3. FOCUS: North Carolina's fab freshmen
Anson Dorrance is regularly starting six freshmen, the most since the early days of the North Carolina program, but that hasn't stopped the No. 2 Tar Heels from
running off 16 straight wins.
UNC was hit hurt by graduation, losing three national team players Lindsay Tarpley, Lori Chalupny and Kacey White, but Dorrance's freshmen pushed their way into the lineup. Three returning starters are now coming off the bench.
Here's a look at Carolina's fab freshmen:
WHITNEY ENGEN. Recruited as a
midfielder but starts in the attack. Credits the welcoming attitude of
UNC's upperclassmen for the fast start by the freshmen. Grew up in Southern California, where she played for Slammers FC.
KRISTI EVELAND. Not expected to start as a freshman, but quickly won starting job in UNC's
three-player backline. Leads all UNC field players in minutes played.
Dorrance loves her height and speed -- she was an outstanding
basketball player -- as well as her tackling ability. Started her youth
career at famous Dallas girls club Sting but moved to the Texans Red
North in 2005.
ALI HAWKINS. Also starts in
the back with Eveland and junior Jessica
Maxwell. Played central midfield for the San Diego Surf but
converted to defender in part because of her ability in the air.
TOBIN HEATH. Missed start of
season to play with USA at the Under-20 Women's World Championship in Russia. The New Jersey product is one of the most skillful players to join Carolina in recent years. Her soccer heroes are Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, and her biggest soccer thrill was playing in Brazil -- twice.
STERLING SMITH. The local girl from Chapel Hill was injured last year and red-shirted. She wasn't
given much of a chance of starting this season, but she won the
coaching staff over with a great spring. Smith scored in her home debut
and has started every game up front.
NIKKI WASHINGTON. While Heath
beats defenders with her touch down the left side, Washington is
counted upon to torch defenders with her speed down the right wing.
Switched high schools last year so she could graduate a year early to
join the Tar Heels. One of the best players to come out of the Texans
program in recent years.
(U.S. U-20 Casey Nogueira, the
youngest freshman of the bunch, has been used exclusively off the
bench, averaging about 30 minutes a game since returning from Russia.)
No comments yet.
|Recent College Soccer Reporter Women: Duke stuns Stanford on penalty kicks Nov. 28, 1:18 a.m. |
After Virginia, Stanford became the second No. 1 seed to fall in the quarterfinals of the ... Irwin steps down as Portland head coach Nov. 27, 7:08 p.m.
Bill Irwin, who has been with the University of Portland staff for 29 years, the last ... Women: Florida State buries Texas A&M Nov. 27, 6:34 p.m.
Defending champion Florida State is headed back to the Women's College Cup for the fifth season ... Women: Rutgers reaches College Cup for first time Nov. 27, 5:58 p.m.
Rutgers came back from missing its first two shots in the shootout to beat Virginia and ... Iowa Central takes first NJCAA DI women's championship Nov. 23, 2:35 a.m.
Iowa Central defeated previously beaten and untied Eastern Florida State, 1-0, in rain-drenched for the NJCAA ... Blackmore's 34th goal gives Louisburg NJCAA men's title Nov. 23, 2:33 a.m.
English freshman Max Blackmore scored his 34th goal of the season, redirecting a cross from classmate ... CIS: York repeats as national champion Nov. 21, 3:30 p.m.
York University won Canada's CIS men's national championship for the second year in a row with ... CCAA: Nine-man Humber claims fifth championship Nov. 21, 3:28 p.m.
Humber, which lost two players to red cards in the first 30 minutes, beat Capilano, 5-3, ... Texas A&M sends North Carolina packing early Nov. 20, 8:10 p.m.
Texas A&M sent 21-time NCAA champion North Carolina home before the Sweet Sixteen for the first ... Schedule: NCAA Division I Women's Tournament Nov. 19, 3:15 p.m.
The second round of the NCAA Tournament kicks off on Thursday at Stanford, where the No. ... >> College Soccer Reporter Archives