Article Written by Robert Ziegler
Published: July 12, 2012
Today and Friday we’re discussing some additional things to watch for in this year’s women’s college soccer season. Part 1 of 2
- What to expect from North Carolina? I expect a major resurgence. It’s not like they disappeared or something, but for Anson
Kaitlyn Kerr and Amber Brooks
Dorrance’s Tar Heels, two years without a national title is like a drought. Since the NCAA began crowning champions in 1982, the program has only gone consecutive years without winning the title twice, and this is the 2nd time. If it went to three years by virtue of not winning this season, it would be a first. Don’t think the coaches and players aren’t well aware of that. The team has a ton of talent, starting with all-everything midfielder Amber Brooks. One challenge will be integrating a large group of freshmen into the playing rotation, but Dorrance has generally used a lot of players in his system.
- And just up Tobacco Road…The Duke Blue Devils are hoping to build on last year’s College Cup appearance. Robbie Church did it with a relatively young squad, but with more experience gained by the likes of Mollie Pathman, Kelly Cobb, Kaitlyn Kerr and Laura Weinberg, and some important newcomers such as Cassie Pecht, Kelly McCann and Kara Wilson, Duke will be looking to produce another banner year.
- Speaking of young…UCLA coach B.J. Snow started several freshmen last season on team that went 16-1-4 before suffering a surprise early exit in the NCAA Tournament at the hands of San Diego. With more talented freshmen coming in and more experience via maturity, watch out for UCLA to get better, although someone will have to replace Sydney Leroux’s 16 goals. One other wrinkle is that some of the team’s standouts, including Samantha Mewis, Sarah Killion and Caprice Dydasco, are likely to be away on international duty for the first month of the season as part of the U.S. U20 Women’s National Team competing at the FIFA World Cup.
- No, Really. Did someone say young? Texas A&M’s program is another that loaded up on young talent last year, using a number of freshmen and sophomores en route to a 16-6-2 season including a Big 12 Conference Tournament Championship.G. Guerrieri will look to advance to the next level this season, with the goal-scoring duo of Kelley Monogue and Annie Kunz, plus assist queen Beth West leading the attack, they stand a very good chance of doing just that.
- Remember the Portland Pilots? This is a team with a proud, championship tradition. They have one of the more engaged and loyal fan bases in the country. Garrett Smith is a top coach. But the team suffered a poor 2011 season, finishing 9-10-2 after a second round loss to Florida State in the NCAA Tournament. Can Portland return to the level of play they enjoyed for many years before 2011? They’ll need big seasons from Micaela Capelle, Michelle Cruz and Ellen Parker.
Tomorrow: Part 2.