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.
UCLA senior forward and team captain Darian Jenkins is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a fractured fibula in her lower left leg in the Bruins’ 3-2 victory over Oregon on October 2. Jenkins underwent surgery in Oregon and flew home on Monday. Heading into the match, Jenkins had seven goals, five of which were the game-winning goals to help the Bruins post an overall record of 9 wins and 2 losses this season.
See this week’s movers and shakers. Hint: Stanford stays on top. See the Top 25.
So That Happened
Results from key games.
South Carolina 1–0 Texas A&M
We all knew South Carolina would, as per usual, would field a strong team that would compete week in and week out in the SEC, so their win here isn’t exactly surprising. What’s puzzling is the sub .500 record Texas A&M now has in conference play. I guess the Aggies wanted us to finally press the panic button on their season. I know the statement “What in the world is happening in College Station” has probably been uttered many a time before, but I’m not sure it has been said in relation to A&M’s performance in SEC soccer. Ever since joining the SEC in 2012, the Aggies have had a losing conference record for just one week, after losing their SEC opener to Tennessee in 2013. Fast forward to now, and the Aggies have lost three consecutive SEC matches for the first time in school history, with two being shutouts! Texas A&M needs to start finding offense and finding it quickly, because they could be fighting for their tournament lives very, very soon. — Rachael
Oklahoma 0–2 West Virginia
Have to credit Oklahoma here in this one despite the 2-nil loss on the road. The Sooners have lost some key contributors due to injury earlier in the season and are playing their conference schedule with a very short bench. But they made this match against the Mountaineers a very physical one and created a handful of chances while goalkeeper Kassidie Stade stood tall in her net in the early stages. But West Virginia is one of the deepest teams in the nation and with maintaining a good amount of possession, it was only a matter of time before they scored. And against a team who spent the majority of the match defending, West Virginia broke through late as Hannah Abraham headed home a corner in the 78th minute and Michaela Abam scored an insurance goal in the last few minutes. However, I wouldn’t be overly surprised to see these two teams square off again at the Big 12 Tournament in November, maybe even in the final. Oklahoma is proving to be a real contender this year and can stick right with the big teams; while they didn’t add to their nine points in conference play on Sunday, they are well on their way to grab a high seed in the Big 12 tournament. — JJ
Bucknell 2–1 (OT) Colgate (Editor’s Choice)
The Bison remain just one of three teams left in the NCAA who have yet to lose a game in 2016 as they beat Colgate in OT. Playing against the Raiders in any sport is a challenge as it is and Bucknell, while scoring inside of four minutes, found themselves needing extra time to pick up their 10th win of the season, despite Colgate posting 25 shots in the match. But Kendall Ham buried a Karli Cirovski corner kick with two seconds left in the first overtime period for the winner and now Bucknell have a real nice inside track to be the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League tournament with a perfect 4-0 conference record. — JJ
Upcoming Games to Watch
Find a screen to watch these games.
The Weekend of NorCal v. SoCal
Thursday: Stanford vs. USC; California vs. UCLA
Sunday: Stanford vs. UCLA; California vs. USC
Take a step back and look at those games. Each one will be a slug fest and have NCAA Tournament implications for sure. Right now, it’s Stanford’s everything to lose, but Southern California is a worthy contender and improves each week — a scary thought. UCLA has been dealt a blow with Jenkins’ injury, though, and will need everything firing on all cylinders the entire weekend. California may be the Cinderella in the group but has a legitimate shot at taking points from both matches. In fact, each team does, so that’s a lot of words to say, sit back, watch, and enjoy. — Brandi
Arkansas vs. South Carolina
WHOO BOY BUCKLE UP. Just as we all predicted, the Hogs and the Gamecocks are facing off for sole possession of first place in the SEC. Now, for this truly to be a battle for first, Arkansas must defeat Vanderbilt on Thursday, and South Carolina has to take care of Mississippi State. Upsets are very possible there, but let’s play the dangerous game of assuming both teams come out of those matches with wins. That will set up an absolute knock-out prize-fight on Sunday. These are two incredibly gutsy teams that will leave everything out on the field for the win in this one, and whoever comes out with the win may just assure they’re hosting a first-round tournament game, if not more. It’s a warm-up for what’s sure to be a wild National Women’s Soccer League final with this match. It’s on SEC Network Plus (aka ESPN 3) at 2:00 ET. If anything, do it to see what will be an excellent battle between Savannah McCaskill and Jessi Hartzler. — Rachael
Duke vs. North Carolina State
So NC State has assumed the role of the team that nobody wants to play in the ACC this season. The Wolfpack have picked up wins over North Carolina, Wake Forest, and most recently, Boston College. But as it is in ACC play, life doesn’t get easier and NC State has a brutal stretch of matches coming up. One of those difficult matches takes place late this Sunday as they host Duke, who is coming off a pair of 4-0 wins in their last two matches (Virginia Tech and Syracuse). The Blue Devils saw Toni Payne and Ella Stevens each scored a pair of goals in their win over ‘Cuse this past Sunday and the impressive freshman Stevens now has six goals along with three assists. The one thing we don’t know much about is Duke’s road tendencies this year as they have just played two natural road games so far that resulted in a loss to Arkansas and a win at Virginia Tech. With the home crowd behind them in an in-state rivalry game, could we see NC State knock off another top ACC team to add to their already impressive list of conference wins? — JJ
Central Arkansas vs. Stephen F. Austin (Editor’s Choice)
We head to the Southland Conference for this week’s Editor’s Choice and have a nice little 1-v-2 in the conference standings matchup brewing for this coming Friday. We’ve tossed in Stephen F. Austin’s name into the mix in previous years as part of our “Mid-Major Teams To Watch” (don’t worry folks, that list will be coming out in a couple of weeks) and with the SFA Ladyjacks in prime position to retain their Southland regular season title, this is an important game for them. Central Arkansas (Do it like a big bear y’all — Rachael), despite being picked sixth in the conference preseason poll, have jumped out to an 9-3-1 overall record and are 4-0-1 coming to the halfway point of conference play. Central Arkansas did see their streak of four straight matches of scoring four-plus goals snapped with a nil-nil draw to Abilene Christian University but this is a team that can score in bunches, led by Camille Bassett’s eight goals. SFA has only allowed three goals in their last six matches so this one could be one of those classic offense versus defense matchups, but whoever wins this should have a better handle in controlling their destiny to grab the conference regular-season crown. — JJ
The players who made a difference this past week.
