2019 Week 3 Preview

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

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(Image Credit: Stanford Athletics)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

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

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

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

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

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

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

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

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

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

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

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

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

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

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

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

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

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

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

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

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

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

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

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

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

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

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

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

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

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

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

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

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

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

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

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

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

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

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

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

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

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

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

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

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

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

2019 Week 2 Preview

One of the biggest events of the season takes place this week, with Aussie pair Rachel Lowe and Teagan Micah front and centre. Meanwhile, Teresa Morrissey and Claudia Jenkins will look to continue their solid form between the sticks, and are there more goals coming for Nicholls State’s Aussies?

UCLA freshman Rachel Lowe celebrates her debut goal against Iowa State (Credit: Percy Anderson/UCLA)

The ‘Battle at the Banc’, in which four of the nation’s top teams will face off at LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium is one of the most anticipated events of the season, and a pair of Aussies will be front and centre as Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah, and UCLA take on Florida State as part of a doubleheader that will also see USC take on Florida in a pair of blockbuster games. Having knocked off a pair of solid opponents last week, UCLA will be looking to flex their title credentials by defeating the reigning national champions as they attempt to build a charge towards a first national title since 2013. Micah picked up the 7th Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week award for her pair of clean sheets last week, and whilst Florida State will provide a far sterner challenge than Iowa State or Long Beach State had, there is no doubting that the Matildas World Cup squad member is up to the task. Meanwhile, Rachel Lowe will be hoping to build on last week’s debut goal as the freshman looks to secure her spot in the Bruins’ rotation. Whilst the Florida State game is the blockbuster this week, things don’t get any easier for UCLA as they host Florida on Sunday. The Bruins actually played this pair of teams last season, albeit on the road, drawing 0-0 with Florida and losing 4-1 to Florida State, so they will certainly be looking to bury the demons from 12 months ago with a pair of wins here.

Teresa Morrissey enjoyed a stellar start to her career with a five-save clean sheet in an overtime win over New Hampshire last week, and after a solid performance in a mid-week loss to Quinnipiac, the Rhode Island goalkeeper will face another test this week against a Wagner side that scored seven goals across two games this weekend. If last season is any measuring stick, Morrissey could quickly turn into a vital part of the Rhode Island side, not only for her talent in and of itself, but as the piece that could secure the Rams more than a few results despite an offence that sat in the bottom 20 of the nation last season. A team can’t win without scoring, but they can’t lose if they don’t concede, and this could make Morrissey a chief factor, hopefully starting this weekend with another win for the Rams.

Siena Senatore made her comeback to the game with a 90-minute performance in a 3-2 win over Southern Miss last week, and the Redhawks’ crusade against teams from Mississippi continues this week as Southeast Missouri State face Aimee Medwin and Ole Miss in their first game of the weekend. Ole Miss are likely to pose a far sterner test than Southern Miss had in the season opener, particularly as they will be stinging from a 3-1 loss to Memphis in which they conceded two goals AFTER Memphis’ goalkeeper was shown a red card. Aimee Medwin did not feature in either that game or the Rebels’ win over North Alabama, but how fitting would a debut in an Aussie v Aussie matchup be?

Having come away with a win and a draw against Mississippi Valley State, Nicholls State and their Aussie triumvirate will be confident of picking up a result against an Arkansas-Pine Bluff side that is tipped to finish around the same position in the SWAC as Mississippi Valley State themselves and shipped 10 goals in two games last week. The Colonels really should have secured two wins last weekend, outshooting the Delta Devils 34-4 in a 1-1 draw in the second fixture, but that statistic alone suggests that the likes of Kristy Helmers and Tessa Calabria will be able to create plenty of chances in this fixture, whilst Shauni Reid will be hoping to make her debut after missing out in the opening two games.

Claudia Jenkins did her level best to help La Salle secure a result with 11 saves across two games last week, but the Explorers could only come away with a loss and a draw from their trip to North Carolina. Now back in Philadelphia, Jenkins and her teammates will be hoping to secure a first win of the season against NJIT in their home opener. The Highlanders’ results last week largely mirrored La Salle’s – a draw with a fellow mid-major against UMBC before a tight loss to a power conference side in Maryland. However, NJIT were unable to score a goal in either game, and Jenkins’ presence between the sticks won’t make it any easier for them. The Explorers then travel across town to face Drexel, who had no trouble creating chances last week, outshooting St. Joseph’s 12-3, but couldn’t convert a single opportunity in falling to a 1-0 defeat. Alyssa Van Heurck and the La Salle attack should hopefully provide a sterner test than St. Joseph’s did in that game as the Explorers look to kickstart their season with a pair of wins.

