SIUE's Matea Diekema

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – United Soccer Coaches announced the defenders on its NCAA Division I Women's Players to Watch lists for the 2023 intercollegiate season, and SIUE's Matea Diekema is on the national radar.

The list is comprised of 35 women nationwide.

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Diekema, the Ohio Valley Conference Defender of the Year in 2022, returns to lead the Cougar back line. She is a fourth-year player for the Cougars who is in graduate school at SIUE after earning her bachelor's degree in three years.

The lists are being released for the first time this season by the Division I All-America Committees to promote college soccer leading up to the official start date for the regular season later this month. The lists include United Soccer Coaches All-Americans and first or second team All-Region players from 2022, who are scheduled to return for the 2023 season.

2023 NCAA Division I Women's Players to Watch - Defenders

Arely AlanizSr.Lamar UniversityDeer Park, Texas
Hannah AndersonGR5Texas Tech UniversityPlano, Texas
Maya AntoineSr.Vanderbilt UniversityVaughan, Ont.
Natalie BainSo.Xavier UniversityAlexandria, Ky.
Megan BornkampJr.Clemson UniversityMooresville, N.C.
Zoe BurnsSr.University of Southern CaliforniaIssaquah, Wash.
Brooklyn CourtnallJr.University of Southern CaliforniaWestlake Village, Calif.
EmJ CoxSo.University of TexasDallas, Texas
Raegan CoxGR5Michigan State UniversityMuskegon, Mich.
Matea DiekemaGR4Southern Illinois University EdwardsvilleGrand Rapids, Mich.
Kayla DuranGR5University of Southern CaliforniaWoburn, Mass.
Elise EvansSo.Stanford UniversityRedwood City, Calif.
Eva GaetinoSr.University of Notre DameDexter, Mich.
Kylie GazzaGR5Samford UniversityCumming, Ga.
Madison HaugenSr.University of GeorgiaCumming, Ga.
Victoria HaugenSr.Virginia TechBristow, Va.
Lyndsey HeckelSr.Saint Louis UniversitySt. Louis, Mo.
Sade HeinrichsSr.Georgia Southern UniversityMonchengladbach, Germany
Bridie HermanGR5Liberty UniversitySpringboro, Ohio
Alivia KellyJr.University of New HampshirePembroke, Mass.
Julia LeasGR5Georgetown UniversityVienna, Va.
Kaycee MandingSr.South Dakota State UniversityWaipahu, Hawaii
Emily MasonJr.Rutgers UniversityFlemington, N.J.
Logan McFaddenSr.Lipscomb UniversityBirmingham, Ala.
Lilly RealeJr.UCLAHingham, MA
Payton RobertsonGR5University at KentuckyToronto, Ont.
Jade RoseJr.Harvard UniversityMarkham, Ont.
Jenna ShepherdSr.Utah Valley UniversityAmerican Fork, Utah
Ellie SimmonsSoUniversity at BuffaloArlington, Va.
Grace StordySr.University of MemphisCalgary, Alb.
Allyna ThurstonJr.University of North FloridaCassellberry, Fla.
Lava VakaGR5Brigham Young UniversitySandy, Utah
Kennedy WesleyGR5Stanford UniversityRossmoor, Calif.
Katie ZailskiSo.University of PittsburghSummerville, S.C.
Regan ZimmersSr.University of Nebraska-OmahaOmaha, Neb,

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