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Fall Sports Player Preview: Get to know Women's Soccer forward N'Dea Johnson

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UB Athletics

If there is any right in this world, N'Dea Johnson will have a healthy and productive senior season for Women's Soccer.

I say that without knowing much about the senior's status when it comes to playing time other than that she's returning to Buffalo this year after spending 2014-15 away. Having played only one year with the Bulls and missing extended time due to health reasons, Johnson's career hasn't gone to plan.

In her one season of play, however, Johnson saw action in 17 of 19 games, starting three, and gradually getting more time over the course of the season. The always-positive athlete bio on the UB website describes her emergence "as an explosive athlete ... not afraid to strike from anywhere," and the game recaps from that season reveal a player who was always around the goal mouth and was probably a bit unlucky to finish the season without any goals considering the chances she generated.

Realistically, I don't know how much is fair to expect this year from a player two years removed from college competition. Though Johnson was just a redshirt freshman in 2012, she only got a handful of starts, and it's hard to see her leapfrogging other attacking options in the pecking order.

That said, I think there's a huge role left open from graduation that I've left unspoken in this series that could be a good fit for some older experience. One of the more unnoticed seniors on last year's championship team was Megan Abman, a sub that saw action in 20 games in an attacking midfielder/recessed forward role.

Abman never started, and usually came in late in the first half and for short stretches in the second to give Katie Roberts or Celina Carrero a breather. She was able to exploit open spaces in opposing defenses while getting 10-15 minutes at a time and finished the season with a trio of goals. The wild card for N'Dea is fitness and health, but it would be great and not entirely surprising to see her fit into that role.