Friday, August 17, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. – New Jersey Wildcats standout Amber Brooks has been named the No.1 Upperclassman in NCAA Women’s Soccer by TopDrawerSoccer.com, who released their initial listing of the top 100 upperclassmen on Friday morning. The University of North Carolina standout, who also previously played for the W-League’s Vancouver Whitecaps Women, leads a large contingent of players who have honed their skills playing in the W-League.
A native of New Hope, Pa. Brooks appeared six times for the Wildcats this season, scoring two goals and adding three assists. A captain both last season and this season for the Tar Heels, Brooks was an All-ACC First Team selection in 2011, and has spent time training with the U.S Women’s National team.
Former D.C. United Women standout Christine Nairn sits second to Brooks in the list as she enters her senior season at Penn State, with the national team pool player coming off a 2011 season that saw her named to the NSCAA All-America Second Team. Prior to playing for D.C. United, Nairn also played for a pair of seasons with the Washington Freedom Futures.
Louisville forward Christine Exeter comes in at No.6 on the list, with the former Toronto Lady Lynx standout looking to continue the outstanding play that saw her named the Big East’s 2011 Offensive Player of the Year. Entering her junior season, Exeter had 31 points a season ago, including 14 goals, as she earned NSCAA All-American Third Team honors.
Brooks’ Wildcats teammate Maya Hayes joins the list at No.13, with the U.S. U20 international getting set to form a powerful pairing with Nairn at Penn State when she returns from Japan following the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup that begins on Sunday. Hayes was a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist a season ago after she scored 31 goals in 26 games for the Nittany Lions, and earned W-League Player of the Week honors on June 6 after a standout week that saw her score six goals and add three assists in three games.
Florida’s Erika Tymrak, who competed for the Bradenton Academics before she headed to Gainesville, is set to lead the Gators to another strong season in the SEC, and sits at No.15. The senior is joined by 2012 All-Central Conference selection Kathryn Williamson, who after helping the Ottawa Fury win the 2012 league championship sits at No.43 in TDS’s rankings.
2012 W-League All-Conference selections are also named in the Top 100, with W-League Rookie of the Year Lynn Williams of the Pali Blues coming in at No.37 on the list as she returns to Pepperdine. Williams had 10 goals in 11 regular season games for the Blues this summer, also earning All-League honors in the process.
Williams is joined on the list by Blues and Pepperdine teammate Michelle Pao, who earned All-Western Conference honors after a strong season at the heart of Pali’s defense. Pao sits at No.69 in the TDS 100 after a 2011 season where she earned NSCAA All-America Second Team honors.
The third member of the All-Western Conference team to be named is the Vancouver Whitecaps Women’s Jenna Richardson, who checks in at No.23 after a summer that saw her finish with four goals and four assists before returning to Oregon State this fall.
Also included in the TopDrawerSoccer Top 25 are UCLA’s Sarah Killion (Fort Wayne Fever) at No.17, Florida State’s Kassey Kallman (Minnesota Lightning) at No.18 and Tiffany McCarty (Pali Blues) at No.20, Rutgers’ Jonelle Filigno (Toronto Lady Lynx, Vancouver Whitecaps Women) at No.19 and Iowa’s Cloe Lacasse (Toronto Lady Lynx) at No.22.