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College players to watch in the UWS

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: May 18, 2016

Last weekend, the UWS kicked off its inaugural season with action out east.

The combined pro-amateur league is looking to fill a gap that summer produces for college players, among many other goals.

GK Emily Armstrong, Lancaster Inferno (Connecticut)

One of college soccer’s premier shot-stoppers should step into goal for the Inferno, though surely she will face at least some rotation. It’s a big summer for Armstrong as she prepares for her final DI season with the Huskies.

D Allyson Swaby, New England Mutiny (Boston College)

An All-ACC Freshmen team performer in 2014, Swaby is a quality defender that started New England’s opener over the weekend. Expect to see her log plenty of minutes at the back for the Mutiny as she looks to lead the Eagles in the 2016 college season.

F Julia Hernandez, Santa Clarita Blue Heat (UCLA)

The unheralded addition to UCLA’s vaunted recruiting class is a relatively unknown player to college soccer fans. She joined the Bruins for the second half of the spring season, and did very well, scoring three goals. A versatile attacking player that can line up in any of the three forward spots in a 4-3-3, the JuCo transfer should produce quality in the final third for Santa Clarita.

M Jennifer Andresen, North Jersey Valkyries (Rutgers)

A key figure off the bench for Rutgers during their run to the College Cup, Andresen is set to stay close to home as the Valkyries open up the season this weekend against New Jersey Copa FC. Her influence has steadily grown through the past three seasons at Rutgers and her summer stint in UWS will be a critical factor ahead of her final year in college.

F Gabi Morales, New York Magic (Saint Francis (PA))

Competing as a Spanish youth national teamer prior to joining the Red Flash in 2014, Morales brings quality and creativity in the final third that few can manage. Coming off back-to-back seasons where she earned All-NEC honors, how that translates to another summer with the Magic (who were formerly in the W-League), Morales has the ability to produce magic moments on the field.

M Isabella Echeverri, Houston Aces (Toledo)

A full Colombian international that was part of the Women’s World Cup squad in Canada, Echeverri is a star for MAC program Toledo. She’s slated to join a handful of her national team compatriots with the Aces.

M/D Alana O’Neill, North Jersey Valkyries (Syracuse)

During her high school career, Alana O’Neill piled up individual accolades, and she’s produced on a consistent basis since joining the Orange in 2014. Capable of playing in either a midfielder role or at the back, her experience against ACC attackers will come in handy as the Valkyries build their roster for the summer.

F Christina Bellero, Long Island Rough Riders (St. John’s(w))

Expected to play an even bigger role in the fall after Rachel Daly’s graduation, Bellero got her UWS career off to a strong start, scoring twice in the league’s first-ever game. Bellero scored three goals during the Red Storm’s spring season and should keep up this scoring rate for the next few months.

F Michaela Abam, Colorado Pride (West Virginia)

Fresh off of West Virginia’s trip to Europe, Abam should slot in up front as she returns to the Pride for another season. A dynamic and athletic forward, Abam’s also an option to play at the back as she did as a youth player. Regardless of the role, she’ll be a key figure for the Pride this year.

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