Another round of tantalizing non-conference matchups highlight this weekend’s slate of women’s Division I soccer.
Below are five of the best matches to watch on Friday through Sunday (all times EST).
Friday, September 6
The Mountaineers will be hunting for an upset when Penn State pays a visit. These two sides know each other well given their regional proximity, and often times have to face each other in the NCAA tournament. It hasn’t been an easy schedule for West Virginia so far, with both previous Top 10 battles against Stanford and Virginia yielding losses. Goalkeeper Rylee Foster and the defense have already conceded seven times through four games, all coming against the aforementioned duo. Freshman Julianne Vallerand’s contributions off the bench have been valuable, with three goals from her first four games in DI soccer. Shackling Sam Coffey, who has picked up where she left off in 2018 at Boston College, is a key to victory. She has three goals and an assist already this season, while junior Frankie Tagliaferri continues to show well with three goals of her own and a pair of assists.
It wasn’t the best trip to California for the Florida schools, as four games against UCLA and USC for these programs led to four losses. That’s no shame, of course. Florida is looking to trend up after last year’s struggles. Deanne Rose, after scoring three in her first three games, didn’t play against UCLA with a hamstring injury, and if she’s unable to play against FSU, it’s a blow to the Gators’ chances of getting a result. The Seminoles are clear favorites, despite suffering setbacks of their own. Jaelin Howell’s been in good form, and should provide a nice foundation the team to get forward and attack often.
The only thing preventing the Wolverines from a perfect start is a 1-0 loss in overtime on the road at Marquette. They’ll look to end the Irish’s four-game winning streak when they welcome the ACC side to Ann Arbor on Friday. Notre Dame’s enjoying a much-needed strong start to the season, albeit not facing the most difficult competition. Defensively, the Irish have conceded just one goal from that stretch, and getting 11 goals from eight different players. The positive signs are there, and a win on the road against Michigan would be another important confidence-building result with two weeks before the ACC schedule begins.
Saturday, September 7
Just how good is Princeton? While they couldn’t come up with a result at home Boston College, the Tigers are obviously one of the best in the Ivy League. They’ll be hunting a marquee win here, in an in-state clash with the Scarlet Knights. The big question for Princeton was replacing the production of Mimi Asom. Freshman Grace Sherman put her hand up in the first two games, starting both and scoring the winning goal against Saint Joseph’s. After an opening-weekend scare against Central Connecticut, the Scarlet Knights roll into this one with a perfect record and three straight clean sheets.
Sunday, September 8
Last weekend’s visit from a Texas squad saw the Buffaloes edge Texas by a 2-1 score, and the Pac-12 side eyes another Big 12 win to close out their opening home stand. Taylor Kornieck’s accounted for two game-winning goals so far, and the senior midfielder remains one of her team’s most important players. This matchup represents Baylor’s biggest test of the season to date, particularly playing on the road at altitude. Senior forward Camryn Wendlandt is the focal point of her team’s attack to date with two goals and two assists. If they’re to come away from this with a win, she’ll likely have something do with it.