Women’s College Soccer Games of the Week: 9/7 - 9/9

Duke Women's College Soccer Mollie Pathman

Women’s College Soccer Games of the Week: Sept. 7 - Sept. 9

Week Four provides some intriguing stylistic matchups and matchups of mid-majors against BCS Conferences that could become statement games for those such as Long Beach State and UCF in establishing themselves as national seeds come NCAA Tourney time. The weekend brings a great SEC – Pac-12 showdown between Tennessee and UCLA which will give a nice early season gauge on where those two leagues and teams are at on the national landscape of women’s college soccer.


#16 LONG BEACH STATE AT #11 TEXAS A&M (6:00 pm CDT Friday at Ellis Field, College Station, Texas)

Both teams come into this contest with identical records at 4-1. For the 49ers, with the game being showcased on Fox Soccer Channel, it will be a great opportunity for forward Nadia Link to make a statement for her case as a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist. College Station is a very hostile, highly energized environment for women’s soccer and this is going to test Long Beach State to the hilt. The Aggies have gained plenty of momentum, losing early to San Diego last week. Allie Bailey was the SEC Offensive player of the Week as she scored the lone goal in a victory over St. Mary’s. The ability of the Aggies to execute their high pressure offensive attacking style against the 49ers is going to be very critical. If Long Beach State can be patient and get behind the backline of the Aggies, we could have a very dramatic down to the wire contest on our hands on Friday night.


#12 UCF AT #9 BOSTON COLLEGE (Noon EDT Sunday at Newton Campus Lacrosse and Soccer Field, Newton, MA)

The UCF Knights (5-1-0) come into Sunday’s matchup against ACC power Boston College with an incredible opportunity to make a statement on the road against one of the nation’s most consistent programs. UCF earlier this season gave Florida State everything they could handle in a tough 1-0 loss. The Knights can definitely defend with the best in the country and should be able to stay in this contest with Boston College down to the wire as they have only allowed two goals on the season. Offensively, Nicolette Radovcic, a senior forward, leads the Knight with three goals on the season. The Eagles (4-0-1) come in flying high getting a draw against Stanford out in Palo Alto last Friday. They were able to overcome an early goal in the 11th minute by the Cardinal and settle in defensively until leveling the match at 1 when sophomore Stephanie McCaffrey scored her team leading fourth goal of the season. Boston College was pretty effective in its attack against Stanford as they generated 17 shots. It will be very important for the Eagles attack to be able to get in behind the Knights backline and create open scoring chances if they are going to continue their winning ways.


#20 MARQUETTE AT #3 DUKE (1:30 pm EDT Sunday at Koskinen Stadium, Durham, North Carolina)

Duke (4-1-0) seems to have settled back into a bit of a groove after having a very successful weekend at the USC Futbol Classic where they knocked off a gritty USC side 2-1 and took care of Washington State 4-0. Offensively, the Blue Devils are averaging four goals a game even without Kelly Cobb and Molly Pathman, who are out with the U-20 US Women’s National team in the World Cup. Kim Decesare has led the scoring onslaught for Duke with six goals and three assists, followed by Laura Weinberg with four goals and three assists. Marquette (3-0-1) is looking to bounce back from a tough home draw against Central Michigan and will come into Sunday on the heels of a battle with a North Carolina squad that is starting to find its form. It will be very interesting to see what type of legs they have left on Sunday afternoon for the matchup against Duke. The Blue Devils should be able to ride the home field advantage and get a result against the Golden Eagles.


TENNESSEE AT #1 UCLA (7:00 pm EDT Sunday at Drake Stadium, Los Angeles, California)

The Bruins (4-0-0) come into the Sunday showdown against the Volunteers (5-0-0) looking to build off their showdown win over Wisconsin.  UCLA is paced by sophomore Rosie White as she was very effective offensively en route to a 2-0 win over the Badgers last Friday evening at Drake Stadium. The Bruins have a game Friday against local rival Loyola Marymount and will look to continue building on their run of home dominance at Drake Stadium that got away from them a little bit in 2011 with the early postseason exit. Tennessee, under first year head coach Brian Pensky, brings a very confident team out to Westwood. Offensively, Amy Harrison, the senior midfielder, already has a career high in goals with four. Defensively, as with typical teams coached by Pensky, the Volunteers have been rock solid only allowing one goal in the opening five games. Pensky’s teams at Maryland were also very tough defensively and found ways to get results in hostile ACC road games. Tennessee won’t be intimidated by playing at Drake Stadium; however, the Bruins are awfully tough to play against at Drake Stadium, especially for teams coming from the Eastern part of the country. I would not be shocked if the Volunteers got a result in this game. But the edge, because they are at home, goes to UCLA.