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.
OGM’s Top 25 rankings. Rough weeks for Virginia Tech and Texas A&M. South Carolina jumps into the Top 10.
So That Happened
Results from key games.
Northwestern 0–2 Rutgers
This was a statement result for Rutgers. They dictated play for 90 minutes, out shot the Wildcats 20-3 (8-1 for shots on target), and scored in each half. Northwestern was one of the last undefeated teams and had a shutout streak running more than 600 minutes coming into this match but a road match against last year’s College Cup semifinalists proved to be way too much. Penn State and Minnesota have proven to be the top of the class when talking about the 2016 Big Ten but Rutgers, despite seeing a large majority of its back line graduate and without Casey Murphy in net as she prepares to represent the United States at the U-20 World Cup, still looks very tough to break down in the back and can put matches away when they need to. — JJ
Virginia 1–1 Florida State
In one of the showcase matches of the 2016 regular season, the play of Virginia or Florida State wasn’t the main talking point here. Nope. It was the weather… again. There was a 33-minute lightning delay at halftime and another 70-minute one coming 54 seconds before the end of the first overtime period, which ultimately suspended play and the match was ruled a 1-1 draw. It’s a shame that we have seen so many games already this season subject to horrible weather this year but none more so than this one. Florida State and Virginia have had some great battles over the past couple of seasons and this one was shaping up to be a classic as the Cavs broke through in the 9th minute on Veronica Latsko’s goal, making it the first time Virginia has scored in Tallahassee since the 2008 season (going scoreless for 407:26 between goals at the Seminole Soccer Complex). But freshman forward Kristen McFarland equalized halfway through the second half as she coolly rounded the keeper after intercepting a rare poor pass from the Virginia defense. But it is a point apiece and I doubt that either team will want to admit that a point from this match is not the worst thing in the world, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. We anticipate seeing both sides in the ACC Tournament and a loss from this one would have possibly dented either team’s chances to finish in the top four. — JJ
Arizona 0–4 USC
USC. Ugh, JJ and Rachael keep making me write about them but I can’t argue this week after the complete performance the Trojans put in against an outmatched Arizona in the Pac-12 opener for both squads. The Trojans opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after Katie Johnson bent one in to the far post. Then, Leah Pruitt doubled the score in the 37th minute for the Trojans. Southern California didn’t take the proverbial foot off the gas in the second half, scoring in the 76th and 85th minutes. And it was a good thing, too, because Arizona didn’t sit back and forced Trojan goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme into six second-half saves, including one in the 69th minute to deny Arizona’s Gabi Stolan.
Princeton 1–1 Yale (Editor’s Choice)
As someone who called this match, I can say I was slightly disappointed how it turned out. But that is because there haven’t been many teams that have stood out in comparison to Princeton’s dynamic forward duo of Mimi Asom and Tyler Lussi. The pair who have combined for 11 goals in eight prior matches were held to just five shots, with really only one quality chance. So give a massive amount of credit to Yale’s back line of Kristina Kim, Carlin Hudson, and Colleen McCormack for not giving Asom and Lussi much to work with. The match was a tale of two halves; Princeton dictated the tempo and Yale were defending with their backs to the wall for the most part but outside of a set-piece goal, they didn’t relent. In the second half, every long ball forward that Yale played made some sort of dent into Princeton’s defense and it finally paid off in the 74th minute when Aerial Chavarin found the equalizer. A 1-1 draw was the final and after a battle of attrition for 110 minutes, Harvard will be happy about the result as they have the upper hand in the Ivy, while Yale let it be known that teams shouldn’t take them lightly. – JJ
Upcoming Games to Watch
Find a screen to watch these games.
South Carolina vs. Texas A&M
Looking at Texas A&M’s SEC schedule, you have to wonder how they got so lucky. They missed out on both Florida and Arkansas, and get to host South Carolina and Auburn in the comfortable confines of College Station. So, of course, the Aggies decided to make things complicated for themselves by losing to two teams that are usually a bit lower on the SEC standings, Vanderbilt and Alabama. (An aside, I really like what Ambrose is doing at Vandy, and Hart is on the right track for Bama). That means this matchup with a hot, hot, hot South Carolina is extremely important if they want to get back on track in conference play. As for the Gamecocks, they are currently in the driver’s seat but this match kicks off a very important streak of matches. After A&M, South Carolina hosts current co-league leaders Arkansas and then Florida. If McCaskill and Co. can find a way to take at least two of those three games, they’ll be looking great for postseason positioning. — Rachael
So, South Carolina is hot? — Brandi
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
We know what West Virginia is about this season but now it’s time for Oklahoma to bring its A-game and show what they have. The Sooners have won seven straight, scored 23 goals on the season so far, and are in a good spot heading into their second week of conference play, after sweeping TCU and Texas at home last week. They will have to contend with Iowa State on Friday before traveling out Morgantown, but a 3-0 Big 12 record heading into to a difficult match will be a whole lot better than 2-1. The Mountaineers don’t have it easy, however, as despite having an off-week from conference play this past weekend, they host perennial conference rival Baylor at home before taking on Oklahoma and having to deal with a quick turnaround, albeit at home, that will still be a challenge. — JJ
Bucknell vs. Colgate (Editor’s Choice)
Through six weeks of the 2016 NCAA women’s soccer season, only three teams remain in the “We haven’t lost yet club.” That club includes South Carolina (10-0-1), Stanford (8-0-1), and the mighty Bucknell Bison. The Patriot league entrant comes into this week with an equally impressive 8-0-1 mark with their lone non-win coming in a 1-1 draw at home to Rider (!!!) back on September 4. This is the best start Bucknell has had in program history, with six of their eight wins coming via shutouts. But after a mid-week clash with Lafayette, they will have to travel to Colgate on the weekend, a team that has already beaten LSU, drew with Syracuse, and stayed with UConn despite losing. With South Carolina playing Texas A&M on the road and Stanford hosting the always pesky Washington State and Washington clubs, could Bucknell be the last unbeaten team standing after week seven? — JJ
The players who made a difference this past week.
