Women's Soccer Games of the Week (9/27 - 9/30)

Duke Women's College Soccer

Women’s Soccer Games of the Week - 9/27 thru 9/30

The month of September comes to a close this weekend, but the action continues to heat up on the national women’s college soccer landscape. Last week had some upsets such as West Virginia knocking off the high-flying Oklahoma State Cowgirls, while the nation’s elite like Stanford, Duke and Virginia continue to roll in conference play. This weekend also features of some of the surprising stories like Oregon State and Kansas with big road tests this weekend to get an even clearer gauge of where they are at on the national landscape as a threat for a deep NCAA Tournament run.


#24 OREGON STATE (9-1-0, 1-0-0) at #2 STANFORD (7-1-1) (9 P.M. Eastern, Thursday, Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, Palo Alto, California)

These two squads are both on fire heading into this early conference showdown on the Pac-12 network Thursday night. The Beavers come in on a five match win streak paced by reigning Pac-12 offensive player of the week junior forward Jenna Richardson, as she netted both goals in Oregon State’s 2-0 win over Utah last Friday. The Beavers have also been road warriors so far in 2012 as they have a perfect 5-0-0 record and this should give them plenty of confidence heading into their toughest road test of the season against the Cardinal. Another key for Oregon State will be senior midfielder Megan Miller. She has three goals and four assists in 2012. Her ability to create chances in the attacking third is going to be very important if the Beavers are to get a result. Stanford is on fire defensively ever since giving up a goal to Boston College in a 1-1 draw back on August 31st. The defense for the Cardinal has a shutout streak of 503 minutes and 19 seconds. On the attack, Natalie Griffin leads the way in scoring with five goals and Courtney Verloo leads in assists with seven and points with 13. The Cardinal seem to be picking up a full head of steam now that they are closer to, if not at, full strength. This is going to be a huge challenge for Oregon State to get a result on Thursday night.


KANSAS (7-2-1, 1-0-0) AT #17 BAYLOR (9-1-2, 0-0-1) (Friday, 8 P.M. Eastern, Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field, Waco, Texas)

The Jayhawks have made their way on to the national scene thanks to a 2-1 win last Friday over Oklahoma State and wins earlier over BCS conference foes Georgia and North Carolina State. The win over the Cowgirls was the first win in over four years against a top-10 opponent. Junior Caroline Kastor leads the team in both points (16) and goals (seven) this season. Whitney Berry and sophomore Jamie Fletcher lead the squad with four assists a piece. Thus, a very balanced offensive attack has been very critical for Kansas rolling through 2012 at a high level. Defensively, the Jayhawks have been sound, only allowing one goal per contest in ten games. The Bears have been very explosive offensively with 33 goals on the season. They have 14 players who have scored at least one goal in the 12 matches and are led by senior forward Dana Larsen’s seven goals. Baylor is not afraid to put the foot on the gas offensively in the attack.  Defensively, Baylor has been very stout and has allowed on average of just over five shots per match and just five goals total. This should be a down to wire high energy match with one mistake possibly being the difference for both sides.


#5 DUKE (7-2-1, 1-1-1) AT #7 VIRGINIA (9-1-1, 2-0-1) (Sunday, 2 P.M. Eastern, Klockner Stadium, Charlottesville, Virginia)

Another good old-fashioned knock down drag out battle in the ACC takes places on ESPNU nationwide on Sunday afternoon as two high flying offenses come into battle each other between the Blue Devils and the Cavaliers. In the 2011 regular season contest at Koskinen Stadium both sides battled to a 0-0 draw as the defenses rose up and stopped both explosive attacks all night long. Duke had a tough 2-2 draw up at Maryland last Thursday, which is a solid result considering how well the Terrapins are playing. The Cavaliers had a quiet week last week as they only played one match at Clemson and won 1-0. The keys for the Blue Devils are going to be getting an early goal to make Virginia push forward even more than normal and continue to attack to try and get two or three goals. For the Cavaliers, the keys will be being able to recover from a tough Thursday night matchup against Maryland on the road and having the legs necessary, especially in the backline, to be able to go toe to toe with the explosive attack of Laura Weinberg and Kim DeCeasare for Duke. Offensively, Virginia is very balanced between Caroline Miller, Makenzy Doniak and Morgan Brian. These three are going to have to anchor things up front. If they stay aggressive all 90 minutes long there will be chances a plenty to score. This should be a fantastic match for the country to see on Sunday afternoon in one of the top settings in all of College Soccer in Klockner Stadium.