The following is the HERO Sports preseason D1 Women's Soccer All-America team. Players either domestic or international must have collegiate experience to be eligible for this team. Players confirmed to redshirt this season in preparation for the 2016 U20 Women's World Cup were excluded from consideration. Congratulations to all the women listed!
GK – Jane Campbell – SR – Stanford
Stanford’s senior keeper was tabbed for greatness far before she stepped onto campus at Palo Alto, and though Campbell took a bit longer than expected to round into All-American form, she’s now at the very top of the shortlist of promising young American goalkeepers in the pool. While Campbell plays behind a great back four, she’s still an imposing presence in the area and capable of some brilliant saves aided by a big wingspan.
DEF – Kadeisha Buchanan – SR – West Virginia
Canadian center-back isn’t just the best defender in college soccer, as her displays at the 2015 Women’s World Cup announced her arrival as one of the best young players in the world. Has been at the heart of a dominant West Virginia defense and has juggled collegiate soccer brilliantly with being one of the best young hopes of a resurgent Canadian WNT. Almost guaranteed to be a top-two pick in January’s NWSL Draft but may help the Mountaineers to a College Cup appearance before then.
DEF – Kayla Mills – SR – USC
The nation’s best full-back, Mills is a rocket on the flanks, showing every bit of her beginning as an attacking player before being converted to aid the backline. Is still something of a developing talent defensively, but the upside may be as high as any true full-back in the college ranks in quite some time. Blazing pace allows her to swashbuckle into the opposing end and help create chances, and with the Trojans adding some proper forwards this year, Mills could see her offensive stats surge as a senior.
DEF – Maddie Bauer – SR – Stanford
Stanford’s produced a long line of brilliant center-backs through the years, and Bauer looks likely to continue the trend as she prepares to finish up her college career in 2016 before passing the torch to Alana Cook. Like Cook, Bauer’s been a superstar on The Farm since day one, though respect as one of the nation’s best central defenders hasn’t come as quickly as it should. A U23 international for the U.S. and former captain of the U17 team, Bauer could be at the heart of a national champion this year if Stanford plays to their potential.
DEF – Christina Gibbons – SR – Duke
The heart and soul of the Blue Devils, Gibbons first really rose to prominence before her sophomore season when she performed admirably as a stand-in at left-back for the U.S. at the U20 World Cup in 2014. It’s been a meteoric rise since, with Gibbons turning into a superstar for Duke as a junior en route to leading the club to the College Cup final. There may not be a more versatile player at the top level of collegiate soccer, with Gibbons able to play anywhere on the pitch. She could be a Hermann Trophy contender if Duke makes a College Cup return.
MF – Andi Sullivan – JR – Stanford
Sullivan entered college soccer as the very best player in her class and has nothing to dissuade that notion through two brilliant seasons with the reigning Pac-12 champions. Capable as both a metronome in midfield or even as a center-back for Paul Ratcliffe’s side. Has an absolute cannon of a shot from range, as opponents found out to their dismay last year. It seems quite unlikely Sullivan will end her collegiate career without a Hermann Trophy in tow, and if the Card win a title this year, the big individual prize will likely be hers.
MF – Megan Connolly – SO – Florida State
Ludicrously talented Irish international already is seen as one of her nation’s great hopes for the future. It’s easy to see why after Connolly was an undisputed All-American as a freshman, easily one of the best rookies to ever step foot on a DI pitch. Connolly’s contributions can’t just be measured through her line on the stat sheet, as action seemingly gravitated around her whenever she took a touch on the ball. The sky is the limit for Connolly, and it will be interesting to see her encore after 2015.
MF – Rose Lavelle – SR – Wisconsin
The wizard from Wisconsin looks a near certainty to be a fully capped USWNT international in the not too distant future, but she’s still got a final act to complete in Madison this year. Lavelle, incredibly, wasn’t seen as a superstar upon stepping foot in Madison, but her profile rose like a rocket early in her college career as she proved to be a genius on the pitch. Able to pull the strings in attack or dribble at opponents with ferocious pace, Lavelle will be hoping for a long run in the NCAA Tournament this year after missing out last season.
MF – Morgan Andrews – SR – USC
A former golden girl at youth club level, Andrews has had a roller coaster career collegiately, but if you doubt her influence, just ask Cal State Fullerton after last year’s NCAA Tournament. Andrews took a while to settle in with the Trojans after a bit of a slow star following her transfer from Notre Dame before 2015, but by the time the NCAA Tournament hit, she was looking like a player apart. USC is considered by many sharps a potential College Cup team, and if they’re to get there, Andrews is going to have to play a starring role for the Trojans.
F – Savannah Jordan – SR – Florida
A goal scoring machine. Jordan could conceivably finish in the top ten all-time DI goal scorers with a big senior season and enters 2016 with sixty-five goals in three years. Jordan notched twenty-four goals and seven assists last year and continued to score at an absurd rate against teams big and small for the Gators. A tank with the ball at her feet, Jordan is almost unstoppable if she gets sight of the goal within eighteen yards. With UF having a ton of offensive weapons this year, Jordan could be freed up to have her best season yet as a senior.
F – Rachel Hill – SR – UConn
In a sport where forwards are often frustratingly inconsistent, Hill has almost been robotic through three seasons with the Huskies. Robotic in a great way, as Hill has scored sixteen goals the past two seasons while putting up strong efficiency numbers and netting against big foes that cross UConn’s path. If Hill played at an ACC or Pac-12 school, she’d be in the headlines a lot more often. As is, she’s still one of the nation’s best forwards and a Hermann Trophy contender if the Huskies have a big 2016.
GK: Kailen Sheridan (Clemson), Casey Murphy (Rutgers), Cassie Miller (Florida State)
DEF: Rebecca Quinn (Duke), Alana Cook (Stanford), Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State)
MF: Alexis Shaffer (Virginia), Taylor Racioppi (Duke)
FW: McKenzie Meehan (Boston College), Murielle Tiernan (Virginia Tech)