When the Women's Soccer College Cup gets underway Friday in Kennesaw, Ga., it's going to be hard to watch one second of action without seeing a former Gatorade Player of the Year on the field. Stanford, Duke, Florida State and Wake Forest boast 17 Gatorade Player of the Year winners on their rosters, including three national winners.
Stanford, the No. 1 overall seed, has two of those national winners in senior midfielder Teresa Noyola (2008, Calif.) and junior defender Rachel Quon (2009, Ill.). Noyola, the Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year, is a three-time First Team All-Pac-12 selection. The Cardinal, who have lost in the national title game each of the last two years, also feature starters Kristy Zurmuhlen (2008, N.H.), Alina Garciamendez (2008, Texas) and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Chioma Ubogagu (2010, Texas) as well as Alex Doll (2010, 2011, Md.) and the injured Courtney Verloo (2007, 2008, Ore.).
Stanford will face Florida State in the day's first semifinal. The Seminoles, the ACC Tournament champions, are led by three-time Gatorade winner Tiffany McCarty (2006, 2007, 2008, Washington D.C.), a First-Team All-ACC selection. Defender Kassey Kallman (2010, Minn.) led the Seminoles in minutes played, and Ella Stephan 2007, Fla.) started 15 games.
2010 national winner Mollie Pathman (N.C.) leads Duke into the other national semifinal against ACC rival Wake Forest. Pathman is one of four Gatorade winners who start for the Blue Devils, including Kaitlyn Kerr (2009, 2010, N.J.), Laura Weinberg (2009, Fla.) and Kelly Cobb (2011, Alaska). Kim Decesare (2009, N.Y.) is one of Duke's top players off the bench, and Ashley Rape (2008, Texas) was a starting defender before getting hurt early in the season.
Wake Forest has only one Gatorade winner, but she's a good one. Katie Stengel (2010, Fla.) was the ACC Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, leading the Demon Deacons with 19 goals and eight assists.