The 2019 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft took place on Thursday at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago, with four New Jersey natives being selected. Additionally, each of the four players are set to begin their professional careers in New Jersey with their home state club, Sky Blue FC.
Taken with the no. 6 overall pick in the first round was Verona native Julia Ashley, who played her youth soccer for Match Fit Academy Colchesters. The defender raised multiple NJYS State Cup championships, and she also captained New Jersey ODP to a 2012 National Championship. Following her decorated youth career, Ashley played at the University of North Carolina. She capped off her college campaign this past fall with five goals and 10 assists, helping her team to the 2018 NCAA Women’s College Cup Final.
Selected next was Paige Monahan with the first pick of the second round (no. 10 overall). The Roxbury native played her club soccer for PDA Clash before attending Butler University, where she finished with a number of statistics that place her in the program record books. Over four years, she recorded 256 shots (sixth all-time), 62 points (seventh all-time), 18 assists (eighth all-time) and 22 goals (ninth all-time).
Two more New Jersey natives were then taken in the fourth round of the NWSL College Draft, with defender Kenie Wright going at no. 29 overall before defender Sabrina Flores was selected at no. 34.
Mount Laurel resident Wright played her club soccer for PDA Arsenal before furthering her career at Rutgers University. While suiting up for the Scarlet Knights, Wright competed in 88 total matches, registering two goals and 13 assists.
Flores competed for New Jersey ODP over a four-year span from 2009 to 2012, winning a National Championship in 2011. The Livingston native played her club soccer for PDA Slammers before heading to the University of Notre Dame, where she finished with five goals and 18 assists in 82 games.
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