Published: January 21, 2010
Heidi Sabatura, Villanova:
This former FC Bucks Viper standout created anticipation about her college debut based on her strong club career. Sabatura led FC Bucks to a great run that included state, regional titles and competitive berths at nationals. Sabatura did much of the same in her first year, helping the Wildcats storm into the NCAAs. The crafty striker did it while finishing second on the team in points and becoming the first Villanova player to capture the Rookie of the Year award. Playing alongside fellow underclassmen Katie Ryan, Villanova has much to look forward to.
Heidi SabaturaLinda Ruutu, Connecticut:
Poised and experienced (yes, we said experienced), Ruutu was a step ahead of most first-year players this past season – and second, and third-year players too. Hailing from Finland, she arrived very prepared to step in and she did just that with a combination of size, skill and moxy. Ruutu led the Huskies in goals and points while ranking among the conference’s top scorers. After helping UConn reach the second round of the NCAAs she was named second-team all conference.
Tina Romagnuolo, Syracuse:
In a program that has lacked much success, Romagnuolo gave us a reason to tune in to the Orange. For all intents and purposes, she carried the team's offense all year and while it didn’t amount to a lot in the standings, her individual effort has to be applauded. Romagnuolo led the team with nine goals and 18 points, a fact more impressive when you consider she was the only Syracuse player to score multiple times this year – that means opposing teams knew she was a singular threat but still had trouble containing her. When it was all said and done she became the first Syracuse player since Erin O’Grady in 1997 to earn All-Rookie and second-team honors in the conference.
Taylor Patterson, South Florida(w):
Patterson came on strong for the Bulls and became a dependable midfielder throughout the season. Hailing form Edmonton, she brought with her the experience of playing on Canadian national teams. She is a very good all-around athlete who combines well with her teammates. Alongside juniors-to-be Chelsea Klotz and Noelle Pineiro, Patterson will be a very valuable core member of the program’s future squads.
Ally Miller, Marquette:
Coaches always talk about having players on the field that can play multiple positions. They say in an ideal world, they don’t want a defender, or a midfielder or a striker, but a “soccer player.” Miller is a soccer player. She played a lot in the midfield with FC Milwaukee prior to her freshman season but found her minutes for the Golden Eagles as a defender. She has good size and earned a ton of minutes during a season that included the NCAAs. Miller is an interesting case and all bets are off in her future. She could just as easily end up being an all-conference defender or midfielder.