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.

Rankings

West Virginia at the top. OGM‘s Top 25 and how they did this past week here.

So That Happened

Results from key games.

The Weekend of NorCal vs. SoCal
Thursday
Stanford 0–3 USC
California 1–1 UCLA

Sunday
Stanford 3–2 (2 OT) UCLA
California 1–0 USC

Weird, no? Southern California dominates then-No. 1 Stanford and then loses to California. Against Stanford, the Trojans got a brace from Morgan Andrews, including a wonder strike to the upper left corner to put Southern California up, 1-0. Alex Anthony added another for the Trojans and Andrews iced it in the 78th minute for a new school record of 10 straight wins. Perhaps the Trojans were too drained after that win because in a tense match against California on Sunday, they snapped that 10-game winning streak with a 0-1 home loss. The Trojans’ Sammy Jo Prudhomme kept them in the game with 11 saves but it was California’s Abigail Kim who found the breakthrough in the 86th minute. UCLA opened up the week with a tough 1-1 draw against the same California team in a battle of the bears and played Stanford close to force double overtime before falling, 2-3. In this one, UCLA’s Amber Munerlyn opened the scoring in the 12th minute while Stanford’s Andi Sullivan answered in the 13th minute. Michelle Xiao put the Cardinal ahead in the 63rd minute and it looked as if Stanford would head back home with the win until Jessie Fleming equalized in the 86th minute. It was Maddie Bauer with the game-winner in the 103rd minute for Stanford to split the weekend.  — Brandi

Arkansas 1–3 South Carolina

Womp, womp. Had you told me Arkansas would lose to South Carolina but Savannah McCaskill wouldn’t score, I would have been pretty surprised. As it was, Daija Griffin, Sophie Groff, and Lindsey Lane who notched goals for the Gamecocks. Claire Kelley had the lone Razorback goal, which at the time was the equalizing goal in the match. Had these two teams only played one half, they would still be tied atop the SEC, but soccer is a silly game that requires two halves. Full credit to South Carolina, they are for real and they are now in the driver’s seat for an SEC title. Like the Hogs, the Gamecocks only have one real challenge left on their schedule. They host Florida next week, and should they grab a win there I don’t see why they can’t go undefeated in the regular season. Both the offense and defense has been clicking for South Carolina and they are looking extremely dangerous as they head down the stretch. They are quite possibly working their way to a one seed or most certainly a national seed. — Rachael

Duke 3–1 North Carolina State

After a slight stumble at home against Louisville on September 22, the Dukies have gone on a tear. They’ve outscored their opponents 12-1 over their last four games and nobody seems capable of stopping them, and that included their in-state rival North Carolina State on Sunday. Last week I said that NC State has taken the role of the team nobody wanted to play in the ACC and they continued that good run of recent form by picking up a 1-1 draw on the road at Louisville on Thursday. But Duke came into Raleigh with eyes only for three points and that’s what they got. Christina Gibbons buried a spot kick halfway through the first half to take the lead and were helped out defensively as EJ Proctor made a brilliant stop on Tziarra King’s penalty kick in the 37th minute. Spurred on by the save, Duke went up 2-0 two minutes later after some nice buildup play, Ella Stevens tapped home Malinda Allen’s low cross for her seventh goal of her freshman campaign. Imani Dorsey bagged her seventh goal of the season in the second half as she cleaned up the rebound off Gibbons’ shot off the post and the team is now 5-0-1 in ACC play heading into a tough stretch of play as they now face Virginia and Florida State in back-to-back matches. — JJ

Central Arkansas 2–1 Stephen F. Austin (Editor’s Choice)

It’s said often enough that the big player shows up in the big game. Central Arkansas’s Camille Bassett was named the NSCAA DI Player of the Week last week, keyed by her hat trick against Incarnate Word, and would you be surprised if I told you that the talented sophomore made her mark in this battle of 1-v-2 in the Southland Conference? Well, she scored the winner in the 87th minute for her ninth goal of the season off a great cross from Dayna Mounie (who had the best game of all as she scored the game-tying goal before setting up the winner) and the Bears picked up their first win against the LadyJacks since 2006. And more importantly, Central Arkansas now stand atop the Southland at the halfway point of the season. I have a feeling we are going to be revisiting this conference at some point as we push on toward November and you’ll want to remember this school and their top striker. — JJ

Upcoming Games to Watch

Find a screen to watch these games.

