The 2019 United States Women’s National Team made a huge splash during this year’s FIFA World Cup by winning the title and scoring 26 goals while only allowing three. Not only was the United States represented strongly throughout the tournament, so was the legacy of NCAA talent. The NCAA also contributed to international success outside of the United States, as former college players also showed out for countries such as Jamaica, England and Australia.
With a combined 18 NCAA national championships represented across the 2019 FIFA World Cup, let's take a look at this upcoming women’s soccer season and some potential stars who could break out on the international stage sometime soon.
Deyna Castellanos, Forward - Florida State, Venezuela
Castellanos led the Seminoles to a national championship with 10 goals and eight assists in her 2018 campaign and is also becoming a formidable go-to on the Venezuelan national team. She holds the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup record with 11 goals and recorded five goals in seven games during the 2016 U-20 Women's World Cup, claiming both the Bronze Ball and Bronze Boot awards.
Catarina Macario, Forward - Stanford, Brazil and United States
This list would not be complete without the 2018 MAC Hermann Trophy winner. Enter Catarina Macario, the MAC Hermann Trophy winner, a first-team All-American, ESPNW's 2018 Player of the Year, Pac-12 Forward of the Year and TopDrawerSoccer's Player of the Year. The junior led Stanford in goals with 14 and points with 36. As far as her international career, Macario was born in Brazil, moved to the U.S. as a teenager and has been compared to Brazilian superstar Marta, but she might have to wait until she turns 23 before she officially represents the United States, due to FIFA waiver rules. Whichever team lands Macario, they'll be lucky to have her, as she is one of the most exciting players in NCAA women's soccer today.
MORE: The top 5 returning women's soccer goal scorers for the 2019 season
Sam Coffey, Midfielder - Penn State, United States
Sam Coffey Joins Penn State— Penn State Women’s Soccer (@PennStateWSOC) December 18, 2018
📔 | https://t.co/8zb34t207z#WeAre #PSWS pic.twitter.com/tI8PPYJVnS
Boston College transfer Sam Coffey looks to be a major player in Penn State's midfield this season. She was a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, first-team All-American and the ACC midfielder of the year. She led the Eagles in goals (12), assists (14) and points (38) last season shooting up the charts of league leaders as she was tied for fifth in Division I in points and tied for fourth in assists. Coffey was part of the U.S. Women's National Team at the U-18, U-19 and U-20 levels captaining the team at the U-19 and U-20 levels.
Ella Dederick, Goalkeeper - Washington State, United States
Sheeeeee's Baaaacccckkkk! @ellaadederickk has officially been granted a sixth year by the NCAA.— Washington State Soccer (@WSUCougarSoccer) February 13, 2019
Release >> https://t.co/SiQmgPyiVp#GoCougs pic.twitter.com/blCqerx0fO
Dederick suffered a season-ending injury after just five games during what was supposed to be her final season in 2018 with the Cougars, but was granted a sixth year of eligibility. The 5'10" California native hopes to bounce back better than ever from her injury, as the start to the 2018 season was as stellar as any other goalkeeper. Prior to her injury, Dederick posted a 5-0 record, recorded 12 saves and posted two shutouts. Dederick was invited to the USWNT's U-23 training camp during the summer of 2018, as one of the two goalkeepers invited.
Emily Fox, Defender - North Carolina, United States
Although North Carolina's speedster is the lone defender to make the list, Fox is one of the few players with a substantial amount of experience with the United States Women's National Team. The 5'5" junior, who is expected to expand her role from left back to right back this season, was first called up to the senior USWNT during a trip to Europe in 2018. She got her first two caps as she started for the national team against Portugal and Scotland, two matches that resulted in 1-0 wins for the U.S. Fox also made the roster for the SheBelieves Cup, a preliminary tournament leading up to the World Cup in the spring of 2019. During her sophomore campaign with the Tar Heels, Fox was a 2018 first-team All-ACC selection and was an All-Tournament selection at the 2018 NCAA College Cup.
LOOKING BACK: How Florida State beat UNC for the 2018 College Cup
Ashley Sanchez, Forward - UCLA, United States
Sanchez was a first-team United Soccer Coaches All-American last year and led UCLA in all scoring categories with 10 goals, 15 assists and 35 points. Sanchez was also tied for second in the whole league for most assists last year. The Monrovia, California native set four new UCLA women's soccer records last season — the number of assists in a single game (four), consecutive games with either a goal or an assist (13 and counting), assists in an NCAA tournament (seven) and career NCAA tournament assists (11). UCLA's passing queen also has a history with the USWNT as she has been participating in their camps since she was 13. She was also the first player in U.S. soccer history to play in two World Cups in the same year as she played with the U-17 squad and the U-20 squad in 2016.
Raimee Sherle, Forward - Boise State, United States
Sherle was one of the most prolific scorers last year with 20 goals. She was also picked for United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I All-Pacific Region first team and was tied for first in the NCAA with the most goals last year. She has a career total of 45 goals, just second behind South Florida's Evelyne Viens, who has 48. The 5'2" forward is coming off of two straight Mountain West player of the year awards and will be looking to eclipse Viens and lead the NCAA in goal scoring.
Ella Stevens, Midfielder - Duke, United States
Stevens busted out of the gate her freshman season in 2016 where she racked up 10 goals, six assists and 26 points. The following two years her role transitioned into more of a distributor as she scored only five goals her sophomore season and one goal her junior season, but had 11 assists both of those years. Stevens currently ranks fourth all-time in Duke women's soccer history with 28 assists and will be the anchor in Duke's midfield this coming season. Stevens played with the U-23 USWNT in 2018 during their Thorns Spring Invitational. She also played with the U-19 team, and totaled two goals and one assist, as well as leading the U-20 USWNT to the 2015 CONCACAF championship in Honduras.
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Evelyne Viens, Forward – South Florida, Canada
Viens is currently at the top of the list for most goals scored by active NCAA players with 48. She also leads the NCAA in goals scored per game with 1.05 and points scored per game with 2.47. Her incredible offensive statistics don't end there as she led the NCAA last year in total points scored with 47 and has demolished pretty much every USF team record just in the three seasons she has played with the team. She is also on the MAC Hermann watch list for this upcoming season. The L'ancienne-Lorette, Canada native is primed to get a call up from the Canadian national squad as the most dominant offensive player in the NCAA. Fellow Canadian and USF head coach Denise Schlite-Brown advocated for a Viens Senior Canadian national team call-up prior to the 2019 World Cup. With Viens having the offensive fire-power needed to play at the international level at the age that she is, she could be a headliner for the Canadian women's squad for the years to come.