With the Women's College Cup championship on December 8th, we are officially at the half-way mark of the college soccer season.
There have been plenty of amazing goals and down-the-wire finishes, but there are only a few players in the Division I women's soccer who have commanded the attention of entire defenses and are at the top of the charts in one or more offensive statistical category.
Here are five women's soccer players who have stood out this season:
Autumn Woodard, Sophomore, Forward - Louisiana Tech
The game winner. 😤— LA Tech Soccer ⚽ (@LATechSOC) October 5, 2019
The celebration. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/eljigcr5Cr
The Louisiana Tech sophomore leads Conference USA in goals and is second in all Division I women's soccer in goals with 15. Her goals per game average is equally as impressive where she is netting just over one goal per game so far this season. Woodard has been on top of the charts when it comes to goal-scoring all year, going back and forth with Stanford's star and defending MAC Hermann trophy winner Catarina Macario.
The Lady Techsters have put together an impressive season so far, with a record of 11-3-1, but without Woodard's impressive 6 game-winning goals on the year — tied for number one in the NCAA — that record could easily be more lopsided towards the loss column. The South Florida transfer and Florida-native has made a name for herself so far this season, but Woodard's team will need more of her down the stretch if they want to make a bid for the Conference USA crown. The Lady Techsters currently sit in sixth place in their conference with all three of their losses coming in conference play. Their next match will be against Conference USA opponent UTEP on Thursday, Oct. 17.
Catarina Macario, Junior, Forward - Stanford
.@catarinamacario needs just 1️⃣3️⃣ games to set her career high with 1️⃣8️⃣ goals this season. 😱 #GoStanford https://t.co/RDOFsqaLvj— Stanford Women's Soccer (@StanfordWSoccer) October 13, 2019
Catarina Macario is doing it again. The defending MAC Hermann trophy winner is dominating women's soccer, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Her 2018 numbers of 14 goals, 8 assists and 36 points have already been blown out of the water as she currently sits atop the NCAA in goals and points with 18 and 46 respectively, with an additional 10 assists that show off her ability to slice through defenses.
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With Macario putting up these jaw-dropping numbers it's hard not to take a look at historical precedent when it comes to dominant goal-scorers in women's college soccer. The most goals ever scored in a single season was 39 by Portland's Christine Sinclair in 2005. That was through 25 games, and with Stanford through 13, Macario's pace is about three goals shy of Sinclair's mark. Although 39 goals might be just out of reach for Macario, she leads a Cardinal team that will most likely make a deep postseason run as they sit atop the Pac-12 and are ranked No. 2 nationally with a 12-1 overall record and 5-0 in-conference record. Stanford's next match comes on Saturday, Oct. 19 against UCLA.
Diana Ordonez, Freshman, Forward - Virginia
It would just be wrong to write this list up and not include the top scorer on the nation's current No. 1 team. Freshman sensation Diana Ordonez has been just that for No. 1 Virginia this year, sensational. The 5'11" forward has 12 goals on the year, leading the ACC in the category and averaging just under a goal per game as the Hoos sit unbeaten at 11-0-3 this year. Ordonez has had quite the year for the Cavaliers, as her ability to score goals has only been enhanced by fellow forwards and midfielders Alexa Spaanstra, Anna Sumpter, Rebecca Jarrett, who have 7, 6 and 5 assists on the year respectively. Ordonez, Spaanstra, Sumpter, Jarrett along with sophomore forward Megan McCool, who has 9 goals on the year, make up the core of this dominant Virginia offense that has propelled them to the top of national rankings for the fourth week in a row. UVA is also one of two unbeaten teams left in Division I women's soccer thanks to Ordonez and company, and they hope to keep it up as they hit the final stretch of ACC play. Their remaining regular-season matches come against Boston College, Louisville, Syracuse and their next opponent Notre Dame, whom they play on Sunday, Oct. 20.
Kirsten Davis, Junior, Forward - Texas Tech
Offense dominance has spanned from coast to coast this season, but let's make this next stop in Lubbock, Texas where Texas Tech's Kirsten Davis has been shredding defenses this year. Davis is not only the most dominant offensive force on the Big 12's best team so far this season, but she also leads the entire conference in points with 28. Her 11 goals on the year clock her in at number two in the Big 12, but what sets Davis apart from her fellow goal scorers in the Big 12 is her ability to create for her teammates. The Red Raiders' forward not only leads Texas Tech in goals, she also leads the team in assists with 6. Davis' versatility doesn't stop there either, as she is the go-to player for Texas Tech down the stretch whenever they need a goal, netting 4 game-winning goals. Don't plan on the St. Louis native to slow down anytime soon. Davis has the green light to shoot the ball from just about anywhere for the Red Raiders, as she averages over 5 shots per game and about 2.5 of those shots are on target per game — both the highest in the Big 12. Davis' 28 points haven't been undervalued in the Big 12 either, especially with Texas Tech atop the standings in the conference. The Red Raiders are also the highest-ranked Big 12 team nationally, and if they want to continue to be the team to beat in their conference Texas Tech will need to keep playing through Davis.
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Lucy Ashworth, Junior, Forward - Lamar
Ashworth's 10 assists on the year, combined with her 12 goals, put her atop the Southland conference in points with 34. It also puts her tied for second in the NCAA in total points on the year. Her ability to maintain a balance between goals and assists resonates with her fellow Lamar teammate Esther Orkoronkwo, who leads the team in goals with 13. Lamar will hope to play Cinderella in this year's NCAA tournament, as they sit tied for the lead in the Southland with a 5-1 in-conference record. Although the Cardinals dropped matches early in the season versus SEC and Big 12 opponents such as Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Alabama, they are currently riding a 4-game winning streak and look to sit atop their conference once the Southland tournament begins. Ashworth and company will get a chance to extend that winning-streak Friday, Oct. 18 against Abilene Christian.