmen in college this season as she joins an Indiana side desperate to improve on last seasons 3-10-6 record. Julia has represented Australia at several youth team levels and was also named Canberra United’s Rising Star in both 2014 and 2015. With a pair of midfield spots opening up in 2016 following the graduation of two players, Julia will certainly have the chance to earn a starting spot from the outset.

Kiri Dale (Sophomore, Defender, Iona, Mullumbimby)

One of no less than five Palm Beach products playing in Division I this season, Kiri unfortunately did not see any playing time in her freshman year, but that will surely just make her hungrier to make an impact in her sophomore year. Iona are yet to reveal their freshman class for 2016, but with only four natural defenders returning from last season, this may just be Kiri’s chance to shine and establish herself going forward for Iona. With the Gaels only winning 3 games last year and giving up 49 goals in 19 games, that defence is going to have to stand up this season if the team is to compete.

Caitlin Cantrill (Freshman, Midfielder, LSU, Canberra)

One of the first Australians to commit to a college amongst this year’s freshmen, Caitlin joins an LSU side looking to progress from last season’s SEC semi-final berth and a first round loss to South Alabama in the NCAA Tournament. They do have a slight issue though, that being the loss of nine players to graduation after the 2015 season. Whilst this may be a transition season of sorts for LSU, it also offers Caitlin the chance to see plenty of playing time from the outset. A former member of the Australian Under 17 national team, Caitlin is yet another of the ACT Academy of Sport graduates in this year’s freshman class.

Laura Johns (Senior, Forward, Massachusetts, Adelaide)

The 2015 College Matildas Breakout Player of the Year, Laura tallied the first goal of her college career last season and also notched four assists, a marked improvement on the total of one she managed in the previous two years. More notably, Laura transitioned from what had mainly been a rotational role off the bench to a starter for the majority of the 2015 season. One of four Australian seniors this year, Laura’s continued rise at Massachusetts may just make her the dark horse for the College Matildas Senior of the Year award this season.

Nyomi Devine (Junior, Defender, Murray State, Gold Coast)

A starter from the outset at Murray State, Nyomi was instrumental in keeping things tight at the back during last season’s perfect conference slate as Murray State won the Ohio Valley conference title. Whilst fellow Palm Beach product Harriet Withers may have received the accolades in 2015, there is no doubting that Nyomi was one of the key parts of the Racers’ defence which conceded just 22 goals in 21 games in 2015. Nyomi was also named to the Ohio Valley Conference All-Tournament team to go along with her championship ring.

Jade Horcicka (Freshman, Midfielder, Murray State, Gold Coast)

The newest member of the Palm Beach contingent at Murray State, Jade has not featured for the senior Palm Beach team nearly as much as both Nyomi Devine and Harriet Withers did before they moved on to college, but that doesn’t mean Jade doesn’t come with a solid pedigree. After a single appearance in the Palm Beach first team in 2015, Jade was a regular with the team in 2016 before leaving for college, and was also a mainstay of the Under 20s team last season. Jade has also played for the Queensland Schoolgirls side in 2014 and 2015. The Murray State midfield is burgeoning with players, but many are young and others are employed in other roles, so there may just be some playing time available for Jade early on. The early non-conference games will be telltale, though.

Harriet Withers (Junior, Forward, Murray State, Gold Coast)

Harriet enjoyed a solid first season for Murray State in 2014, scoring six goals and contributing 2 assists in 20 games. That was simply a precursor for an exceptional 2015 season which saw the striker win College Matildas Player Of The Year honours. Harriet banged home 11 goals and also tallied 7 assists as the Racers enjoyed a perfect Ohio Valley conference season before going down in a 1-0 loss to Ole Miss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Harriet will need to have another season of similar ilk if Murray State are going to have a chance of repeating, as they lose 11 goals and 11 assists from last season through the graduation of Taylor Stevens and Marissa Burroughs.

Jess Coates (Senior, Midfielder, Nicholls State, Sydney)

A broken wrist put paid to what should have been a glorious senior season for Jess, but after a long wait has been awarded an additional season and will get the chance to play out a proper senior campaign. Jess’ attacking partner, Spencer Valdespino, has now graduated but that may open up a chance for Jess to combine with a fellow Australian, freshman Kristy Helmers, in her senior season. With seven assists in her junior year in 2014, expect Jess to once again be feeding the strikers perfectly – the only question from there is whether they can step up to fill the void left by Valdespino.

