Like every year, the first year players across the country are making a difference.
While experience counts, a strong crop of talent entered women’s college soccer this season. Led by a core of players who competed at the 2012 Under 17 Women’s World Cup, there are players with international experiencing jumping into the college ranks.
Notre Dame midfielder Morgan Andrews leads the way. The captain of the U.S. U17s, Andrews has lived up to her billing as the top recruit from the class of 2013 through the first few months of her college career.
But she’s far from the only one from that group, or around the nation, already making an impact. Stanford center back Maddie Bauer has provided a steady presence at the back for the Cardinal, Ambery Munerlyn is a feisty attacking threat on the North Carolina flank, while UCLA’s Darian Jenkins is the team’s leading scorer thus far.
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There’s strong international influence as well, particularly from Canada, as LSU forward Summer Clarke, West Virginia center back Kadeisha Buchanan and Clemson goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan all featuring prominently. New Zealand is also featured through LSU’s Megan Lee, just called into the full women’s national team alongside Syracuse first year forward Stephanie Skilton.
Talent from outside the obvious channels has also produced. Florida forward Savannah Jordan has been dominant, tied for sixth in the nation with 13 goals. Wisconsin midfielder Rose Lavelle has stepped into the Badger midfield with ease, while Michigan forward Madisson Lewis can stretch opposing back lines with her speed.
There’s little doubt that the talented group of first year players will shape the NCAA tournament run as the season winds down.