2014 College Soccer Roundup: Week 7

[dropcap size=small]W[/dropcap]eekly roundup of women’s college soccer news you might have missed. Includes the past week’s crucial games, injury reports, news of note, upcoming games to watch, and general observations about the world of women’s college soccer.

So That Happened

October 3, 2014

North Carolina 3-2 Virginia Tech
NorthCarolina-100x100After suffering its first defeat of the season last weekend against Notre Dame, Tech recovered to defeat Duke later that weekend. This weekend was a different story, as the Hokies fell behind to North Carolina early and never recovered. With first-half goals from freshman Megan Buckingham and sophomore Sarah Firstenberg, the Tar Heels took a deserved 2-0 lead into the half. Just minutes into the second half, the home side struck again with sophomore Joanna Boyles scoring the insurance goal. Virginia Tech mounted a comeback with goals from sophomores Candace Cephers and Murielle Tiernan, but fell just short.

Texas A&M 0-1 Florida
FloridaState-100x100This showdown between the SEC’s top two teams saw both squads finish with shots in the double digitsl. Savannah Jordan’s goal with seven minutes left in regulation was the game-winner, and could have easily been called an own goal for the Aggies. Texas A&M may be kicking themselves after this one, as they had twice the number of shots on goal Florida did, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Gators finished the weekend with a win at Arkansas, and now sit atop the conference standings as the lone undefeated team in conference play. Texas A&M finished the weekend with an important win over a Kentucky side having a more troublesome season than expected.

October 5, 2014

Notre Dame 1-2 Virginia
Virginia-100x100Frustrating losses is an unfortunate theme for Notre Dame this season. Against Virginia, Notre Dame was the team fighting back to tie the game with a goal from junior Cari Roccaro, but couldn’t hold on to make it to extra time. Both of the Cavaliers’ goals came in the second half, with senior Morgan Brian netting one before heading off to Women’s World Cup qualifiers with the U.S. Women’s National Team and junior Brittany Ratcliffe finding the game-winner in the final minute of the match. It was perhaps surprising Virginia left it until the final minute, as the visitors outshot Notre Dame by a total of 19 to 4.

In and Out

Southern California dropped a 0-1 decision to Colorado at home to start the second weekend of Pac-12 conference play, and despite beating Utah, 2-0, on Sunday, the Trojans dropped from the tenuous 25th spot to make way for Rutgers. On the opposite coast, the Scarlet Knights have put together a 5-1-1 record in their new conference, including a pair of shutouts against Indiana (1-0) and Purdue (4-0) this past weekend. USC and Rutgers both face top-ranked conference opponents this week and even a narrow win could impact their national rankings.

Top Performers

Nicky Waldeck (Michigan) — Michigan has been looking for a big scorer to step in after losing Nkem Ezurike to graduation after last season. Sophomore Nicky Waldeck has stepped up with nine goals in 13 games (12 starts) and has nearly caught Ezurike’s 2013 season total of 14 goals. This past weekend, Waldeck bagged her first career hat trick in a 3-1 win at home over Nebraska and backed up that performance up with a goal in Michigan’s 4-2 win over Iowa. With a major Big Ten encounter against Penn State looming in the coming weeks, Waldeck will be the one Head Coach Greg Ryan will look to if the Maize and Blue want to stay on top of the Big Ten.

Sarah Zadrazil (Eastern Tennessee St.) — Stepping outside of the “Power 8” conferences here for a minute as in-form Eastern Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun Conference) put together a weekend with a 3-1 win over Samford and a 5-1 win over Chattanooga. This team is a high-scoring machine, scoring 51 goals in 14 matches and one of the main reasons is because of the Austrian international Sarah Zadrazil. While pulling double-duty with the Austrian National Team in UEFA World Cup Qualifiers, Zadrazil has scored six goals and assisted on 13 goals in 12 matches this year and is currently the NCAA leader in assists. This past weekend, Zadrazil scored twice in the win over Samford and added a goal and three assists in the win against Chattanooga. Keep an eye on her and Eastern Tennessee State in the lead-up to the NCAA Tournament.

Coming Up

Stanford vs. UCLA (Thursday, October 9th)
This match could have major postseason implications. Stanford travels to UCLA to begin its Los Angeles weekend swing and face a Bruins squad that has a 7-0-1 record at home and has outscored opponents 16-2 on its home turf. Meanwhile, the Cardinal boast an equally impressive 3-0-1 road record with wins at North Carolina and Duke, but this will be only their second road match since the beginning of September. Both teams are tied in Pac-12 conference play at 2-0-1 and the battle of the midfield will be the difference in this match. In 2013, UCLA won the regular season meeting in double overtime in Palo Alto and took the rematch at home in the NCAA tournament with a 2-0 result.

Virginia Tech vs. Florida State (Sunday, October 12th)
This was a one-sided series in 2013, with the Seminoles winning all three meetings (2-1 in the regular season, 1-0 in the ACC Tournament Final, and 3-2 in the College Cup semifinals). If there was ever a time for Chugger Adair’s Hokies to get some retribution for the frustrations of the 2013 season, this game would be the ideal opportunity. The Hokies played a thriller last week against North Carolina and despite going down 3-0 in the second half, showed great determination to score two goals and create opportunities for an equalizer. However, they’re meeting a red-hot Florida State squad that has won seven straight matches and outscored opponents 22-2 during that streak.



Rachael Caldwell will be graduating from the University of Arkansas in 2015 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and minors in Spanish and Business Management. Rachael played soccer from when she was three until her senior year of high school, where she was the captain of her state championship winning team. Rachael looks forward to writing more for Our Game Magazine and also writes about women’s soccer on her blog, rachaelfc.wordpress.com.

JJ Duke graduated from Rider University in New Jersey with a degree in Digital Media Studies. Although his playing days may have ended back in high school, he still prides himself on being a decent shot-stopper and an all-around fanatic of the beautiful game (fervent supporter of Manchester United and the founder of a Rider supporters group, the 206 Ultras). He was the Student General Manager at 107.7 FM The Bronc while at Rider and contributed to various local newspaper and Web sites in the Trenton, NJ, area of high school and collegiate sports including T and Fish4Scores.com.

Ruth Moore serves Our Game Magazine as a College Editor and the magazine’s Design Editor. She holds a degree in Professional Writing from Kutztown University, freelances in communication design and loves coffee.

Brandi Ortega designs, writes, and plays soccer in Southern California. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in English. Find her on twitter at @brandiortega.