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NCAA Aug 08, 2023

NCAA Women’s Soccer Defenders to Watch during the 2023 season

KANSAS CITY, MO – United Soccer Coaches has announced the Defenders on its NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Players to Watch lists for the 2023 season.The lists are comprised of 35 women and 24 men, led by eight total returning All-Americans. The returning women’s All-Americans include 2022 first-teamers Eva Gaetino (Notre Dame), Lyndsey Heckel (Saint Louis), and Julia Leas (Georgetown), second team returnees Lilly Reale (UCLA), and Jade Rose (Harvard), and third-teamers Kayla Duran (Brown) and Emily Mason (Rutgers). The lists are being released for the first time this season by the Division I All-America Committees to promote college soccer leading up to the official start date for the regular season later this month. The lists include United Soccer Coaches All-Americans and first or second team All-Region players from 2022, who are scheduled to return for the 2023 season.Here is the schedule for all of the position announcements this fall:

  • August 5 – Goalkeepers
  • August 9 – Defenders
  • August 12 – Midfielders
  • August 16 – Forwards

2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Players to Watch – Defenders

Name Class School Hometown
Arely Alaniz Sr. Lamar University Deer Park, Texas
Hannah Anderson GR5 Texas Tech University Plano, Texas
Maya Antoine Sr. Vanderbilt University Vaughan, Ont.
Natalie Bain So. Xavier University Alexandria, Ky.
Megan Bornkamp Jr. Clemson University Mooresville, N.C.
Zoe Burns Sr. University of Southern California Issaquah, Wash.
Brooklyn Courtnall Jr. University of Southern California Westlake Village, Calif.
EmJ Cox So. University of Texas Dallas, Texas
Raegan Cox GR5 Michigan State University Muskegon, Mich.
Matea Diekema GR5 Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Grand Rapids, Mich.
Kayla Duran GR5 University of Southern California Woburn, Mass.
Elise Evans So. Stanford University Redwood City, Calif.
Eva Gaetino Sr. University of Notre Dame Dexter, Mich.
Kylie Gazza GR5 Samford University Cumming, Ga.
Madison Haugen Sr. University of Georgia Cumming, Ga.
Victoria Haugen Sr. Virginia Tech Bristow, Va.
Lyndsey Heckel Sr. Saint Louis University St. Louis, Mo.
Sade Heinrichs Sr. Georgia Southern University Monchengladbach, Germany
Bridie Herman GR5 Liberty University Springboro, Ohio
Alivia Kelly Jr. University of New Hampshire Pembroke, Mass.
Julia Leas GR5 Georgetown University Vienna, Va.
Kaycee Manding Sr. South Dakota State University Waipahu, Hawaii
Emily Mason Jr. Rutgers University Flemington, N.J.
Logan McFadden Sr. Lipscomb University Birmingham, Ala.
Lilly Reale Jr. UCLA Hingham, MA
Payton Robertson GR5 University at Kentucky Toronto, Ont.
Jade Rose Jr. Harvard University Markham, Ont.
Jenna Shepherd Sr. Utah Valley University American Fork, Utah
Ellie Simmons So University at Buffalo Arlington, Va.
Grace Stordy Sr. University of Memphis Calgary, Alb.
Allyna Thurston Jr. University of North Florida Cassellberry, Fla.
Lava Vaka GR5 Brigham Young University Sandy, Utah
Kennedy Wesley GR5 Stanford University Rossmoor, Calif.
Katie Zailski So. University of Pittsburgh Summerville, S.C.
Regan Zimmers Sr. University of Nebraska-Omaha Omaha, Neb,

*GR5 Indicates student-athletes exercising their extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19

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