Each and every year, there are a number of female athletes across the nation who break onto the scene and make their case for stardom in their respective sports. From softball, soccer, lacrosse, track and field and swimming and diving, there is a plethora of budding young stars who are waiting for their opportunity to become a star and national sensation.
When the new seasons roll around, it presents an opportunity for new faces to break into the spotlight as they excel in their respective sports. It’s also a great time for sponsors to look for the next faces of their brands — once they turn pro, of course.
This year, athletes like Korina Rosario of the Florida State softball team and Kassidy Cook of the Stanford women’s swimming and diving team were among the standouts to help lead their teams to national championships, while former Olympic sprinter Sydney McLaughlin also showed her continued dominance while competing for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Who are some of the other faces you should be looking out for?
Here is a look at the hottest female athletes who have recently competed in NCAA athletics.
10. Brittany Wilson
Wilson is a goaltender for Denver and started 20 matches during the 2017 season. Wilson ranks 122nd in the nation with five shutouts and 71st for minutes played. Wilson allowed just 25 goals in 2017. Wilson was called up to the USA women’s national team on three occasions and is a two-time captain at Real Colorado, the No. 1 ranked ENCL team. Wilson chose Denver over Colorado, San Diego State, and Washington State.
College/Class: Denver College/Junior
High School/Hometown: Columbine High School/Littleton, Colorado
9. Ally Watt
Watt, who participated in the 2016 FIFA U20 World Cup for the United States, led the Aggies in points and goals during the 2017 season which Texas A&M finished with an 18-2-2 record and the No. 7 ranking in the nation. She was named a First Team All-SEC honoree and honored as a member of the SEC All-Tournament Team after tying a school record with a four-goal performance in the quarterfinals.
As a member of the U-20 USA women’s national team in the World Cup, Watt was forced to redshirt her sophomore year. The United States ultimately lost to South Korea in the third-place match, but Watt did appear in five matches and earned FIFA Player of the Match in the United States’ win over Mexico. Watt committed to Texas A&M after being a standout in soccer and track and field at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In track, Watt won state titles in both the 100 Meter and 200 Meter at the 2012 and 2014 Colorado Class 5A Track & Field Championship.
Texas A&M Aggies/Junior
Pine Creek/Colorado Springs, Colorado
8. Victoria Vivians
Victoria Vivians has consistently been one of the top players in women’s basketball. Starring for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the 6-foot-1 guard helped the Bulldogs to four NCAA Tournament appearances, three Sweet Sixteens, and two national championship game berths. Vivians is the first four-time Gillom Trophy winner (Mississippi’s top women’s college basketball player) in the program’s history.
Vivians was selected by the Indiana Fever with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft.
Mississippi State Bulldogs/Junior (Declared for WNBA Draft)
Scott Central/Carthage, Mississippi
7. Korina Rosario
During her final year at Florida State, Rosario made 22 starts in the outfield and played in 67 games for the national champion Seminoles. It was the first time in school history that Florida State claimed the national title. She had career highs in 15 different statistical categories, including 12 hits, three doubles, two triples, five RBI, 26 runs scored, nine walks and 10 stolen bases. In high school, Rosario was a two-time Class 5 All-Florida honorable mention, Florida District 1 5A Player of the Year, and a state champion.
Florida State Seminoles/Senior
West Florida/Pensacola, Florida
6. Laurie Bracey
Laurie Bracey, was a freshman defender for the Maryland Terrapins women’s lacrosse team during the 2018 season. The Terrapins won their third straight Big Ten Tournament championship this season and entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed with a first-round bye week. Maryland was the defending national champions. Bracey was a 2017 Under Armour All-American and the No. 32-ranked recruit in her class. Named one of the ILWomen’s Top 40 Young Guns, Bracey was also an Under Armour All-American Underclass champion. ALong with lacrosse at Centennial High School, Bracey competed in field hockey and track.
5. Taylor Becerra
As a sophomore, Becerra was named to the All-PAC-12 second team after making the Pac-12 All-Freshman team in her first college season. The former La Serna High School (Calif.) standout led her high school to the CIF-SS Division 3 Softball Championship and won the 16U Colorado Fireworks Championship in club ball. In 2018, Becerra totaled 25 hits, and three triples to bring her career-high slugging percentage to .362.
Arizona State Sun Devils/Junior
La Serna/Whittier, California
4. Kassidy Cook
Kassidy Cook was a member of the Stanford women’s swimming and dive team who represented the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the 2018 season, the Cardinal captured their second-straight and 10th all-time NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving national championship. Along with being a two-time national champion and Olympian, she was a five-time All-American, 2017 Pac-12 champion, two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American and two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention.
The Woodlands/The Woodlands, Texas
Swimming & Diving/1-m & 3-m
3. Sydney McLaughlin
Sydney McLaughin is a former Olympian and member of the Kentucky track and field team who won the national championship in the 400m hurdles. McLaughlin won the national championship with a time of in 53.96 seconds, despite pouring rain. Even in the ugly conditions, McLaughlin’s time was good enough for No. 2 all-time in NCAA Championship history. After winning the national title, McLaughlin turned pro.
Kentucky Wildcats/Freshman (Turned pro after season)
Union Catholic/Dunellen, New Jersey
Track & Field/Hurdles, Sprints
2. Kennedy Brown
Kennedy Brown is a soccer player for the Baylor Bears and the fiancee of Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham. She is a rising senior who is majoring in communications. Brown has always been a standout on the field, but her popularity began to rise all across the nation when people found out she was dating the former Baylor signal-caller.
1. Hannah Leiner
Leiner was one of four freshman on the FIU women’s golf team which competed in the 2018 Conference USA Championships. Leiner began golfing at the age of 11 and went on to star at North Broward Prep before heading to FIU. Along with being a standout golfer, Leiner was a competitive dancer. She qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2015.
North Broward Prep/Pompano Beach, Florida