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Brooke Wilson among 6 players transferring from Arizona soccer

Photo by Ryan Kelapire

Brooke Wilson, Arizona soccer’s third-leading scorer in 2019, is one of six players who are transferring from the program.

The sophomore forward tallied six goals and four assists, second-most on the team, this season. She appeared in all 20 games and made 19 starts.

The others leaving the program are sophomore midfielder Emily Knous, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kendyll Humphreys, redshirt freshman midfielder Jules Dominguez, freshman forward Sophie Jones, and now as of Tuesday sophomore defender Dorian Goodwin.

Knous is the only other one who was a significant contributor. The Long Beach, California native was named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Freshman Best XI Second Team in 2018 after posting four goals and three assists over 1,133 minutes in 21 games (16 starts).

She had a smaller role as a sophomore, logging one assist in 523 minutes across 18 games (one start).

Humphreys, from Chandler, split starting goalkeeping duties with freshman Hope Hisey in non-conference play this season before Hisey became the full-time starter in Pac-12 play.

Jones, from Upland, California, had four shots in 125 minutes across 12 games. Dominguez, from Mesa, logged 93 minutes in five games but did not record any stats. She missed the 2018 season with an ankle injury.

Goodwin, from Las Vegas, played 250 minutes across 11 games in 2019.

A parent of one of the transfers said the “culture and style of soccer” is why their daughter decided to move on.

“For us personally the soccer was too direct and not the style of soccer [she] was used to playing,” said the parent, who requested anonymity. “The team was divided and we felt the coach wasn’t looking to season his players on the bench. He had lots of opportunities to play girls that would have benefitted the team and the future of the program.

“As far as the school and the culture at University of Arizona, I will be honest with you, it was first class. [Our daughter] will miss the atmosphere and the commitment that the school has for the sports programs.”

This kind of roster turnover is not that uncommon in women’s college soccer, but it is the second straight year a major contributor has left Arizona.

UA’s leading assister in 2018, Amanda Porter, transferred to Texas Tech for the 2019 season. (Transfers are not required to sit out a year.)

“We understand that that’s a part of college athletics and it’s hard for people to know the best fit for them when they are coming out of high school whether that’s academics, whether that’s social, whether that’s with their teammates, whether that’s with coaches...and sometimes it may even be financial,” said Arizona coach Tony Amato.

“And so I think these days with the portal, it’s definitely in everybody’s heads that this is what college athletics is now, and it’s always been that way, just now the portal is a little more open and visual. But I can’t imagine the (transfer) rates are totally different from what they were previously.”

Wilson, who starred for the San Diego Surf at the club level, was believed to be the highest-ranked recruit Arizona soccer has ever signed. TopDrawerSoccer pegged her as the No. 54 player in her class and No. 11 player in Southern California.

The Vista, California native scored three goals in seven games as a freshman before breaking her leg, an injury that sidelined her until the NCAA Tournament.

Wilson got off to a hot start in 2019, with four goals and two assists in her first four games. She was Arizona’s leading scorer until about midway through the season before she went scoreless in her last 11 games.

Her last goal at Arizona was her most memorable one. In the upset of UCLA, she netted a shot from 35 yards out, landing her a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10:

Arizona is also graduating seven seniors, so it will have plenty of new faces next season, though it still returns its top two scorers—Jada Talley and Jill Aguilera—and 11 players who started in at least one game in 2019, including Ava McCray and Grace Santos who transferred into the program.

The Wildcats reached the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season, the longest streak in program history. They advanced to the second round all three years.

“Every year you try and bring in about 10 players knowing that there may be some flexibility in your roster from year to year,” Amato said. “That’s why every Power 5 soccer team across the country is typically bringing in a bigger number, 10 at a time and more. I think we’ve had years here where we’ve had 13 a couple years in a row. So we just know that that’s part of it. And you got to make sure you have a roster that’s full and has depth and has talent.”

Arizona signed eight recruits during the early-signing period. You can read about them here.