The first week of D1 women's soccer's second quarter resulted in another collection of stellar performances, upsets and a tremendous comeback.
Offensive Performance of the Week: Alabama
Feel free to revoke this if the Tide lay an egg on Tuesday against Samford, but the Tide crushed Tennessee in Knoxville in the league opener, 5-1. Keep in mind, Alabama finished dead last in the SEC last season, scoring just sixteen goals in nineteen matches in all of 2015.
While Alabama had made big strides forward early in 2016, many were skeptical given the level of opposition.
The wake-up call came loud and clear Friday night when 'Bama blitzed the Vols, scoring four goals in 42 minutes to go into halftime with a 4-0 lead. Chatham DeProspo scored three goals in a little under 26 minutes in the first half to lead the way.
Defensive Performance of the Week: USC
If we’re cheating a bit this week, let’s give the Women of Troy credit for the past two and a half weeks. The Trojans defense was thought of as one of the best in the nation going into the 2016 season but stumbled early in losses to Santa Clara (giving up three goals, no less) and Long Beach State.
But a 3-0 win over Pepperdine has changed the Trojans’ fortunes on both ends of the pitch. Clean sheets against Loyola Marymount and North Carolina at home this weekend make it five straight shutout wins for USC.
The Trojans haven’t done it against just any teams either, with all five teams in that streak having legitimate NCAA Tournament aspirations coming into 2016. Kansas could be victim No. 6 of the swarming USC defense this upcoming weekend.
Match of the Week: Georgetown 3 — Virginia 2
Theoretically, you could call this 'half of the week,' as the first half in the nation’s capital Sunday carried all five goals, but it was still a barnburner beyond expectation.
Considering Virginia came into this one without a non-conference regular season loss in four calendar years, most expected the rout was on when the Cavs were up 2-0 after just nine minutes.
But Georgetown keep their foot on the accelerator and responded with three straight unanswered goals, including a free kick from Rachel Corboz that would be the eventual winner. With Virginia’s history in non-ACC play, such a win by the Hoyas was astonishing and perhaps one of program-defining magnitude.
Comeback of the Week: Boston College over Northeastern
If Boston College gets a national seed in the NCAA Tournament, they might want to turn to this one, as the Eagles pulled off an astonishing comeback win just when defeat looked certain.
Down via penalty to Northeastern with just seconds remaining, unheralded Andrea O’Brien tapped in the equalizer with just four ticks on the clock left. Clutch senior McKenzie Meehan would do the rest in the second half of extra time with a header to bring BC all the way back for a 2-1 win.
Upset of the Week: South Alabama over Florida State
Technically, this might be cheating a bit, too, since soccer weeks are generally considered to run Thursday to Wednesday, but HERO Sports wraps the week after Sunday's games. As a result, it’s impossible to not write about the Labor Day shocker in Mobile.
The Jags had come close many, many times against top level opposition but had always seemed to fall a little short. But given another shot against long-time nemesis Florida State on Monday, the Jags scored early and held on for dear life late as the Noles sent waves of pressure their way.
Considering FSU hadn’t lost to a non-power conference team since Charlotte well over a decade ago (before Mark Krikorian took over as manager), this was a shock of the highest order.
For good measure, USA added an SEC team to their victory mantle by beating Ole Miss Sunday. Big conference clubs would do well to be wary if the Jags make the NCAA Tournament.