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.
This match proved one thing for each team. Penn State is figuring ways out to survive without the players they’re losing this season to the U-20 World Cup. And Simone Kolander is a force to be reckoned with for the Gophers. It was a pacy match that had action at both ends, though I will say that if there was an edge, give it to Minnesota. This team is proving that they can not only hang and compete with the best in the Big Ten but can also win the conference. Kolander’s goal, her eighth of the season, came off of a corner and with her close to six foot frame (Minnesota’s website does NOT list her height but going by a rough guesstimate, I’d say she’s 6’1″, 6’2″), she is a target that not many teams can contain, which will be a useful come November when set pieces are season changers. Penn State are not the Penn State of last year but as I said, they are figuring ways out to grind out results and a point from this one isn’t a bad one, especially with starting Big Ten play on the road. — JJ
Santa Clara 1–2 Stanford
The Cardinal out shot the Broncos 20-9 and it was Jordan DiBiasi who put Stanford on top in the 13th minute for her fifth goal of the season. Sam Tran scored her first collegiate goal in the 34th minute to double Stanford’s lead. Roughly five minutes before halftime, Santa Clara cut the lead in half off a Jenna Roering goal. It was a tale of two halves for both squads as the second half was scoreless. Stanford goalkeeper Jane Campbell kept Santa Clara off the scoreboard with two big saves as regulation neared. — Brandi
Princeton 0–3 West Virginia
West Virginia came out determined as ever on Friday and gave Princeton a shellacking in front of roughly 2,000 people. I’m not sure if the Mountaineers necessarily needed a statement game (we know they’re good) but they didn’t make Princeton feel comfortable on the ball all night and controlled the pace and tempo. Michaela Abam scored her fifth goal of the season and Ashley Lawrence got on the board for the first time in 2016 as well. While their home unbeaten streak of 30 straight games was snapped by Georgetown on Sunday, getting themselves a high seed in the NCAA Tournament could be exactly what this team needs as they push toward November. If they can make their home ground a fortress, than West Virginia must play their hearts out to secure at least a couple of home matches. But with the squad they have right now, I think they are capable of doing just that. — JJ
Northern Iowa 2–1 Kansas State (Editor’s Choice)
It was an electric atmosphere as we welcomed in the NCAA’s latest entrant into the Division I circuit to their home digs for the first time. The K-State Soccer Complex saw the most fans ever to attend a NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer game on Friday night with 2,403 on hand. And despite Kansas State falling to Northern Iowa in their home debut, the fans were treated to an up-tempo match with the hosts putting on a furious comeback in the final 10 minutes to find an equalizer. Oh… they also have sweet goal fire cannons. And K-State also put this nice video recap of their first home match and it’s worth a couple minutes of your time to watch, just to see how awesome the support from the community was on that night. — JJ
Upcoming Games to Watch
Find a screen to watch these games.
Northwestern vs. Rutgers
Rutgers usually makes their home ground a tough place for teams to come and get results. But all of a sudden, a loss to Georgetown and a draw to Providence has put a small dent into the Yurcak Field armor. Now enter in Northwestern, the ultimate flying-under-the-radar team at 9-0-0 and eight shutouts (yes, I didn’t even know they won nine straight to begin the season, so fair play to them), and with a pair of conference wins this weekend against Purdue and Indiana, they are poised to have a crack at last year’s College Cup semifinalists. Northwestern are pulling a Rutgers from last year — they haven’t allowed a goal in 626 minutes and have been nearly impossible to break down. So keep a weathered eye on this game because even though we are in the early stages of Big Ten play, this one could change the landscape of the conference heading into October. — JJ
Virginia vs. Florida State
In all likelihood, these are two ACC powerhouses that probably expected to be coming into this match with perfect records. Virginia’s loss to Georgetown was a shock, although the Hoyas’ win against West Virginia may prove they’re not some Cinderella, and Florida State falling to South Alabama was probably called by one person in the whole entire universe. Both teams have recovered nicely, but certainly could use a résumé boost with a win in this match. Deyna Castellanos has stayed dangerous for the Seminoles since her ridiculous week one goal at Texas A&M, and Kaycie Tillman has kept the offense humming. As for the Cavaliers, defense has been the name of the game, with shutouts in eight of their nine matches this season. A classic ACC matchup you should watch, unfortunately this one is only offering live stats. Cool. — Rachael
Arizona vs. USC
Ugh. USC is good, and I have to admit it. Screen shot this because I might have to edit it. Also, Morgan Andrews is good, and I have to admit that. The Trojans open up league play at home against a pesky Wildcats team. USC is coming off a 2-0 victory over Kansas while Arizona will need to rebound after a 1-2 loss to Oklahoma. — Brandi
Princeton vs. Yale (Editor’s Choice)
Yes, I featured Princeton last week. They get a do-over. Plus, it’s the opening of the Ivy League season and with the nice little battle between Princeton and Harvard dueling for the top spot, it will be key for the Tigers to get off to a good start (reminder, there is no postseason tournament in the Ivy so the best record through the seven-match, round-robin format takes the title). But Yale won’t be an easy team to get by — while Princeton has the two-headed monster of Tyler Lussi and Mimi Asom up front, Yale has their own forward tandem of Sophomore Michelle Alozie and freshman Aerial Chavarin, who have combined for nine goals and seven assists. And as a bonus treat, I will be calling the match on ESPN3 on Saturday afternoon at 4 pm ET. So really you have no excuse not to watch (please watch, okay? Thanks). — JJ
The players who made a difference this past week.
