Thursday, October 17, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. – Virginia Tech continued its climb up the national rankings this week, with the Hokies rising to No. 6 in the NSCAA Division I Women’s Poll after moving to 6-1-1 in the ACC last weekend. Their seven-game undefeated streak has come in part thanks to former Colorado Rush goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts, who will feature on Thursday night as Virginia Tech hosts No. 19 Wake Forest on ESPN3, just one of a number of games this weekend that will feature current and former W-League standouts.
The Hokies are currently third in the ACC, and have conceded only two goals in their seven-game streak. Colpitts has been at the heart of their defensive performances, and this week earned Co-Player of the Week honors from the ACC after recording a shutout in the Hokies’ 1-0 win against Notre Dame. The shutout was her seventh of the season, and lowered her goals-against average to 0.57 this fall.
Other players to watch for the Hokies include former Washington Spirit Reserves forward Ashley Manning and midfielder Katie Yensen, with Yensen having recorded three goals and three assists.
The Demon Deacons, meanwhile, were hit this week by the news that standout forward Katie Stengel, who helped the Pali Blues claim the W-League Championship this summer, would be out indefinitely due to deep vein thrombosis, more commonly known as blood clots. Stengel had recorded six goals and eight assists so far this fall, continuing where she had left off for the Blues.
Former Connecticut Passion defender Jackie McSally will be one of the players who tries to pick up the slack in Stengel’s absence, with McSally having recorded two goals and two assists this season. Former Washington Freedom Futures midfielder Annick McBryar will also try to add to her two assists this season.
The matchup between the Hokies and Demon Deacons is one of three in the ACC to be aired on Thursday night by ESPN3, with Duke visiting Clemson and Virginia travelling to face North Carolina State.
Clemson has been led this season by goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan of the Toronto Lady Lynx, who has recorded six shutouts and holds a 0.79 goals-against average. Another player to watch is Tabitha Padgett, who this past summer helped the Carolina Elite Cobras reach the W-League Championship Weekend, and who now has two goals and three assists this fall.
The Blue Devils, meanwhile, have been led by former Bradenton Athletics forward Laura Weinberg, who has three goals and four assists, while the Long Island Rough Riders’ Kim DeCesare and former Cary Lady Clarets standout Mollie Pathman are both close behind with eight points apiece.
No. 1 Virginia, which continued its perfect season with a 2-0 win against Wake Forest last weekend, hosts N.C. State led by Pali Blues forward Makenzy Doniak, who has 10 goals and five assists this fall. Washington Spirits Reserves midfielder Molly Menchel has also played a part in the Cavaliers’ success, with four goals and three assists this season.
Action continues later on Thursday night as Oregon visits Washington on the Pac-12 Network at 10 p.m. ET. The Ducks have struggled in conference play so far, and are looking for more from former Real Colorado Cougars forward Brianna Pugh, who sits second on the team with two goals and one assist.
The Huskies, meanwhile, are looking to rebound from their first defeat in Pac-12 play this season. The Seattle Sounders Women duo of Lindsey Elston and Isabel Farrell have been the major catalysts for Washington’s attack so far this season, each recording four assists, and will be looked to as the Huskies try to claim their third win in conference play.
Action moves to the SEC on Friday night as No. 8 Florida hosts No. 23 Kentucky at 6:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Regional Networks. 2013 All-League selection Savannah Jordan continues to star in her freshman season for the Gators, with the Atlanta Silverbacks forward having recorded 13 goals in 14 games. Former Ottawa Fury midfielder Havana Solaun has also contributed, with four goals and three assists.
Florida is also in action on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on FSN as the Gators host LSU. The Tigers enter Friday night’s game with Ole Miss on a seven-game undefeated streak, with standout defender Alex Ramsey playing an important role. One of seven players to start every game this season for the Tigers, the Carolina Elite Cobras player will try to help contain Jordan and the Gators’ offense.
Sunday also sees action in the ACC as No. 3 Florida State hosts Maryland on ESPN3 at 1 p.m. ET. The Seminoles continue to receive strong performances from former Colorado Rush goalkeeper Kelsey Wys, who has 10 shutouts in 14 games and a 0.44 goals-against average to help keep FSU undefeated at 12-0-3.
Maryland, on the other hand, is looking to turn things around. After reaching No. 15 in the NSCAA poll earlier this season, the Terrapins have lost four of their past five games ahead of Thursday night’s contest against Miami. Washington Spirit Reserves standout Ashley Spivey will need to put in a strong performance, and add to her four goals and two assists this fall, if Maryland is to come away from the game with a positive result.
Also in the ACC on Sunday, Wake Forest visits Clemson at 2 p.m. ET, while Syracuse visits North Carolina State at 12 p.m. ET, with both games available on ESPN3.
Additionally on Sunday afternoon, the Big Ten Network features Illinois’ trip to face No. 17 Penn State at 12 p.m. ET. The Nittany Lions have been powered this season by former New Jersey Wildcats standout Maya Hayes, who has 13 goals and five assists to lead the side. Former Hudson Valley Quickstrike forward Tani Costa has also had an impact, sitting second on the team with 15 points and five goals.