Photo: Michaela Abam (left) & Allyson Swaby (right)
2018 NWSL College Draft Preview
10 United Women’s Soccer stars look to make their pro dreams come true
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) will conduct their 2018 College Draft this Thursday, January 18th (10 AM EST) at the United Soccer Coaches (USC) Convention in Philadelphia, PA.
It will be held in the CC Grand Ballroom at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. One of the cornerstones of United Women’s Soccer (UWS) is to develop talent for the professional ranks and 10 former UWS standouts have registered and are eligible for this year’s draft.
The 2018 NWSL College Draft will be live streamed and is open to the public & media. For more information, visit their Draft Hub. Fans and friends can find United Women’s Soccer at Booth 1405 in the Exhibit Hall at the PA Convention Center. Follow UWS on social media for live updates and more. For full information on the USC Convention, visit their official website at UnitedSoccerCoachesConvention.org.
“I want to wish all the players involved in Thursday’s NWSL College Draft the best of luck in making their professional dreams come true,” said UWS Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. “And I’d like to also send kudos to our UWS alumni participating as well. Our member teams strive for development and we all hope these players get a good look at the next level.”
Pos. – Name – College (CLUB)
F – Michaela Abam – West Virginia University (COLORADO PRIDE)
GK – Caitlyn Clem – University of Wisconsin (DETROIT SUN F.C.)
D – Bailey Corbin – Nova Southeastern University (LANCASTER INFERNO)
F/MF – Isabella Habuda – Liberty University (DETROIT SUN F.C.)
F – Paige Hayward – Texas Southern University (HOUSTON ACES)
D/MF – Gabrielle Matulich – UCLA (SANTA CLARITA BLUE HEAT)
MF – Jessica Reinhardt – Fairleigh Dickinson University (NEW JERSEY COPA F.C.)
D – Allyson Swaby – Boston College (NEW ENGLAND MUTINY)
MF – Madison Vasquez – Siena College (LONG ISLAND ROUGH RIDERS)
D – Elizabeth Wenger – Georgetown University (LANCASTER INFERNO)
Forward Michaela Abam starred for the Colorado Pride during the 2016 UWS season. Abam was a 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team selection for West Virginia University this past fall and finished her Mountaineer career ranked No. 3 all-time with 42 career goals and No. 4 with 100 points (42 G, 16 A). The 2017 UWS Defensive Player Of The Year & University of Wisconsin goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem will also take part in the draft. Detroit Sun FC finished in 2nd place in the Midwest last summer and Clem started in seven regular season games (5-1-1 record, 3 shutouts, 7 goals allowed) as well as all three postseason tilts for the 2017 UWS National Semifinalists.
Caitlyn started all 22 matches for Wisconsin (10 shutouts) and was named to the 2017 All-Big Ten Preseason Team. She also garnered Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on two occasions for Head Coach Paula Wilkins. Bailey Corbin was also a defensive standout this fall during her collegiate campaign for Nova Southeastern University, as she was named Third Team All-American by United Soccer Coaches. Corbin helped propel the Sharks to their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, a Sunshine State Conference regular season title, and was named the SSC Defensive Player of the Year. Bailey has appeared in 19 of the 20 UWS games that the Lancaster Inferno have played the past two seasons.
In just two seasons at Liberty University, forward/midfielder Isabella Habuda proved to be one of the program’s prolific scorers, ranking 11th in school history with 41 career points (16 G, 9 A). It was the second straight season that Habuda was named to the All-Big South Conference First Team. Isabella tied for second in scoring for Detroit and was named to the UWS Team of the Week (Week 1) for her 2 goals in a win over FC Indiana. Forward Paige Hayward was named to the All-SWAC Second Team for the second consecutive season after leading Texas Southern University in scoring (8 G, 18 PTS). The Australia-native and Houston Aces veteran tied TSU’s all-time goals record and became the school’s all-time leader in points on Senior Day this fall.
Defender/midfielder Gabrielle Matulich starred for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat during their 2016 UWS championship season. Matulich earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors for the third-straight year at UCLA and was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week (Oct. 3) after recording a goal and assist against Oregon State. In her first season for New Jersey Copa F.C., midfielder Jessica Reinhardt appeared in seven games for the 2017 East Conference regular season champions. Reinhardt would go on to be named Second Team All-Region by United Soccer Coaches for Fairleigh Dickinson University this fall and was selected to the All-Northeast Conference First Team for the third straight season. She became FDU’s all-time leader in assists (23).
Defender Allyson Swaby was team co-captain for Boston College and started in all 20 games for the Eagles (started in 70 of 73 career games over her four-year career at BC). Swaby has been a member of the Jamaican Women’s National Team and was named to the 2016 All-UWS & All-East Conference Teams for the New England Mutiny. Midfielder Madison Vasquez earned All-MAAC honors for the third year in a row for Siena College, making the Second Team as she started all 18 matches and tallied 10 points with three game-winning goals. Vasquez was a two-time Preseason All-MAAC selection as well. Madison appeared in eight games (2 G, 2 A) this past summer for the 2017 UWS National Semifinalist Long Island Rough Riders.
Defender Elizabeth Wenger rounds out the draft-eligible list after earning a 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team selection for Georgetown University. Wenger was a First Team All-Midwest Region honoree after being named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. She was a three-time All-BIG EAST honoree, earning a spot on the first team as a senior (78 starts over her four-year career). Wenger appeared in eight games for Lancaster during the 2017 UWS season, notching an assist.
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