The 2018 edition of the UWS (United Women’s Soccer) is set to kick off this weekend.
Similar to the role of the NPSL and PDL in the men’s game, the UWS serves as a summer home for some of the best talent in women’s college soccer.
Here’s a look at where some DI players are set to compete this summer:
One of the most recognizable names in women’s soccer, the Western NY Flash have built a solid roster for its 2018 UWS campaign. Among those is Williams, one of the stars of Penn State’s 2017 team that made it to the Elite Eight last fall. Williams brings pace and attacking swagger to a team that could emerge as a contender this season.
GK Maia Perez, Grand Rapids FC Women (Hartford)
A native of Kentwood, Michigan, Perez enjoyed a solid turnout as a freshman for the American East side. She’ll compete for minutes in goal in the UWS after logging more than 1,700 minutes in her first season of DI soccer last fall.
The Connecticut native heads closer to home to play for New England this summer and should be a key piece at the back for the Mutiny. She’s been a constant since joining the Scarlet Knights in 2016, making 43 starts in two seasons for a Rutgers side that is always difficult to break down.
The lone Canadian side in this year’s competition, a number of former and current Canadian youth national teamers dot the roster of Calgary. That includes Kinzner, who has earned All-Pac-12 honorable mentions the past two seasons. A native of Calgary, she spends most of her time as a wide midfield for Colorado and will look to up her impact on the field in the UWS this summer.
While U.S. U20 WNT duties may keep Villacorta unavailable for stretches of the season, she’s still one of the premier talents in the league this summer. A midfielder that excels with possession, her passing helps her team maintain control and build from her back. How that looks for the Blue Heat this summer, which features a handful of her UCLA teammates, will be interesting to watch.
The incoming transfer to USC is in Southern California for the summer, where she’s expected to turn out for LA Galaxy Orange County. Jacobs should be a big part of the team, whether it’s up front or at the back, before influencing the Pac-12 race later in the year.
F Kayla Saager, Long Island Rough Riders (Binghamton)
After transferring to Binghamton and sitting out the 2016 season, Saager was a huge hit last fall, scoring 11 times and chipping in seven assists. Staying close to home for the summer, she’ll look to make the same kind of impact in the UWS for Long Island.
Named co-Rookie of the Year in the America East after a steady 2016 season, Stone continued to excel last fall at Hartford. She’ll link up with the Fusion, based in her native Connecticut, for the upcoming UWS campaign.
Kovacs’ college career began in solid fashion, as she put together strong 2015 and 2016 seasons. Named a captain ahead of her junior year, she made three starts last fall before suffering a season-ending injury. This summer, on the roster at Grand Rapids, will be about getting sharp and staying healthy ahead of what should be her redshirt junior campaign.
A highly regarded recruit in the class of 2017, Beall ended up making six stats (seven appearances in all) last fall for the Wolverines. Injuries kept her out of the last three games of the season, but she’s healthy – and in camp with the U.S. U19 WNT this week – before starting her summer season with Orange County. Beall could emerge as one of the top college goalkeepers later this year, and should compete for the starting job in LA.