Eight from the ACC are among the 25 players named to the Soccer America Women’s Preseason All-America Team announced Thursday, including Duke junior defender Natasha Anasi and North Carolina junior midfielder Crystal Dunn.
Anasi started all 27 games for the Blue Devils in 2011 and was on the field for a total of 2,339 minutes, ranking second on the team. She was the center of a solid Duke defense that allowed just 13 goals, while registering a school-record 16 shutouts.
Dunn, a two-year starter for the Tar Heels and member of the U-20 U.S. National team, had three goals and six assists last season.
The rest of the ACC contingent includes 2011 ACC Offensive Player of the Year Katie Stengel of Wake Forest, ACC Freshman of the Year Morgan Brian of Virginia, Wake Forest goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, Florida State defender Ines Jaurena and forward Tiffany McCarty and Boston College midfielder Kristen Mewis.
N.C. State’s will host the Wolfpack Challenge, intra-squad match, Saturday at 7 p.m.
The 18-player team will be divided into Red and White squads and will play a total of four sets, according to head coach Bryan Bunn. Players on each team will vary by set.
The Wolfpack (20-13 overall, 8-12 ACC in 2011) returns four starters and 13 letter winners from last season. It also has five incoming freshmen. Only two starting jobs have been won outright so far, Bunn said.
The team opens the season Aug. 25 in a tournament in Charleston, S.C. against Jacksonville at 4:30 p.m.