Another wild week in women’s DI college soccer produced some tremendous feats of individual skill worthy of the TopDrawerSoccer.com Women’s Team of the Week. From the sixth fastest goal in NCAA history to a four-assist performance in a pair of blowouts, this week had a bit of everything. Here’s how this week shook down.
TDS Women’s Player of the Week: F Kaili Torres, Virginia
GK Casey Murphy, Rutgers: For the first time since 2008, Rutgers beat a top 10 opponent over the weekend with an impressive 1-0 victory over then-No. 6 Penn State. Rutgers neutered Penn State’s dangerous attack, and Murphy helped preserve the shutout with big save after save. That extended Murphy’s reach as the Big 10’s best keeper statistically and one of the nation’s toughest to beat.
D Rachel Pitman, DePaul: The Blue Demons are one of just two unbeatens left in the country, and the defense has been crucial. DePaul shut out Creighton in a 2-0 victory over the weekend to move up to No. 12 in the country, and Pittman’s effort, combined with those of her back line teammates, was imperious.
D Gabby Byorth, Clemson: The Tigers’ defense was impenetrable last week in 1-0 shutout victories over ACC foes Duke and Syracuse. Byorth was a key member of the defensive unit that kept both league opponents out of the net, but she also got into the swing of things in the attack. It was her corner kick that led to Sunday’s winner over Syracuse.
D Tessa Andujar, Florida: The Gators smashed Mississippi State 5-1 last week to stay perfect in the SEC, and Andujar was unstoppable just about anywhere she went. After an early defensive lapse on a corner kick to fall behind, Andujar scored and assisted on two more tallies while keeping the Bulldogs from scoring again. Tremendous poise from the senior outside back.
M Sam Mewis, UCLA: Mewis absolutely bossed the midfield in UCLA’s 2-1 win over No. 2 Stanford, and she notched a key assist to help the Bruins come back from an early 1-0 deficit. After games like those, it’s easy to see why the senior midfielder is in the discussion for the Hermann Trophy just past the midway point of the season.
M Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Florida State: The senior midfielder from Iceland is right alongside Mewis in the Hermann race, and she solidified her position with an enormous week to help the Seminoles move up the chain to No. 2 in the country. In a key meeting with fellow top 10 Virginia Tech, Brynjarsdottir assisted on the Seminoles’ first goal and scored the game-winner in the 87th minute for a 2-1 victory.
M Annie Alvarado, UCLA: Goals don’t come much bigger than Alvarado’s, which ultimately gave UCLA its 2-1 victory over No. 2 Stanford in the biggest game so far of the 2014 women’s college soccer regular season. The sophomore scored her first ever collegiate goal with a bully effort in the 85th minute to complete the Bruins’ most impressive comeback this season. Nails.
M Kate Bennett, Washington: Bennett’s been on an absolute tear of late, and she scored in both wins over Arizona (2-0) and Arizona State (2-1) over the weekend. The fifth-year senior opened the weekend with a first-half goal to tie an eventual comeback win over the Sun Devils, and she scored her sixth of the season for insurance in a two-goal win over Arizona. That helped the Huskies claw into the top 25 this week.
M Ally Holtz, Pepperdine: Incredibly enough, Holtz was a substitute in Pepperdine’s 5-0 win over Pacific last week, and she still managed to assist on three of those goals. After coming on in the 24th minute, Holtz set up three different goal-scorers stretching from the 39th to the 83rd minute to help the Waves move to No. 8 in the country.
F Kaili Torres, Virginia: Even without Morgan Brian, the Cavaliers scored 12 goals in two wins over NC State and Boston College over the weekend, and Torres was involved in nearly half of those. She finished with a goal and four assists over those two games to help Virginia inch up the poll to No. 3 in the nation this week.
F Tabby Tindell, Florida Gulf Coast: Tindell is one of the nation’s most prolific scorers, but she one-upped just about everyone on her 15th goal of the season last week. The sophomore scored just eight seconds into FGCU’s 2-1 win over Lipscomb to help move the Eagles to 12-3 on the season. That broke the program record and tied for the sixth fastest goal in NCAA history.