The SEC announced the 2020 Soccer Preseason Watch List on Thursday, with five players from Ole Miss named among players to watch this season.
Ole Miss placed Channing Foster, Sydney Michalak, Molly Martin, Ashley Orkus and Haleigh Stackpole on the watch list. It is the third straight appearance for Foster and the second such selection for Stackpole, while Martin, Orkus and Stackpole and on the list for the first time.
Foster, the SEC’s active leading scorer with 30 career goals, has been one of the league’s top offensive threats right from the jump, scoring 12 times during her freshman season and following up with successive campaigns of eight and 10 goals, respectively. A three-time All-SEC forward, Foster has also chipped in seven assists, tied for second-most among active Rebels.
Stackpole matches Foster for that team-high seven assists and is another player who immediately established herself as a scoring threat as a freshman. The Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, native has scored five times in each of her first two Rebel campaigns, serving as one of the main playmaking options as an attacking midfielder. Stackpole was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2018.
A starter in 34 of the 42 matches the last two seasons, Martin enters her senior campaign as a mainstay in the middle of the park for the Rebs. A link between the defense and offense as a holding midfielder, the Evangelical Christian School product ranks third on the team with seven career goals, bagging three in 2019. At 5-10, Martin provides an aerial threat for Ole Miss, scoring a pair of game-winning goals on headers in her career.
After sitting out the 2018 season after transferring from fellow SEC foe Tennessee, Orkus stepped into the starting role between the posts and played every second of the 2019 season for the Rebels and performed admirably. The native Alabaman posted the second-most saves in the league with 86, tallying a 1.28 goals-against average with six clean sheets.
Making the move from forward to full back in 2019, Michalak transitioned into the new role with ease. The Winter Springs, Florida, native was often tasked with marking the opposing team’s most dangerous attacking threat and consistently passed the test. Michalak has plenty of speed to burn and uses her pace on both ends of the pitch, providing an important assist in Ole Miss’ 3-2 victory over Florida.
The Rebels kick off the 2020 season on Saturday, taking on Texas A&M at 5 p.m. CT at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium. The season-opening matchup will be featured on national TV, airing on the SEC Network.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports