One of the most exciting parts of any college soccer season is witnessing which freshmen make an early impact.
Coaches carry high hopes during the recruiting process, projecting system-specific fits and accumulating talent from across the United States and overseas. But nobody truly knows if assessments are correct until players arrive on campus and enter the rigors of a collegiate season.
That's unfolded this spring as Division I teams have returned to action, leading to first-year contributors aplenty. Some were projected as important newcomers, while others fall into the "pleasant surprise" category.
From across New England's D-I scene, here are 10 freshmen who have impressed and entered key roles. We've also included honorable mentions since narrowing this down to 10 players proved difficult. For context, we didn't include redshirt freshmen since they were already with D-I programs in 2019.