NCAA – 2014 AWK College Soccer Award Preseason Shortlists

Here are the shorlists for the annual AWK College Soccer awards, given out each January before the Hermann Trophy announcement. All players for this shortlist must have played one season of DI soccer to be considered, though all players are considered for the final awards.

AWK Golden Glove

Jane Campbell – Stanford
Caroline Casey – William & Mary
Sabrina D’Angelo – South Carolina
Jordan Day – Texas A&M
Alex Godinez – DePaul
Tarah Hobbs – Minnesota
Megan Kufeld – Washington
Lindsey Luke – Utah
Emma Newins – Georgetown
Katelyn Rowland – UCLA
Hope Sabadash – Southeastern Louisiana
Kate Scheele – Colorado
Kailen Sheridan – Clemson
Abby Smith – Texas
Morgan Stearns – Virginia
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NCAA – FINAL 2014 Recruiting Rankings – Top 100

Err. Final-ish. There may be slight changes if there are some new unknown faces on clubs who haven’t released rosters yet.

1. Stanford

PLAYER TO WATCH: Andi Sullivan – MF – FR

2. Penn State

PLAYER TO WATCH: Maddie Elliston – MF/D – FR

3. Duke

PLAYER TO WATCH: Imani Dorsey – FW/MF – FR

4. UCLA

PLAYER TO WATCH: Gabrielle Matulich – D/MF – FR

5. Cal

PLAYER TO WATCH: Indigo Gibson – D – FR

6. Notre Dame

PLAYER TO WATCH: Alexandra Nicholas – GK – FR

7. Tennessee

PLAYER TO WATCH: Carlyn Baldwin – MF – FR

8. Georgia

PLAYER TO WATCH: Becca Rasmussen – MF – FR

9. Florida State

PLAYER TO WATCH: Cheyna Williams – FW – JR

10. North Carolina

PLAYER TO WATCH: Megan Buckingham – MF – FR

11. LSU

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jordane Carvery – D – FR

12. UCF

PLAYER TO WATCH: Ashley Spivey – MF – JR

13. Harvard

PLAYER TO WATCH: Marie Becker – D – FR

14. Texas A&M

PLAYER TO WATCH: Mikaela Harvey – MF – FR

15. Boston College

PLAYER TO WATCH: Darien Dunham – GK – FR

16. Colorado

PLAYER TO WATCH: Kate Scheele – GK – JR

17. Syracuse

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jessica Vigna – MF – FR

18. West Virginia

PLAYER TO WATCH: Michaela Abam – D – FR

19. NC State

PLAYER TO WATCH: Franziska Jaser – D – FR

20. South Florida

PLAYER TO WATCH: Kate Loye – MF – JR

21. Virginia

PLAYER TO WATCH: Olivia Hazelrigg – D – FR

22. Rutgers

PLAYER TO WATCH: Casey Murphy – GK – FR

23. Princeton

PLAYER TO WATCH: Vanessa Gregoire – MF – FR

24. Wake Forest

PLAYER TO WATCH: Maddie Huster – MF – FR

25. Northeastern

PLAYER TO WATCH: Kayla Cappuzzo – FW – FR

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NWSL: Undefeated homestand with two comeback wins puts Spirit on verge of playoff spot

Yael Averbuch took a long time to make her presence felt, but when she finally did, it really counted.

Yael Averbuch took a long time to make her presence felt, but when she finally did, it really counted.

Go figure the Spirit. A couple of weeks ago with a golden chance for points against weaker teams, they went to Houston and played to an uninspired draw, followed by an embarrassing loss in New Jersey that was 4-0 late in the game until Washington rebounded with two late goals. Some fans were about to give up on the team’s playoff hopes, even wondering how much the players really wanted to make the playoffs.

But maybe they just wanted to do it the hard way. They returned home for three matches against playoff-contending teams and got points out of all three: a draw against Portland followed by comeback wins against Kansas City and Chicago – all three secured by late goals, the last in the waning seconds of stoppage time.

And if you want to see a team that wants to make the playoffs, just look at the replay of that goal. Diana Matheson runs all out for forty yards to chase down a ball before it can go out-of-bounds, then has to slide to keep it in. (“There’s maybe three players in the league that have that thought process and that quality,” said Chicago head coach Rory Dames admiringly.) She then passes it into the box to Lisa De Vanna. De Vanna – one of the most volatile and emotional players I’ve ever seen on the field – corks her emotions and hangs onto the ball until Yael Averbuch comes open to her left, then passes it to her. Finally, Averbuch – a player who’s been as much detriment as benefit to the team so far this year despite her allocated status – instead of launching a field goal sends in a rocket of a shot perfectly aimed into the upper left corner, out of the reach of a leaping Karina LeBlanc.

