It’s hard to believe the fall season is breezing by so fast, but we’re already in October and that means
only a month left in the women’s soccer regular season. If you’ve missed any action, here’s a little
midseason cheat sheet to catch you up, plus a glance at a few games you should mark on your calendar.
Notre Dame (9-1-0) is off to its best start since 2010 and is riding a four-game shutout streak into
Thursday’s match against No. 13 Wake Forest. The Atlantic Coast Conference newbie are 5-0 in league
play and tied with No. 1 Virginia for first place in arguably the nation’s toughest conference. Sophomore
Cari Roccaro’s recent switch to the front line invigorated the Irish offense last weekend as she contributed
four goals and two assists in wins over Maryland and Pittsburgh. She had netted just one score while
playing at the midfield position.
"The position switch was due to things we saw in our previous games, as well as how we look ahead
to our long-term seasonal plan," UND head coach Randy Waldrum said. "We were getting stagnant
offensively and not creating goals for a few weeks. As I looked forward to the rest of the ACC schedule
and the conference tournament, I simply realized we couldn't get through like we did at Carolina by just
hanging on defensively. We had to do something to generate more consistency in the attack and Cari
was the answer.”
Wisconsin earned some respect last weekend as the No. 18 Badgers held then-No. 13 Michigan to
a scoreless tie on the road and then blanked Michigan State two days later. UW is 2-0-1 in Big Ten
play and has held opponents to just one goal in the last four games. The Badgers will face its most
challenging test on Friday when they host No. 7 Penn State at 8 p.m. Wisconsin’s offense ranks 18th in
the nation with 2.60 goals per game as five players have contributed at least three or more goals, led by
Cara Walls’ seven scores. The Badgers are 4-0-1 in their last five contests.
“Cara's work sometimes doesn't show up necessarily in statistics,” Wisconsin head coach Paula Wilkins
said. “I know she's our leading scorer. But even in the last couple games, I don't know if she's gotten
herself on the scoreboard. But she's created a lot of the reasons why we've gotten on the scoreboard.”
West Virginia vaulted eight spots in the latest NSCAA Top 25 to No. 15 after opening Big 12 play with
a pair of road victories at Oklahoma State and No. 9 Baylor last weekend. The Mountaineers exploded
for four goals against the Bears in a 4-3 victory and ended Baylor’s 31-match unbeaten streak. Before
Sunday, the Bears had allowed just one goal this season. WVU, which is averaging 2.58 goals per game,
brings a four-game winning streak into a home contest against Texas on Friday.
Stanford opened Pac-12 play in familiar fashion as the No. 2 Cardinal (8-0-1) extended its conference
winning streak to 43 matches with a 2-0 defeat of Colorado on Saturday. Junior transfer Taylor Uhl
scored for the fifth time in the last six games as she continued to lead the Cardinal in goals scored. Uhl,
who topped the nation in scoring as a player at Minnesota last year, ranks eighth in the nation with 1.0
goals per game. The Cardinal looks to keep the lengthy Pac-12 winning streak alive when they host
Arizona on Friday.
St. John’s (7-1-2) has allowed just two goals in 10 games and leads the nation with a .191 goals against
average behind the stellar play of goalkeeper Diana Poulin, who boasts the second-best save percentage
(.947) in Division I. The Red Storm is not only solid defensively, but has an incredible scoring threat in
the lineup in Rachel Daly, who tops the nation with 1.3 goals per game. St. John’s travels to Marquette
on Thursday for a Big East match-up. The Golden Eagles are currently tied with Seton Hall atop the
league standings with a 2-0 conference mark.
BYU dropped five spots to No. 22 in the latest Top 25 after losing three of its last four matches and was
shut out in each of those contests … Duke, which started the season ranked No. 7 in the nation, has won
just one of its first six ACC contests (against Miami), and is 1-4-3 in its last eight matches.
No. 9 Georgetown (9-0-2) is unbeaten through its first 11 games – a new school record – and boasts one
of the most potent offensives in the nation, scoring a nation-leading 3.56 goals per game … Washington
State is riding a school-record 14-match unbeaten streak, the second-longest active streak in the country
(dating back to last season). The Cougars (7-0-3) are one of nine unbeaten teams in the country and
have posted three consecutive shutouts entering a Pac-12 match-up at No. 3 UCLA on Friday … LSU is
on top of the Southeastern Conference standings with a 2-0-1 mark and has taken all three league foes to
GRAB THE HIGHLIGHTER
There are several great match-ups over the next couple weeks as we enter the heart of conference
action. Here are a few you won’t want to miss:
Clemson at Virginia Tech (Oct. 3)
South Carolina at Florida (Oct. 4)
Notre Dame at Virginia (Oct. 10)
UCLA at Stanford (Oct. 10)
Texas Tech at Baylor (Oct. 13)
St. John’s at Georgetown (Oct. 17)
Amy Farnum Patronis is a contributing writer for College Soccer News covering Division I women's soccer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.