The Northeast region produces some of the country’s best youth soccer talent, and the 2012 graduating class is just the latest example of that fact. Here’s a look at some of the region’s top 2012 girls.
As three-time defending state champions, the FC Stars of Massachusetts are the region’s richest in terms of talent, and we begin our list with some of their exceptional players.
Kelsey McQuaid is a big, strong and athletic target forward who has great technique and the ability to score with either foot, from distance and close range. She had an immediate impact on the Stars after transferring from South Central SC in June 2009. Her work ethic is infectious, and she has embraced a leadership role in her first year with the team.
A Scorpions FC player competes.
Kayla Shea is an intelligent center back who plays with a great tactical awareness of the game. She is calm and composed under pressure, and her ability to anticipate opponents’ offensive tactics allows her to always be in a good position to defend. She is strong and quick, she is a ball winner and is very good in the air. Along with several of her teammates, she is being recruited by a number of schools in the ACC and Big East.
Mai Mitsuyama is a versatile player with the ability to play various positions in the defense and midfield. Though she’ll never be the biggest player on the field, she is deceptively strong and is rarely physically overmatched. She is extremely technically advanced and is a very steady player that performs reliably no matter what her position on the field.
Emily Nasuti is an attacking player whose primary assets are her technical feet and her ability to dribble out of tight pressure by shifting the ball quickly between the inside and outside of her feet. She loves dribbling directly at defenders and blowing by them, and she excels at combining with her teammates in the field’s final third. While she is good both facing goal and with her back to it, she needs to improve her final ball – that last pass that will put her teammates in the best possible position to score.
Corey Persson is a forward with blistering speed. A recent invite to the U15 National Team camp in California, she is a hypercompetitive player who relishes every opportunity to score. She makes great diagonal runs that spread the defense for her teammates, and she also excels at dribbling the ball herself. The one area in which she can improve is her combinations – her ability to pass and get her teammates involved in the attack. But her competitive nature and her innate physical skills will make her a player to watch in the coming years.
Scorpions SC, a club based in Pembroke, MA, is another Northeastern team loaded with talent.
Mikayla Williams is the headliner on this squad. She’s an attacking player that can play anywhere in the midfield or up top, but she’s at her best using her great pace along the wing. She’s tough, technically advanced, and is very difficult to knock off the ball. She’s confident and is a game-changer every time she takes the field.
McKenzie Meehan is a strong forward and goal-scorer with a nose for the back of the net. Her shots are almost always on target, meaning that she forces the goalkeeper to make a save – if the keeper has a chance. Madison Meehan, McKenzie’s sister, is versatile and can play anywhere in the midfield or defense. She is athletic and very reliable, a hard worker with good character. She’s the kind of steady presence every coach needs on his team.
Katherine Hiller is a tough and aggressive attacker who is left up top as the lone striker when the Scorpions use their 4-5-1 formation, which they often employ. She’s a target player who uses her soft touch to control the ball and her body positioning and balance to hold off defenders as her teammates track up the field. She also excels at winning balls in the air.
Catherine Hartigan is a smart central defender with great pace and quick feet and the ability to keep the ball in front of her at all times. She rarely gets caught out of position and tackles with strength and decisiveness. She also excels at distributing the ball out of the defense.
Lauren Bernard of Nordic SC is a left-footer who is versatile and looks comfortable playing anywhere on the field. We’ve spotted her at forward, central midfield, and even fullback. She is very technical and has quick feet. She holds herself well over the ball and rarely makes mistakes.
Oakwood FC, based in Glastonbury, Connecticut, has a trio of 2012 graduates who are beginning to turn heads.
Alison Saucier has the honor of being the only goalkeeper on this list. She is a courageous keeper who attacks the ball with confidence in the air, especially on crossing balls and corner kicks. She is strong and an excellent athlete who routinely frustrates attacking players with her shot-blocking ability. She tends goal for regional high school soccer power Loomis Chaffee Prep.
Elin Schroeder is a left back with great pace and the ability to lead a counterattack. She combines well with her midfielders on the attack, but also shows the intelligence to track back and take care of her defensive responsibilities on the retreat. She is an All-Conference performer for Bacon Academy in Colchester, Connecticut.
Kristin McAdams is a classic central midfielder. A natural field general, she exudes confidence and is a good all-around player with very few weaknesses. She distributes the ball with skill and patience, and she isn’t afraid of taking on defenders herself. She also made All-Conference at Bacon Academy.
Because all of these girls are still high school sophomores, it’s too early to tell exactly where they’ll end up in college. But schools in the ACC, Big East, CAA and Ivy League are certainly keeping their eye on this region. Stay tuned to see how all of these players develop as their young careers progress.