The BC senior scored a pair of goals in the Eagles’ 3-0 win last Thursday against Pittsburgh and in doing so, broke the school’s career goal-scoring record with her 55th tally. She now leads the program in goals, points (118), and game-winning goals (18), and to think that two years ago, she sustained a freak injury after a mirror sliced open her right Achilles tendon a couple of months before the U-20 World Cup and missed an entire season. But she has battled back through adversity and now stands alone at the top of the scoring charts at a traditionally strong BC program. Plus, she scored the record breaker on a diving header, so that’s pretty freaking awesome as well. — JJ
Lindsey Mayo, Arkansas
I held off as long as I could y’all, I had to recognize at least one Arkansas player here this season. Mayo scored the game-winning-goal in this weekend’s overtime match against Alabama. As I’ve mentioned here before, the senior is currently in her fifth year after missing time due to injury last season. She’s never scored the most beautiful goals in the game, but she just finds a way to be in the right place at the right time and is an extremely hard worker throughout the match. This season, Mayo has five goals. Three of those goals are game winners, and that comes from seven shots on goal! When Mayo gets her chance, she takes it, and that has been an excellent thing for the Hogs in this banner season. — Rachael
Y’all. Rachael misspelled Lindsey name. And y’all. Leave it to a Bruin to catch it.
Evelyne Viens, USF
Ah, yes, just like we all had it, the last perfect team in the nation is the University of South Florida Bulls. A big reason for that 8-0-0 record is Viens. The freshman had a brace and assist in USF’s weekend win over Old Dominion, and leads the Bulls in points with 21 and goals with 9. To go along with those stats, Viens has won FOUR weekly American Athletic Conference awards. The forward has won offensive player of the week twice and rookie of the week twice. We’ll be keeping tabs on Viens and that USF record as the season continues on. — Rachael
#TeamOGM Alma Mater Watch
A new addition to the our College Coverage as we take a look at how each #TeamOGM alma mater is are stacking up this season. Biased? We hope so.
Rachael Caldwell – Arkansas (SEC)
Results: W, 2-1, at Alabama; W, 2-1, at Ole Miss
I can tell you this, last season’s Arkansas team would not have come out of this weekend with two wins. The Razorbacks have finally figured out how to finish tough games and get come-from-behind results. What’s really impressive is the young talent Arkansas is doing this with, and I mean that as no discredit to the leadership brought by their senior class. Let’s take a moment to shine the light on freshmen Kayla McKeon and Stefani Doyle. McKeon has seven goals on the season, including one this weekend against Ole Miss to kick start the Arkansas comeback. As for Doyle, she has five goals this season, and scored the first goal against Alabama. The kids are alright.
Up next; Friday vs. Georgia
JJ Duke – Rider University (MAAC)
Results: W 3-0 vs. Canisius
Rider is taking good advantage of a comfortable schedule to start MAAC play. After a 2-1 win at home to Quinnipiac last Saturday, they made short work of Canisius, helped by a penalty kick just after the half-hour mark and two early goals from striker Ellie Smith, who’s now bagged six goals on the season to lead the squad. This is the best start this team has had in conference play in 12 seasons and should improve that to 3-0 after their match away to Saint Peter’s (wins in nine of the last 10 years, I feel pretty confident about that one). And while nobody enjoys taking the trip up to Western New York in the MAAC, Niagara is beatable and their mentality for that match will be based on the result from their rivalry match against Canisius on Wednesday night. But if the Broncs can go two-for-two this week on the road, those 12 points will look awfully nice early on in their quest for a top two berth in the postseason.
Up next: Wednesday at Saint Peter’s; Saturday at Niagara
Brandi Ortega – UCLA (Pac-12)
Results: W, 2-0, vs. Arizona State
Not a bad way to open up conference play, if I do say so myself. The goals came in the first 10 minutes by Jessie Fleming. Of course. She and Darian Jenkins have carried the scoring load, while redshirt freshman Anika Rodriguez has assisted six times so far. In goal, freshman Teagan Micah is holding her own with five shutouts through nine games. The knock on the Bruins so far is consistency, putting two halves together. The Oregon schools are on tap this weekend, and UCLA should take both games but can’t get caught looking ahead to next week’s matchups with California and Stanford.
Up next: Thursday at Oregon State; Sunday at Oregon