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

Kristy Helmers will be one of the Nicholls State forwards tasked with making up Spencer Valdespino’s 14 goal tally from last season. With only four recognised forwards in the Nicholls State squad this season, Kristy will no doubt be thrust into the action from the outset. One of four recent ACTAS graduates to be starting college this season, Kristy scored 12 goals in 14 appearances in last season’s Capital Football WPL, following up with 7 goals in 7 appearances this season.

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

A dreaded ACL injury put paid to Ellie’s season in 2015, but the fullback returns this season as a redshirt sophomore looking to showcase the kind of form that saw her enjoy a successful 2014 season with Pacific. With a new coach on board in Stockton, Ellie will be forced to prove herself once again, but was able to do this as a freshman and there’s no reason she won’t be able to do so again. Able to play either at left back or on the wing, this versatility should stand Ellie in good stead as she looks to earn back her starting position.

Price Keogh (Sophomore, Defender, San Francisco, Charlotte)

Price represents a slight change of pace amongst the 34 Australians in NCAA Division I this season in that she is actually from Charlotte, North Carolina. The 5’4 defender played in just the one game in her first season in San Francisco, but with two of the team’s starting defenders finishing their careers in 2015, opportunities will surely open up for Price. San Francisco had a reasonably solid year in 2015, finishing 13-4-3 and finishing in 2nd place in the West Coast Conference. Unfortunately, the WCC does not play a postseason tournament, denying the Dons an opportunity to secure a bid to the national tournament, with the team well out of the at-large picture.

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

Three becomes two with regards to the number of Australians at Southeast Missouri State following midfielder Jenna Collingridge’s graduation. Maddy Cornell is the more senior of the two, with the versatile fullback moving into her junior season in 2016. Maddy featured in 18 games in 2015, starting six of these, which is double the number of both appearances and starts that she saw in 2014. Maddy’s goal now will be to convert those 12 appearances off the bench into starts this year as Southeast Missouri State attempt to make a return trip to the Ohio Valley Conference championship game, with the aim this year to go one better than last year’s overtime loss to Murray State.

Siena Senatore (Sophomore, Defender, Southeast Missouri State, Canberra)

An Under 17 Australian representative before making the move to college, Siena took a few games to find her groove last season, but eventually became a vital part of the defence before suffering an injury late on in the season. After starting the first three games of the season, Siena came off the bench for a few weeks before being returned to the starting lineup as the Redhawks kept 4 clean sheets in a row in the space of 9 days. Siena sat for a couple of weeks with injury, but returns in 2016 ready to slot straight back into the starting lineup in the centre of defence.

Beattie Goad (Freshman, Midfielder, Stanford, Melbourne)

The undoubted star of the 2016 freshman class, Beattie already has a W-League title under her belt, having been an instrumental part of a Melbourne City side that finished undefeated in 2015/16. One of the best young Australian players, Beattie combined those football skills with outstanding academic achievement to open up the chance to play for Stanford, one of the most successful programs in NCAA women’s soccer. A pacy winger with excellent technical abilities, Beattie will face stiff competition for playing time from the likes of United States youth national team representatives Jordan DiBiasi and Andi Sullivan. However, Beattie has spent the year learning from some of the best players in the world, including Lisa De Vanna, and will push all the way for a spot in the lineup.

Alexandra Huynh (Senior, Defender, Troy, Sydney)

After three outstanding seasons at Colorado, Alexandra has this season made the move south to Troy for her senior year. A three year starter at Boulder, the centre back was almost ever-present for the Buffaloes save for an injury midway through her sophomore year. As a member of a Colorado defence that set school clean sheet records in 2015, Alexandra will no doubt be a vital part of the back line in her new team. Troy kept 10 clean sheets in winning 14 of 20 games last season, and with Alexandra now set to replace graduating stalwart Payton Donley in defence, Troy will be well placed to use defence as the foundation of a successful season in 2016.

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

The lone Australian player in the SWAC this season following the graduation of Alabama State’s Shelbi Vienna-Hallam, Paige transferred to Texas Southern in 2015 after a season of NAIA play, and immediately slotted into the team. Hayward played a full 90 minutes on six occasions last season, starting on all 17 occasions that she played. Hayward contributed 2 goals and 5 assists in 2015 as Texas Southern compiled an 8-11 record, going down to Alabama State in the first round of the SWAC Tournament. With no seniors amongst the forwards in 2015, Paige and her fellow strikers will have the opportunity to improve on last year’s output. They may have to if the team is to stay competitive, with last season’s starting goalkeeper and two defenders graduating after the 2015 season.

