Thursday, September 12, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. – One of the more remarkable performances of the 2013 W-League season was that of Toronto Lady Lynx goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, who racked up five consecutive shutouts as her side reached the postseason in the Central Conference this past summer.
Sheridan finished the season with a 0.428 goals-against average for Toronto, and her outstanding play has continued into the fall at Clemson, where she has already recorded three shutouts in five starts as the Tigers opened the season with a 2-1-2 record in non-conference play. On Thursday night, Sheridan will be one of the key players as Clemson hosts No. 21 Maryland on ESPN3 at 7 p.m. ET, one of a number of nationally televised games this weekend that will feature current and former W-League standouts.
Sheridan has been aided in the Tigers’ defense by the Carolina Elite Cobras’ Tabitha Padgett, but the senior has been showing off her versatility this fall as she has at times become part of the Clemson attack, and notched her first goal of the season against South Carolina last Friday.
The Terrapins, meanwhile, will look for their first away win of the season with the Washington Spirit Reserves’ Ashley Spivey and Shannon Collins both playing well early in the season. Spivey sits second on the team with eight points, while Collins has five assists, and they are joined by former Washington Freedom Futures midfielder Megan Gibbons, who has started all six contests.
Clemson is also in action on ESPN3 on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET as the Tigers host Boston College, as is No. 1 North Carolina, which faces No. 8 Notre Dame with former Long Island Rough Rider forward Crystal Dunn off to another strong start to the season. Dunn has six goals in the Tar Heels’ opening five games, while the Atlanta Silverbacks’ Alexa Newfield is tied for the team lead with three assists, as the Tar Heels continue to be a unanimous top selection in the NSCAA Coaches Poll.
Elsewhere in the ACC on Thursday night, No. 15 Duke will host Miami at 7 p.m. ET in a game that can be seen on NSCAATV.com, with the Long Island Rough Riders’ Kim DeCesare and former Cary Lady Clarets forward Mollie Pathman set to lead the Blue Devils. Pathman and DeCesare have combined for three goals so far this season, and will aim to jumpstart an attack that has scored only five goals in six games.
On Friday the action switches to the west coast as No. 5 UCLA hosts San Diego State at 7:30 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network, with Pali Blues standouts Sarah Killion, Abby Dahlkemper and Sam Mewis set to lead the Bruins in pursuit of their sixth win of the season. Killion leads UCLA with four assists this fall, while Dahlkemper has played a team-high 519 minutes to anchor a defense that has conceded only three goals in six games.
Earlier in the evening, No. 23 Southern Cal will also be in action on the Pac-12 Network as Pali’s Elizabeth Eddy looks to continue her strong start to the season against Pepperdine at 5:30 p.m. ET. Eddy leads the Trojans with four goals in five games, while the LA Strikers’ Tanya Samarzich has added another three after scoring four goals in eight appearances in the W-League this past summer.
Eddy will go up against a familiar face on the Pepperdine roster in Blues’ teammate Lynn Williams, who leads the Waves with five goals and one assist. Another former Blue, defender Michelle Pao, will also need to play an important role if Pepperdine is to keep the Trojans’ attack in check.