AWK All-Awesome Team Member Leah Fortune Doing What She Does So Well for Texas. Will USC Be Able to Cope?
(Last post for a while. I swear. All times listed are Eastern.)
Long Beach State vs Virginia Tech (10:30 AM in College Station, TX)
The Bad Girls of the Beach are back in fine form after a lean year in 2009, announcing their return to relevance on the national stage after shooting down Washington State in College Station on Friday. Virginia Tech played their role of great entertainer in a wildly entertaining 5-3 loss to Texas A&M on Friday night. It goes without saying that the Hokies need to tighten it up to the back if they don’t want to become the 49ers second victim of the weekend.
Duke vs Stanford (11:00 AM in Chapel Hill, NC)
This just in, Duke is good. Hell, they might be really good. But the problem is, it’s going to take a lot more than really good to beat Stanford. Duke brushed off questions about their offensive consistency with a three goal outburst against Missouri on Friday. Problem is, Stanford figures to defend a lot better than Mizzou and are one of the precious few that attack better than the Tigers too. This one’s all about the Cardinal. Will they experience a let down after their extra time epic against North Carolina or will they be eager to put a beating on someone?
UConn vs Virginia (12:00 in State College, PA)
I think I mentioned UConn fans not necessarily panicking after the shock defeat to Siena. Now, might be a time to get a little edgy in Storrs. The Huskies came up firing blanks against William & Mary and are digging themselves a hole. They can get out of that hole by getting a result against a Virginia team that scored a fortuitous draw against Penn State on Friday. If the Cavs are contenders, they cut through this UConn team on Sunday, no questions asked.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee vs Auburn (12:00 on Marquette’s Campus)
Auburn took it on the chin in a decisive defeat to Marquette on Friday, a very disappointing outcome for a team some thought could be a contender in the SEC this season. They’ll be in for another hard time of it against a Wisconsin-Milwaukee side basically playing a home game. If the Tigers couldn’t stop Marquette’s offense, how will they deal with Sarah Hagen?
North Carolina vs Missouri (1:00)
Uh oh. Conceding three to Duke probably isn’t the best of omens for a Tigers side which has been leaking goals like poor Wigan Athletic at the moment. North Carolina’s attack is a lot more potent than the Blue Devils, and the hosts aren’t likely to be in a great mood after drawing with Stanford on Friday. That being said, Mizzou has the chops to get a goal. And if they get it early enough, who knows?
NC State vs Charlotte (1:00)
This could be a pretty good marker of where NC State is early in the season. The 49ers topped the Wolfpack in Charlotte last season, 1-0. NC State’s looked passable in the early part of the season, hanging with Texas before eventually falling to defeat while also clocking a pair of minnows. Charlotte promises to be a much tougher task with explosive forward Whitney Weinraub eager to impress.
Ohio State vs West Virginia (1:00)
Two sides with a lot to prove. The Buckeyes haven’t exactly enjoyed a sizzling start to the season with one win out of three, while West Virginia suffered through a fitful exhibition season before a slim defeat against Penn State. Like OSU, the Mountaineers rebounded against lesser opposition, topping Bowling Green on Friday. A win for either side would pay large dividends come selection time.
Georgia vs Kansas (1:30)
File this one under dumb scheduling. Why on Earth would Kansas play a match on Friday in Lawrence and then jet halfway across the country on Sunday to play an afternoon game in Athens? Did I mention the Athens sun and humidity isn’t friendly to wobbly legs that have been on a plane a few hours after playing a match hours before? For reference, Florida tried this trick flying out to Portland for a Friday game and then back to Gainesville for a Sunday afternoon match. From all accounts, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Neither will be Kansas’ on Sunday if they run into the Georgia team that put Utah through its paces pretty easily on Friday. Kansas can score under normal circumstances, but these aren’t normal circumstances, and the Jayhawks aren’t exactly watertight going the other way.
Texas vs USC (2:00)
Texas seems to be back to form after a pair of wins, but USC are a bit of a steeper challenge than Texas-San Antonio. The Trojans got Ashlii Sandoval back, and she provided an instant boost for the Women of Troy, scoring against TCU on Friday night. USC’s offense still doesn’t look right though, and that could be trouble against a Longhorn team that has looked good in front of goal thus far.
Iowa vs Central Michigan (2:30)
Dear Central Michigan,
Are you a real contender to make some NCAA noise or are you an impostor in disguise? Will that doggedly effective defense work against a Big Ten team? OK, barely a Big Ten team? It’s an indictment of Iowa that Central Michigan should be comfortable favorites despite playing in a mid-major conference and on the road. The Chippewas know that a loss to the Hawkeyes could wreck their at-large hopes should a MAC Tournament disaster strike.
Marquette vs New Mexico (2:30)
I’m still a little on the fence with Marquette. I probably need to see one more impressive win over someone with a pulse for me to become a believer, but the early signs for the Golden Eagles have been promising, including Friday’s 3-0 beating of Auburn. New Mexico came into Milwaukee and played UWM to a very creditable draw. Another draw wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for the Lobos, but a victory would make this weekend a smashing success.
Texas A&M vs Washington State (2:30)
A&M certainly hasn’t done dull in the first week and a half of the season. There have been at least three goals in each of the Aggies first three matches, including Friday’s 5-3 win over Virginia Tech. They’ll have to be at their best against a Washington State team desperate for a win after Friday’s upset defeat against Long Beach State. With a trip to BYU pending, the Cougars could conceivably be 1-4-0 soon if they lose to A&M here.
Portland vs Oklahoma State (3:00)
For a team with national title ambitions, Portland sure has seemed to be coasting through the first week and a half of the season. Danielle Foxhoven’s two goals against SMU have to be encouraging for the Pilots though. They’ll face their toughest challenge by far though against Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls are going to be missing Kyndall Treadwell through suspension though after the forward was sent off against Oregon.
San Diego vs Michigan (8:00)
Michigan have already been on a roller coaster this season, going down to Detroit 1-0 at home before coming back to win 3-1. Then the Wolverines drew with lowly Eastern Michigan before getting a creditable win against Pepperdine on Friday. It’s difficult to guess which team will show up against San Diego, but it better be the good Michigan or else they’re going to get sliced apart by the Toreros. San Diego downed their second straight Pac-10 team with a thumping win over Arizona. Another win would be huge with a match against Marquette on the horizon.