2019 Week 4 Wrap

It would be fair to say that this wasn’t the most electrifying week in College Matildas history. However, there were still a few solid performances, particularly from the goalkeepers, whilst Indianna Asimus’ goal for Wyoming was simply a delight to watch.

Advertisements

(Image Credit: Rand Bleimeister/UCLA)

Having fallen to a surprise defeat to Santa Clara last week, UCLA were looking to bounce back at home against Wisconsin. However, giving up five shots on target to the Badgers meant the Bruins would need a big performance from Teagan Micah to get the win, and that is exactly what the senior goalkeeper produced. The Matildas World Cup squad member came up with five saves to keep a clean sheet, and with a 51st minute Kennedy Faulknor goal the only tally of the game for either side, those five saves proved crucial to UCLA’s win. This match also saw the return of Rachel Lowe to the pitch for the Bruins, with the freshman making brief cameos in each half to total 25 minutes of playing time for the game as UCLA moved to 5-1.

Claudia Jenkins was spectacular last week in posting a career-high 10 saves, and carried that form into La Salle’s game against Delaware. Although the junior conceded two goals, Jenkins came up with another 7 saves to play a crucial role in the Explorers’ 3-2 win to move to 4-2-1. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia-based side were on the wrong side of the same scoreline in their second game of the weekend, falling 3-2 to Navy as a solid non-conference slate ended with a loss, but also with the team scoring five goals across the weekend as Jenkins begins to receive a bit more help from her side’s attackers. Alyssa Van Heurck also featured in both games, playing 46 minutes against Delaware and 18 against Navy.

Wyoming outshot Southern Utah 24-6 in their home game to open the weekend, and it was sophomore Indianna Asimus that got the Cowgirls off to a flyer with an early goal that set their opponents on the back foot. A 15th minute finish from an incredibly tight angle from the Dubbo-born striker put Wyoming up 1-0, and with Southern Utah hardly looking threatening with just two shots on target all afternoon, a second goal for Wyoming in the 86th minute closed out the victory. The Cowgirls would close out their weekend with an 1-1 overtime draw against Montana, equalising with a last-second penalty in a game that saw Asimus play 94 of the 110 minutes.

It was a mixed week for Nicholls State, who picked up win and a loss this weekend, but Tessa Calabria continues to make progress in her return from significant injury troubles. In a 3-2 victory over Alcorn State that saw all five goals come before the 25-minute mark, Calabria helped get Nicholls State off to a flying start, teeing up teammate Blaire Laiche for the opener, whilst also testing the goalkeeper with two on-target shots of her own. Meanwhile, Kristy Helmers maintained her position as an integral member of the Colonels’ lineup, playing the full 90 minutes in both games this weekend.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Teagan Micah (UCLA)
2: Indianna Asimus (Wyoming)
1: Claudia Jenkins (La Salle)

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: lost 5-0 to Samford; lost 3-1 to Charleston Southern

Sophie Bui did not feature for Alabama State in either game this week.

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: lost 3-1 to SIU-Edwardsville; lost 3-1 to Eastern Illinois

Sarah Clark started both games for Chicago State this week, playing the full 90 minutes against SIU-Edwardsville and 81 minutes against Eastern Illinois.

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: lost 2-0 to Radford; lost 1-0 to Winthrop

D’arne Boato did not feature for East Tennessee State in either game this week.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: lost 2-1 to Hofstra; lost 2-1 to Binghamton

Sam Roff started both games for Fairleigh Dickinson this week, tallying a shot in 77 minutes against Hofstra and playing 38 minutes in the loss to Binghamton.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: drew 1-1 with UC Santa Barbara; lost 2-0 to North Dakota

Sandra Hill came off the bench to play 95 minutes in Grand Canyon’s draw with UC Santa Barbara, before playing a complete game in the loss to North Dakota.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: defeated Fairleigh Dickinson 2-1; lost 1-0 to Columbia

Neither Grace Watson Carr nor Monique Iannella featured for Hofstra in either game this week.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: defeated Butler 2-1; defeated Colorado College 2-0

Ashleigh Lefevre started both matches for Illinois this week, playing 59 minutes against Butler and 53 minutes in the win over Colorado College.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: defeated Delaware 3-2; lost 3-2 to Navy

Claudia Jenkins played all 180 minutes between the sticks for La Salle this week, coming up with 7 saves in the win over Delaware and another 3 in the loss to Navy.  Alyssa Van Heurck started in the win over Delaware and played 46 minutes before coming off the bench to register a shot in 18 minutes against Navy.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: lost 1-0 to Arizona State

Caitlin Cantrill did not feature for LSU in their loss to Arizona State.

