Stanford freshman Bessie Noll took an unusual path to Division I softball. After years of playing little league baseball in Japan, she came to America seeking greater opportunity and the camaraderie that sprouts from playing with 18 other women.
Compared to its conference counterparts, the Virginia Tech soccer team doesn't have the most padded history book. It's cracked the top five just in time for what may be the program's biggest regular-season game ever.
Roaming all over the country, and from conference to conference, the Denver soccer team will go anywhere to find a home in the NCAA tournament. That spirit has the Pioneers knocking on the top 10 of our power rankings.
Near the 10th anniversary of the death of legendary Portland coach Clive Charles, a draw with Stanford helped the Pilots move into our power rankings, showing the soccer culture he helped build is still thriving.