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Five unsung players to watch in NCAA tourney

Florida freshman Savannah Jordan's 22 goals this season make her one of the players to watch in the NCAA tournament. (Copyright: Steve Bruno for The Equalizer)

The NCAA Tournament is without a doubt the finest time of year to observe the best soccer talent in the country. With most of the action livestreamed or televised, fans get the chance to watch talented players they might not see otherwise. The big names, like Morgan Brian and Cyrstal Dunn, who have been getting time with the U.S. senior team, are well known. Here’s a list of five players fans may want to watch in the second round of action:

Rachel Daly – St. John’s

In her first year in NCAA competition, sophomore Rachel Daly is certainly making a name for herself. The insurance goal Daly scored in St. John’s 3-1 victory over Central Florida in the first round of the tournament was her 23rd of the season, good for first place in all of Division I. The unanimous pick for both Big East offensive player of the year and newcomer of the year will look to add to that total when the Red Storm take on Arkansas on Friday evening.

Savannah Jordan- Florida

Recently, Savannah Jordan was named SEC offensive player of year becoming the first freshman in school history to win the award. That’s a pretty impressive accomplishment considering United States great Abby Wambach is a Gator alum. Jordan currently ranks second in the country in goals scored with 22. This weekend, Florida will rely more heavily on Jordan as the team recently lost second leading scorer Havana Solaun to ACL injury. Florida faces off against Duke Friday.

Jordan Jackson- Nebraska

Jordan Jackson has put together quite an impressive senior campaign. Jackson has been not only a great distributor but scoring threat as well. The well balanced midfielder has notched nine goals and 12 assists on the year earning her Big Ten midfielder of year honors. Last weekend, Jackson assisted two of Jaycie Johnson’s four goals in Nebraska’s win over Southeastern Louisiana. In second round of the tournament, Nebraska will face a tougher opponent in Boston College.

Daphne Corboz – Georgetown

When Virginia faces Georgetown on Friday evening, all eyes will be on Cavalier junior midfielder Morgan Brian. There’s another junior midfielder that fans should watch though, the Hoyas’ Daphne Corboz, who coincidentally also wears the No. 6 jersey. Despite missing five games due to injury, Corboz has tallied seven goals and 13 assists this season. She earned Big East midfielder of year honors to complement her Big East offensive player of the year award for a season ago. If David is going to slay Goliath on Friday night, Corboz will have to come up big for the Hoyas.

Stephanie McCaffrey- Boston College

Junior forward Stephanie McCaffrey has stepped up for the Eagles in a big way following the loss of star Kristie Mewis. McCaffrey has been effective this season not only at scoring but setting the table for others as well. McCaffrey has 12 goals and eight assists on the year. Her efforts earned her a place on the All-ACC first team. That’s quite an accomplishment considering the offensive firepower found in the conference. Boston College has struggled at times this year and were once in jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament. McCaffrey will play a vital role in determining whether the Eagles advance past Nebraska Friday and onto the third round.


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