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

The scorer of the W-League’s 900th goal, Demi saw regular playing time for Western Sydney Wanderers last season but has now made the move to the Lone Star state to become Australia’s sole representative in the powerful Big 12 conference this season. Able to play in the midfield or up front, Demi is likely to be used in a more attacking role at Texas Tech. Demi will be part of the group tasked with replacing graduating Canadian national team player Janine Beckie, who is now playing with the NWSL’s Houston Dash.

Teagan Micah (Freshman, Goalkeeper, UCLA, Brisbane)

Teagan made the move from Brisbane to Western Sydney this past W-League season, but that was nothing in comparison to the jump the goalkeeper has made in 2016. UCLA have been one of the most successful programs of the last decade, winning a national title and producing players such as Lauren Holiday, Sydney Leroux, Samantha Mewis, Megan Oyster, Caprice Dydasco, Abby Dahlkemper, Sarah Killion, McCall Zerboni, Zakiya Bywaters, Lauren Barnes, and Katelyn Rowland. Teagan will have to fight for every minute of playing time, but with last season’s backup Arielle Schechtman making the move to Georgetown, it will now be a fight between 3 rather than 4 players for the starting spot.

Lulu Pullar (Freshman, Defender, USC, Brisbane)

Lulu had been on USC’s radar for over a year, and made the move to Los Angeles in January to get a headstart on her college career. Set to be used in either the back line or anchoring the midfield, Lulu has represented Australian Schoolgirls and has trained with Brisbane Roar’s W-League squad before moving to college. Having already seen plenty of playing time in USC’s spring friendlies, Lulu is well-placed to hit the ground running when competitive play starts in late August.

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

Originally from the Gold Coast but having learned her trade in Lake Norman, North Carolina, Kate’s new college isn’t actually all that far from home for the freshman. In a young side, but one that only lost a single defender to graduation after 2015, Kate’s ability to also play in midfield looks as if it may stand her in good stead as she vies for playing time in her freshman year. Not without goalscoring ability either, Kate once banged home a hat-trick in a single half playing up front for her club team in Lake Norman.

Jai Jackson (Sophomore, Midfielder, Winthrop, Toowoomba)

A rotational player early on in 2015, Jai finished her freshman season with a flourish, playing full games in each of Winthrop’s last six games as the Eagles finished with a 6-9-3 record, falling to Liberty in the first round of the Big South tournament. Primarily employed deeper in midfield, Jai has also shown a knack for getting forward when required, with her footballing IQ clearly amongst the best in the Winthrop squad. There is little doubt that Jai will reprise her role as an integral part of the Winthrop midfield going forward, with the Queenslander well placed to be a vital cog for her remaining three seasons.

Alisha Bass (Junior, Defender/Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

Is she a midfielder? Is she a defender? Well, ask most people in the Sydney women’s soccer community and they’ll tell you Alisha is an attacking midfielder every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But ask people in Wyoming and they’ll tell you she’s a vital part of the Cowgirls’ defence that helped the team compile a 10-6-4 record before falling in the first round of the Mountain West tournament to Colorado College. Alisha also tallied a pair of goals last season and notched an assist, proving that she still has the attacking instincts that saw her represent Australia at youth level. With no seniors in the 2015 squad, Wyoming have a real chance to build on last year’s successes and become a real force in the Mountain West this season.

Annika Clayton (Sophomore, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

A starter in 14 games in 2015, Annika featured in all 20 of Wyoming’s contests last season, notching two goals and an assist from midfield in her freshman campaign. Whilst her tangible stats are not out of this world, Annika certainly did enough to average over an hour of playing time per game by the end of last season, with the Wyoming coaching staff clearly impressed by the Sydneysider. With Wyoming’s squad barely changing from last season, Annika should see at least as much time on the field in 2016 as the Cowgirls attempt to build on last season’s 10 wins.

Jessie Gentle (Sophomore, Forward, Wyoming, Woolgoolga)

Like Annika Clayton, Jessie joined Wyoming last season and played in all 20 games, starting in 16. Lining up on the wing for the most part, Jessie averaged over 70 minutes per game, tallying a single assist on Laurel Ramer’s opener against Hawaii in a 2-2 draw early on in the season. Jessie will be looking to create a more tangible impact this season, but has clearly shown that she has the ability to be a major part of the Wyoming side in 2016.

