MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – One of the top returning student-athletes for the West Virginia University women’s soccer team is junior Amanda Hill
. A native of Washington, Pennsylvania, Hill has started all 43 career matches at defensive center midfield for the Mountaineers.
Hill has won three conference titles in her two seasons at WVU, including the squad’s second straight Big 12 Conference regular-season title and tournament title in 2013. Though fans should expect to see her return to the starting 11 in a few short weeks, Hill says the competition in the Mountaineers’ preseason camp is cranked up this year.
“People are fighting for spots and getting ready for the season,” she explained. “There’s a lot of competition on the field. There’s no shortage of effort from anyone. It’s a tough battle, day-in and day-out.”
Hill holds her own in the classroom, too. She has earned two consecutive academic honors from the Big 12, including a spot on the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Soccer First Team. Additionally, she was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District 2 Women’s Soccer Team last season. The exercise physiology major also is a member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and WVU’s President’s List and Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll.
In case you missed it yesterday, the Mountaineers were slotted at No. 12 in the 2014 NSCAA/Continental Tire Preseason College Rankings. The team finished the 2013 season at No. 12, too, on the strength of a 16-4-3 record. WVU was not ranked in last season’s NSCAA preseason poll.
Texas Tech was the only other Big 12 team to appear in yesterday’s poll and checked in at No. 17.
Defending NCAA champion UCLA is ranked No. 1, while Florida State is No. 2 and Virginia is No. 3. North Carolina and Virginia Tech are No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
The Mountaineers will face four teams ranked in the preseason poll this year, including No. 24 Penn State, their season-opening opponent. WVU also will face the Red Raiders, No. 18 Duke and No. 20 Georgetown. All but the match at PSU will be played at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
Sophomore Kadeisha Buchanan
is collecting preseason honors. The defender out of Brampton, Ontario, was named to the Missouri Athletic Club (M.A.C.) Hermann Trophy Watch List yesterday, one of four sophomores and eight defenders on the 35-athlete list.
College soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy, WVU has had 10 student-athletes selected since 2003. Buchanan is the first sophomore to earn preseason recognition; Deana Everett was added to the watch list during the middle of her sophomore season in 2006.
Buchanan was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Preseason Best XI First Team on Tuesday. She also was named to All White Kit’s Pre-Season All-America Team and landed on the blog’s AWK Preseason Defender of the Year Shortlist.
Freshman defender Michaela Abam
also was recognized on Tuesday, as she was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Preseason Best XI Freshmen Team.
Additionally, senior Kate Schwindel
was named to the AWK Preseason Forward of the Year Shortlist.
Buchanan, sophomore Ashley Lawrence
and redshirt-freshman Amandine Pierre-Louis
suffered a loss with the Canadian U-20 team on Tuesday evening, as the squad fell to Ghana, 1-0, at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada, at the National Soccer Stadium, in Toronto.
The team looks to secure its first point in group play tomorrow night, as Canada will face Finland at 8 p.m., also at the National Soccer Stadium. Finland fell, 2-1, to Korea DPR on Tuesday.
The future of the women’s soccer team is earning praise, as All White Kit has the 2016 recruiting class ranked No. 8 in its latest poll.
As for the current Mountaineer freshman class, the blog has WVU ranked No. 18 in the final 2014 recruiting rankings and believes Abam is the one to watch this season.
And finally – have you made plans for the 2014 WVU women’s soccer home season opener? The Mountaineers will face the No. 18-ranked Blue Devils, a 2013 NCAA Tournament quarterfinalist, on Friday, Aug. 29, at 7:30 p.m., at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
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