Full Schedule

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: v Purdue-Fort Wayne – 4am, Saturday August 31; v Louisiana-Lafayette – 4am, Monday September 2

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: @ Gardner-Webb – 9am, Monday August 2

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Lehigh – 9am, Friday August 30; v Rider – 2am, Monday September 2

Watch Fairleigh Dickinson v Lehigh

Watch Fairleigh Dickinson v Rider

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: v UTEP – 12pm, Friday August 30; v UTSA – 12pm, Monday September 2

Watch Grand Canyon v UTEP

Watch Grand Canyon v UTSA

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: v Nevada – 11:30am, Friday August 30; v Sacramento State – 11:30am, Sunday September 1

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: @ Brown – 9am, Saturday August 31; v Fordham – 3am, Monday September 2

Watch Hofstra v Fordham

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: @ Pepperdine – 8am, Saturday August 31; v San Francisco – 9am, Monday September 2

Watch Illinois v Pepperdine

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v NJIT – 9am, Friday August 30; v Drexel – 3am, Monday September 2

Watch La Salle v Drexel

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: v McNeese State – 10am, Saturday August 31; @ Samford – 5am, Monday September 2

Watch LSU v McNeese State ($)

Watch LSU v Samford ($)

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: v Youngstown State – 9am, Saturday August 31; v Ohio – 3am, Monday September 2

Watch Marshall v Youngstown State

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: v Southeast Missouri State – 10am, Friday August 30; v Minnesota – 2am, Monday September 2

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

This week: v Arkansas-Pine Bluff – 4am, Monday September 2

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: @ Vermont – 9am, Saturday August 31; v New Hampshire – 5:30am, Monday September 2

Watch North Dakota State v Vermont

Watch North Dakota State v New Hampshire

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: @ Liberty – 3am, Monday September 2

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: @ Wagner – 3am, Monday September 2

Watch Rhode Island v Wagner

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: @ Mississippi – 10am, Friday August 30; v Arkansas – Monday September 2

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: v Penn – 12pm, Saturday August 31; v San Jose State – 11am, Monday September 2

Watch Stanford v Penn

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: v Oral Roberts – 10am, Friday August 30; v North Texas – 10am, Monday September 2

Watch Texas Tech v Oral Roberts ($)

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Florida State – 10:30am, Friday August 30; v Florida – 10am, Monday September 2

Watch UCLA v Florida

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: v Temple – 9am, Friday August 30; @ Mount St. Mary’s – 7am, Monday September 2

Watch UMBC v Temple

Watch UMBC v Mount St. Mary’s

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Middle Tennessee State – 9am, Friday August 30; v Tennessee-Martin – 3am, Monday September 2

2019 Week 1 Preview

Preseason is in the books and it’s time for the regular season to kick off. Over the next 12 weeks, over 330 teams across the US will be playing for their chance to compete for a national championship, with a couple of Aussies among the teams with the best chance to be holding the trophy aloft in San Jose in early December.

(Feature Image: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)

As per usual, Beattie Goad and #3 Stanford have scheduled some high-level opposition in their non-conference games, starting their season with a cross-country road trip to face #6 Penn State and the always dangerous #11 West Virginia. These early games will provide an excellent litmus test for a Stanford side that lost a number of starters not only to graduation, but to the professional ranks, and how well their replacements slot in could prove to be a barometer for the Cardinal’s season. Goad will most likely be one of those starters, but which position the senior locks down remains to be seen, having been used in a number of roles over the past three seasons.