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: defeated High Point 3-1

Laura Farrelly did not feature for Marshall in their win over High Point.

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: defeated Long Beach State 3-0; lost 2-1 to South Alabama

Aimee Medwin came off the bench to play four minutes in Mississippi’s win over Long Beach State, but did not feature in the loss to South Alabama.

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

This week: defeated Alcorn State 3-2; lost 2-1 to Southern

Tessa Calabria started in Nicholls State’s win over Alcorn State, tallying an assist and a pair of shots on target in 49 minutes of action. The senior then came off the bench in the loss to Southern, playing 18 minutes. Kristy Helmers started both games for Nicholls State this week, playing the full 90 minutes on each occasion. Shauni Reid did not feature in either game this week.

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: lost 2-1 to Drake; lost 3-0 to Northern Iowa

Eden Taylor-Wineera did not feature in North Dakota State’s loss to Drake, but returned to play 33 minutes off the bench against Northern Iowa, tallying a shot on target in the process.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: defeated East Carolina 2-1; defeated William & Mary 5-0

Gaby Bentley did not feature in the win over East Carolina, but came off the bench to play 15 minutes in Old Dominion’s 5-0 drubbing of William & Mary.

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: drew 1-1 with Holy Cross; lost 1-0 to Boston University

Teresa Morrissey played every minute for Rhode Island this week, coming up with 4 saves in the overtime draw with Holy Cross and another 2 saves in the loss to Boston University.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: lost 1-0 to Arkansas State

Siena Senatore made her return to the pitch for Southeast Missouri State with an 11-minute cameo off the bench in the Redhawks’ loss to Arkansas State.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: lost 1-0 to Pepperdine; defeated UC Santa Barbara 1-0

Beattie Goad came off the bench in Stanford’s surprise loss to Pepperdine, tallying a pair of shots with one on target in 60 minutes of playing time. The senior then started in the Cardinal’s win over UC Santa Barbara, playing 42 minutes.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated Loyola Marymount 3-1; defeated UC Irvine 4-2

Demi Koulizakis started both games this week, playing 56 minutes against Loyola Marymount and 41 minutes against UC Irvine. The striker registered two shots in each game, with one on target in either contest.

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Wisconsin 1-0

Teagan Micah played the full 90 minutes in UCLA’s win over Wisconsin, earning a clean sheet with five saves, whilst Rachel Lowe came off the bench to play 25 minutes.

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: lost 2-0 to Lehigh; lost 2-1 to Longwood

Teal Kilbride did not feature in UMBC’s loss to Lehigh, but started and played 26 minutes in the loss to Longwood. Abi Jordan did not feature in either game this week.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: defeated High Point 2-1; defeated Radford 1-0

Kate Swartwout came off the bench in Western Carolina’s win over High Point, rattling off a pair of shots on target in her 21 minutes, before seeing another 19 minutes off the bench in the win over Radford.

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: defeated Southern Utah 2-0; drew 1-1 with Montana

Indianna Asimus started both games for Wyoming this week, tallying the opening goal in a 66-minute outing against Southern Utah, before playing 94 minutes in the draw with Montana.

2019 Week 2 Wrap

The Pac-12 Aussies flexed their national title credentials this week, with UCLA in particular coming up with a pair of massive wins. Meanwhile, down in the Lone Star State, Texas Tech were ruthless in smashing home 8 goals across two games, with Demi Koulizakis playing no small part in their wins.

(Image Credit: Texas Tech Athletics)

Beattie Goad turned last week’s solid start into a scintillating continuation, playing an integral role in Stanford’s 5-0 win over Penn to maintain the Cardinal’s perfect record. Goad opened the scoring for the home side on Thursday night, lashing home Madison Haley’s lay-off into the top corner from the edge of the area for her first goal of the season. The senior followed up shortly after, producing a mazy run from the left wing into the centre of the pitch before finding Abby Greubel, who made the most of Goad’s work with a classy finish into the bottom corner from outside the area. Goad would also start in Stanford’s 7-0 win over San Jose State later in the week, playing 25 minutes.

Staying in the Pac-12, Teagan Micah helped UCLA to a pair of massive wins over Florida State and Florida as the Bruins reminded everyone why they are one of the national championship favourites. The senior made two saves in UCLA’s 2-1 win over Florida State at Banc of California Stadium, before returning home to Wallis Annenberg Stadium to make three saves in the Bruins’ 2-0 win over Florida for her third clean sheet of the still young season. Unfortunately, Rachel Lowe did not feature in either game for the Bruins this week as coach Amanda Cromwell kept the rotation short in these tight contests.

