The college soccer season is upon us. Exhibition games kick off in the coming days, and the real games start next week when the women’s teams officially take the field.
With the arrival of the 2013 season, TopDrawerSoccer.com is letting out its preseason Top 25 National Rankings for women’s college soccer. This year, TDS is stepping away from the previous standard of projecting the tournament field every week and taking the traditional approach of naming the best 25 teams in the nation.
The North Carolina Tar Heels hold the top spot in the initial rankings, as the 2012 National Champions lost a few pieces from last year’s historic squad. But they return stars Crystal Dunn and Kealia Ohai along with an incoming class featuring a ton of youth national team players.
Close on the heels of the ACC powerhouse is Pac-12 bully Stanford. Head coach Paul Ratcliffe, the five-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, continues to push his program to new heights. This season, the Cardinal return dynamic winger Chioma Ubogagu as well as visionary Courtney Verloo and utility contributor Lo’eau LaBonta for what should be another strong squad from Palo Alto.
Despite a relatively youthful roster, Notre Dame rounds out the top three. Randy Waldrum has four seniors on the squad, but the majority of his players come from the sophomore class where U.S. U20 Women’s National Team members Crystal Thomas and Cari Roccaro are expected to make the jump from freshmen sensations to sophomore stars. Gatorade Athlete of the Year Morgan Andrews highlights the incoming freshman class. The New Hampshire native should find a spot in the starting lineup immediately.
Check out the full list of the Top 25 here.
Who did we miss? Who should have been in our Top 25?