Texas Tech vs. West Virginia

Texas Tech needs to get a good result in the Big 12 in the worst way. The Red Raiders lost both their matches at home this weekend to Oklahoma State and Baylor and their lone three points came a couple of weeks ago at Iowa State. And now they begin a three-game road trip in Morgantown of all places and have to try to unseat West Virginia, who is arguably the strongest team in the land, at a place in which the Mountaineers hardly ever lose. And Tech hasn’t gotten much in terms of offensive production this season as their 1.3 goals per game ratio isn’t going to scare a lot of teams. BUT… a result on the road surely would snap them out of this current funk they are in as they head toward their last few conference matches. And this season has been crazy enough as it is so one never knows. But if West Virginia holds serve at home, they will have gone through the traditionally tougher side in the Big 12 without blinking, making them a real contender for the conference title. — JJ

Virginia vs. Duke

Saturday night features two traditional rivals in ACC play as Duke, coming off a strong weekend highlighted by that 3-1 win at NC State, hosts Virginia, who are looking to cement themselves a bit more clearly in the conference tournament picture. A win for Duke could almost assure them of a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the tournament as after their match with Florida State next week, they finish with Pittsburgh away and Clemson (which, granted, isn’t the easiest finishing slate in the world, but it could be a lot worse) at home. The Cavs on the other hand, are trying to erase their early stumble out of the blocks (draws to North Carolina and Florida State, and a loss to Miami), and have picked up back-to-back wins against Pittsburgh and Notre Dame last week. To be really fair, this is a pure toss-up here as both sides possess strong offenses and stingy defenses and if there is a winner, it is going to be one of those “who wants it more” moments. I also feel this won’t be the only meeting between these two teams in 2016 so this contest should set up as a nice appetizer course for the main entrée later in the season. — JJ

Florida vs. South Carolina

As I said earlier, the Florida Gators are probably the only thing standing between the South Carolina Gamecocks and an unbeaten regular-season. Considering how leaky the Gator defense has been this season, it’s possible this game could get out of hand. However, Florida has earned shutouts in three of their last four games so perhaps hope springs anew. These shutouts didn’t come against teams with Savannah McCaskill leading the offensive charge though, and I would be shocked if she was held off the board in the match. As always, Florida has a chance to win because they have Savannah Jordan. The trend of lethal SEC forwards named Savannah is kind of terrifying. Sit back and enjoy The Savannah Bowl ™️ this weekend, it’s available for your viewing on SEC Network if you get that channel. — Rachael

Top Performers

The players who made a difference this past week.

Morgan Andrews, USC

Morgan Andrews of Southern CaliforniaTwo goals against Stanford to notch your school’s first win against a No. 1-ranked team will earn Top Performer. In the 28th minute against the Cardinal, it was Andrews’ laser into the upper left corner that opened the scoring for the Trojans. In the 78th minute, Andrews added another, this time at a much closer range after putting home the pass from Sydney Sladek to give Southern California a three-goal lead that would hold. Southern California, both the location and school, has rejuvenated Andrews, who has flourished with a change of scenery after transferring from Notre Dame. — Brandi

Andi Sullivan, Stanford

Andi Sullivan, StanfordQuite the few days for Andi Sullivan. Get named to the most recent U.S. Women’s National Team roster (with an actual chance of getting senior team playing time), get shut out and beat down 0-3 by rival Southern California, and then score a goal in an overtime win against another rival in UCLA. Talk about a rollercoaster. Really, I’m just using this space to say how excited I am that Sullivan, along with teammate Jane Campbell and fellow collegian Ashley Hatch, are getting a look in USWNT camp and express that I hope we see a few more new faces from the NCAA ranks on the next Ellis roster. It’s fun to see these players get a look, and for everyone to get a chance to see them play. Sometimes college soccer can be hard to access, especially with conference-specific channels that can be difficult to get in affordable TV packages outside of their regional footprint. Here’s to people recognizing the blossoming talent across college WoSo, and more people seeking it out to watch. — Rachael