Demi Koulizakis continues to make herself an integral part of the Texas Tech side, with the senior performing admirably as the Red Raiders picked up a pair of 4-0 wins. Texas Tech outshot Oral Roberts 23-3 in their first game of the week, and whilst Koulizakis may not have scored a goal in the drubbing, the former Western Sydney Wanderers W-League player got herself into good positions and managed to finish the game with three shots on target in the win. However, Koulizakis’ good work produced more tangible results against North Texas later in the week. With the Red Raiders and Mean Green locked up at 0-0 at halftime, a second-half blitzkrieg culminated in four goals for Texas Tech, with Koulizakis assisting on both the second goal as well as the final tally of the night as the home side pulled away down the stretch.

Western Carolina senior Kate Swartwout has done just about everything bar score a goal during her time with the Catamounts, but that all changed in a thrilling 5-4 victory over Tennessee-Martin. With her team down 1-0 after eight minutes, Swartwout tied things up from close range, sending the ball home from near the centre of the box. The Catamounts would take a 4-2 lead into halftime, but their lead was cut to 5-4 with still 15 minutes to play, leading to a crazy finish that somehow did not produce more goals as Western Carolina moved to 2-1.

Tessa Calabria may still only be playing limited minutes, but her impact for Nicholls State is anything but as the senior continues to produce for the Colonels. Calabria played only 30 minutes of the contest against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but that was time enough to tally an assist on her team’s fourth goal and also test the goalkeeper with a shot of her own as Nicholls State rolled to a 5-0 win. Kristy Helmers also played 66 minutes for the Colonels in the win, whilst Shauni Reid was an unused substitute.

Sam Roff has never been known as a player to make a significant impact at the attacking end, but that has never stopped the Fairleigh Dickinson defender from being one of the most crucial parts of the Knights lineup, and the senior proved as much this weekend. Having played the first 70 minutes against Lehigh in the New Jersey team’s first game of the week, Roff was forced off with the score at 1-0. Lehigh tied the game late, and with overtime unable to separate the sides, the Knights were forced to settle for the draw. However, Roff returned to play in-state foes Rider, and proved once again to be a rock at the back as Rider were able to tally only three shots on target as the game finished in a 0-0 stalemate, with Roff playing all 110 minutes.

This week also saw two more players make their collegiate debuts in brief cameos off the bench that will no doubt drive the pair to secure more playing time going forward. Mississippi freshman winger Aimee Medwin saw 21 minutes of action in a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over Minnesota, whilst sophomore Grace Watson Carr played 17 minutes between the sticks in the back end of a dominant 6-1 win for Hofstra over local foes Fordham.

Watson Carr’s Hofstra teammate Monique Iannella also managed to produce a moment to savour this week, tallying the 14th assist of her career even as the Pride fell to a 2-1 loss to Brown. As those who have followed Iannella’s career would be unsurprised to learn, the assist came from a corner, with a short ball played out to the senior, who combined with Sabrina Bryan, with the latter’s shot from long distance managing to find its way into the net with a little help from a defender’s head.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Beattie Goad (Stanford)
2: Demi Koulizakis (Texas Tech)
1: Sam Roff (Fairleigh Dickinson)

Full Schedule

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: lost 1-0 to Purdue-Fort Wayne; lost 2-0 to Louisiana-Lafayette

Sarah Clark featured for Chicago State in both games this week, tallying a trio of shots in the loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: drew 1-1 with Gardner-Webb

D’arne Boato did not feature for East Tennessee State in their draw with Gardner-Webb.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: drew 1-1 with Lehigh; drew 0-0 with Rider

Sam Roff played 70 minutes in the draw with Lehigh before being forced off the pitch, but returned to help Fairleigh Dickinson hold Rider to just 3 shots on target in a 0-0 draw, playing all 110 minutes in the process.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: lost 2-1 to UTEP; lost 4-0 to UTSA

Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon in the loss to UTEP, but came off the bench to register a shot on target in her 30 minutes on the pitch against UTSA.

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: defeated Nevada 1-0 (OT); drew 0-0 with Sacramento State

Eliza Ammendolia came off the bench for Nevada in both games this week for Hawaii, playing 43 minutes against Nevada and 39 minutes against Sacramento State. Kiri Dale played 23 minutes off the bench against Nevada, but did not feature against Sacramento State.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: lost 2-1 to Brown; defeated Fordham 6-1

Having not featured in the loss to Brown, sophomore goalkeeper Grace Watson Carr made her Hofstra debut with a 17-minute cameo in the latter stages of the Pride’s 6-1 win over Fordham. Monique Iannella started against Brown and delivered the assist on Hofstra’s only goal in a 59-minute performance, but did not feature against Fordham.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: defeated Pepperdine 3-2; lost 3-0 to San Francisco

Ashleigh Lefevre started for Illinois in the win over Pepperdine, playing 44 minutes before coming off the bench in the loss to San Francisco to play 57 minutes.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: defeated NJIT 1-0; lost 1-0 to Drexel

Claudia Jenkins played all 180 minutes between the sticks for La Salle this week, finishing with 2 saves in the win over NJIT and 4 more in the loss to Drexel. Alyssa Van Heurck started both games, tallying a single shot in 33 minutes in the win over NJIT and seeing 36 minutes of action against Drexel.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

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

Caitlin Cantrill came off the bench to play 9 minutes for LSU in the win over McNeese State, but did not feature in the draw with Samford.

