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College Soccer News Women’s National Team Of The Week – Week Ending November 12, 2023

The College Soccer News Team Of The Week Recognizes Players Who Were Difference Makers During The Week

Maggie Wadsworth – Sophomore – Forward – Mississippi State – Mississippi State needed a big play and Wadsworth provided it when she scored what proved to be the game-winner in overtime to give the Bulldogs the edge they needed to top Providence College 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Wadsworth has five goals and three assists on the season. Mississippi State is now 11-5-5 and advances to the second round where they will face Brown out of the Ivy League.
Bella Najera – Freshman – Forward – Michigan State – Najera converted a penalty kick that resulted from a hand ball in the box, contributed the helper on teammate Justina Gaynor’s goal, and sent a shot into the upper left corner of the net from the left corner of the box to play a key role in Michigan State’s 3-0 win over Ohio. The Spartans improve to 13-4-3 and advance to the second round in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history. Michigan State will face Harvard on Thursday.
Colby Barnett – Junior – Midfielder – Santa Clara – Barnett was a difference maker in Santa Clara’s 3-0 win over Arizona State. She contributed the assist on teammate Lucy Mitchell goal and provided the helper on Alyssa Bourgeois’s header to help the Broncos secure the program’s 65th NCAA Tournament win. Santa Clara is now 14-4-2 and advances to face Penn State in University Park on Friday in what shapes up to be an excellent second round matchup.
Bella Field – Freshman – Forward – Arkansas – This one was scoreless at the conclusion of the first half of play but Field jumpstarted the Razorback attack in the second half scoring off an assist from Morgan White, scoring out of an indirect kick, and scoring from within the box at close range after receiving a pass from Ava Tankersley to contribute three of Arkansas’ five second half goals in a 5-0 win over Grambling State. The Razorbacks secured their 10th shutout of the season. Arkansas improves to 15-5-4 and moves forward to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they will host Pittsburgh out of the ACC on Friday.
Payton Linnehan – Senior – Forward – Penn State – Linnehan was unstoppable. She drove a left footer into the net, sent a rocket into the back of the frame from the top of the box out of a corner kick, and alertly sent a rebound into the bottom left corner of the goal to score Penn State’s first three goals in a dominant 7-0 win over Central Connecticut State. The Nittany Lions improve to 14-2-4 and will host Santa Clara in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Lily Render – Junior – Midfielder – South Carolina – Render took advantage of the opportunities that came her way scoring twice from within the box during the first half of play with forward Corinna Zullo contributing the assist on both goals to help power the Gamecocks past James Madison 2-0. A stout South Carolina defense posted its 13th shutout of the season. The Gamecocks up their record to 12-2-6 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they will face Stanford out of the Pac-12 on Friday in Palo Alto, California.
Landy Mertz – Fifth Year – Midfielder – Pittsburgh – Mertz scored and contributed an assist on the goals scored by Deborah Ablodun, Amanda West, and Elle Coffield to help Pitt role past Ohio State 6-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Mertz is a playmaker who has four goals and twelve assists on the season. Pitt improves to 15-5-1 and advances to face Arkansas on Friday in Fayetteville.
Hannah Bebar – Junior – Midfielder – Harvard – Bebar is an impact player who who makes good things happen for Harvard. She contributed a nice helper on the goal scored by Josefine Hasbo and sent a bending ball into the upper left corner of the goal to play a key role in Harvard’s 3-0 win over Maine. The Crimson improve to 13-3-2 and advance to the second round where they will face Michigan State in Provo, Utah on Thursday.
Kendell Petersen – Senior – Defender – BYU – Peterson made a nice move off the dribble to create the space she needed to slot a shot into the back of the left corner of the frame from the top left corner of the box to get the Cougars on the board in their 2-0 win over a Utah State team that upset BYU 1-0 during regular season play. Peterson was also part of a BYU defense that limited Utah State to seven shots in route to posting the clean sheet. Olivia Wade-Katoa contributed BYU’s second goal. BYU improves to 17-2-3 and advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they will host Southern California on Thursday.
Makenna Morris – Senior – Defender – Clemson – Morris scored Clemson’s first goal with a double assist from forward Caroline Conti and defender Mackenzie Duff and was a key part of a Tiger defense that shutout Radford 2-0 to post their 14th shutout on the season. Conti netted the Tigers second goal of the evening. Morris is a difference maker with nine goals and six assists on the season. Clemson is now 16-3-3 and advances to the second round where they will host Columbia.
Glo Hinojosa – Graduate Student – Goalkeeper – UC Irvine – Hinojosa played a key role in what may prove to be the biggest upset of the 2023 NCAA Tournament with a stellar five save evening between the pipes for a bend but don’t break Anteater defense that shutout number one seed and defending national champion UCLA 1-0 in Los Angeles in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This was the second time in three seasons that UC Irvine has upset nationally ranked UCLA in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Redshirt junior Alyssa Moore sent a header into the back of the frame out of a free kick put in play by Aislynn Crowder to score the lone goal of the contest. UC Irvine improves to 9-7-6 and advances to face Gonzaga in Lincoln, Nebraska on Friday in the second round.
Ally Zazzara – Redshirt Sophomore – Goalkeeper – Tennessee – Zazzara came through in the clutch for the Volunteers with a huge fifteen save evening while anchoring a Tennessee defense that shutout Xavier 1-0 in double overtime on the road. The fifteen saves tied a Tennessee single-game record that was set back in 1996. Graduate student midfielder Sizzy Lawton contributed the game-winning goal for Tennessee in the 102nd minute of the contest. The Lady Vols improve to 9-6-4 and move forward to face Nebraska in Lincoln on Friday.
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