Anson Dorrance, North Carolina

Anson Dorrance, head coach of North CarolinaIf there is ever a coach who is synonymous with winning, Anson Dorrance is that coach. He has coached the North Carolina women’s soccer team for all 900 matches they have played dating back to 1979, and in match 900 in program history on Sunday, which netted the Tar Heels a 2-1 win over Wake Forest at Fetzer Field, Dorrance picked up his 800th win with the team and now has a career record of 800-65-35. Just think about that for a second, that is an .888 win percentage and adding in draws to that number, he has walked off the field with a positive result 92.7% of the time. That is insane. And to think, he was also the UNC men’s coach from 1977 through 1988 in addition to coaching the women’s team and won 172 matches with the men, making him only 28 wins from 1,000 career wins in college soccer. — JJ

#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, 4-0, vs. Vanderbilt; L, 1-3, at South Carolina

Thoughts
One final note about Sunday’s result: the silver lining is that Arkansas clinched an SEC tournament berth and they’re still undefeated at home. So that’s nice. Now then, since I feel we’ve pretty thoroughly covered the South Carolina game, let’s focus on the other, less important match the Razorbacks had this week and look forward to next week. I cannot remember the last time I saw an Arkansas team, in any sport, roll into town and beat up on a conference opponent they were supposed to beat. The Hogs have a proud history of playing down, or sometimes up, to their opponent’s level. Not to say that Vandy is horrible, they’ve had some bright moments this season, but this is a team that Arkansas should be beating if they want to be considered serious contenders. Gotta give a shout out to Claire Kelley, who went in with two goals and two assists. I was expecting Kelley to have to shoulder the load this season, but with the help she’s gotten from her teammates she’s been able to have a relatively comfortable senior season. Looking forward to the match on the plains, both of Arkansas’ losses this season came on the road, and Auburn is a team they typically struggle with. A win here keeps them in the conversation for an SEC regular-season title, provided that South Carolina doesn’t keep winning.

Up next: Friday at Auburn

JJ Duke — Rider University (MAAC)

Results: L, 0-6, vs. Monmouth; W, 1-0, at Siena

Thoughts
Monmouth rolled on Wednesday night, plain and simple. They just had their way and made little work of us, outshooting us 22-2. It may have been the most un-Rider game I’ve ever seen where the home side just never looked comfortable and gave away too many easy chances. Which is why that 1-0 win at Siena, who won the MAAC last year, on Saturday is even more impressive. To be humbled like that at home, then have to make the almost five-hour bus ride up to New York State Capitol and come away with a result is a great turnaround for this team. Ellie Smith scored another one for Rider, giving her seven on the season and is closing in on the conference lead. And now with just four matches left in conference play, all against teams sitting outside the playoff picture, I figure two more wins clinch a top-two berth in the six-team conference tournament and a bye to the semifinals, which is a priority for this team. Sure, Rider lost out the chance to host the tournament with that Monmouth loss, probably, but in this conference, two is just as good as one for the tournament and gives you one less game to play to reach the final.

Next week’s matches: Wednesday v. Manhattan, Saturday v. Marist

Brandi Ortega — UCLA (Pac-12)

Results: T, 1-1, vs. Cal; L, 2-3 (OT), vs. Stanford

Thoughts
Up, down, round, and round, you’re turning me, UCLA. Honestly, this was supposed to be a prep year so that the Bruins have done as well as they have is the cherry on top. Still, consistency is the key to national championships, and the young Bruins are still working toward it. The loss of Darian Jenkins can’t be overlooked, however, and the Bruins will need to find another scorer to help Jessie Fleming. Bright spots abound, including the play of freshman goalkeeper Teagan Micah.

Up next: Thursday at Arizona

 

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