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SportsRecruits Interest Score™ Rankings: Top 5 Most Popular Collegiate Women’s Soccer Programs
Through analyzing our proprietary information, we were able to identify which college women’s soccer programs garnered the greatest interest from athletes on the SportsRecruits platform, as well as which programs showed the largest increase in interest from 2015 to 2016.
Observations on Top Interest Scores
- Duke University women’s soccer is a force to be reckoned with. Head coach Robbie Church has led the Blue Devils to three NCAA College Cup appearances (two within the last five years). Five former Blue Devils women’s soccer athletes are currently competing in the professional leagues. This August, it was announced that recent Blue Devil graduate Christina Gibbons was selected as one of the ACC’s two nominations for NCAA Woman of the Year, an honor which will be awarded this October.
- The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill women’s soccer team has made 24 national championship appearances. Of those, 22 have been victories. With 22 National titles under their belt, the Tar Heels are a soccer powerhouse.
- On the morning of every national tournament, UNC head coach Anson Dorrance delivers a handwritten letter to each athlete on his team, thanking them for their incredible contributions. Dorrance shares copies of each note with the rest of the squad as a reminder to play for each other.
- The University of Virginia women’s soccer team is led by current USWNT assistant coach Steve Swanson, who won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015. Swanson’s side has produced many USWNT members, including Becky Sauerbrunn, Morgan Brian and Emily Sonnett, all active players at the international level. Virginia advanced to the NCAA Final in 2014.
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SportsRecruits Interest Score™ Rankings: Greatest Interest Growth
We also found large shifts in student-athletes’ interest in women’s college soccer programs from 2015 to 2016. Villanova University experienced the greatest surge in popularity with a 44.5 point increase in their SportsRecruits Interest Score™. They were followed by Stanford University, which saw their scores increase by 41.8 points.
Observations on Interest Score Growth
- Villanova University’s coaching staff has been revamped with the recent additions of head coach Chris McLain, assistant coach Daniel Clitnovici, and second assistant coach Megan Geldernick. With renewed vigor on the quest for a national championship, Villanova offers athletes the best of academic and athletic worlds. It’s unsurprising that athletes gravitate to Villanova for its academic prestige and the ability to make an impact on the Wildcats’ soccer tradition.
- With a record of 251-49-27, Stanford University’s Paul Ratcliffe made history as the Cardinals head coach with the most wins in Stanford men’s or women’s soccer. The Cardinals are 2011 NCAA national champions. Under Ratcliffe’s leadership, the Cardinals won six Pac-12 titles, two of which were consecutive wins in the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
- Head coach Sean Driscoll has led the Princeton Tigers to great success since joining the Princeton University coaching staff in 2015. In his first season alone, Driscoll was awarded Ivy League Coach of the Year, as well as made Ivy League history as the third coach to win a league title within the first year of leadership.
To see how other schools fared, click here to download our comprehensive list.
SportsRecruits Interest Scores™ for women’s soccer are calculated from the activity of over 25,000 high school women’s soccer athletes on the SportsRecruits platform. Schools are scored on a 0 to 100 scale based on two, equally weighted metrics: the number of messages sent to the school and the number of active prospects with the school on their target list. A benchmark is determined by the highest ranked school for each metric, and a normalized score is calculated based on each school’s distance from the benchmark.