Georgia Rowntree (Junior, Goalkeeper, Wyoming, Sydney)

A starter in 16 games in 2015, Georgia shared the goalkeeping responsibilities with local player Cassidy Entsminger last season and things appear set to stay the same in 2016. Conceding an average of just a single goal per game, Georgia notched a .786 save percentage in 2015, representing an improvement on 2014’s 1.20 goals conceded per game, but with an identical save percentage. However, the most notable of Georgia’s stats was her minutes played. After playing 9 games and earning 451 minutes of playing time in 2014, Georgia played 810 minutes in 2015 as she and Entsminger established themselves as an excellent pairing in goal. Running unopposed for Goalkeeper of the Year for the last two seasons, Georgia has competition for the first time, in the form of UCLA’s Teagan Micah.

Candace Sciberras (Junior, Midfielder, Wyoming, Sydney)

Candace came to Wyoming in 2013 alongside Alisha Bass, but has followed a slightly different course since that time. The winger suffered an ACL injury and was forced to sit out most of the 2015 season after a promising start to the season which saw Candace start the first five games of the campaign. With very little change to the Wyoming roster, expect to see Candace back in the rotation this season and hopefully earning back that starting spot that she had rightfully claimed before last season’s injury.

Week 6 Wrap

It was a good week for our Pac-12 Aussies, as Washington State and Colorado both picked up big wins to kick off conference play. The biggest result of the weekend, however, may have come in Montgomery where Alabama State knocked off conference favourites Howard where the only boilover bigger than the result was the emotional boilover.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week’s results: defeated VMI 2-0, defeated UNC Greensboro 3-1

East Tennessee State started conference play 2 from 2 with clinical victories over VMI and UNC Greensboro. The Buccaneers demolished VMI everywhere but on the scoresheet, with 25 shots only leading to 8 on target, and only 2 goals, which came in the 13th and 60th minutes. The Buccaneers were slightly more accurate in their second match of the weekend, unleashing 28 shots at UNC Greensboro, with 13 on target. It’s no surprise that they managed 3 goals, scoring early on through Simona Koren before notching two more in the second half. UNC Greensboro did manage one of their own, but this game belonged to ETSU. Isabel Hodgson registered three shots, but was forced off after 62 minutes against VMI after copping an elbow to the ribs, The freshman shook it off to play a full match against UNC Greensboro though, tallying another shot in that match.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week’s results: lost to San Jose State 1-0 (OT), defeated Fresno State 3-0

Wyoming split a pair of games this week, but to put a positive spin on it, the win was far more convincing than the loss. The Cowgirls were outshot 13-7 by San Jose State, but managed to hold on for overtime courtesy of three saves each from Georgia Rowntree and Cassidy Entsminger. However, they couldn’t hang on for the extra period, giving up the game winner in the 97th minute. The game against Fresno State brought much more positivity, and it was Aussie freshman Annika Clayton who opened the scoring with her first collegiate goal in the 17th minute. Summer Halle added a second just before halftime as the Cowgirls outshot the Bulldogs 7-0 in the first half. Fresno State did manage 4 shots in the second half, but only two managed to trouble the goalkeeper, whilst Taylor Burton added a third goal for Wyoming in the 68th minute to seal the win. Three of the four available Aussies started both games, whilst Annika Clayton did enough against San Jose State to secure a starting spot against Fresno State, and given her performance, she may have secured it for a few games to come.

Drexel (Emma Heckenberg)

This week’s results: lost to UNC Wilmington 3-2, lost to College of Charleston 2-1

Drexel may have lost both games this weekend, but can still hold their heads high after close battles in both. Coming into the game against UNC Wilmington as distinct underdogs, and a slow start from the Dragons proved to be their downfall, with their opponents scoring twice in the first 7 minutes to set up the victory. Drexel got the margin back within one on two occasions, but couldn’t find an equaliser. It was the opposite story against College of Charleston – the Dragons scored in the fourteenth minute but gave up two second half goals and the win despite outshooting their opponents 12-9. Most importantly though, Emma Heckenberg started both games and played a total of 140 minutes. Prior to this weekend, Emma had come off the bench in only five of the Dragons’ games and played a total of 84 minutes.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week’s results: defeated William and Mary 2-1, defeated Elon 2-0

