Published: February 3, 2012
It’s risky business whenever you talk about ranking recruiting classes. While it’s easy enough to figure out which college program (in any sport) brought in the most players widely agreed on as the best prospects in the nation, the danger is then assuming that program X will be assured of on-field success over the next four years. There are just too many intangibles unfolding between now and then to draw such a conclusion.
It’s preferred to think about recruiting classes as bad or good based on what that program needs and whether or not it brought in players who meet that need. Nevertheless, when it comes to sports, people are into other people being better or worse than one another, so here is our best effort to show which women’s college soccer programs brought in the most talent among 2012 graduates.
- Notre Dame – It was a close call but Randy Waldrum’s Fighting Irish get the nod. We especially like defenders Katie Naughton and Brittany Von Rueden, and midfielders Glory Williams and Cari Roccaro.
- North Carolina – Really a 1 and 1a situation here. The Tar Heels already have goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin on campus, with Lindsey Horan, Reilly Parker and Caroline Lindquist headlining the rest of the list. A great recruiting class for Anson Dorrance and staff.
- Stanford – No worries about a letdown for Paul Ratcliffe and the Cardinal, as Palo Alto continues to be a destination of choice for top prospects. The national champions will welcome in an all-California class including Laura Liedle, Maya Theuer and Haley Washburn.
- Virginia – Steve Swanson is bringing nothing but quality into Charlottesville, with Makenzy Doniak, Brittany Ratcliffe, Kristen McNabb and Emily Sonnett among the top-notch class.
- Maryland – The Terps lost coach Brian Pensky to Tennessee, but the fruits of his recruiting labors still put them in the top 10 among classes.
- Kentucky – Volume does not equal quality but the Wildcats are bringing in some very strong prospects among their long list of commitments. Sockers trio Kylie Morgan, Kelli Hubly and Courtney Raetzman are among the best.
- Duke – Great recruiting by Robbie Church helped the Blue Devils make the College Cup in 2011. Well here they go again with Kelly McCann, Cassie Pecht and Kara Wilson leading a strong class.
- Boston College – Alison Foley and staff have recruited Region I quite well over the past few years. Now Texas standouts Jill Lutz and Jana Jeffrey, plus Atlanta-area defender Bria Washington come in, along with easterners Emily Armstrong, McKenzie and Madison Meehan and Lauren Bernard.
- Oklahoma State – The Cowgirls recruited very well locally to register in our Top Ten. Kansas City pair Allie Stephenson and Delaney Kiely are joined by a quartet from Texas including Kelsey Bass and local product Madison Mercado.
- UCLA – The Bruins bring a very talented group including Kodi Lavrusky, Kristiana Konkol-Mroczkowski, goalkeeper Cassandra Sternbach, Belden Long, Madison Tye and a trio of Taylors, Smith, Alderete and Dragoo.
- Other top recruiting classes for the 2012 graduating class have been brought in by (in no particular order) Washington, Texas, USC, Rutgers, Santa Clara, LSU, Virginia Tech, Illinois, Ohio State and Florida.