Arizona soccer appears to be in good hands for the next three seasons.
UA goalkeeper Hope Hisey finished the 2019 season in TopDrawerSoccer’s Freshman Top 100, checking in at No. 85 overall. Seven other goalkeepers made the cut.
Hisey started in 16 of 20 games as a freshman and recorded 64 saves, seven clean sheets, and a 1.64 goals-against average. Her best outing came at Washington State when she made four acrobatic saves in a 1-0 road win over the Cougars, who wound up making a surprise run to the Final Four.
Hisey was also in goal when Arizona blanked UCLA, another Final Four team. Her emergence solved one of the most pressing tasks facing the Wildcats entering the season, which was replacing all-time shutouts leader Lainey Burdett.
“On corner kicks, she is elite in the air,” associate head coach Paul Nagy said of Hisey during the season. “She judges the ball really well, she can punch anything out. .... When she’s aggressive in her little area that we want her to control, she does a really good job with that. And to be totally honest, in goalkeeping in general at any level, the hardest part is to be able to do that.”
A Tucson native, Hisey originally split starting goalkeeping duties with redshirt freshman Kendyll Humphreys before becoming the full-time starter at the beginning of Pac-12 play.
“To see how far she has come is pretty awesome but she still has a long way to go,” Nagy said. “And if she can keep driving...and keep learning about the position and the little quirks on this set here when someone’s shooting, or to turn her body this way to make this save easier...then the sky is the limit for her.”
Humphreys is transferring from the program, leaving Hisey as the only goalkeeper on the roster heading into 2020 (for now, at least). Still, that position is one of the few the Wildcats are settled at.
Arizona graduated seven seniors, including three starters and some important bench players, plus saw six underclassmen, including third-leading scorer Brooke Wilson and key reserve Emily Knous, transfer from the program.
However, the Wildcats will return their top two scorers in Jada Talley (10 goals, eight assists) and Jill Aguilera (nine goals, two assists), who became the first duo in program history to score nine or more goals apiece. Arizona as a team netted 41 goals, its most ever in a season.
The Wildcats (12-7-1) reached the NCAA Tournament in 2019 for the third straight year, the longest streak in program history. Their season ended in the second round at the hands of No. 4 seed Penn State.
Arizona surprisingly did not land any players in TopDrawerSoccer’s National Top 100—which consists of sophomores, juniors and seniors—despite the fact Talley was ranked 65th to begin the season and rose to 43rd by midseason. The junior finished in the top 10 in the Pac-12 in points and became the first Wildcat since 2015 to be named to the Pac-12 All-First Team.
Versatile freshman Madison Goerlinger previously was ranked as the No. 65 player in TopDrawerSoccer’s Midseason Freshman Top 100, but dropped out in the latest update.
Here’s a look at how many players each Pac-12 school landed in TopDrawerSoccer’s National Top 100 and Freshman Top 100. (Note that the schools that had zero are not listed.)
- Stanford: 8
- UCLA: 6
- USC: 4
- Washington State: 4
- Oregon State: 2
- Arizona: 1
- Cal: 1
- Colorado: 1
- Oregon: 1