UCLA are also considered one of the favourites to be there or thereabouts come the pointy end of the season, and with Teagan Micah between the sticks and a solid defence in front of the Australian senior, the Bruins are likely to have little trouble keeping the goals out of their own net. They’ll get their chance to prove that, and also hopefully bang in a few at the other end, as they host Iowa State and regular non-conference opponent Long Beach State on the season’s opening weekend. The Bruins will be hot favourites in both contests this weekend, but will still need to ensure that they come prepared against two teams who will be hungry to grab a marquee victory early in the season. Whilst Micah will no doubt be present in goal for the Bruins, this weekend could also see Matildas midfielder Rachel Lowe make her debut for her new side, however which position that debut comes in remains to be seen as Bruins coach Amanda Cromwell has already stated that the freshman may see some time in defence.

One of the most decorated Australians in college faces a freshman lining up for her first game as Sam Roff and Fairleigh Dickinson take on Sophie Bui and Alabama State in not only an Aussie v Aussie matchup, but an all-Canberra contest as two products of the nation’s capital face off on neutral ground in Edinburg, Texas. Neither team enjoyed much success in non-conference play last year before solid if unspectacular conference seasons led to decent results but no silverware, and both teams will be champing at the bit to get off to a better start this year. For Bui, the Fairleigh Dickinson defence is likely stronger than anything the freshman will face all season in the SWAC, providing a good early test. Meanwhile, Roff will be facing an Alabama State attack eager to improve upon last year’s return of 24 goals and get back to the kind of numbers the Hornets put up in 2017, where they banged home 39 goals on their way to a conference title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

One Aussie has become two at Hawaii as freshman Eliza Ammendolia joins redshirt senior Kiri Dale, and it will be quite an initiation for the former W-League midfielder as #5 ranked USC visit Honolulu for the season opener as part of a three-way tournament that also features San Francisco. USC reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2018, dropping just two games in a 17-win season that saw the Women of Troy fall to eventual national champions Florida State on penalties. Hawaii will no doubt be itching to post a win for the ages, but a solid performance would be a confidence booster in and of itself as the Rainbow Wahine look to set themselves up to reach the Big West conference tournament for the first time after narrowly missing out in 2018. This game will also have some extra meaning for Hawaii assistant coach Rachael Doyle – USC coach Keidane McAlpine was Doyle’s head coach at Washington State before making the move to USC.

La Salle and their Aussie duo of Alyssa Van Heurck and Claudia Jenkins opened last season with a win over Syracuse, and will be looking to open this season with another victory over an ACC opponent as they take on national powerhouse Duke in the season opener. The Explorers will be hoping this is a bounce-back season, having posted 17 wins in 2017 but just 8 in 2018 as their conference title defence proved quite lacklustre. However, the two Aussies could prove crucial as they look to make the climb back up the ladder this season, with Jenkins a rock between the sticks and Van Heurck adapting to her new attacking role with aplomb. A non-conference win over a side like Duke may not have a tangible effect on the conference standings, but it will certainly give the Explorers a marquee victory and provide plenty of confidence going forward.

It’s been a long time coming, but Siena Senatore is finally set to make her return for Southeast Missouri State after two seasons away from the pitch. The redshirt senior from Canberra saw decent playing time in the Redhawks’ preseason exhibitions, and will now look to shore up the team’s defence, either as a member of the back four or shielding the defence in a holding midfield role as Southeast Missouri State start their season with a single game against Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles will be a good test for Senatore and the Redhawks, having compiled a 13-6-1 record in 2018 playing a tougher schedule than what Southeast Missouri State encountered. However, the Redhawks’ preseason form has been solid, winning all three of their games including a 1-0 victory over AAC side Memphis.

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: v Fairleigh Dickinson – 6am, Friday August 23; @ UTRGV – 10am, Sunday August 25

Watch Alabama State v UTRGV

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: @ Northern Iowa – 9am, Friday August 23; v Wisconsin-Green Bay – 4am, Monday August 26

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: v King – 9am, Friday August 23; v UNC Asheville – 9am, Monday August 26

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: v Alabama State – 6am, Friday August 23; v Miami (FL) – 2am, Monday August 26

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: @ Stetson – 9am, Friday August 23; @ Florida Atlantic – 3am, Monday August 26

Watch Grand Canyon v Stetson

Watch Grand Canyon v Florida Atlantic ($)

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: v USC – 3pm, Friday August 23; v South Florida – 3pm, Sunday August 25

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: @ Monmouth – 8am, Saturday August 24; @ Penn State – 4:30am, Monday August 26