Late heroics have been a hallmark of the team, though. They’ve scored four goals in stoppage time, and every single one of them has been good for standings points: for a tie against Sky Blue on May 21, a win against Houston on May 26, a tie after twice being down two goals to Boston on July 2, and then Averbuch’s shot for the win. If NWSL matches ended strictly at 90 minutes, the Spirit would have 28 standings points and be in 5th place instead of 3rd.
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NWSL – Fantasy Round Seventeen Preview

There’re three rounds left in the fantasy season and limited time to make a move up the standings. Complicating matters is the rapidly evolving playoff picture that’s seen Seattle already wrap up the regular season title, leaving them nothing to play for in their final four matches. With a span of five matches in fourteen days, the dreaded specter of squad rotation is hanging heavy over the Reign and fantasy owners who have profited thus far from their success. They have two matches this round but also played two last round, making the threat of rotation a distinct possibility. I suspect they may go full strength against FCKC to try and keep their title rivals from marching towards the #2 seed and an easier road to the final, but they may then choose to rest some starters against Houston mid-week. It’s a very tricky situation to be sure.

The other three teams with two games this round are FC Kansas City, who themselves rotated players last week, as well as already eliminated Boston and soon-to-be eliminated Houston. The Breakers are a tasty proposition against a WNY Flash team that look to be mailing it in at this point, but the Dash have two games on the road in the Pacific Northwest, making it hard to spring for them.

Otherwise, it’s probably safest to roll with teams fighting for the playoffs, meaning Chicago, Washington, and Portland. The first two play each other on Saturday, while the Thorns have a plum matchup against the Dash on Sunday. Frustratingly, much of the playoff situation may be decided by midweek, meaning what’s true by the roster lock may not be as true come the final few games of the round.

Chris’ Round Seventeen Team Rankings:

1. FCKC
2. POR
3. SEA
4. BOS
5. WSH
6. CHI
7. HOU
8. WNY

GKs To Consider

Angerer (POR) – Matchup’s right. But do you trust that backline?

Barnhart (FCKC) – Not really making a lot of saves which is a problem if she’s not getting clean sheet points. That may not be a problem this round though.

Harris (WSH) – Red Stars attack inconsistent, and they should be confident after midweek, so worth considering.

Naeher (BOS) – For the truly bold. Better chance at shutting down Flash than you’d think though.

Solo (SEA) – I think she’s less of a rotation risk than others…but it’s still a risk nonetheless.
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NCAA – Updated Class of 2015 Recruiting Rankings

Teams ranked 26-50 after the jump.

1. Stanford
2. Penn State
3. North Carolina
4. Tennessee
5. Duke
6. Virginia
7. Notre Dame
8. UCLA
9. Boston College
10. Washington
11. Florida State
12. Michigan
13. BYU
14. Santa Clara
15. Wake Forest
16. Florida
17. Kentucky
18. LSU
19. Colorado
20. Miami (FL)
21. USC
22. Northwestern
23. Yale
24. Texas A&M
25. Maryland
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NCAA – Updated Class of 2016 Recruiting Rankings

Through this weekend’s last updated of the big recruiting spreadsheet.

1. North Carolina
2. UCLA
3. Duke
4. Virginia
5. Notre Dame
6. Stanford
7. Santa Clara
8. West Virginia
9. USC
10. Florida State
11. South Carolina
12. Rutgers
13. Washington
14. Maryland
15. Tennessee
16. Boston College
17. Auburn
18. Texas Tech
19. Saint Louis
20. Miami (FL)
21. UCF
22. LSU
23. Louisville
24. Kentucky
25. SMU

Committed Blue Chip Prospects

Marley Canales (UCLA)
Mia Gyau (Duke)
Mallory Pugh (UCLA)

NCAA – 2014 All White Kit Pre-Season All-America Team

GK – Katelyn Rowland – SR – UCLA

LB – Megan Campbell – SR – Florida State
CB – Abby Dahlkemper – SR – UCLA
CB – Kadeisha Buchanan – SO – West Virginia
RB – Ally Courtnall – SR – UCLA

CM – Sarah Killion – SR – UCLA
CM – Morgan Brian – SR – Virginia
CM – Dagny Brynjarsdottir – SR – Florida State

FW – Savannah Jordan – SO – Florida
FW – Makenzy Doniak – JR – Virginia
FW – Jannelle Flaws – SR – Illinois

NCAA – List of Players Missing For The U20 Women’s World Cup

From FIFA’s official list. Feel free to offer up a correction if you find something incorrect.

