Canadians turning heads in NCAA this fall

Patrick Mullins may be the top player in NCAA this year but he has some quality Canadian company. - Maryland Athletics

The NCAA regular season is starting to heat up and a number of Canadian players are leading the way for their schools. With Top Drawer Soccer running their midseason rankings there are plenty of players for Canadians to be excited about.

NCAA soccer is a bit of an after thought for a lot of Canadian fans but this fall there have been plenty of reasons to be excited about what young Canadian players are doing south of the border.  Top Drawer Soccer released their National 100 and Freshman 100 for the men this Friday and there is a decent number of Canadians included in both lists.  The strong Canadian contingent carries over to the Women's side of things as Canadian women abound again in the National 100 and the Freshman 100.

(Note: all stats and records are accurate to Friday afternoon when I wrote this.  Lots changed over the weekend)

In the Men's National 100 there are some familiar names at the top of the list with Patrick Mullins leading the way.  A number of names near the top of the list would be worth getting to know if for no other reason than the fact that several of them will be plying their trade in MLS next season.

The first Canadian to appear on the list comes in at number 26.  Toronto native Mackenzie Pridham is a senior from Cal Poly who has been a consistent producer for his school helping lead them to a 7-7-0 record so far and a 3-1-0 record in Best West play.  Pridham has 6 goals and 2 assists on the season.

Pridham is joined on the list by another Toronto native in Tomislav Zadro.  The Wisconsin senior comes in at #49 on the list with 3 goals and 3 assists for a Badgers team that has amassed a 8-3-2 record on the season.  The Canadians on the list are rounded out by yet another Toronto kid as Mark Anthony Gonzalez comes in at #66.  The Evansville sophomore midfielder has netted 6 times helping his team to a 8-3-1 record on the season.

The Freshman 100 is where things get really impressive for the Canadians as 7 new-comers make the list.  The group is led by Alex Halis of Syracuse who holds down the 5th place on the list.  Halis' place on the list is well deserved as the Brampton native has been turning heads since arriving at Syracuse.  His 5 goals and 2 assists have played a big part in helping Syracuse to a 8-4-1 record despite their recent struggles in ACC conference play.

Cyle Larin comes in as the second highest ranked Canadian as the Connecticut midfielder has impressed with his 5 goals on the season.  His school are 6-2-4 but have impressed in league play and find themselves near the top of the ACC thanks in part to the solid contributions they have been getting from Larin right from his first appearance for the school.

Halis is joined in the top 20 by his teammate at Syracuse as Chris Nanco, the third player on the list from Brampton, comes in at #20.  Nanco has been another key player in the Orangemens midfield as he has managed to contribute 4 goals and 1 assist so far this season.

The first Canadian freshman to make the list from outside the GTA is Brody Huitema who comes in at 32nd.  The Vancouver Whitecaps residency product has been doing well for Duke this fall picking 5 goals, 2 assist to lead the way for the Blue Devils.  With Duke in a bit of a rebuilding year he has gotten plenty of minutes while the team has struggled to a 4-4-5 record.

Mark Wadid makes the list at 50th as the former TFC Academy player has done well since joining Penn State this fall.  He has found the back of the net three times this season and has played a role in helping the Nittany Lions to top spot in the Big Ten thanks to an impressive 11-3-1 record on the season.  Considering all three of his goals were game winners early in the season he is a big part of the rule Penn State find themselves on now.

Another familiar name for Toronto FC academy observers comes in at number 54 on the list.  Sergio Camargo, the man who scored on Liverpool, has done well for Costal Carolina this fall picking up 5 goals and 4 assists already on the season.  He has been a bright spot for the school and has done his part to help them to a 10-2-0 record and top of the Big South conference.

The final Canadian in the Freshman 100 is Kwame Awuah who comes in at 70th.  He is yet another Toronto area player and is teammates with Larin at Connecticut.  The defender makes the list with two assists to his name but more importantly he has been a key member of the Huskies solid defence this season.

The men are not the only Canadians having a good fall in NCAA play though as their are plenty of ladies making both the National and Freshman 100's.

