FSU & UVA couldn’t beat the elements:
In a top three showdown between Florida State (2) and University of Virginia (3), I expected goals and plenty of highlight reel material. Both teams did manage a goal, but the game was called in the 100th minute due to excessive lightening. This ACC matchup gave us an early goal by way of Alexis Shaffer in the ninth minute to give UVA the lead. The Cavaliers held the lead for the next 59 minutes until FSU took advantage of a turnover which led to 1v1 opportunity for Freshman Kristen McFarland. She calmly found the back of the net after shaking off the UVA keeper to salvage the draw. The Seminoles travel to Pitt on Saturday and UVA host North Carolina on ESPNU on Sunday.
South Carolina notches 10th consecutive win:
The Gamecocks are playing some serious team ball right now, evidence of that came Sunday when they earned their 10th straight victory. With second half goals from Sophie Groff, Kaleigh Kurtz and Lindsey Lane, South Carolina cruised past Kentucky. The eighth ranked Gamecocks only allowed two shots from the Wildcats, clearly putting extra work on the defensive end to ensure a win. It was also the sixth shutout on the year, matching last season’s total in just 11 games. Looking to remain undefeated, up next for them is a powerhouse SEC matchup against Texas A & M on Thursday night at College Station. As for Kentucky, they ended what was a tough week, adding on a loss to Missouri a few days ago and a less than impressive 1-1 draw with Alabama earlier in the week. They hope to rebound on Saturday at home against Ole Miss.
Nebraska hat-trick defeats Ohio State:
Nebraska Senior Jaycie Johnson scored three goals (29, 37’, 60’) to lead her team to its eighth win on the season. This was her second hat trick of her career, and the first since 2013. Johnson now leads the team with seven goals, all coming in the last six games. Her last goal on the night was special, as it was her 38th of her career, putting her eighth in program history. It should be noted that Ohio State was without starting Goalkeeper Jillian McVicker, who suffered an injury over a week ago. The Buckeyes drop to 7-4-1, slowing down considerably after starting the season with six wins in a row. Nebraska faces off with Indiana Friday while Ohio State hosts Northwestern on Saturday.
NWSL playoffs are set:
Heading into the final regular season games on Sunday, the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League playoffs were already a lock. Washington, Portland, Chicago and Western New York all made the cut. Washington have made the playoffs three consecutive years while Portland has won the championship (2013) and last made the playoffs in 2014. Meanwhile Chicago made history last season when they secured their first ever trip to the playoffs; they are back once again in hopes of winning its first ever title. Western New York started off the franchise strong, meeting Portland in the Finals in 2013, but since then, hasn’t finished better than seventh. All that changed this season as they finished fourth to grab the last playoff spot by winning their last regular season game against Boston. Certainly each team has strong leadership; Ali Krieger for Washington, Tobin Heath for Portland, Christen Press for Chicago and Jessica McDonald for WNY. The first semifinal is set for Friday, September 30th. The second semifinal is Sunday, October 2nd.
Lianne Sanderson done for the year:
The England international and WNY midfielder will miss the playoffs after tearing her ACL in a friendly against Thailand last week with the Flash. After being acquired from Orlando late in the season, she appeared in nine games for WNY, scoring three goals and contributing to an already bolstered attack led my McDonald, Lynn Williams and Samantha Mewis. Sanderson only lasted 13 minutes before suffering the injury to her right knee. The 28 year old has played for a handful of clubs throughout her career, finding some form of success at each. After this kind of injury, it will be interesting to see what happens next.
FAWSL champions crowned:
For the first time in program history, Manchester City Women are champions of England. After beating rivals Chelsea on Sunday on two goals, the title officially belongs to the women of Manchester, even with two games to play. With a record crowd of 4,096 on hand at Academy Stadium, it proved to be a worthwhile matchup. The first goal came by way of veteran Jill Scott, tallying her third goal of the season. The title-clinching goal in the 49th minute was scored by Toni Duggan on a Penalty given from a foul on teammate Lucy Bronze. It was Duggan’s fifth goal in her 15th appearance. After the match, the team received congratulatory wishes from the Manchester City men’s side, from players like Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne. I think it has shown that in just a few short years, Manchester Women have built something special and are deservingly being recognized for it.