Weekly 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
Results from key games.
Virginia Tech 4-2 Duke
The Virginia Tech Hokies have quietly put together a very good 2015 campaign and the exclamation point of that 11-1-1 start came this past Sunday with a 4-2 win on the road at Duke. In less than ideal conditions, the Hokies capitalized on their chances as four different players scored goals. Despite conceding twice inside the final 10 minutes, Virginia Tech picked up the result and are now tied for third place in the ACC, trailing only North Carolina and Florida State.
Florida 1-1 Kentucky
If you’re a fan of the Kentucky Wildcats, you’re very happy to have goalkeeper Katelyn Jensen on your team. The freshman goalkeeper made a career high 13 saves, and despite Kentucky being outshot 27-6, the Wildcats found a way to grind out a 1-1 result on the road at Florida. A Savannah Jordan first-half goal was cancelled out by a 49th minute goal from Kaitlin Miller, giving Kentucky its first goal scored at Florida’s James G. Pressly Stadium since 2009. Jensen kept Jordan in check throughout the night as the Florida striker, despite recording 12 shots, had five of her six shots on target saved.
Arizona 1-0 California
This result proves that the 2015 version of the Pac-12 will be unpredictable and every team should believe it can go out and win on any given day. California had a very good season up until the start of conference play but a loss in double overtime to Colorado meant the Wildcats, who defeated Washington at home a week ago, could take on this tough Cal team. And through a 71st minute goal from Hannah Stevens and eight saves from goalkeeper Rachel Estopare, Arizona improved to 2-0. The Wildcats then gave Stanford all it could handle on the weekend before falling 3-2 in double overtime, but this Arizona team has proven through that it can hang with the top teams in the conference.
Wisconsin 1-0 Minnesota
Heading into conference play, questions were being asked about a Wisconsin team with big expectations for the 2015 season. The Badger had a three-game winless streak grow into five to start things off, but have recently reeled off three consecutive wins, including Friday’s win against Minnesota. As for the Gophers, they were turned into a Big Ten darling to start off conference play, going undefeated in their first four games and vaulting to 11 in the national rankings. Despite the hype, Wisconsin was able to hand Minnesota its first loss in the Big Ten and shut the Gophers out for just the fourth time this season. The lone goal was a converted penalty kick by Kinley McNicoll in the 35th minute.
Cincinnati 2-0 UCF
Cincinnati didn’t raise many eyebrows through the first half of its season, but after this weekend the Bearcats will demand some attention. Following up Friday’s win against ranked University of South Florida, Cincinnati finished off a perfect road trip to Florida knocking off UCF. Cincinnati is now unbeaten through nine straight matches, thanks to a pair of goals from Jordan Cotleur. As a result, the Bearcats are sitting pretty atop the AAC standings — just like everyone expected, right? It’s the second time this season UCF has been shut out by an unranked opponent, and its third straight conference loss. Things are starting to go sideways for the Knights, who have fallen all the way to eighth in the conference standings.
Upcoming Games to Watch
Find a screen to watch these games.
North Carolina vs. Florida State
This is the match that many people have been waiting to see this season. The Tar Heels suffered their first defeat since November 2014 with an overtime loss to Louisville on Thursday. We’ll be more than halfway home in the conference portion of the schedule for both of these teams after this weekend and a win for either side will put them in the driver’s seat for not only the top spot in the ACC tournament but as the top-ranked team in the nation as well.
Arizona vs. USC
This is an intriguing matchup in the first half of the Pac-12 season as both Arizona and USC have proven themselves to be contenders who will challenge for top honors in in the standings. Arizona upset California last week and nearly got a result against Stanford at home while USC defeated Washington State on the road last week. Both of these teams have talented offensive players and goalkeepers who can come up with the big save when needed so a result for either side will be a massive boost of confidence going forward.
West Virginia vs. Texas Tech
Surprisingly, this match will feature teams at both ends of the Big 12 spectrum. West Virginia, as expected, has won both of its conference games and is tied for the lead in the standings. Unexpectedly, Texas Tech has tied both of its conference matches and is sitting tied for seventh place with just two points. The Red Raiders need a win to boost morale and its NCAA Tournament résumé and with a highly touted West Virginia team coming into town, a win will surely help both of those categories. A match subplot to watch for is to watch as top Canadian youth players square off: West Virginia’s Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence face Texas Tech’s Janine Beckie.
Cincinnati vs. UConn
The Huskies, albeit inconsistent, have had a rather successful season. UConn has dipped in and out of the Top 25, and at one point had a seven-game win streak. They’re currently undefeated at home, but that could all change when Cincinnati comes to town. The Bearcats are currently undefeated in the conference and riding a three-game win streak and a nine-game unbeaten streak. Defense for Cincinnati and UConn has been stout this season, as both teams have yet to allow more than two goals in a single game; Cincinnati has posted shutouts in five of its last nine games.
The players who made a difference this past week.
Murielle Tiernan, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has a striker in Rachel Daly who is on fire at the moment. The junior scored in the 4-2 on the weekend against Duke and has scored in all four conference matches for the Hokies. Now with 10 goals scored in 2015, she has tied Boston College’s McKenzie Meehan for top honors in the ACC goal scoring charts and will look to continue that strong form against Wake Forest and Clemson this weekend.
Margaret Purce, Harvard
The U.S. youth international has had a slow start to 2015 as she had only scored twice in nine matches played coming into this weekend. But against their traditional Ivy League rivals Yale, Purce scored twice within the first five minutes and collected her hat-trick in the 51st minute en route to a 4-0 victory.
Haley Rosen and Andi Sullivan, Stanford
This duo from Stanford both contributed on the scoresheet during the week as Rosen and Sullivan each scored in both of the Cardinals wins. The pair scored second half goals on Friday’s 2-0 win against Arizona State and then after trailing 1-0 after 20 minutes to Arizona on Sunday, Rosen scored the equalizer in the 23rd minute and Sullivan scored seven minutes later en route to a 3-2 win. Between Rosen and Sullivan, they have scored seven of Stanford’s 20 goals and assisted on five others.
Rachel Daly, St. John’s
After a down 2014, Daly has stormed, pun intended, back for St John’s this season. The forward has already surpassed her goal total from last season, and is tied for the fourth most goals in the NCAA with 11. This past weekend, Daly bagged a brace in a win against Marquette to put her atop the career lists for most goals (42) and points (94) in the history of St John’s women’s soccer.
You Might Have Missed
Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Joaquin
With Hurricane Joaquin bearing down on the southeastern part of the United States this past weekend, many matches were forced to be played on less than ideal field conditions or had to be moved to another location due to field conditions. Most notably, Virginia’s match against N.C. State had to be postponed until October 28th, per Virginia’s athletics website.
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).
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.