Hofstra got their conference title-chasing campaign off to a solid start with two wins against a couple of the better sides in the CAA. First up were William and Mary, and Hofstra showed their intentions early as Leah Galton scored the opener just 11 minutes in. Galton added a second early in the second half, but William and Mary weren’t going to lie down and got one back in the 61st minute. That was as close as they would come, though, as the Pride managed to hold on for the win. Elon also provided a challenger, but Hofstra were slightly more clinical in this one. After taking the lead after a goal line scramble in the 2nd minute, the Pride never let up and allowed Elon just two shots on target throughout the entire game. Leah Galton’s 9th goal of the season just after an hour of play sealed the win for the Pride. Emily Hulbert came off the bench in both games, playing 23 minutes against William and Mary and 33 minutes against Elon.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week’s results: drew with SIU Edwardsville 0-0 (2OT), defeated Eastern Illinois 5-0

Southeast Missouri State’s defence came to the fore yet again as they made it 3 consecutive clean sheets in Division I play, and four if you include the game against Division II Union. Unfortunately, in a battle of last year’s conference regular season co-champions, the attack didn’t provide quite the same ruthlessness as the Redhawks were outshot 10-6 in a 0-0 draw. Clearly they were saving something for Eastern Illinois as they smashed 23 shots at the Panthers’ goalkeeper, with 12 of those ending up on target. The Redhawks got things started quickly, scoring twice in the first 6 minutes, but couldn’t find another goal for the remainder of the first half. Two of their own, plus an own goal from Eastern Illinois in the second half led to a massive 5-0 win. Siena Senatore played all 200 minutes this weekend, whilst Maddy Cornell came off the bench in both games and Jenna Collingridge also came off the bench against Eastern Illinois.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week’s result: defeated Howard 1-0

In a more than surprising result, Alabama State picked up their first win of the season against conference favourites and defending champions Howard. The Hornets had conceded 27 goals in their previous three games, but Gianna Guyot was huge for the home side, making ten saves. The only goal of the game came just shy of the hour mark courtesy of Aaliyah Lewis, but the final 15 minutes brought the real talking points – four players saw red in two separate incidents in the 78th and 81st minutes to leave each team with just 9 players on the field. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam once again played a full 90 minutes, registering two shots but neither was on target.

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week’s result: defeated Gardner-Webb 2-1

Winthrop showed Gardner-Webb why it’s important to take your chances, as they were outshot 19-12 by the Runnin’ Bulldogs, but scored two goals on five shots on target compared with their opponents’ solitary goal on nine shots on target. Gardner-Webb did take the lead after 13 minutes, but let their guard down for just four minutes late in the first half and that was it. Two goals for Winthrop were enough as Gardner-Webb squandered chances throughout. Jai Jackson came off the bench but came on early and ended up playing 57 minutes.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week: drew with UMBC 1-1 (2OT)

Albany gave themselves a reasonable chance to win against UMBC, but couldn’t quite find the goal to break the tie. They really only had themselves to blame for dropping a lead that they earned in the 76th minute, as just two minutes later they allowed UMBC an equaliser. UMBC only had 2 shots on target for the entire game to Albany’s 9, but at the end of the day each team could only get one past the goalkeeper and the spoils were shared. Unfortunately, Claire Urquhart did not see any playing time in this game.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week’s result: lost to Marquette 5-1

Creighton were always going to be up against it in this match against Marquette, but they will still be disappointed with a heavy 5-1 loss. Especially frustrating for the Bluejays will be the fact that they took the lead in the 8th minute through Ylenia Sachau and didn’t concede an equaliser until the 38th. In fact, with 13 minutes to play it was still 2-1 Marquette. A penalty in the 78th minute made the scoreline 3-1 and from there Creighton really just fell apart, conceding another two as they allowed the scoreline to blow out and make themselves look a lot worse than they really are. Anastasia McCleary did manage to get on the field in this game, but played just the nine minutes.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week: lost to Saint Louis 2-0

After getting their Ohio Valley slate off to a good start last week, this oddly scheduled non-conference game against Saint Louis unfortunately ended in a loss for Murray State. In what was probably a fair result, the Racers were outshot 16-11, but could only get 3 of those 11 on target. Saint Louis, on the other hand, maybe should have scored more as they put 13 shots on target. As it turned out, though, 2 goals were enough as 28th and 58th minute strikes proved to be decisive. Nyomi Devine and Harriet Withers both played a full 90 minutes, with Harriet managing two shots. However, like most of the Racers’ shots, these were off the mark.