Tabitha Tindell, FGCU
Not too shabby for ol’ Tabby this weekend (forgive me). Let’s start with Friday. Tindell had two goals and two assists in the FGCU’s win over USC Upstate. All that performance did was break the all-time ASUN conference record for points. Once Tindall was done with that, she turned around and notched the game-winning goal in the final minute of the match against NJIT on Sunday. That goal gave Tindall the all-time ASUN conference record for career goals. What was next? Tindell was then awarded the ASUN Player of the Week award (I mean, duh). It was Tindell’s 12th time to win the award, which, yeah, is another ASUN record. — Rachael
Taylor Kornieck, Colorado
This absolutely ridiculous strike from distance sums up the season this freshman (!!!) is having. Kornieck has eight goals and two assists on the season. But what’s really astounding is that five of those eight goals are game-winners, and Kornieck has scored the game-winning goal in the Buffs’ past three matches. That’s the second most game-winning goals from a freshman in school history, only behind the legendary Nikki Marshall, who had seven in 2006 (time flies, kids). Talk about a hot streak. Colorado is currently on a seven-match winning streak and Kornieck is leading the charge. — Rachael
Kristyn Shea, Providence
Consistency is key in any sport. In goalkeeping, if you’re posting clean sheets nearly every match, that’s pretty darn consistent. Shea has been a force in the net for the Friars this season, posting a 2-0-0 weekend including a six-save shutout against Butler on the road, the team that beat Providence to win the Big East last year. That gives Shea seven clean sheets over her last 10 starts and the Friars are starting to roll in the conference. With a draw at Georgetown to begin conference play and St. John’s looming at the end of the season, if Shea can continue her good form, there is no reason why Providence can’t be fighting for a top two seed for the Big East tournament. — JJ
#TeamOGM Alma Mater Watch
A new addition to the our College Coverage as we take a look at how each of the #TeamOGM almae matres are stacking up this season. Biased? We hope so.
Rachael Caldwell — Arkansas (SEC)
Results: W, 2-1, vs. Georgia
Well, the Hogs certainly seem to have a penchant for 2-1 wins as of late, don’t they? Arkansas has won the past FIVE matches by a score of 2-1, but, hey, a win is a win is a win. The Razorbacks just keep on setting school records with those wins, and have now set the longest conference win streak in school history at five. Their current overall win streak is seven games, and they’ve still only lost one match this season! Provided Arkansas takes care of business against Vanderbilt on Thursday (which isn’t a given, the ‘Dores have been tough under Ambrose), the final two “prove yourself” matches loom large. First, they visit South Carolina to see who is really the number one team in the SEC, and they follow that up with pesky Auburn. After consistently getting results against lesser teams the past few weeks, it’s time for the Hogs to put their beloved underdog caps back on for these matches and continue to shake up the SEC.
Up next: Thursday vs. Vanderbilt; Sunday at South Carolina
JJ Duke — Rider University (MAAC)
Results: W, 2-0, at Saint Peters; W, 1-0, at Niagara
The Broncs are 4-0 in MAAC play, which is the best start the program has had in the conference! And to gain their fourth win in conference play at Niagara is special because Rider has always had issues playing Niagara, especially at Niagara (probably due to the 8-ish hour bus ride from Lawrenceville, New Jersey to Niagara Falls, New York, the longest bus trip the team has to take). Rider saw Ellie Smith pick up another assist to add to her already really strong season (six goals, four assists) and Bethany May-Howard earned a pair of clean sheets on the week, bringing her total up to five for the season and 19th all-time. With this team clicking on all cylinders, that mid-week match against Monmouth will be a massive encounter for both squads, in addition to this being an in-state rivalry game, first place and an inside track for the regular-season crown in the MAAC is on the line. Plus, away to Siena on the weekend will be a challenge because the Saints won the league last season.
Up next: Wednesday vs. Monmouth; Saturday at Siena
Brandi Ortega — UCLA (Pac-12)
Results: W, 1-0, at Oregon State; W, 3-2, at Oregon
Two thoughts: Darian Jenkins. The senior was having a monster season before fracturing her fibula in her lower left leg. Much of the press has been about sensation Jessie Fleming, but it’s Jenkins who was leading the Pac-12 with seven goals heading into UCLA’s games against Oregon and Oregon State. Not only will her goal-scoring prowess be missed but also her on-the-field leadership as the senior team captain is sidelined for the rest of the season.