Watch Hofstra v Penn State ($)

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: v Loyola Chicago – 10am, Friday August 23; v Dayton – 4am, Monday August 26

Watch Illinois v Loyola Chicago ($)

Watch Illinois v Dayton ($)

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: v Duke – 6am, Friday August 23; v North Florida – 2am, Monday August 26

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: @ Villanova – 6am, Friday August 23; @ Navy – 3am, Monday August 26

Watch LSU v Villanova

Watch LSU v Navy

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: @ Michigan – 9:30am, Friday August 23; @ Michigan State – 3am, Monday August 26

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: v North Alabama – 10am, Friday August 23; @ Memphis – 10am, Monday August 26

Watch Mississippi v Memphis

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

This week: v Mississippi Valley State – 7am, Saturday August 24; v Mississippi Valley State – 6am, Sunday August 25

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: v Saint Mary’s – 10am, Saturday August 24; v Montana – 4am, Monday August 26

Watch North Dakota State v Saint Mary’s ($)

Watch North Dakota State v Montana ($)

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: @ Towson – 7am, Friday August 23; @ George Mason – 8am, Monday August 26

Watch Old Dominion v Towson

Watch Old Dominion v George Mason

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: @ New Hampshire – 9am, Friday August 23

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: v Southern Miss – 5am, Monday August 26

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: @ Penn State – 9am, Saturday August 24; @ West Virginia – 2am, Monday August 26

Watch Stanford v Penn State ($)

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: @ San Diego State – 12pm, Friday August 23; @ New Mexico – 11am, Monday August 26

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: v Iowa State – 12pm, Saturday August 24; @ Long Beach State – 11am, Monday August 26

Watch UCLA v Iowa State

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: @ NJIT – 8am, Friday August 23; v Saint Francis (PA) – 4am, Monday August 26

Watch UMBC v NJIT

Watch UMBC v Saint Francis (PA)

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: v Gardner-Webb – 9am, Monday August 26

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: @ UTEP – 11am, Friday August 23; @ New Mexico State – 4am, Monday August 26

Watch Wyoming v New Mexico State

2019 Defender Previews

Eight Australian defenders will take to the pitch this season, with a number of intriguing storylines emerging. The return of Siena Senatore after two years away is certainly one to follow, whilst freshman duo Abi Jordan and Teal Kilbride could form a centre-back pairing at UMBC from day one.

(Featured Image Credit: Michael Rincon)

Victoria Franklin (Freshman, SMU, Brisbane)

Franklin may be yet to lace up the boots for a competitive college soccer fixture, but the freshman has already tasted collegiate competition on the water as part of Southern Methodist’s rowing team which finished second in the AAC championships earlier this year. By far the tallest defender on the Mustangs roster, Franklin’s height will bring an aerial presence to an SMU team that had little trouble banging in the goals, averaging two per game, but had the tendency to ship multiple goals, finishing the season with five clean sheets but giving up more than one goal six times in 2018. That time with the rowing team will also have helped Franklin learn how to juggle study and athletics, giving the Queenslander a leg-up over most freshmen, who will come into their first season with little to no time to adjust to the machinations of the life of a student-athlete.

Sandra Hill (Junior, Grand Canyon, Canberra)

A regular at fullback for Grand Canyon, Hill has compiled not only 29 appearances for Grand Canyon over the last two seasons, but also a handful of outings with the Cambodian national team, including one against the Young Matildas in the 2018 AFF Women’s Championship. Adept at getting forward from her wide position in defence, Hill was rewarded with the first goal of her college career in Grand Canyon’s WAC Tournament loss to Utah Valley last season, rattling home a sublime strike from just outside the area. The Antelopes are yet to secure a winning season since their move to NCAA Division I in 2013, and Hill is now one of the senior players on a team looking to fill the gaps left by four starters who graduated after the 2018 season. The fullback will no doubt be looked to as one of the leaders, particularly in the defensive line after the loss of a starting defender and goalkeeper following last year’s campaign.