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: defeated Youngstown State 3-0; lost 4-1 to Ohio

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

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: defeated Southeast Missouri State 2-0; defeated Minnesota 3-2 (OT)

Aimee Medwin did not feature against Southeast Missouri State, but came off the bench against Minnesota to make her college debut, registering a single shot in 21 minutes of action.

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

This week: defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 5-0

Tessa Calabria started for Nicholls State in the win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, tallying an assist and a shot on target in her 30 minutes on the pitch. Kristy Helmers also started and played 66 minutes, but Shauni Reid did not feature for the Colonels.

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: defeated Vermont 3-0; defeated New Hampshire 1-0

Eden Taylor-Wineera made a brief 5-minute cameo off the bench in North Dakota State’s win over Vermont, but did not feature against New Hampshire.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: drew 1-1 with Liberty

Gaby Bentley did not feature for Old Dominion in their draw with Liberty.

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: defeated Wagner 1-0

Teresa Morrissey once again played the full 90 minutes for Rhode Island, coming up with 3 vital saves in the Rams’ 1-0 win over Wagner.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: lost 2-0 to Mississippi; lost 5-0 to Arkansas

Siena Senatore started both games for Southeast Missouri State this week, playing all 180 minutes across the two contests.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Penn 5-1; defeated San Jose State 7-0

Beattie Goad started for Stanford against Penn, tallying the opening goal and an assist during her 61 minutes on the pitch. The senior also started against San Jose State, playing the first 25 minutes.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated Oral Roberts 4-0; defeated North Texas 4-0

Demi Koulizakis peppered Oral Roberts’ goal with 3 shots in target during her 47 minutes on the pitch in Texas Tech’s win, before coming off the bench to assist on two goals in the Red Raiders’ win over North Texas in a 23-minute cameo.

UCLA (Rachel Lowe, Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Florida State 2-1; defeated Florida 2-0

Teagan Micah played all 180 minutes of the weekend, making two saves in the win over Florida State and another 3 in the victory over Florida. Rachel Lowe did not feature for the Bruins in either game this week.

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: lost 3-1 to Temple; defeated Mount St. Mary’s 3-0

Teal Kilbride started for UMBC in the loss, playing 34 minutes, but did not feature in the win over Mount St. Mary’s. Abi Jordan did not feature for the Retrievers in either game this week.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: lost 4-1 to Middle Tennessee State; defeated Tennessee-Martin 5-4

Kate Swartwout came off the bench against Middle Tennessee State to play 13 minutes, before getting the start against Tennessee-Martin and scoring her first career goal in a 23-minute cameo in the Catamounts’ thrilling 5-4 win.

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 Wrap

A week of outstanding performances saw a pair of freshmen enjoy outstanding debuts, a sophomore pick up a first career goal, and a senior make a stunning comeback from injury with a goal as a number of Aussies got on the scoresheet during the opening weekend of the season.

Debuts don’t get much better than the one that Teresa Morrissey produced for Rhode Island as they faced New Hampshire in the season opener. Thrown in at the deep end as starting goalkeeper, Morrissey stood tall for the Rams, making five saves and keeping a clean sheet as Rhode Island clinched an overtime winner in the 93rd minute to ensure that the freshman’s outstanding performance was not in vain.

However, Morrissey was not the only freshman to enjoy a dream debut. Starting on the bench for UCLA, Rachel Lowe entered the game against Iowa State as a halftime substitute, and took less than 13 minutes to tally a debut goal that put the Bruins 2-0 up on their way to a 3-0 victory. Lowe would then play another 22 minutes off the bench in Sunday’s win over Long Beach State. Fellow Australian, Teagan Micah played every minute of the weekend between the sticks for UCLA, making one save in each game to keep two clean sheets.

