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.
Florida 0-1 (OT) Stanford
Clutch. That’s what you should start calling sophomore midfielder Jordan DiBiasi. It was DiBiasi in overtime that give the Cardinal the win after she slotted home the right-footed winner around Florida’s Kaylan Marckese. Campbell made the initial save but DiBiasi pounced on her own rebound to give the Cardinal its fourth overall win of the season. The goal became DiBiasi’s fifth game-winning goal of her career. She’s a sophomore. For Florida the loss was the first of the season for the Gators, who rebounded nicely with an overtime win against UCLA, and will take that momentum into a matchup with No. 1 Florida State on Friday. — Brandi
UCLA 1-0 (OT) Texas A&M
Don’t press the panic alarm on the Aggies. Sure, losing your two biggest non-conference games at home doesn’t inspire much confidence, but I’m willing to put money on Texas A&M being in the SEC Tournament final yet again. The thing is, they’ve gotten off to similarly sluggish starts in seasons past under Coach G. Last season they lost to Florida State (sensing a theme there) and needed double overtime to handle those Mean Green of North Texas, and of course in 2014 there was the Sun Devil Classic debacle. The Aggies will get it figured out, although the probable loss of Ally Watt to the U-20 team may hurt a bit more than originally thought. As for UCLA, this was obviously a good win, but I’ll leave the rest to Brandi. — Rachael
BYU 3-2 Penn State
Gotta give credit to where credit is due here. BYU played Nebraska on Monday night and lost at home. BYU losing at home. That hardly ever happens. In fact, it hasn’t happened since September 11, 2014, when LSU left Provo with a 1-0 win. And then they had to fly across the country on short rest to play Penn State at the Jeff. That’s when Ashley Hatch did what all goal scorers do best: score goals in bunches. She posted a hat trick in a stunning 3-2 win at Penn State and what started off as a sour week for the Cougars turned into a big one as a win like that will be a nice résumé builder come NCAA Tournament time. — JJ
North Carolina PPD Florida Gulf Coast (Editor’s Choice)
Weather blows. Plain and simple. And there were plenty of matches that were delayed due to storms and a couple of others postponed this week alone, including this one. Honestly, I was really looking forward to this one and it could have served as a nice test for the Tar Heels in the lead-up to ACC play. And in all seriousness, I know that a lot of the southeast has had to deal with some really bad weather over the past few weeks and unfortunately, the weather folks are projecting more bad weather for this week. So, for our readers and all of those living in the southeast, please stay safe and hopefully you all (RC – Just say y’all) get some sunshine real soon. — JJ
Upcoming Games to Watch
Find a screen to watch these games.
Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech
This game is sneaky good. Ohio State is heading into a tricky road trip. After visiting Blacksburg, they head out to Morgantown to take on West Virginia, who should be back at full strength as Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence returned from Olympic duty last week. Similarly though, Ohio State returned their own Canadian Olympian in Nichelle Prince and she helped set up the overtime winner at Florida Gulf Coast this weekend. Virginia Tech swept a pair of matches against SEC opposition in Charleston to open the season and backed that up with a pair of wins last week. Now they battle another undefeated team in their run-up to ACC play and a win for either side will be a nice one as we close in on the conference season. — JJ
UCLA vs. Penn State
Oh, this should be a good one. Both squads are coming off of losses and looking to right the ship so to speak. For UCLA, they’ll want to prove to everyone the win over Texas A&M and the narrow loss to Florida weren’t flukes. And despite the shaky start to this season, Penn State is the reigning national champion so the Nittany Lions will want to remind everyone they’re still very much a part of the conversation. Both squads will be missing players due to U-20 call-ups but this is always a good matchup. Always. — Brandi
“Tonight’s soccer match between Florida State and the University of Florida has been cancelled due to travel safety concerns. No make up date has been scheduled at this time.”
After a season opener at a raucous Ellis Field against Texas A&M, the Seminoles’ non-conference schedule has cooled off a bit. Meanwhile, Florida was just starting to heat up, going on a Cali trip to face Stanford and UCLA. This matchup is always guaranteed entertainment, and you can catch it on Watch ESPN should you have access to the ACC streams. Regardless, this game provides a nice little measuring stick for both sides before they launch into conference play (although Florida State’s match against UConn will also be a good indicator as well). Basically, if the Florida defense can right the ship, then it all comes down to Savannah Jordan versus a talented, organized, and star-studded Seminole defense. If Florida’s defense looks a bit like it did against UCLA, Florida State could be walking away with a rather significant victory and give their rival a lot of motivation for their next meeting. — Rachael
Minnesota vs. Duke (Editor’s Choice)
This is the final game of the Duke Nike Soccer Classic on Sunday and there are intriguing stories for both sides. For Duke, they just lost to Arkansas on the road this past week (Rachael will probably say there’s a little bit of retribution in that result after the ‘Backs fell to Duke in penalties a couple of years ago in the NCAA Tournament), and they already have had to deal with playing their Tobacco Road rival North Carolina on Friday. Duke needs to gain back some momentum and it won’t be that easy against the Gophers. Minnesota are flying nicely under the radar by winning their first four matches and have outscored their opponents 11-1, led by Simone Kolander’s four tallies. This begins a treacherous stretch for Gopher nation. After this match, they travel west to play Stanford and Santa Clara and then begin Big 12 play the following week against Penn State. A win in this match could be a nice jump-start for them for this upcoming stretch. — JJ
The players who made a difference this past week.