Abi Jordan (Freshman, UMBC, Wollongong)

If a teenager can also be a veteran, then that is a perfect description for Jordan, who has already racked up 50 NPLNSW appearances for Illawarra Stingrays’ first team prior to her move to UMBC. A championship winner at both NPLNSW and Futsal Premier League 2 level, Jordan has also represented both state and country at schoolgirls level, and heads to Baltimore with the kind of pedigree that could see her slot straight into the starting lineup from day one. Having finished 2-15 last season, the Retrievers do need to improve in all areas, but shoring up the defence looks to be the main priority at this point, and Jordan appears well-placed to be a major part of that rebuild as Australian head coach Vanessa Mann dips into her homeland’s stocks to bolster her roster.

Teal Kilbride (Freshman, UMBC, Central Coast)

The second of two Australians to sign for countrywoman Vanessa Mann at UMBC, Kilbride will be hoping to step in and form a new centre back pairing with fellow freshman Abi Jordan as the Retrievers look to shore up a defence that leaked the best part of three goals per game in 2018. Already a teammate of Jordan’s with the Australian Schoolgirls team that toured the United States in 2018, Kilbride is a real chance of playing alongside her fellow countrywoman from the outset, particularly given the lack of experienced defenders on the Retrievers’ roster and the team’s leakiness at the back in 2018. The UMBC attack will need to vastly improve last season’s output of 0.88 goals per game if the team is to make a significant improvement on last season’s record of 2-15, but building out from the back with an improved defence can only serve to help the team going forward, both figuratively and literally.

Ashleigh Lefevre (Sophomore, Illinois, Melbourne)

The most credentialed member of last year’s freshman class, Lefevre came in with Young Matildas experience under her belt, and managed to compile 15 appearances off the bench for Illinois last season, most of which came as cameos of 10-20 minutes. The Illinois defence this year returns three seniors but no juniors, meaning that Lefevre will be among the most experienced players in the Illini backline in 2020. This makes 2019 a year for Lefevre to turn those brief cameos into extended stints or even starts, and consolidate her position in the rotation. With nine defenders in the squad, minutes won’t just be handed to the sophomore, but given that Lefevre made 15 appearances in 2018, the Illinois coaching staff do appear to see the fullback as a member of the rotation going forward.

Sam Roff (Senior, Fairleigh Dickinson, Canberra)

A permanent fixture in the All-Northeast Conference selections during her time at Fairleigh Dickinson, Sam Roff has but one thing to achieve in her final season with the Knights: a conference championship and the NCAA Tournament berth that comes with it. Whilst Roff may not be the kind of defender that gets forward to put up assist and scoring numbers, the fact that Fairleigh Dickinson are yet to concede more than nine goals in their eight conference games in a season during her time with the team speaks volumes about the senior’s defensive ability, and the Knights will once again be leaning on their captain to lead the defence. Whether that translates into silverware remains to be seen, but in Roff the Knights have one player that they know will bring it each and every night.

Siena Senatore (Senior, Southeast Missouri State, Canberra)

Senatore played 29 games across two seasons for Southeast Missouri State in 2015 and 2016, but since that time, the Redhawks defence has been deprived of their rock at the back from Canberra. Whilst the Southeast Missouri State side has featured a solid defence throughout the last few years, there is no doubting that Senatore’s presence made them even better, with the major question now surrounding whether the redshirt senior can return to the form that she showed prior to her injury problems. If she can, and the Redhawks’ attack can find a few more goals after a down year in 2018, it could spell a remarkable turnaround for a team that had won at least eight games in each of the last five seasons before finishing 4-8-5 in 2018.

Kate Swartwout (Senior, Western Carolina, Gold Coast)

A rock at the back when employed in defence for Western Carolina, Swartwout is able to fill a number of positions and has done so with aplomb in her three seasons in Cullowhee. Born in Australia but raised just a two-hour drive from Western Carolina’s campus, Swartwout is in the unique position of being the only Australian currently in Division I to have also played her junior football in the US. Although the Catamounts are yet to win more than nine games in a season in Swartwout’s time with the team, the senior has been part of a defence that has improved over the last couple of seasons, and now features a number of upperclassmen that can set the platform for a more successful 2019 campaign. Whether Swartwout slots into the defence or higher up the pitch remains to be seen, but with a skillset that belies her imposing physical presence, the senior is set to have another impactful year in her final college season.

2018 End Of Season Wrap

(Featured Image Credit: University of Wyoming Media Relations)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

College Matildas End Of Season Awards

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

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.

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