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Three Women’s Soccer Players Named To Preseason Best XI

It’s been a big week for Penn Staters on preseason All-Whatever teams. Yesterday, we told you that four football players were named to the preseason All-Big Ten team.

Now, three women on the fifteen-time defending Big Ten Champions and defending national runners-up women’s soccer team have been named to‘s Best XI teams: First Team (senior forward Maya Hayes), Second Team (junior defender Whitney Church), and Freshman Team (defender Brittany Basinger).

Hayes, who scored 16 goals and added six assists in only 20 games last season, is not just Penn State’s best player, but she’s also the reigning Big Ten Forward of the year and may be the best forward in the country. Her list of accomplishments, as seen on her page, is impressive. She also suited up for the gold medal winning US Women’s National Under-20 squad at the 2012 U-20 World Cup, and was the team’s leading scorer. Long story short, seeing Hayes anywhere but on the first team Best XI would have been a shock.

Church was only a sophomore last year, but started in every match and has cemented herself as one of the premier defenders in America. The reigning Big Ten Defender of the Year, Church scored three goals and added an assist last year, but more importantly, she helped anchor a defense that averaged just over one goal per match.

Lastly, Basinger is a highly touted recruit in the back for the Nittany Lions — the #4 ranked defender and the #17 overall recruit in the country — and was named the Virginia Gatorade girl’s soccer player of the year in May. She also joined teammate Mallory Weber on the US U-20 Women’s National Team as a member of their training camp back in April.

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