Speaking of goalkeepers, La Salle custodian Claudia Jenkins had a far busier weekend than Micah, doing everything in her power to keep the Explorers in the contest against national contenders Duke. The junior came up with six saves as the Blue Devils piled on the pressure, with Jenkins keeping the opposition attack at bay until the 68th minute before the sheer weight of shots told as La Salle fell to a 2-0 defeat. However, five more saves from Jenkins would prove crucial for the Explorers as they secured a 1-1 draw with North Florida in their second game of the week. Fellow Australian, Alyssa Van Heurck proved an integral part of the La Salle side, playing 80 minutes and tallying a shot against Duke before following up with a 78-minute outing against North Florida two days later.

Having done everything but manage to score a goal in her freshman season, Wyoming sophomore Indianna Asimus appears hellbent on making up for lost time, taking the early lead on the Australian goalscoring charts. With her team level at 1-1 with UTEP heading into the final 15 minutes, Asimus stepped up to take a free kick, bending it around the wall and past the outstretched goalkeeper for a 2-1 lead before the game finished 2-2 as UTEP picked up a late equaliser, with overtime unable to split the teams. Asimus would then follow up with a goal just five minutes into the Cowgirls’ second game of the week against New Mexico State, but a 70th minute equaliser saw Wyoming once again forced to split the points.

Demi Koulizakis finished 2018 strongly and picked right up where she left off as Texas Tech put San Diego State to the sword. Koulizakis played just 28 minutes off the bench as the Red Raiders dominated in a 6-1 victory, but that was all the time the senior need to tally her first goal of the campaign, nodding home a corner late in the first half to put Texas Tech 5-0 up before halftime, whilst also adding an assists in the dominant victory. Unfortunately, the Red Raiders’ road trip didn’t end as well as it started as they fell 1-0 to New Mexico in Albuquerque later in the week, with Koulizakis tallying one of the team’s 7 shots on target as they outshot the Lobos, but couldn’t find an equaliser.

Nicholls State already look better than they did in 2018, and they have Aussie duo Tessa Calabria and Kristy Helmers to thank. The Colonels played Mississippi Valley State in a pair of back-to-back games at home, with Calabria tallying a goal from the spot and Helmers adding a goal and an assist late in the piece as Nicholls State rolled to a 5-0 victory in the first game. The 34-4 shot count of the second game suggested that the result should have been the same again, but somehow Mississippi Valley State stood firm in a 1-1 draw, with Helmers teeing up a teammate for a 65th minute equaliser after Nicholls State had conceded the opener via a penalty in the first half.

Beattie Goad also started the season in fine form. Now a senior in a Stanford squad looking to replace a number of stars, Goad earned a start in the Cardinal’s season opener, going close to scoring on one occasion in a 2-1 win over Penn State. However, despite coming off the bench against West Virginia two days later, Goad was able to have more of an impact, tallying an assist on her team’s final goal in a 3-1 win as Stanford started the season 2-0.

Player of the Year Points:

3: Teresa Morrissey (Rhode Island)
2: Indianna Asimus (Wyoming)
1: Kristy Helmers (Nicholls State)

Full Schedule

Alabama State (Sophie Bui)

This week: lost 6-1 to Fairleigh Dickinson; lost 6-0 to UTRGV

Sophie Bui did not feature for Alabama State in either game this week.

Chicago State (Sarah Clark)

This week: lost 5-0 to Northern Iowa; lost 2-0 to Wisconsin-Green Bay

Sarah Clark did not feature for Chicago State against Northern Iowa, whilst there are no stats available for the game against Wisconsin-Green Bay.

East Tennessee State (D’arne Boato)

This week: defeated King 4-0; lost 1-0 to UNC Asheville

D’arne Boato did not feature for East Tennessee State in either game this week.

Fairleigh Dickinson (Sam Roff)

This week: defeated Alabama State 6-1; lost 4-1 to Miami (FL)

Sam Roff started both games for Fairleigh Dickinson, playing 68 minutes in the win over Alabama State and 58 minutes in the loss to Miami.

Grand Canyon (Sandra Hill)

This week: defeated Stetson 1-0; lost 7-1 to Florida Atlantic

Sandra Hill did not feature for Grand Canyon in either game this week.

Hawaii (Eliza Ammendolia, Kiri Dale)

This week: lost 3-0 to USC; lost 3-2 to South Florida

Kiri Dale came off the bench to play 14 minutes in the loss to USC, but did not feature in the game against South Florida. Eliza Ammendolia did not feature against USC, but came off the bench to make her debut against South Florida, playing 31 minutes.

Hofstra (Monique Iannella, Grace Watson Carr)

This week: defeated Monmouth 1-0; lost 6-0 to Penn State

Monique Iannella played the full 90 minutes for Hofstra in both games to start the season. Grace Watson Carr did not feature for Hofstra in either game this week.

Illinois (Ashleigh Lefevre)

This week: defeated Loyola Chicago 3-1; defeated Dayton 3-2

Ashleigh Lefevre started in the win over Loyola Chicago, playing 47 minutes before coming off the bench to play 59 minutes in the win over Dayton.

