In our third week of this series, we look at 6 more of the 12 freshmen on the women’s soccer team.
#21 Candace Hillegas
Hailing from Santa Rosa, Calif., Hillegas was named the 2017-18 North Bay League Girls’ Soccer Defensive Player of the Year. As a captain her senior year at Maria Carillo High School, Hillegas anchored a defense that allowed only 12 goals in 24 matches. Hillegas led her team to a 20-3-1 overall record, ranking them 44th in the nation. She has played sparingly for the Dons so far, recording 50 minutes across six appearances, but has the ability to develop into a quality defender for years to come.
#22 Taylor Jackson
Jackson comes to the Hilltop from Newport Beach, Calif., where she played at Huntington Beach High School. Another Don who is part of an athletic family, Jackson’s father played on the soccer team at California State University, Long Beach, and her mother was a member of the United States women’s gymnastics team. Standing at 5 feet, 6 inches, the midfielder has yet to appear for the Dons in a match.
#26 Mia Villegas
Villegas is an up-and-coming star from Davis, Calif. whose talent has been recognized internationally. This past summer she played on the Mexican Nation Under-20 Team in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. While Mexico did not advance past the group stage, she appeared in all three matches. In her four seasons playing for Davis High School, the Blue Devils only lost three matches. During her time with them, Blue Devils ranked as high as 9th in the nation and 1st in the state of California. Her brother, D.J., is a redshirt sophomore on the San Diego State University men’s soccer team. She has made nine appearances for the Dons, including seven starts, but has yet to score her first goal.
#34 Sylvia Sloss
Sloss was a two-sport athlete at Del Oro High School in Penryn, Calif., where she was also a point guard on the varsity basketball team. In three years on the varsity soccer team, she netted 27 goals in 41 games and added 13 assists. The forward committed to the Dons in her sophomore year of high school. Having already settled her collegiate fate through soccer, she played basketball for Del Oro her senior year. She averaged 11.2 points per game in 27 games. Her sister, Rachel, played three years of soccer at California State University, East Bay, and her father played at Sacramento State University. She has played 215 minutes in eight games for the Dons, including two starts.
#43 Marie Marlow
Marlow joins the Dons after completing a prolific career at Santa Rosa Academy in Menifee, Calif. In 76 matches for Santa Rosa, she scored 128 goals, for an average of 1.68 goals per game. Marlow does not just finish, she also creates for her team; she tallied 63 assists in high school. She’s listed as a defender on the Dons’ roster, but no doubt will also contribute in the attacking third. To prepare for her transition to college soccer, Marlow played for So Cal Union FC in the Women’s Premier Soccer League, including a game against fellow freshman Karley Weeks and Pateadores FC, which ended in a 0-0 draw.
#82 Samantha Curwood-Wagner
Curwood-Wagner played her freshman and sophomore seasons at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, Calif., before transitioning to club soccer. She played in the youth academy at Beach Futbol Club, another club in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. In 28 games for the U18-19 team at Beach FC, she scored 11 goals. She debuted for the senior side on June 13 against Legends FC and made another appearance against Pateadores FC on July 1, when she scored her first senior goal of her young career.