Savannah Jordan, Florida
Jessie Fleming deservedly stole all the headlines in her UCLA debut, but Jordan’s Florida Gators stole the victory. It was a wildly entertaining match, so it was a bit disappointing to see it decided by an own goal. Jordan had two goals in the match, and also played a bit of a role in the own goal, with her driven pass across the box deflected off of the Bruin defender for the goal. The forward was buzzing all over the field, and I am still convinced she could run through a brick wall. Jordan donned the captain’s armband, and it’s clear what a leader she’s become over the past four years. Somehow this ended up being less about her play this weekend and more of a poetic waxing about Jordan’s development at Florida, but my point stands, do keep your eyes on her this season. — Rachael
Jessie Fleming, UCLA
Yes, Jessie Fleming did steal the show on Sunday for the Bruins, despite the loss to Florida. A pair of goals for the young Canadian international will do that for you in general….and then this happened:
Man, I can watch that over and over and over, and…you get the point. Look, it’s a brilliant debut and I know fans in Westwood (and more specifically, Brandi) have been waiting for this for a while and she is only the beginning of the youth movement to come to UCLA in the next two years as Mal Pugh is set to arrive after the U-20 World Cup, along with Ashley Sanchez in the fall. The BruWins are going to be fun to watch, no doubt about that.
#TeamOGM Alma Mater Watch
A new addition to the our College Coverage as we take a look at how each of the #TeamOGM alma mater’s are stacking up this season
Rachael Caldwell — Arkansas (SEC)
Results: W, 2-1, vs. Duke
In 2013, I was lucky enough to be at Koskinen Stadium calling the Razorback’s third round NCAA Tournament match against the Duke Blue Devils. It was Arkansas’ first trip to the tourney, and they were clearly fighting above their weight class. But the Hogs went punch for punch with a talented Duke squad. If then freshman Alexandra “Sparky” Fischer had just held her run a few seconds, she would have had a golden goal in extra time and easily sealed the biggest upset in school history. Alas, as alluded to earlier, Arkansas would go on to fall in penalties. Still, in that moment, it seemed as if University of Arkansas soccer, for the first time since its inception 30 seasons ago, was building something. Fast forward to Friday night. The Hogs were looking to break their attendance record for the third straight season, and, oh yeah, just trying to defeat a top 10 team for the first time in school history. No problem. This time around, it was a new freshman’s turn to step up to the plate. Stefani Doyle, last week’s SEC Freshman of the Week and this week’s SEC Offensive POTW, put the Razorbacks up, 2-0, with a heck of a top-shelf strike. This time around, it was very much onside and would go down as the game-winning goal. How about that for narrative. Before this becomes an essay (too late) I do want to give a shout-out to the night’s other goal scorer, Lindsey Mayo. Mayo is in her fifth year due to some injury issues last season, but has consistently been one of the grittiest players and hardest workers on the squad. And with that, I bid you a WOO DANG PIG Y’ALL.
Next up: Monday vs. UMKC; Thursday vs. Northern Iowa; Sunday at George Washington
JJ Duke — Rider University (MAAC)
Results: W, 5-0, vs. Fairleigh Dickinson; W, 2-1, at Wagner
Familiarity has always been there for Rider in terms of scheduling. But that doesn’t mean they play bad teams. FDU have won the Northeast Conference title two straight years and Wagner is a scrappy team (plus, traveling to Staten Island is a challenge in itself with #BridgeTraffic). And the Broncs put a thorough thrashing on FDU and grinded out a come-from-behind win at Wagner. That will set them on a good path to play a couple of challenging Pennsylvania teams next week. Oh, that and Ellie Smith had herself a freaking weekend. A hat trick against FDU and she scored the winner against Wagner for a solid four-goal weekend. She’s a pretty solid forward for the Broncs and a real hard worker, so good for her to go out there and have a big weekend.
Next up: Thursday at Temple; Sunday vs. Bucknell
Brandi Ortega — UCLA (PAC-12)
Results: W, 1-0, at Texas A&M; L, 3-4 (OT), vs. Florida
I have thoughts! Not really. Only to say that the 1-0 win over Texas A&M got more than a few people talking about the Bruins. Then they go on almost take down Florida if not for an own goal. Jessie Fleming made her Bruin debut and promptly proceeded to score two goals and destroy a Florida defender for good measure. Fleming’s heroics overshadowed Savannah Jordan’s brace and Florida’s win but it was a good reminder at the quality she brings to the squad and an early glimpse of what’s to come. It’s early in the season still, and the squad is still working out some kinks, especially in defense. This squad will probably punch above its weight all season and then have a target on its back next year.