La Salle (Claudia Jenkins, Alyssa Van Heurck)

This week: lost 2-0 to Duke; drew 1-1 with North Florida

Claudia Jenkins played all 200 minutes of the weekend, making 6 saves in the loss to Duke and another 5 in the draw with North Florida. Alyssa Van Heurck started both games, registering a single shot on target in 80 minutes against Duke before playing 78 minutes against North Florida.

LSU (Caitlin Cantrill)

This week: lost 1-0 to Villanova; drew 1-1 with Navy

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

Marshall (Laura Farrelly)

This week: lost 5-0 to Michigan; lost 5-1 to Michigan State

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

Mississippi (Aimee Medwin)

This week: defeated North Alabama 2-0; lost 3-1 to Memphis

Aimee Medwin did not feature for Mississippi in either game this week.

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

This week: defeated Mississippi Valley State 5-0; drew 1-1 with Mississippi Valley State

Tessa Calabria started for Nicholls State in the first game against Mississippi Valley State, netting a penalty during her 39 minutes on the pitch before coming off the bench in the second meeting of the week to tally 5 shots, including 2 on target, in a 60-minute outing. Kristy Helmers started both games, playing 79 minutes whilst tallying an assist and a shot on target in the first outing. The senior tallied another assist in the drawn second meeting as well as another shot on target during a 74-minute stint. Shauni Reid did not feature in either game this week.

North Dakota State (Eden Taylor-Wineera)

This week: defeated Saint Mary’s 1-0; drew 1-1 with Montana

Eden Taylor-Wineera did not feature against Saint Mary’s, but came off the bench against Montana, making her debut with a brief 5-minute cameo.

Old Dominion (Gaby Bentley)

This week: defeated Towson 4-1; defeated George Mason 3-1

Gaby Bentley did not feature for Old Dominion in either game this week.

Rhode Island (Teresa Morrissey)

This week: defeated New Hampshire 1-0 (OT)

Teresa Morrissey enjoyed an outstanding debut, playing all 92 minutes and making five crucial saves as Rhode Island secured a 1-0 overtime win against New Hampshire to open the season.

Southeast Missouri State (Siena Senatore)

This week: defeated Southern Miss 3-2

In her first competitive fixture since 2016, Siena Senatore played the full 90 minutes for Southeast Missouri State in their win over Southern Miss.

Stanford (Beattie Goad)

This week: defeated Penn State 2-1; defeated West Virginia 3-1

Beattie Goad started against Penn State, playing 79 minutes and registering three shots, of which one was on target. The senior came off the bench against West Virginia, tallying an assist on Stanford’s third goal during her 41 minutes on the pitch.

Texas Tech (Demi Koulizakis)

This week: defeated San Diego State 6-1; lost 1-0 to New Mexico

Demi Koulizakis came off the bench to score one of Texas Tech’s six goals against San Diego State during a 28-minute cameo, before playing 49 minutes off the bench in the loss to New Mexico, registering two shots with one on target.

UCLA (Teagan Micah)

This week: defeated Iowa State 3-0; defeated Long Beach State 1-0

Teagan Micah played all 180 minutes in UCLA’s pair of victories, making a single save in each game. Rachel Lowe came off the bench in both games, scoring on debut in a 45-minute effort against Iowa State before playing 22 minutes in the win over Long Beach State.

UMBC (Abi Jordan, Teal Kilbride)

This week: drew 0-0 with NJIT; drew 2-2 with Saint Francis (PA)

Teal Kilbride played the full 90 minutes in the draw with NJIT, but did not feature in the draw with Saint Francis. Abi Jordan did not feature in either game this week.

Western Carolina (Kate Swartwout)

This week: defeated Gardner-Webb 2-1

Kate Swartwout played the full 90 minutes for Western Carolina as the Catamounts secured a 2-1 victory despite conceding the opener.

Wyoming (Indianna Asimus)

This week: drew 2-2 with UTEP; drew 1-1 with New Mexico State

Indianna Asimus started the season on fire, finishing with a goal and three shots on target in an 89-minute performance against UTEP, before scoring Wyoming’s only goal in a 76-minute performance in the draw with New Mexico State.

Tessa Calabria: Gunning for personal redemption and team success in a comeback season

After injury scuppered what looked to be a promising first NCAA Division I season after an outstanding junior college career, Tessa Calabria is looking to make up for lost time in her final season at Nicholls State.

