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3 Teams & 4 Players to Watch in the NCAA Women’s Soccer College Cup

NCAA UCLA Women's Soccer College Statistics

Women’s College Soccer Tournament

Last weekend, thirty two teams advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division I women’s soccer tournament.  After this coming weekend’s second and third round games, eight teams will remain in contention for the College Cup, to be contested in Cary, North Carolina on Saturday December 2nd.

All tournament games will be streamed online, and many will appear on regional and national television. The post below provides links to several game broadcasts, however, information about many broadcasts is not yet available. We will provide more broadcast links as they become available.

Here are three of our favorite teams that still remain in the tournament. Unfortunately, our other two favorites- Boston College and the University of Texas, led by TeamFirst Coach Ange Kelly, both at No. 4 seeds, were upset in the first round. 

3 Teams to Watch in the NCAA Championship

1. Georgetown University

Georgetown Coach Dave Nolan, an original member of the Berkshire Soccer Academy Advisory Boardrecently earned his 200th career head coaching victory.  The No. 2 ranked Hoyas finished the season 17-0-3 and captured their third consecutive Big East championship.  The Hoyas, who are seeking their second trip to the College Cup in three seasons, are led by Senior Captain Caitlin Farrell and by a stout defense which allowed only 7 goals the entire season. Senior Goalkeeper Ariel Schectman (pictured below) anchored the defense, recording a .916 save percentage, second best in the nation.  The No. 1 seeded Hoyas handled Central Connecticut State in their first round game (3-1). They will host Washington State on Friday, November 16 at 1:00pm.  Check out their second and third round games here.

2. Florida State University

The Seminoles entered the tournament as the hottest team in the country and are our favorite to win it all. During their last 2 regular season games and the ACC tournament, they defeated 3rd ranked North Carolina, 7th ranked Virginia (twice) and 10th ranked Duke and captured the ACC tournament.  And their dominance continued in their first round with a 1-0 victory over Loyola-Chicago.  The close score belied FSU’s dominance, as they outshot Loyola by 26-2 and recorded their 12th shutout of the season.  FSU’s roster is stacked with domestic and international talent, including ACC Freshman of the Year Yujie Zhao, a Chinese national team player, Senior Captain Dallas Dorosy, and Venezualan world cupper Deyna Castellanos.  The Seminoles host South Florida on Friday, Nov. 16 at 5:00 pm.  If they prevail, then on Sunday, they’ll face USC Trojans recently ranked second in the US Soccer Coaches poll.


3. Santa Clara University

We root for Santa Clara because one of BSA’s first visiting pros, Brandi Chastain, serves as one of the assistant coaches and is married to Head Coach Jerry Smith.  Coach Smith’s focus is always on the NCAA tournament Santa Clara packs its early-season schedule with tournament quality competition. Earlier this season, Santa Clara played Stanford and North Carolina, both now number 1 seeds, and came away with a tie and a victory. Having reached the quarterfinals in 2016 and the 3rd round in 2017, Santa Clara is poised for a strong showing in this year’s tournament. The No. 3 seeded Broncos defeated Milwaukee in their first round game and face North Carolina State on Friday at 5:00 pm at UCLA.

4 Players to Watch in the NCAA Tournament

Women’s College Soccer is as competitive as it’s ever been with many talented players spread throughout the country. Here are some of the players that we’re looking forward to watching in the NCAA tournament, as much for what they do off the field as for what they do on it. 

1. Deyna Castellanos – Florida State

Venezulan Deyna Castellanos doesn’t turn 20 until next April, but she’s already an international star and the first-ever current NCAA student-athlete to be named a finalist for the Best FIFA Women’s Player. Castellano’s scored five of Venezuela’s nine goals iIn the April 2018 America’s Cup in Chile and scored twice more as Venezuela advanced to a fourth-place finish at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia.  Castellano, who has 1.2 million Instragram followers, could easily earn a comfortable living as a pro. Instead, she’s chosen to pursue her education.

“Playing professional is one of my goals but graduating from college is a bigger aspiration. I am not ready to make that transition yet. I still have academic and athletic goals at @fsusoccer and I can’t wait to be back on the field with my teammates next season. Thx 4 the support”

 She’s scored 9 goals in her last 12 FSU matches, including 2 in the ACC semi-final against Virginia. “She’s a big talent and she’s playing herself into good form again,” FSU head coach Mark Krikorian said recently. If Florida State advances to the College Cup, Castellanos will play a big part.

2. Caitlin Farrell – Georgetown

Big East Coach of the Year (and Berky Advisory Board Member) Dave Nolan and his staff have done wonders in developing Senior Caitlin Farrell from scoring one goal as a Freshman to 17 as a Senior, placing her among the nation’s top five goal scorers.  Farrell, who was just named 2018 Big East Offensive Player of the Year, grew up in Wallingford, Connecticut (just North of new Haven). She began playing club soccer for the Connecticut Football Club (CFC) U-9 team and won back to back Connecticut State Cup championships (2012-13) with the CFC Scorpions.  Later, she was a member of the CFC United U17 squad, which competes in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). She attended Choate Rosemary Hall as a day student where she was a soccer all American and also starred in basketball and lacrosse. Playing all of those sports helped her develop her coordination and strength, all of which will be on display in Georgetown’s second round match against Washington State on Friday November 16 at 1:00 pm.

3 & 4. Jesse Fleming & Hailie Mace – UCLA

Both Jesse Fleming and Hailie Mace have missed too much of UCLA’s season to be eligible to win any of college soccer’s national player of the year awards.  But they could still lead the Bruins to a national title.

In September 2018, Fleming and Mace, were called up by Canada and the U.S., respectively, to participate in World Cup qualifying.  She made her first appearance for the U.S. in April 2018, and her versatility immediately caught the eye of U.S. coach Jill Ellis.  Months later, Mace was named to the 20-player U.S. world cup qualifying roster. The 20-year-old Fleming is a veteran international player, having won Olympic bronze with Canada in 2016 before entering college.  Fleming started three of Canada’s first four games in the 2018 CONCACAF tournament, and when Canada played the U.S. to a 1-1 draw in November 2017, Fleming was among the most impressive players on the field.
After returning to UCLA with four games left in the 2018 season, Fleming (1 goal, 3 assists) and Mace (3 goals) have led the Bruins to five straight wins, including last weekends 5-0 first round win over San Jose State, in which Fleming had a goal and two assists and Mace had two assists.  The Bruins face Big Ten Champion Minnesota at home on Friday at 10:30pm EST.  The game can be viewed on UCLA Live Stream-3.

More Women’s College Soccer Information & Stats  

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