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Coaches’ survey: Best women's DI players

Article Written by J.R. Eskilson
Published: July 10, 2015

The Women’s World Cup proved that college soccer continues to be a hot bed for future and current talent in the game. Last year, Virginia midfielder Morgan Brian starred at the collegiate level and then elevated her game to be one of the top performers for the U.S. Women’s National Team on the way to a World Cup. 

Is there a player in college soccer who could enjoy the same path?

TopDrawerSoccer sent out a survey to all Division I coaches to find out who was going to be the best players in college soccer in 2015. The questions were: who is the best defender, midfielder, forward, and goalkeeper. The additional question was who is going to be a breakout star this season. 

Below are the responses that we received. If you’re a college coach and interested in participating in next year’s survey, please email jeskilson@topdrawersoccer.com

Stanford junior Jane Campbell won the popular vote as the best goalkeeper in college soccer. Campbell had 14 shutouts in 23 starts last season for the Cardinal. She recorded 54 saves while holding a 0.59 goals against average. 

Texas’s Abby Smith and Clemson’s Kailen Sheridan were the only other goalkeepers to receive multiple votes. 

The best defender honor was split between Emily Sonnett (Virginia), Cari Rocarro (Notre Dame) and Kadeisha Buchanan (West Virginia). Sonnet has started 68 of 76 games with the Cavaliers. Last season, she enjoyed his best production in front of the next with five goals while also helping Virginia record a shutout in 12 games. Rococo helped spearhead a Notre Dame defense that also had 12 shutouts last year. She scored twice in 18 appearances. Buchanan had the best summer of the bunch after winning the World Cup Young Player Award for her brilliance with Canada. She will be a junior this fall. 

Florida senior Christen Westphal was the only other player to receive multiple votes in the best defender category. 

Wisconsin star Rose Lavelle was the clear winner as the best midfielder in college soccer. The fierce bulldog supporter had 10 assists as sophomore while collecting a number of conference and national honors for her stellar play with the Badgers. 

Stanford sophomore Andi Sullivan was the only other player to receive multiple votes as best midfielder. 

Virginia standout Makenzy Doniak earned the most votes as the best forward in college soccer. Doniak scored 20 goals and added 11 assists in 2014 as a junior with the Cavaliers. She was 50 goals in her career. Florida junior Savannah Jordan and Illinois senior Jannelle Flaws were the only other players to receive multiple votes. 

In the breakout player category, there were a number of players who earned votes from coaches. Gabbi Miranda (UCLA), Kiana Palacios (UC Irvine), Claire Falknor (Florida), Taylor Smith (UCLA), Cheyna Williams (Florida State), Gabby Seiler (Florida), Ashley Hatch (BYU), and Jessie Scarpa (North Carolina) all earned consideration from coaches in this category. 

The best player was a runaway with Makenzy Doniak nabbing nearly all of the votes. Doniak’s teammate Emily Sonnett was the only player close and it really was not even that close. Doniak has earned the plaudits of college coaches across the land with three superb seasons with the Cavaliers and many expect her senior campaign to be the best. 

 
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