With the NCAA DI women’s soccer season getting underway, some of our staff members have picked out a few players for you to keep your eye on this season.
Elizabeth Wawrzyniak’s Player to Watch: Rachel Corboz, midfielder, Georgetown
Rachel Corboz is a name women’s soccer almost never got a chance to know. She and her older sister, former Georgetown midfielder and current member of the Manchester City, WFC Daphne Corboz, were initially sidelined from the sport by their father, a former semi-pro player in Grenoble, France, who didn’t believe girls had a place in soccer. Thankfully, at a tournament with older brother Mael (Maryland Terrapin alum and New York Red Bull midfielder waived earlier this year) their father saw young girls on the pitch for the first time.
Now a junior for Georgetown, the attacking midfielder presents a threat on both sides of the field, taking shots and sending in crosses off both her left and right feet with equal skill and is considered a player with great technical and tactical ability, having been called up to multiple youth national team camps. Of her attitude on the field, Georgetown coach David Nolan has said that she is the type of player who “will pass you the ball if she thinks you’re going to score,” putting the team’s bottom line above her personal stats sheet. Not that her stats are in any way lacking. In her first two years with Georgetown, she’s racked up a good number of points, scoring fourteen goals with sixteen assists. If she continues to play as she has, she could upset her sister’s place as the Hoyas’ all-time leading scorer by the end of her college career. In the 2015-16 season, Corboz finished third in points for the Big East, tying for third in goals and second in assists. In the weeks leading up to her Junior year, she was named the Big East’s 2016 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and was one of three Big East women’s soccer players named to the 2016 MAC Hermann Watch List. Dynamic and productive, Corboz is a player to keep an eye on.
Jacqui Porter’s Player to Watch: Mikaela Harvey, midfielder, Texas A&M
Harvey is a junior who has played 46 career games for A&M (33 starts). She has managed seven goals and six assists along the way. What makes her a player to watch is how aggressive she is in the attack—finding space is her specialty. Harvey stands at just 5’3”, but she is strong in the air and isn’t afraid to make risky challenges for the ball. She also is known for her ability to take shots with a limited window of space. Harvey has tallied 77 shots, 39 making it on frame. This midfielder has very quick decision making and can spread the ball around when needed. In 2015, Harvey led her Aggies all the way to the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship Tournament. Harvey has earned call-ups for the Under-14 and Under-20 U.S. national teams. Most recently, in March, she was off to Spain for the Under-20 La Manga Tournament to compete against Sweden, England, and Norway, where the U.S. won all three matches. Now back at College Station, Harvey and the Aggies are ranked eighth to start the season.
Jacqui Porter’s Player to Watch: EJ Proctor, goalkeeper, Duke
Proctor had an exceptional year last season as Duke’s sophomore goalkeeper, setting a new school record for most shutouts in a season with 11. She’s appeared in 37 career games and started 30 of those contests. In 2015, Proctor started the season off in form by not allowing a single goal through the Blue Devils’ first five matches, totaling to 401.72 minutes. She finished the season with a .642 goals against average and a .833 save percentage, while making 80 saves in the regular season. In the NCAA tournament, Proctor made key saves at every round and, through the seven matches prior the final, only allowed three goals. The game that stands out to me was the Elite Eight game, during which she made two penalty stops to knock off the top-seeded Stanford. She commands the box and is a player to watch because of how many times she comes up big for her team. She keeps Duke in any game, no matter the the opponent. In the NCAA Championship game, Duke lost 1-0 on a gorgeous goal by Raquel Rodriguez to give Penn State its first ever championship in women’s soccer. Even with the loss, Proctor was named Most Outstanding Player on defense for the tournament. Duke is ranked third to start the season.