(Feature Image Credit: Nicholls State Athletics)

Adelaide’s Tessa Calabria had enjoyed an outstanding junior college career, banging in goals and teeing up teammates for fun in her two seasons at Iowa Lakes Community College before making the step-up to NCAA Division I in 2018, joining fellow Australian, Kristy Helmers at Nicholls State. Calabria looked set to improve a Colonels attack that had struggled to score goals in the previous season, having come off a solid season for South Carolina-based Beaufort County SC in the WPSL in addition to her junior college exploits. However, there was to be an early twist in the tale.

“So, I’d just finished playing summer league so I was ready and I was pretty confident,” Calabria told College Matildas. “But at the same time, I had an injury and that was stopping me from training and it also stopped me from going to class.

“I wasn’t able to sit, so I was just skipping class. It stopped me from doing anything without being in excruciating pain. So, 2 or 3 weeks into the season, it forced me to stop playing.”

However, it wasn’t as simple as “having an injury” for Calabria. What manifested as pain in the striker’s leg was actually in a whole different class of issue – a spinal problem that would result in surgery.

“At the time they thought it was a hamstring strain, but once I came home to Adelaide, through all the MRI tests and that, [they found] I had to get a lumbar discectomy.”

“My whole right leg [was in pain], because the nerve goes down into my hamstring. So, my spine was compressing onto the nerve.”

But what is a lumbar discectomy? Essentially, it is surgery to remove part of one of the intervertebral discs in the spine to alleviate pressure on the affected nerve. As one could probably appreciate, it is not a surgery that any person, but particularly an elite athlete, simply jumps into without exhausting all of their other options, and so it was for Calabria, who returned to Australia over the Christmas break to attempt to rectify the issue.

“I went home early and I didn’t go back to America for the spring semester. For all those months we were just trying conservative treatment, from physios, chiros, doctors, and none of it worked, so the last resort was surgery.

“A lot of people were telling me not to get it done, but I was so exhausted from being in pain. I just wanted it done.”

However, the surgery is just the first part of the process. What follows is an arduous rehab process, one that Calabria is still working through as the South Australian looks to ready herself for her final season of college soccer.

“The last few weeks, I’ve been getting back into it, going to physio to do Pilates, doing core stuff, been swimming, and working on the strength again in my core and my back.

“The coach knows what I’ve been going through and that, I’ve just been starting to run in the last week. I feel like, right now, I’m just focusing on one day at a time and just being better than I was the day before. I think once the season starts I’ll be ready.”

However, the injury and recovery process has also altered Calabria’s perspective slightly, with the one-time dominator of junior college defences forced to shift her expectations in what will be her only full season of Division I play after being denied a redshirt following her shortened 2018 campaign.

“In JUCO, I just wanted to go out there, my goal in JUCO was to go out and be top goalscorer, get the most assists, be the best player in the conference. But now, with an injury happening, it’s just…I don’t know.

“I know what I’m capable of, I have confidence in my abilities, but it’s about getting back to full fitness, then I can do what I know I can.”

However, a change in perspective on a personal front hasn’t changed Calabria’s thoughts on what Nicholls State can do this season as a team. Despite finishing bottom of the Southland Conference in 2018 with just a single win to their name, the senior is taking heart from one conference foe’s rapid rise up the table just two seasons ago. With a new coach, former assistant Danny Free, taking the reins, Calabria sees a bright future for the team that now features three Australians as fellow junior college transfer Shauni Reid joins Calabria and Helmers in Thibodaux.

“I think with a new head coach, that’s a positive change, a thing that’s definitely needed. Obviously, I want to make playoffs, and win the conference. I know we can do it, I don’t see why we can’t.

“Lamar, in 2016 they were bottom of the table and the next season they won the conference, so it is possible. We just have to be on the same page and believe, really.”

However, with this also being Calabria’s last season in college after being denied a redshirt in 2018, the senior has one eye towards the future. Whilst she may be currently in the midst of completing a degree in business management, Calabria is set on ensuring her future has more of a footballing flavour. A massive Juventus fan, it comes as little surprise as to her preferred destination following college.

“I do want to go to Europe and play professionally over there, but I know in order to do that I need to have a good season and perform. Especially, with Italy in the World Cup, and all their players coming from the Serie A, I think it would be good to play there.

“I haven’t really thought about [what I want to do with my degree]. I’ve just been concentrating on soccer, really. That’s what I care about at the moment.”