Washington State (Tia Gavin)

This week’s result: defeated Arizona State 2-1

Washington State lost their perfect record last week when they went down to Portland, but bounced right back this weekend with a win over Arizona State. It didn’t come easy though – the Cougars were outshot FIFTEEN TO ONE in the first half, with goalkeeper Ella Dederick making 8 saves. Come the second half, things changed slightly. Two goals in the first seven minutes, both courtesy of Kourtney Guetlein, put things firmly in Washington State’s favour. They made the fans sweat though, as Arizona State got one back in the 66th minute and continued from there to bring wave after wave of attack. The Cougars held on for the win though, and now sit at 8-1. Tia Gavin had 24 minutes off the bench, causing problems for the Arizona State defence but not managing a shot.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alex Huynh)

This week’s result: defeated California 2-1 (OT)

California came into Boulder as one of the perceived strongest teams in the nation, but left with their tails between their legs as the Buffaloes snatched a 2-1 win in overtime. After a goalless opening to the first half, the visitors opened the scoring in the 38th minute through Lynsey Hromatko, but Colorado hit back almost immediately as Brittney Stark scored her third goal of the season just 75 seconds later. Despite this flurry of goals, no more were forthcoming throughout the remaining 50 minutes of the game and the sides were forced to overtime. The first 10 minutes couldn’t separate the sides, but in the 106th minute Emily Paxton slotted home the winner for the upset win. Alex Huynh played the full game in defence as Colorado denied star California striker Arielle Ship an on-target shot in the 100 minutes she played.

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Annika Clayton (Wyoming)
2: 
Harriet Withers (Murray State)*
1: Siena Senatore (Southeast Missouri State)

*Harriet Withers’ points come predominantly from her goalscoring performance against Eastern Kentucky in midweek.

Week 5 Wrap

This week, we mourn the loss of Washington State’s perfect record, but it’s not all bad news. Wyoming and Southeast Missouri State both had two wins this weekend, whilst Colorado bounced back from last week’s overtime loss to Northwestern with a big win over Villanova.

East Tennessee State (Isabel Hodgson)

This week’s result: lost to Campbell 2-1

An up-and-down non-conference season for East Tennessee State unfortunately ended on a low note with a 2-1 loss to Campbell. In a fairly open game, it was Campbell who opened the scoring on the half hour mark through Ashley Clark, but East Tennessee State could only have themselves to blame for being down 1-0 as they could only manage one shot on target from the seven attempts they had. The second half saw the Buccaneers’ shooting gain a degree of accuracy, with seven of their eleven second half shots forcing the Campbell goalkeeper into saves. Unfortunately, the one goal that ETSU did score came with just 19 seconds to play, well after Campbell’s 58th minute goal that had put them two ahead. Isabel Hodgson once again played a full 90 minutes for East Tennessee State, registering one shot.

Winthrop (Jai Jackson)

This week’s result: defeated The Citadel 3-0

Winthrop were fully expected to put The Citadel away this weekend, and did so comprehensively with a 3-0 victory. The Eagles dominated in almost all facets, and ended up outshooting the Bulldogs 22-9, but could only get six of those 22 on target. Fortunately, goalkeeper Caroline Duncan kept out all five of The Citadel’s on target shots, whilst the Bulldogs’ defence was far more leaky. Jai Jackson came off the bench but was soon into the action, and played a total of 65 minutes in this encounter, registering a lone shot.

Wyoming (Alisha Bass, Annika Clayton, Jessie Gentle, Georgia Rowntree, Candace Sciberras)

This week’s result: defeated Idaho State 3-0

Wyoming put the disappointment of last week’s loss to local rival Northern Colorado behind them to put Idaho State to the sword with a comprehensive 3-0 victory. Shaina Ashouri had a hat-trick for the Cowgirls, but she had a couple of Aussies to thank for that. Her first goal came in the fourteenth minute courtesy of an Alisha Bass cross. Then, in the 80th minute, Ashouri was quickest to react to a blocked Jessie Gentle shot to put Wyoming 2-0 up. Ashouri then completed her hat-trick in the 85th minute, running onto a sublime volleyed through ball from Sammi Dunda, knocking it past the Idaho State goalkeeper. Georgia Rowntree played a full 90 minutes and had two saves, keeping a clean sheet, whilst Annika Clayton had a cameo off the bench.

