Machaela George and Natalie Kennedy played three seasons together on the Santa Margarita girls’ soccer team, helping the Eagles win two Trinity League titles and capping off their senior seasons by capturing CIF-SS and Southern California Regional Division I titles in the spring of 2016.
The team co-captains then signed with Santa Clara University, where they’ve continued to play key roles in big wins for the Broncos the past two seasons.
George became a full-time starter at defender this season, helping Santa Clara to a second-place finish in the West Coast Conference. Santa Clara qualified for the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championships and opened with a 2-1 victory against California on Nov. 11, followed by a 3-1 victory against Vanderbilt on Nov. 17.
Two more wins would put the Broncos in the semifinals of the 64-team tournament for the 11th time in program history, and first since 2004.
Kennedy has primarily occupied a reserve role her first two seasons at Santa Clara, but the midfielder played a big part in the Broncos’ biggest goal of the NCAA championships last season. She assisted on the double-overtime game-winner in the second round against second-seeded Stanford and Santa Clara went on to reach the quarterfinals.
Julie Doyle helped JSerra to the CIF-SS Division I title last March and was having a sensational freshman season with Santa Clara this fall, but sustained a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 27.
Doyle tied for second on the team with eight goals in 18 regular-season games.
On the Vanderbilt sideline was Haley Hopkins, who graduated from Mater Dei last spring. Hopkins has played sparingly as a freshman for the Commodores this season, but will likely be a regular in the lineup in the years to come.
Hopkins led Mater Dei with 18 goals last season, scoring seven in Trinity League play to help the Monarchs win the league title. She had the team’s biggest goal of the season in overtime to give Mater Dei a 1-0 victory over Hart in a CIF-SS Division 1 semifinal.
Kayra Dollas wasn’t among the seven Trinity League players selected to one of the three OC Register All-County teams in 2014-15, but she’s emerged as one of the top players for Texas, the fourth-seeded team in the NCAA championships.
She was a starting midfielder in every regular-season game this fall and played the third-most minutes, helping the Longhorns reach the postseason after missing out the past two.
Taylor and Kaitlin Klawunder came to Notre Dame three years ago as the first set of twins ever to play women’s soccer for the Fighting Irish.
The Santa Margarita graduates won three Trinity League titles with the Eagles and have contributed to Notre Dame’s appearance in the NCAA championships all four years.
Taylor appeared in 60 games over her first three seasons at Notre Dame, and was the full-time starting midfielder for the Fighting Irish her senior year.
Kaitlin made program history her sophomore year when she came off the bench and scored against Boston College after Taylor had scored earlier in the game, becoming the first set of sisters in school history to score in the same game.
As a junior last season, Kaitlin led the Fighting Irish with three game-winning goals.