Welcome to the first edition of our FC Dallas Youth alumni NCAA round-up for the 2013 season. We hope you enjoy our new format as with literally dozens of players in the NCAA game between the women and the men, it's become impossible to follow them all on a weekly basis and we've chosen to highlight five performances each week from our boys and girls. Here's the first edition:
Boyd Okwuono - Junior Defender - University of North Carolina
Team captain Boyd “OC” Okwuono and the second-ranked Tar Heels are undefeated through three games this season. The big defender from Oklahoma has started all three games for UNC who have allowed just one goal in three games in a 1-1 draw with fourth-ranked Notre Dame on Sunday. UNC hosts Maryland on Friday night in the marquee matchup of the weekend nationally.
Fernando Laverde - Freshman Midfielder - University of Central Florida
Laverde, a freshman midfielder at UCF, scored his first collegiate goal on September 5, firing in a free kick from 25 yards out in the 70th minute of a 2-1 win over Florida International. Laverde has started all three games for the Golden Knights who are 1-1-1 and travel to Virginia for games against William & Mary and Old Dominion this weekend.
WATCH: Maryland 3, Duke 1
Jamie Ibarra - Senior Goalkeeper - Southern Methodist University
SMU has struggled to open the season with four one-goal losses in four games, but Ibarra has been solid for the Mustangs with eight saves so far this season. Ibarra earned All-Tournament honors for his play at last weekend’s Tulsa Golden Hurricane Classic.
Mikey Ambrose - Sophomore Defender - University of Maryland
It’s been an up and down start to the campaign for Maryland, but on Friday, September 6th in front of a record crowd of 8,397, the Terps defeated Duke 3-1. Ambrose earned an assist on the third goal. Maryland fell to VCU 3-2 on Sunday, September 8th. Tune in to ESPN3.com on Friday as Ambrose and Maryland will host fellow FCD Academy alumni Boyd Okwuono and North Carolina.
Nick Rochowski - Redshirt Freshman Defender - University of New Mexico
Rochowski and ninth-ranked New Mexico scored one of the results of the weekend defeating last year’s national finalists Georgetown 1-0 in Washington D.C. Rochowski was the hero for the Lobos coming on as a substitute to score his first collegiate goal, a 104th minute game-winner (CLICK HERE to see the highlights). UNM hosts Santa Clara and Cal State Northridge this weekend in the Lobo Invitational.
WATCH: Allie Tripp interview
Allie Tripp - Junior Defender - University of Arkansas
The undefeated Razorbacks are 6-0-0 on the season and have cracked the NCAA Top 25 rankings. Tripp has played in all six games for Arkansas this season and leads the Razorbacks with three assists in six games. Tripp was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week on August 26.
Natalie Huggins - Junior Forward - Baylor University
Huggins has been fantastic early in the season for the undefeated #7 Baylor Bears. The junior has three goals on the season and scored the game-winning goal in the 56th minute of Friday’s 2-1 win over Missouri. The Bears return to action at home this weekend vs Cal Poly and McNeese State.
Kailee Hervey – Freshman Forward – Louisiana Tech
Four freshman from FC Dallas have joined Louisana Tech and Hervey scored her first goal for the Bulldogs in their August 30th 2-0 win over Troy. Louisiana Tech is 2-4-1 on the young season and travel to games against Arkansas-Little Rock and Grambling St. this weekend.
Taylor Schneider – Junior Defender – Notre Dame
A member of FCD’s U-23 ECNL team, Schneider has featured regularly for the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish who have allowed just one goal in their last three games.
Sarah Ashley Firstenberg – Freshman Midfielder – University of North Carolina
Firstenberg has played in two games thus far in 2013 for the 6-0-0 and top-ranked Tar Heels.