Alabama
-Noelle Sanz

Boston College
-McKenzie Meehan

Clemson
-Kailen Sheridan

Dayton
-Ashley Campbell

Duke
-Christina Gibbons
-Rebecca Quinn

Florida
-Savannah Jordan

Florida State
-Nicolette Driesse
-Emma Koivisto

Georgia
-Mariel Gutierrez

Harvard
-Marie Becker
-Lizzie Durack
-Midge Purce

Kansas
-Aurelie Gagnet

LSU
-Lily Alfeld
-Jordan Carvery
-Emma Fletcher
-Megan Lee

Memphis
-Kylie Davis
-Valerie Sanderson

NC State
-Franziska Jaser

North Carolina
-Katie Bowen
-Jenny Chiu
-Summer Green

Notre Dame
-Katie Naughton
-Cari Roccaro

Ohio State
-Lindsay Agnew
-Nichelle Prince

Oklahoma State
-Courtney Dike

Penn State
-Brittany Basinger
-Rose Chandler

Pepperdine
-Taylor Alvarado

Princeton
-Vanessa Gregoire

San Diego State
-Evie Millynn

Stanford
-Stephanie Amack
-Jane Campbell
-Andi Sullivan

Syracuse
-Stephanie Skilton

Tennessee
-Carlyn Baldwin

Texas Tech
-Janine Beckie

UC Irvine
-Claudia Lopez
-Clarissa Robles

UCF
-Lena Petermann

UCLA
-Katelyn Rowland

USC
-Tanya Samarzich

Virginia
-Makenzy Doniak

Washington
-Amanda Perez

West Virginia
-Kadeisha Buchanan
-Ashley Lawrence
-Amandine Pierre-Louis

Wisconsin
-Rose Lavelle
-Kinley McNicoll
-Victoria Pickett

NWSL – Fantasy Round Sixteen Preview

Big round! Probably. Portland’s frontline lit opposing teams up, making anyone who went heavy with them a happy camper. Washington? Err, the only player to really establish themselves with a big round was Jodie Taylor. Neither side has a double game round this week, so just about everyone will be dropping their Spirit players while facing big decisions about whether to offload their Thorns players, as Paul Riley’s side faces a massive trip to face league leader Seattle in their only fixture this round.

Five clubs have two games this round, meaning there are going to be some enormous scores. Of course, that’s dependent on you making the right guesses as to which double-gamers to leave in your lineup. I’d highly advise against springing for too many single gamers this round. The only single-game club this round with a decent matchup is Chicago…and they are hardly the most reliable fantasy team.

A final note. Boston will likely be eliminated from postseason contention this round, while Seattle may clinch the regular season title in due course. Be aware that as clubs have little to play for down the stretch, squad rotation to either give minutes to fringe players to evaluate them for next season or rest starters is a very real threat and could submarine your stretch run. Then again, if you’re close to victory in a league, you may well need to take a risk or two to come up trumps.

Chris’ Round Sixteen Team Rankings

1. WNY
2. FCKC
3. SEA
4. HOU
5. POR
6. CHI
7. SBFC
8. WSH
9. BOS

Double-Gamers To Consider

GK

Barnhart (FCKC) – The “safe” option. I’d gamble on her keeping a clean sheet, but would you bet an allocation slot on it?

McLeod (HOU) – I’m not optimistic of her chances of keeping a clean sheet or even picking up a win. I am confident of her making a ton of saves though.

Solo (SEA) – Reign defense has been leaking goals as of late, and hey, things may not get better with Portland coming to town. Could have a chance for a clean sheet against Houston though.

Wys (WNY) – The “risky” option. Hard to totally trust Flash defense but still produced big time last round and is best option without allocation status.

DEF

Engen (HOU) – Dash defensive lineup has been unpredictable. Bad in real life, bad in fantasy, and I wouldn’t spend an allocation slot on Engen.

Fletcher (SEA) – Decent play in defense, as she’s a set piece threat. With leaky rearguard though, odds if lean sheet could be spotty.

Robinson (FCKC) – The FCKC defender to take obviously. And honestly, the only one with any real hope of serious offense.

Taylor (WNY) – Value gets a big boost if Wambach’s back to get on the end of set pieces but still a top play regardless.
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