America Women's Preseason Top 25: Rankings
1. Florida State. FSU lost Icelandic international Dagny Brynjarsdottir, which signed with German champion Bayern Munich, but returns All-American Cheyna Williams among eight starters. Another Iceland product, supersub Berglind Thorvaldsdottir, should take on more of a role and add to her 12-goal total in 2014. Also back after getting an extra year of eligibility: Irish international Megan Campbell. The Noles enter the season on a school-record 21-game unbeaten streak and have not surrendered a goal in their last 630 minutes of play, dating back to the 90th minute of the ACC semifinals.
2. Virginia. The Cavaliers reached the national championship game for the first time but could not get past ACC nemesis Florida State. It marked the final game for Morgan Brian, who went on to start for the USA in the Women's World Cup. The Cavs know how to win without Brian as she missed part of the fall campaign with the national team on Women's World Cup qualifying. UVa also lost Danielle Colaprico but otherwise returns everyone who played in the College Cup final. That includes a pair of All-Americans, Makenzy Doniak and Emily Sonnett.
3. Stanford. Andi Sullivan, the 2014 Soccer America Freshman of the Year, will anchor Stanford’s midfield while the Cardinal attack gets rebooted after losing its top three scorers from a year ago, Lo’eau LaBonta, Chioma Ubogagu and Taylor Uhl. Ryan Walker-Hartshorn led the returning group of forwards with 17 points. The defense will be solid with Laura Liedle and Maddie Bauer on the backline and Jane Campbell in goal. A freshman to watch: outside Tegan McGrady, who had a goal and an assist in her first preseason game.
4. Florida. A pair of All-Americans returns to lead the Gators. Junior forward Savannah Jordan earned All-America honors in 2013 and 2014 and senior defender Christen Westphal received All-America honors in 2013. They were joined by senior defender Claire Falknor on the U.S. U-23s who won the 2015 Four Nations Tournament in Norway at the end of May. Florida returns six starters in all from the 2014 team that advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals.
5. Penn State. The Nittany Lions also reached the quarterfinals in 2014 and can count on the experience of eight returning starters. Raquel Rodriguez, who played for Costa Rica at the 2015 Women's World Cup, is the Penn State leader. The Lions' freshman class, led by Frannie Crouse, was the deepest in the country in 2014. Coach Erica Walsh also gets back red-shirt Brittany Basinger and welcomes transfer Nickolette Driesse from Florida State.