Sloppy conditions was one of many big stories in the Northwest, as Illinois – a surprise inclusion in the NCAA tournament to begin with – advanced past a quality Washington State side over the weekend.
Adverse field conditions are never a shock at this stage in the season, but the biggest performance from the game was that of freshman goalkeeper Claire Wheatley. The Texas shot-stopper was superb, helping keep the score locked at 0-0 through 110 minutes of action. Her performance earns her TDS Player of the Week honors.
She also guessed correctly to make two tidy saves in the shootout, as the Illini’s experience paid dividends and kept the season alive.
Here’s the rest of the TDS women’s Team of the Week.
GK Claire Wheatley, Illinois: Playing in ugly conditions in Pullman, Wash., the freshman goalkeeper dealt with a muddy field and stood on her head for the Illini, making 11 saves during regulation and two stops during the shootout to advance Illinois on to the next round.
D Lindsey Lee, Western Michigan: The defender played 90 minutes and helped shutdown the potent Marquette offense as the Broncos sprung the upset on the Big East champs, winning 1-0.
D Meghan Streight, Texas A&M: With Streight’s center back partner Rachel Lenz missing because of concussion symptoms, the converted midfielder backstopped an Aggie shutout against Utah, as A&M managed to win their opening round matchup by a 1-0 score. Streight paired with freshman Gracie Wright at the back, limiting the Utes to just three shots on frame in the win.
D Maddie Bauer, Stanford: The Cardinal attack isn’t exactly the same high-powered unit it has been in previous iterations, so the key for Stanford’s tourney chances rest on a young defense. Bauer, one of two freshmen along the back line, played 90 minutes and limited Cal State Fullerton to just six shots in a narrow 1-0 victory.
MF Morgan Andrews, Notre Dame: Is top-rated Andrews heating up at the right time? The midfield maestro scored two goals – the game-tying tally and winner – in a 4-1 come-from-behind win against Iowa. The Irish are capable of a deep run in the tournament, and they’ll need more big performances like this one from Andrews to make it happen.
MF Marina Paul, Georgetown: Along with scoring an insurance goal in Georgetown’s 2-0 win over La Salle, Paul’s shift in her defensive midfield spot limited the Explorers’ potent offense to zero shots on goal for the day as the Hoyas progressed to the next round.
MF Tyler Allen, Arkansas: The Razorbacks won their first NCAA tournament game in program history, thanks to Allen’s second half game winner. That capped off a 90 minute shift away from home as Arkansas came through with a 2-1 win over Oklahoma State.
F Makenzy Doniak, Virginia: In the end it wasn’t much of a test for the Cavaliers against St. Francis (PA)(w) on Friday, as Doniak led an offensive surge with a hat trick, as UVA cruised to a 5-0 win to open their tournament campaign.
F Rachel Daly, St. John's: Somehow, some way, the Red Storm traveled to Orlando and beat UCF 3-1, despite being outshot 26-3 on the day. Daly played a pivotal role in that upset, scoring an insurance goal and assisting the tying tally in the first half, claiming the national goal scoring lead.
F Arin Gilliland, Kentucky: The Wildcat talisman delivered for her side in the first round, scoring the game winning goal and adding an assist on the insurance tally as Kentucky eased past Ohio State.
F Jaycie Johnson, Nebraska: It’s been a great 2013 season for Johnson and the Huskers, and she made sure that it would continue at least to another weekend. The freshman speedster was unstoppable on home turf, netting all four goals against Southeastern Louisiana.
TDS Player of the Week: Claire Wheatley, Illinois
Other players considered: F Rafaelle Souza (Mississippi), D Megan Brigman (North Carolina), GK Sara Keane (West Virginia), F Anne Stuller (Colorado), F Kelly Cobb (Duke), MF Madisson Lewis (Michigan)