Boston Breakers College Academy players set to begin NCAA tournament

(Nov. 14, 2014) - The first round of the NCAA women's college soccer tournaments begin today and tomorrow, and 14 players who were on the 2014 Boston Breakers College Academy WPSL team are in the tournament.

The first to play this weekend is Samantha Mewis as UCLA takes on San Diego at 10 p.m. ET. Mewis is coming off a phenomenal senior season at UCLA, which recently garnered the Hanson, Mass. native Pac-12 Player of the Year honors. She scored 14 goals, which tied her for first in the Pac-12. She helped lead the Bruins to an 18-0-2 record and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division 1 tournament.

Northeastern University, which won the Colonial Athletic Association championship, features four players from last year's College Academy team, including CAA Defensive Player of the Year Bianca Calderone. She is joined by goalkeeper Paige Burnett (2014 All-CAA First Team), Shayna Blackwood, and Amy Steele, who all helped lead Northeastern to a 14-4-3 record. Northeastern's coaching staff features Breakers assistant coach Ashley Phillips and former Breaker Kia McNeill.

Northeastern faces Boston University Saturday at 2 p.m. in the first round, and BU has two players who were on last year's College Academy roster: defender Kai Miller (All-Patriot League First Team) and defender Rachel Bloznalis. The duo won the Patriot League for the second year in a row with the Terriers, who this year have Breakers forward Katie Schoepfer as an assistant coach.

Boston University's Rachel Bloznalis

Harvard, which hosts Central Connecticut State Saturday at 1 p.m. in its first-round match, has five players from last year's College Academy team. Meg Casscells-Hamby (All-Ivy League First Team), Margaret Purce (All-Ivy League First Team), Haley Washburn (All-Ivy League Honorable Mention), Emily Mosbacher (four goals, two assists), and keeper Cheta Emba (5-2-0, four shutouts) led the Crimson to their 12th Ivy League title.

The University of Connecticut returns to the NCAA Tournament and includes Stephanie Ribeiro from last year's College Academy team. UConn plays the University of New Hampshire Saturday at 5 p.m.

Nicki Johnson and the William Smith College women's soccer team begins its run in the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship Saturday against Keene State at 11 a.m. ET. William Smith went 15-2-1 and won its eighth Liberty League title.

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