The first round of the women’s Division I NCAA tournament is in the books.
Thirty-teams are left, and there were close games all around the country over the past weekend.
One of the highlights came in Gainesville, as in-state foes Florida battled it out with South Florida. And one clear winner emerged, as the latest Player of the Week Evelyne Viens fired a hat trick against the Gators to secure the honors.
A clear top prospect in the upcoming NWSL Draft, Viens scored three times in 12 minutes on either side of the half to put the Bulls up by a 3-0 score. Deanne Rose pulled a goal back for the hosts, but USF restored its three-goal lead with under seven minutes to play.
Player of the Week: Evelyne Viens, South Florida
Check out some of the other top performances from the past weekend of women’s Division I soccer.
Team of the Week: November 11-17
GK Madison White, Texas Tech – After jumping out to a 2-0 lead against Pepperdine, Texas Tech was bombarded by a relentless Wave tide. While White gave up a pair of goals, she kept the Red Raiders at bay with the scores level at 2-2, making six saves in the second half. Then she made two saves in the penalty shoot out to help the Big 12 side progress.
D Erica Bardes, Central Connecticut – Rutgers was the lone seeded team to lose its first-round game, coming up short against Central Connecticut. Bardes scored the winning goal with just under two minutes left, while anchoring the team’s shutout in a 1-0 victory.
D Lulu Guttenberger, NC State – It took the Wolfpack 54 minutes to finally break the deadlock against a resolute Navy side. But Gutterberger provided the breakthrough from a free kick, and her service from a corner was turned into the goal by Leyah Hall-Robinson. Eventually, NC State cruised to a 3-0 victory.
M Molly McLaughlin, Xavier – The Big East side’s sensational season continued with a 1-0 road win in the first round of the NCAA tournament. McLaughlin nabbed the winner, and then Xavier was able to lock down the Virginia Tech attack on the way to a huge win for the program.
M Emina Ekic, Louisville – While the Cardinals were only able to get one past Lipscomb in a 1-0 win, it was unsurprising to see Ekic at the heart of the goal. If Louisville is to survive next week’s trip to BYU, Ekic needs to have a huge impact.
M Nicolette Hernandez, Michigan – After going down 1-0 at home against Bowling Green, Hernandez helped inspire a turnaround victory. She was credited with an assist and then scored the game-winning goal to turn the tide.
F Penelope Hocking, USC – Hocking pushed Viens for Player of the Week honors, as she delivered a massive four goal, one assist performance as USC quashed any chance of an upset with a 5-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton.
F Evelyne Viens, South Florida – If it wasn’t for Catarina Macario’s video game numbers, Viens might be in with a shout for Player of the Year. Her hat trick takes her total to 23 on the season, and 71 for her college career.
F Alina Stahl, West Virginia – Facing the Hoyas for the second time this season, Stahl’s brace anchored her side’s upset win away from home. That will take WVU to Charlottesville for the second time this season for a second-round matchup against Central Connecticut State.
Honorable Mention: F Catarina Macario (Stanford), GK Sandy MacIver (Clemson), GK Kayla Thompson (Brown), F Julie Doyle (Santa Clara), F Emily Duerr (Duke), M Jessie Fleming (UCLA), M Yujie Zhao (Florida State), F Cameron Tucker (BYU), D Natalia Staude (Virginia), GK Sarah Peters (Kansas), F Tori Cannata (Arkansas), M Sam Coffey (Penn State), GK Hope Hisey (Arizona), M Makamae Gomera-Stevens (Washington State)