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Meet The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team: From Collegiate Stars To Concacaf Champions

By Leah Jenk | Oct. 22, 2018, 6:41 p.m. (ET)


The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team won the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship last week in Frisco, Texas. Through five games, Team USA displayed its dominance by scoring 26 goals and conceding zero.

This tournament also secured Team USA a berth in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup where it will look to defend the 2015 title. But before 18 of these 20 women were performing on the international stage, they were collegiate stars. Take a look back at their success as student-athletes. 

Morgan Brian, University of Virginia 
After Brian’s four years at Virginia, she finished her career ranked second in career points (125), second in career assists (43) and fifth in career goals (41). Brian won the MAC Hermann Trophy, awarded to the country’s top collegiate soccer player, twice (2013 and 2014), becoming just the fourth player to be recognized in consecutive years.

Abby Dahlkemper, University of California Los Angeles
Over Dahlkemper’s four seasons at UCLA, she started 92 of her 93 career games. She was the leader of the UCLA defense that recorded a school record-tying 19 shutouts and a team goals against average of 0.245. Her defense allowed just six goals all season, tied for the fewest in school history. In 2013, Dahlkemper led UCLA to its first NCAA national championship and was the first defender in 10 years to be named a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy. 

Crystal Dunn, University of North Carolina
As a junior, Dunn led UNC to an improbable NCAA national championship and was awarded the MAC Hermann Trophy. She was also a four-time All-American.

Julie Ertz, Santa Clara University
As a senior, Ertz was first-team All-American and the West Coast Conference player of the year. She played in all 22 games and led the team with eight assists and four-game winning goals.

Ashlyn Harris, University of North Carolina
Harris helped the Tar Heels to win two NCAA national championships. Her senior year, she started 25 of 27 games posting a record of 23-1-1 with 45 saves and a GAA of 0.42.

Tobin Heath, University of North Carolina
Heath played a vital role in the Tar Heels’ back-to-back NCAA national championships and fourth straight ACC championship. During her senior season, she was a first-team All-American and the MAC Hermann Trophy first runner-up.

Rose Lavelle, University of Wisconsin
Lavelle, a three-time All-American, became the first Big Ten Midfielder of the Year to earn the honor in two consecutive years. She also led the Badgers in goals during her junior and senior campaigns.

Carli Lloyd, Rutgers University
Lloyd was the first player to earn first-team All-Big East honors four years at Rutgers. She finished her collegiate career as the Scarlet Knights’ all-time leader in goals. Lloyd was a three-time All-American and a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist.

Hailie Mace, University of California Los Angeles
Currently in her senior season, Mace is a four-year starter for UCLA. As a junior, she helped lead the Bruins to the NCAA championship game and was a first-team All-American and a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist after leading the team in scoring with 15 goals and 33 points.

Samantha Mewis, University of California Los Angeles
As a junior, Mewis helped lead the Bruins to their first NCAA national championship. Her senior season, Mewis racked up multiple awards including the espnW National Player of the Year, Pac-12 Player of the Year and was a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist.

Alex Morgan, California
Morgan was a four-time All-Pac-10 selection at Cal and led the Bears to the NCAA tournament in each of her four seasons. As a senior, she played in only 12 games due to national team commitments but still led the Bears in goals (14) and points (30), and finished her time at Cal as the third all-time leading scorer in goals (45) and points (107). She was a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy.

Alyssa Naeher, Penn State University
A three-time NSCAA All-American at Penn State, she started and played 74 games for the Nittany Lions. The goaltender finished with a career record of 50-19-5 and 24 shutouts and a career 0.89 goals against average.

Kelley O’Hara, Stanford University
As a senior, she had one of the best seasons in Division I history, scoring 26 goals and tallying 13 assists, leading Stanford to an undefeated and untied regular season and into the NCAA title game. O’Hara became the first Stanford player to win the MAC Hermann Trophy.

Christen Press, Stanford University
After four years at Stanford, Press broke school records for career points (183), goals (71), assists (41) and shots (500). She was named to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team for the three consecutive seasons. In 2010, Press became the second consecutive Stanford player to win the MAC Hermann Trophy (after O’Hara).

Megan Rapinoe, University of Portland
During Rapinoe’s senior season, she started all 22 games and led the Pilots in assists. She was named the West Coast Conference player of the year and first-team All-American. Despite playing just 60 games in her career at Portland, Rapinoe finished 10th best in school history with 88 points scored.

Becky Sauerbrunn, University of Virginia
Sauerbrunn was a three-time All-American while at Virginia and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. She was a part of the defensive unit that led the nation in goals against average (0.40) and set a school record with 15 shutouts in 2007.

Casey Short, Florida State University
Short helped the Seminoles set school records for shutouts (17) and goals against average (0.62) in a season. She battled through injuries and was a four-year starter. It was during her senior year at Florida State that she switched to playing defender, which she currently plays on the national team.

Emily Sonnett, University of Virginia
During Sonnett’s senior season on Virginia’s backline, the Cavaliers posted shutout wins in 64 percent of their games. Sonnett was named the ACC defensive player of the year, espnW National Player of the Year and a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist. 

Note: Lindsey Horan and Mallory Pugh, who were also on the team that won the Concacaf championship, did not play collegiately.

Related Athletes

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Morgan Brian

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Crystal Dunn

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Tobin Heath

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Julie Ertz

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Carli Lloyd

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Alex Morgan

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Alyssa Naeher

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Kelley O'Hara

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Christen Press

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Megan Rapinoe

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Becky Sauerbrunn