Wednesday, August 9, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. – Now that the 2012 W-League season is complete, many of the standout players who earned recognition while leading their teams have shifted their focus to the 2012 NCAA Women’s Soccer season. With the preseason underway and teams prepping for their openers in the coming weeks, here are the W-League All-Conference and All-League selections expected to make an impact for their colleges:
Central SC Cobras – Tabitha Padgett, Clemson
Padgett was a standout for the Cobras in their rookie season in the W-League, earning an All-Eastern Conference spot as a defender. She will play a different role for Clemson this season and is expected to boost the offense from her forward spot after redshirting in 2011 due to injury. Padgett was a two-year standout at UNC Greensboro, being named SoCon Co-Player of the Year as a freshman, before transferring to Clemson.
Charlotte Lady Eagles - Sabbath McKiernan-Allen, Samford
Samford University’s senior defensive leader, McKiernan-Allen was a W-League All-Eastern Conference pick in 2012 after helping the Lady Eagles to the Southeast Division title while only allowing 10 goals in 12 matches. She was an All-Southern Conference selection for Samford in 2011.
Laval Comets - Nkemjika Ezurike, University of Michigan
All-Central Conference forward Ezurike struck for five goals in seven W-League games for the Comets in 2012 and she will be expected to lead the Michigan offense for the third consecutive year. The Canadian international will get a late start to the season after traveling to Japan for the U20 Women’s World Cup, but will be back in time to make the Wolverines a force in the Big Ten.
North Jersey Valkyries - Ashley Clarke, Seton Hall
A two-year starter in the Seton Hall midfield, Clarke, a junior, will be expected to carry a large load once again for the Pirates. Clarke earned a spot in the W-League All-Eastern Conference midfield after recording seven goals and four assists for the Valkyries in 2012.
Ottawa Fury - Kathryn Williamson, University of Florida
The well-traveled Williamson, a Texas native playing college soccer in Florida who captured the 2012 W-League title with Ottawa, was named MVP of the championship weekend after helping to shut down the Pali Blues ad D.C. United Women en route to the title. Also the defensive anchor for the Gators, Williamson was the 2010 SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Pali Blues - Lynn Williams & Michelle Pao, Pepperdine
Williams, the 2012 W-League Rookie of the Year and an All-W-League selection, wasn’t able to have the impact she hoped for at the W-League Championship due to injury, but she will be expected to lead Pepperdine’s offense as a sophomore in 2012. The preseason All-West Coast Conference selection finished third on the team with six goals and led the squad with eight assists as a true freshman in 2011.
Pao, a W-League All-Western Conference selection, is also a preseason All-WCC choice after becoming the first Pepperdine player to earn NSCAA All-America second team honors as a sophomore in 2011.
Toronto Lady Lynx - Kinley McNicoll, Wisconsin & Alyscha Mottershead, Syracuse
An incoming freshman at Wisconsin, McNicoll Led the Lynx with four goals and three assists in 2012 to earn a spot on the All-Central Conference forward line. She represented Canada at the U17 World Cup in 2010.
Mottershead, selected as an All-Central Conference defender for Toronto, is expected to be a leader in the midfield for Syracuse. In her third season with the Orange after transferring from Iowa, the senior started 17 of 18 games in 2011.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Jenna Richardson, Oregon State
A 2012 W-League All-Western Conference forward selection after tallying four goals and four assists in nine games, Richardson will miss the early part of the season for Oregon State after being selected to represent Canada at the upcoming Women’s U20 World Cup in Japan. When she returns, the 2011 PAC-12 All-Conference second team selection will be counted on to help the Beavers continue to raise their profile in the conference.