The first weekend of the women’s college campaign is hardly ever season defining.
With almost an entire schedule on the near horizon, plenty of time is left for teams that struggle out of the gate. But the truncated nature of the college season, momentum is sometimes half the battle, and hot starts can go a long way.
One team to enjoy a strong start was Virginia Tech, which traveled to Indiana, snagging a pair of 2-1 win against the Hoosiers and West Virginia respectively. The Hokies also generated the first Player of the Week for 2015.
TDS Team of the Week (Aug 21-23):
GK Bella Geist, Oregon State – Last season, the Beavers managed zero wins in 20 games. This year, it took just one to rectify that, defeating Portland 2-1 in overtime. The fact that the game reached overtime was partially through Geist’s saves, as she made six crucial interventions to keep the scores level.
D Julia Ashley, North Carolina – The freshman defender logged 180 minutes in a pair of big Tar Heel victories. She chipped in an assist on the winning goal over Weber State on Friday, and the fact that she stayed on the field for the duration of both games is significant, given UNC’s tendency to substitute most of its players.
D Stacie Moran, San Diego State – Plenty of promise percolated through the first weekend for the Aztecs, which blanked Utah Valley University and Kentucky. Moran played every minute of the two victories, notching a pair of assists in the defeat of Utah Valley.
D McKayla Paulson, Texas A&M – Along with playing every minute of both games for the Aggies, Paulson scored twice in Friday’s 4-2 victory against Rice as the Aggies swept their first two games of the season.
M Taylor Racioppi, Duke – It was no sweat for the Blue Devils this weekend thanks in part to the U.S. U20 WNT veteran. Racioppi scored twice in her first college game, a 5-0 win over Fresno State. She scored the game’s first goal again on Sunday, a 4-0 defeat of Weber State.
M Nicole Baxter, William & Mary – After a solid performance in a Friday win against Seton Hall, Baxter had a hand in all three goals as the Tribe knocked off Georgetown by a 3-0 score line on Sunday.
M Rose Lavelle, Wisconsin – The U.S. youth international scored in both games to begin the 2015 season, including the game-winning strike in overtime on Sunday against North Dakota State.
F Allison Pantuso, Oregon State – The first-year sub scored both goals in the Beavers’ win against the Pilots, including the winner in overtime with just 21 seconds to play.
F Murielle Tiernan, Virginia Tech – Talk about starting the season off right. Tiernan scored both goals in Tech’s 2-1 defeat of Indiana, following that up with the opening tally in a 2-1 victory against West Virginia on Sunday. The three-goal performance nabbed Tiernan Player of the Week honors.
F Nichelle Prince, Ohio State – A healthy Prince makes all the difference for the Buckeyes. The Canadian youth international notched two assists in Friday’s 6-2 defeat of Illinois State, before bagging the winner on Sunday in a 1-0 victory against Florida.
Honorable mention: GK Ashton McKeown (Long Beach State), M Annie Kingman (North Carolina), F Kayla McCoy (Duke), GK Jackie Kerestine (North Texas), GK Abby Smith (Texas), M Kate Hajdu (Texas A&M), M Hannah Rempel (Charlotte), F Jorian Bauchom (LSU), GK Hannah Seabert (Pepperdine), D Meghan Cox (Virginia)