Southeast Missouri State (Jenna Collingridge, Maddy Cornell, Siena Senatore)

This week’s results: defeated Arkansas State 1-0, defeated Union 2-0

Southeast Missouri State had two wins this weekend, both built on solid defence that saw the Redhawks keep two clean sheets. The side restricted Arkansas State to just one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes, which led to Jennifer Antonacci’s 51st minute goal being enough to give Southeast Missouri State the victory. Surprisingly, Division II side Union were able to notch five shots on target, but few of these were threatening, and Abby Klintworth notched a double to give the Redhawks their second win of the weekend. Jenna Collingridge came off the bench in both matches, registering two shots against Arkansas State. Maddy Cornell featured against Union, playing 48 minutes and creating real problems up and down the right flank. However, Siena Senatore’s performance in defence was an absolute delight. The freshman out of Canberra played 170 of 180 possible minutes, with her performance against Union, especially cutting out aerial balls, being a highlight.

Creighton (Anastasia McCleary)

This week’s results: defeated Northern Colorado 3-0, defeated Colorado State 2-0

Creighton turned a single win into a three match winning streak, and at the same time improved their record to 7-3 for the season with two wins over Colorado teams this weekend. Creighton outplayed Northern Colorado throughout the first half, but the teams went in at halftime tied at 0-0. The Bluejays went on to dominate the second half, outshooting Northern Colorado 16-3, and in the process knocked home the three goals that secured victory, with strikes from Lauren Sullivan in the 55th and 69th minutes, and a goal from Summer Khalil in the 75th minute that wrapped things up. It was much the same story against Colorado State – once again, Creighton dominated but couldn’t score in the first half. Two goals in ten minutes, in the 70th and 80th minutes, secured a second victory for the weekend. Anastasia McCleary started against Northern Colorado and played 41 minutes, before playing 11 minutes off the bench against Colorado State.

Albany (Claire Urquhart)

This week’s result: lost to Seton Hall 1-0 (2OT)

Albany went down in a heartbreaker in double overtime, 1-0 to Seton Hall. The Great Danes perhaps had the better looking stat sheet, but Seton Hall dictated the tempo for the majority of the game and it was probably a just result given the run of play. Neither team gave themselves many chances to score goals, with both teams managing only four shots on target. However, it was Seton Hall who managed to put one past the goalkeeper, 52 seconds into the second period of extra time. Unfortunately, Claire Urquhart didn’t see any playing time in this game.

Massachusetts (Laura Johns)

This week’s result: defeated Harvard 2-0

In their second consecutive match against an Ivy League opponent, Massachusetts stretched their winning streak to three courtesy of two goals in the space of 55 seconds in the first half. In what was a remarkably even game for the other 89 minutes, goals from Alyssa Fratarcangeli and Megan Burke in the 18th and 19th minutes were enough to give Massachusetts the win. Harvard really gave themselves little chance to make a comeback either, as they managed only three shots on target in 90 minutes of action, also failing to capitalise on any of their six corners. Laura Johns started in attack for Massachusetts, playing a total of 50 minutes.

Hofstra (Emily Hulbert)

This week’s result: defeated Fordham 3-1

Hofstra improved their record to 6-3 this weekend with a 3-1 win over a Fordham team that had an impressive 6-2 record of their own before this game. Holding Fordham to just one shot in the first half certainly improved Hofstra’s chances, as they scored two goals of their own in the first half, with Jill Mulholland scoring in the 5th minute followed by an Emily Agudelo strike in the 24th minute. Fordham came out all guns blazing in the second half, registering 10 shots, but they shot themselves in the foot by conceding an own goal in just the second minute of the second half. That would be enough for Hofstra to cruise to a win, as Fordham’s inability to hit the target on all but four shots led to them not being able to score until the 80th minute, by which time it was really too late to mount a comeback against a team of Hofstra’s quality. Emily Hulbert played 37 minutes off the bench for Hofstra, registering two shots.

Colorado (Kahlia Hogg, Alex Huynh)

This week’s result: defeated Villanova 3-0

After last week’s heartbreaking overtime loss to Northwestern, Colorado were looking to get things back on track as quickly as possible, and came out firing against Villanova. It took just five minutes for the Buffaloes to open the scoring through Brie Hooks after Villanova gave up possession in dangerous position. Colorado continued to pepper the Wildcats’ defence throughout the first half with ten shots, but couldn’t find a second goal. Ironically, Colorado could only manage three shots in the second half but scored another two goals – a 55th minute strike from Danica Evans and a 77th minute goal from Brittany Stark sealing the win for Colorado. Alex Huynh played 66 minutes in defence, even managing to register a couple of shots, but there was no sign of Kahlia Hogg in this game.