2019 Forward Previews

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

Indianna Asimus (Sophomore, Wyoming, Newcastle)

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

Sophie Bui (Freshman, Alabama State, Canberra)

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

Tessa Calabria (Senior, Nicholls State, Adelaide)

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

Sarah Clark (Senior, Chicago State, Innisfail)

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

Kristy Helmers (Senior, Nicholls State, Canberra)

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

Demi Koulizakis (Senior, Texas Tech, Sydney)

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

Shauni Reid (Senior, Nicholls State, Perth)

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

Reloading: Six Aussie attackers set for breakout seasons

Australians in NCAA Division I women’s soccer scored 22 goals and tallied 26 assists in 2018. However, 11 of those goals and 16 of those assists came via players who will not be returning to college in 2019, either due to graduation or other reasons. Despite a comparative lack of attacking output among the returning players, there are a number of players who are yet to regularly add their names to the scoresheet that could yet have breakout seasons and provide memorable moments this year. College Matildas takes a look at four players and one duo that could all make significant impacts for their teams in 2019.

(Featured Image Credit: Bill Dally/ISIPhotos.com)

Demi Koulizakis (Texas Tech)

Koulizakis came on in leaps and bounds in her junior season, and with a number of spots opening up in the Texas Tech front line, the senior from Sydney now has her best opportunity yet to cement a spot in the starting lineup. Already named Texas Tech’s Most Improved Player in 2018 by her teammates, the versatile attacking player now has the chance to show that last season wasn’t simply a one-off, with three spots in the midfield and front line up for grabs.

Koulizakis’ outstanding spring form has her in the box seat to nail down a starting berth after finishing the campaign with four goals and an assist, including a hat-trick against Lubbock Christian. Furthermore, the senior’s cause will hardly have been harmed by spending her offseason playing in the NPLNSW competition for a Sydney Olympic side featuring the likes of Matildas midfielder Teresa Polias as well as a number of players with W-League experience.

Beattie Goad (Stanford)

Three seasons at Stanford playing a supporting role behind some of the most talented players to pull on a Cardinal jersey means Goad has served an unusually long apprenticeship, but the opportunity has now presented itself for the Victorian to serve as an integral part of the starting lineup. Goad has started in 24 of her 64 appearances for Stanford, and last season tallied 2 goals and 3 assists, both career highs for a single season as the Cardinal returned to the College Cup as defending champions before falling to eventual champions Florida State in the semi-finals.

What position the senior fills remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that Goad can become a mainstay of the Stanford starting eleven in her final season, and if she does indeed fill an attacking role, the Victorian will have plenty of opportunities to both tee up teammates and score goals herself.

Tessa Calabria (Nicholls State)

Injury restricted the junior college transfer to just 6 appearances in 2018, but Calabria comes into her final season of collegiate soccer looking to make up for lost time in a Nicholls State side that could really use her goalscoring prowess. Having scored 25 goals and contributed 16 assists during two years at Iowa Lakes Community College, Calabria knows not only how to find the back of the net, but tee up her teammates, which in turn could help her develop a key partnership with fellow Australian Kristy Helmers, who will be itching to return to the goalscoring form that saw the senior tally 6 goals in her freshman season.

With Western Australian senior Shauni Reid also expected to spend time up front, Calabria’s return could be the catalyst for the Australian trio to return Nicholls State to a similar level that the program found itself at in the days of Australian midfielder Jess Coates, who helped the Colonels to their last winning seasons in 2013 and 2014.

Alyssa Van Heurck (La Salle)

A defender by trade, Van Heurck made the move into a wide attacking role in her first season at La Salle and took to the change like a duck to water. Although the majority of her appearances were cameos of 15-25 minutes, Van Heurck eventually six starts in her freshman season, tallying a single goal and playing in excess of 40 minutes in the final two games of the campaign.

Whilst a couple of more experienced players are returning this season after missing 2018 due to injury, there remain a number of positions open in the La Salle starting eleven, and Van Heurck is certainly in the running for a more prominent berth in the rotation. Even if the Western Australian isn’t able to nail down a starting berth, 2019 could serve as an excellent setup year as the Explorers will again need to replace a number of seniors in 2020.

Caitlin Pickett & Indianna Asimus (Wyoming) 

Pickett and Asimus both featured regularly for Wyoming in their freshman seasons in 2018, but with the loss of a couple of key pieces of the Cowgirls’ attack, the Australian duo will become even more crucial as the team from Laramie looks to turn last year’s Mountain West Conference regular season title into a conference championship and secure an NCAA Tournament berth. Both of Pickett’s goals in 2018 came in sudden death overtime, and whilst those clutch plays are always welcomed, the sophomore will be counted on to improve upon that number to keep the Cowgirls flying high in 2019.

Meanwhile, Asimus is yet to tally a goal or an assist, but having made nine starts last season and averaged 47 minutes per appearance, the Wyoming coaching staff obviously have faith in the sophomore to emerge as an offensive weapon going forward. Whether that translates into tangible returns remains to be seen, but if Asimus and Pickett both fire this season, Mountain West Conference defences are in a world of trouble.