In the National 100 the Canadians just miss out on the top 10 as Jonelle Filigno leads the way at 11th overall.  The Rutgers senior and National Team member has just about done it all in her NCAA career so her 7 goals and 3 assists this season should not surprise anyone.  Despite her production Rutgers have only managed a 5-8-1 record on the year as Filigno is one of the few bright spots for the team.

Nkem Ezurike is the next Canadian up as the Michigan senior from Nova Scotia is ranked at #16.  Her 7 goals and 7 assists are a big reason why Michigan are competing at the top of the Big Ten conference and have a 10-2-1 record on the season.

Christabel Oduro of Memphis comes in at #32 thanks to the senior forward's 8 goals and 3 assists on the season.

Danica Wu comes in with the #34 ranking as the Ohio State senior midfielder has been pulling the strings for her team this season picking up 6 assists to go with her 1 goal.

Cloe Lacasse of Iowa comes in at #66 with 3 goals and 6 assists in her junior season.

Sabrina D'Angelo lands at #69 as the junior from South Carolina is the first Canadian goalkeeper to make the list thanks to her 88% save percentage in 10 games.

Shelina Zadorsky is the second Michigan senior from Canada to make the list as the defender claims the 73rd rank in large part due to her 5 goals and 1 assist on the season.

Christine Exeter comes in at #86 despite the Louisville senior having 5 goals and 8 assists to her name on the year.  Her numbers are impressive as so is Lousville's 9-2-1 record.

The 9th and final Canadian to make the list is at #94 as Kinley McNicoll rounds out the group.  The Wisconsin sophomore has been a key contributor for the Badgers with 4 goals and 9 assists already this season.

It is an impressive list of Canadian players with 9 making the top 100 and many of them are doing it by putting up some impressive stats for their respective schools.  They are not alone though as Canada is also well represented in the Freshman 100 for the women.

The top ranked Canadian freshman should surprise very few people as she is already becoming a fixture at CB for the Canadian National Team.  Kadeisha Buchanan is turning in a solid season for West Virginia and is rewarded with the 4th spot in the list.  She only has 1 goal and 1 assist on the season but more importantly the defender has been a fixture for the Mountaineers and is a big part of the reason why they are top of the Big 12 with an 11-2-2 record.

Summer Clarke of LSU is next up on the list from Canada as the forward comes in at 11th overall.  Her 8 goals and 3 assists on the season are impressive and have helped her school to the top of the SEC west with a 9-3-2 record.  The good news for Clarke is that she just seems to be heating up with 6 goals in her last four games including a hat-trick against Arkansas.

Kailen Sheridan comes in at #14 and is the second best ranked goalkeeper among freshman.  She has backstopped Clemson to a 8-3-2 record on the season thanks to her 83% save percentage on the year.

Valerie Sanderson claims the 18th rank with 9 goals and 2 assists for Memphis this season.  She is the top ranked player on the list from Quebec and along with Oduro is a big part of the success that Memphis is having this fall.

Nichelle Prince is the final Canadian to find themselves ranked in the top 25 as she comes in at 22nd overall.  The Ohio State forward has an impressive 8 goals and 5 assists so far on the season.

Next up is Emma Fletcher who is ranked 26th overall.  Like Clarke she is a BC girl playing for LSU and the midfielder has been impressive this season raking up 10 assists already to go along with her 1 goal.

Ashley Lawrence is ranked 37th and is the second West Virginia player from Canada to make the list.  The Toronto area forward has 3 goals and 3 assists on the season for the Mountaineers.

Kayla Adamek from University of Central Florida is ranked 72nd on the list as the midfielder from Ottawa has been a solid contributor picking up 5 goals and 2 assists on the year.

That is a total of 8 Canadians making it into the Freshman 100 for the women with 7 of them finding themselves in the top 50.  It is another impressive showing by the Canadian players in Top Drawers rankings.  With a total of 26 Canadians across the 4 lists there are plenty of reasons to be excited about what the players are doing in NCAA action this fall.

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