* One day, I will get to pick these and it will be all Bruin, all of the time. — Brandi
Simone Kolander, Minnesota
As mentioned earlier, Kolander scored the lone Golden Gopher goal in a solid tie against those Nittany Lions of Penn State. The forward also found the back of the net in Minnesota’s second game of the weekend, a 3-0 victory over Ohio State. Kolander is tied for second in the nation for the most goals with nine on the season. In both losses the Gophers have suffered this season, Kolander was held off the board and notched only one shot on goal over both games. Minnesota goes as Kolander goes, and she is without a doubt the offensive leader of this team. Chances are, if Kolander can score then the Gophers can win. — Rachael
Grace Damaska, Georgetown
Rachel Corboz is so good that Damaska is leading the team in goals, and is in the top 10 nationally for goals scored, and she can’t get any attention. It’s okay, Team OGM is here to bestow the honor of Top Performer upon you for this week, Damaska. She earns the honor thanks to her double-overtime goal to give her team the upset over big bad West Virginia. While the senior was in part set up by Corboz, who wasn’t awarded the assist, Damaska notched two of the team’s four shots on goal in the match and kept the pressure on Kadeisha Buchanan and Co. Don’t sleep on Damaska come tournament time kids. — Rachael
Jeff Long, Arkansas Athletic Director
Those outside of the SEC orbit may not know that Jeff Long has proven himself to be a really excellent athletic director and an all-around Good Dude ™ in general. For the past four years or so I’ve been involved in the world of Razorback soccer, and the University of Arkansas itself, and Long has been absolutely nothing but supportive of this team. He is that way with every single sport at the University, revenue-generating or not. Perhaps that explains why I was in absolutely no way shocked that Mr. Long celebrated Arkansas’ upset of Florida by sliding through a giant water puddle in what I’m sure was a very expensive suit. What was shocking was seeing more tweets about Arkansas soccer in my timeline than I’ve ever seen in my entire life, so thanks Jeff. — Rachael
#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. Biased? We hope so.
Rachael Caldwell — Arkansas (SEC)
Results: W, 2-1, vs. Florida; W, 2-1, vs. Lipscomb
I may actually be out of things to say at this point, and we aren’t even at the halfway point of the season. For the first time in 30 seasons, the Arkansas Razorbacks have defeated the Florida Gators. Oh, and after 29 seasons with NO wins over teams in the top 10, Arkansas has notched TWO this season. The Razorbacks have tied their best start in school history, and have notched the highest RPI in school history. I am totally fine and cool, y’all.
The match was delayed due to lightning and a fair amount of rain, leaving the playing field to be less than desirable, which perhaps played a role in Florida’s explosive offense being tamed. I think that is perhaps the only way to take any credit away from Arkansas here. We may be at the point where we’ve gotta admit that the Hogs may actually be contenders? Let’s look at the rest of the facts. Florida out shot Arkansas in both shots and shots on goal, BUT the Razorbacks held Savannah Jordan to just two shots on goal and worked the offside trap against the star forward incredibly well. Jordan was frustrated all night, and in the 60 minutes or so I caught, she was called offside at least six times. While Qyara Winston had a goal-line clearance that absolutely saved the game for Arkansas, Florida’s lone goal in the match wasn’t all too impressive and the Gators really only had one other clear-cut chance. Offensively, Jessi Hartzler continues to make her case for SEC Freshman of the Year, scoring two great goals in the match. Not to get ahead of myself, but with the résumé Arkansas is building, we may be talking about a potential first-round host in the Hogs. The upcoming weekend is two potential trap games. The Razorbacks have to focus and get results as a visit to South Carolina looms in the distance.
Up next: Thursday at Alabama; Sunday at Ole Miss
JJ Duke — Rider University (MAAC)
Results: W, 2-1, vs. Quinnipiac
Good win for the Broncs. Quinnipiac is not an easy team and the Bobcats pulled level on in the second half, just making things a little bit more interesting before Sofia Soares scored the winner in the final 20 minutes. While the schedule stays favorable in the early MAAC season, I broadcasted Canisius’ MAAC opener at Fairfield this past Saturday and when it seemed like the Golden Griffins were down and out with 10 minutes to play, they found an equalizer eight minutes before time and a winner in overtime. So Rider just needs to continue to play their game, not worry about what rival teams like Monmouth and Manhattan are doing (both won their opening MAAC match), and get three points from this one.
Up next: Saturday vs. Canisius
Brandi Ortega — UCLA (Pac-12)
Results: W, 3-0, at Pepperdine; W, 2-1, vs. Long Beach State
Thoughts I’m tough on my little Bruins, I’ll admit, so my reaction to wins at Pepperdine and Long Beach State is a “And?” Come at me Waves and 49ers fans, both of you. In all seriousness, league play begins on Thursday and these two wins are good momentum builders as UCLA opens against Arizona State. The Bruins can score, as was evident in laying three goals on Pepperdine in nine minutes courtesy of Darian Jenkins, Gabrielle Matulich, and Zoey Goralski. Notice a name missing? Yep, Jessie Fleming didn’t score and the Bruins won, which is a good thing. The underclassmen are coming along nicely, especially goalkeeper Teagan Michah, who picked up her fourth shutout of the season. Against Long Beach State, it was Jenkins again, this time the game-winner in the second half. Consistency is a bit of a problem for the Bruins and it showed against the 49ers. The first half was strong from the Bruins, but the second half was a different story as Long Beach State pressed for an equalizer and kept UCLA’s defense on its toes. Michah was there for the save of the game in the 77th minute to deny Rocio Rodriguez and preserve the win.