Women's A10, NEC, AEC & Big South Previews

Women's A10, NEC, AEC & Big South Previews
by Victor Olorunfemi
August 14, 2023

The latest TDS college soccer preview looks at the A10, NEC, AEC, and Big South women's soccer conferences.

Atlantic 10 Preview

Saint Louis is the villain to every team in the A10 conference as the winner of five titles in a row. Each time they have defeated a different conference opponent in the final, pointing to a team that is far and away and above its competitors. For the rest, the goal is simple, take down Goliath. For Saint Louis, the goal is a deep NCAA run which it might feel is on the cards this season as the program returns most of its elite players for another go.

Top Freshmen to Watch:

Alyssa Bockius, Saint Louis (#163 Ranked TDS Class of 2023)

Isabella Ellison, Richmond (#184 Ranked TDS Class of 2023)

Skyler Bierker, Loyola-Chicago (#22 Ranked TDS Pennsylvania Region)

Mia Pongratz, VCU (#11 Ranked TDS Northeast Region)

Olivia Bestic, Davidson


Top Players to Watch:

Lyndsey Heckel, Saint Louis

Kendyl Sarver, VCU

Mackenzie Lutz, Dayton

Alaina Abel, Loyola-Chicago

Ryann Lucas, Fordham

Northeast Conference Preview

The NEC loses one program in St. Francis Brooklyn, which cut their women’s soccer program. At least the group ended with a win as the team took down LIU to end the season. On the top end of the bracket, Central Connecticut won the regular season, but Farleigh Dickinson won the tournament. However, with back-to-back offensive player of the year Aitana Martinez-Montoya transferring out of FDU and the conference, the floor is open for a new superstar to guide her team to an NCAA tournament.

Top Freshmen to Watch:

Kyla Sustad, Merrimack

Katia Cardaba, Farleigh Dickinson

Mercedez Paino, St. Francis (Pa.)

Casey Rice, Stonehill

Trinity Knox, Howard

Top Players to Watch:

Elyssa Kipperman, Sacred Heart

Tomke Dziesiaty, St. Francis (Pa.)

Abigail Cieri, Merrimack

Aoife Horgan, Central Connecticut

Rachel Asare, Howard

American East Conference Preview

With varied regular seasons in the last four seasons, the American East Conference is one of the most competitive in college soccer. Last season saw New Hampshire win the postseason tournament, and they will believe they have what it takes to repeat.

Top Freshmen to Watch:

Isabella Brown, Binghamton (#14 Ranked TDS Pennsylvania Region)

Elizabeth Finn, New Hampshire

Luise Reinwald, Maine

Florencia Bartholomai Ponce de Leon, Albany (Uruguay U20)

Payton Schenning, UMBC (Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year)

Top Players to Watch:

Olivia McKnight, Binghamton

Emily Jozak, Albany

Alivia Kelly, New Hampshire

Abby Kraemer, Maine

Calliste Brookshire, Massachusetts-Lowell

Big South Conference Preview

Campbell leaves the Big South for the CAA as regular season champions, leaving a hole that presumptively Radford takes up as the winner of the conference tournament. Conference realignment has affected the Big South in recent years and may continue to do so going forward as teams scramble for their collegiate future. On the pitch, Radford and USC Upstate pace the conference as two of the best teams last season.

*Campbell leaves the Big South for the Coastal Athletic Association

Top Freshmen to Watch:

Ava Kertgate Radford (#180 Ranked TDS Class of 2023)

Summer Rusciano, Gardner-Webb

Ellie Hammer, High Point

Sunny Ferren, Longwood

Ashley Rose Wilson, Presbyterian

Top Players to Watch:

Dara Russo, USC Upstate

Helena Wilson, Radford

Klara Ovefelt, Gardner-Webb

Alex DePerno, High Point

Jenea Knight, Charleston Southern

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