Murray State (Nyomi Devine, Harriet Withers)

This week’s result: lost to IUPUI 3-0

After a great weekend last weekend, Murray State came crashing back down to Earth this weekend with a surprising 3-0 loss to IUPUI. The Racers outshot IUPUI 7-3 in the first half but couldn’t come up with a goal, and that was to be their downfall. IUPUI were almost a different team in the second half, tallying 9 shots and coming up with 3 goals – two goals in a minute from Grace Perkowitz and Krissy Kirkhoff (who also assisted on Perkowitz’ goal) just before the hour mark, and an 86th minute sealer by Tori Minnich, again assisted by Kirkhoff. Of Murray State’s 3 shots on target throughout the game, two were courtesy of Harriet Withers during her 76 minutes on the pitch, whilst Nyomi Devine, as per usual, played a full 90 minutes at the back for the Racers.

Alabama State (Shelbi Vienna-Hallam)

This week’s result: lost to Austin Peay 10-2

Another unfortunate heavy loss for Alabama State this week, going down 10-2 to Austin Peay. Goalscoring hasn’t proved to be a problem this year in many games for the Hornets, but the defence has been a major issue. Once again, Alabama State scored multiple goals, but again the defence was leaky. Austin Peay managed 27 shots, and with 3 goals inside the half-hour mark, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Alabama State. Emily Fleming scored to bring the game back to 3-1, but Austin Peay tacked on two more before halftime. A goal for each side after halftime had the score at 6-2, but the Governors knocked in another four in the fifteen minutes after the hour mark to bring up double figures. Shelbi Vienna-Hallam started for Alabama State as per usual, playing a full 90 minutes.

Washington State (Tia Gavin)

This week’s result: lost to Portland 2-0

It’s said that all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately Washington State’s perfect start to the season has done just that as they went down 2-0 to Portland despite dominating much of the opening half. With 8 shots to 3 in the first period, Washington State should really have led at the break, but instead they trailed 1-0 after Parkes Kendrick opened the scoring for the Pilots in the 24th minute. Portland would tack on a second just seven minutes into the second half to force the Cougars to chase the game, but they just weren’t able to find a goal despite going close on numerous occasions. Tia Gavin had a short cameo off the bench but was unable to be a difference-maker for Washington State in this one (but then neither was anyone else on the team).

Player Of The Year Points:

3: Jessie Gentle (Wyoming)
2: Siena Senatore (Southeast Missouri State)
1: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)

2015 Signing Period Recap

It’s now been three months since National Signing Day, and the majority of teams have released their signing classes. This year, seven new players will replace the three seniors who graduated after the 2014 season, taking the player total to 21 for this season. Four of the six players will be joining teams that either currently or previously have had Australians playing for them, with the remaining two players becoming the first Australians to play for their respective teams.

Wyoming have once again stacked up on the Aussies, with the current trio of Alisha Bass, Georgia Rowntree, and Candace Sciberras being joined by two more Aussies: Sydney University midfielder Annika Clayton, and Jessie Gentle, who hails from Woolgoolga on the NSW Mid-North Coast.

Also adding to their list of Aussies are the Redhawks of Southeast Missouri State, whose trio of Jenna Collingridge, Bridget Sankey, and Maddy Cornell will become a quartet with the addition of Canberra’s Australian Under 17 national team defender Siena Senatore.

One team who is reloading on the Aussie front is Washington State, the former home of ex-Matildas player Rachael Doyle. The Cougars, who play in arguably the best conference in the nation, the PAC-12, have signed Western Sydney Wanderers and Manly United striker Tia Gavin. Tia played on the Football NSW Institute side that won NPLNSW Women’s 1 in 2014, and her form saw her earn a W-League contract for the most recent season.

Claire Urquhart has signed with the University of Albany, and is already over in the US training with her new team, whereas most other players will not be joining until August. The age group national team midfielder is the first Australian to play for Albany.

Adelaide’s Dylan Holmes, who has represented the Young Matildas and played for Adelaide United in the W-League, has committed to Colgate, a team that is definitely on the rise despite being controversially omitted from the NCAA Tournament last season. Players like Dylan will only help Colgate’s cause over the next four years.

Our final addition to the college scene this year is Melbourne’s Emma Heckenberg, who will be joining Drexel in Philadelphia. Emma spent the 2014 season playing alongside Hofstra’s Emily Hulbert at Monbulk in the Victorian Women’s Premier League, and the two will now be conference rivals as Drexel and Hofstra both play in the Colonial Athletic Association.

We’ll be taking a closer look at the new players soon, but in the meantime, if there are any players we’ve missed, don’t hesitate to let us know!