October 6th, 2019, Waltham, MA; The NCAA soccer season is moving into the critical portion of its regular season schedule this week as conference play is in full swing and on everyone’s mind. GPS alumni are continuing to make impacts across the country with critical goals, assists and excellent play. This week we flip the spotlight back onto alumni from our girl’s programs who have moved up to join Division One women’s programs.
Morgan Walsh is enjoying her third season on the field at West Point having started all 11 games for Army this season. The junior from Pelham, New Hampshire is a former GPS New Hampshire player who’s earned plenty of playing time in her collegiate career. Last season, Walsh made 20 appearances, 18 starts, scoring four goals.
This season, Walsh has a goal and three assists as Army are off to a respectable 3-3-5(W-D-L) start to the season. She had a goal and an assist to lead Army over Long Island University, 2-0, chipped in with an assist in their 3-2 win over Albany and provided the game winning assist against Marist on September 18th. All of her points on the year have helped deliver wins for the Cadets. They play away to Bucknell this Saturday.
Fellow Patriot League rivals to Army, Boston University, have also benefitted this year from a GPS alumni, Ashley Raphael. After missing her entire freshman season due to injury, Raphael has provided a continued spark coming off the bench for the Bulldogs. She’s made an appearance in all 12 games thus far for BU, totaling 258 minutes, with a season high 39 against American.
Raphael is from Andover, MA and played for GPS Massachusetts, before joining BU.
In the game against American, Raphael scored one of four goals on the night as BU cruised to a 4-1 win. Her other goal was the team’s sole tally in a 3-1 loss to UConn and she provided an assist on the opening goal of their 2-0 win over Stony Brook. BU has won two of three so far in conference play, incidentally winning on Wednesday against Army. They are home on Saturday against Loyola at Nickerson Field.
A little further south of Boston, Taylor Smith is in the midst of her sophomore season with the Central Connecticut Blue Devils. After getting into three games in her freshman season, Smith already has nine appearances and three starts in 2019. Playing as a defender hasn’t kept her from scoring this season as she has scored twice on the season, both from corners.
Smith’s first collegiate goal wrapped up a convincing 4-0 win over Iona, scoring the fourth and final goal in the 77th minute. Her second goal came in the first conference game of the season against Bryant. The goal was the Blue Devils only one in the contest as they held on through double over-time for a 1-1 draw.
Smith and the Blue Devils have four conference games in the next two weeks, concluding with an October 20th matchup against Merrimack College, who have six GPS alumni of their own.
Florida State University is off to a perfect, 3-0-0, start in the powerhouse Atlantic Coast Conference(ACC) and are ranked sixth in the country off the back of a 9-0-2 record. The Seminoles are also the reigning National Champions.
Makala Thomas, from GPS California, is in her sophomore season with FSU and is seeing an increased role from her freshman year. After making four appearances in the 2018 National Championship campaign, Thomas has gotten into all eleven games this season.
A player’s first collegiate goal is always memorable, however, Thomas’ came in an exceptional circumstance. FSU was playing ACC rival Boston College on September 19th and Thomas’ goal came in the 38th minute. It was already the third goal in the contest and put FSU up, 2-1. The lead was short lived, however, as BC equalized less than two minutes later.
The second half saw the teams split five more goals, including three in eight minutes, and the Seminoles ended up with a narrow, crazy, 5-4 win over the Eagles. Thomas will be looking for more excitement and goals between now and October 13th as FSU are set to face Pitt, West Virginia and Virginia in ACC play in their next three games.
We love tracking our alumni in college and we would be delighted to hear from all of them and their families this season to let us know about the success you and your program are having! Anyone looking to reach out should contact our College Placement Program Director, Thomas Pinzone, at firstname.lastname@example.org.