Sky Blue FC forward Maya Hayes has notified the team that she will sit out the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season, as she plans to undergo graduate studies in the pursuit of her Master’s Degree.
“This was a really hard decision to make. After taking a lot of time to think and talk with friends and family, it just seemed like the timing was right to switch gears a little bit,” said Hayes. “Getting my Master’s is something that I have been wanting to do for a long time. Some good opportunities arose for me, and I ultimately decided to take advantage of them. Obviously, I am going to miss Sky Blue FC a lot, but I want to wish the team and organization all the best. The future is still open, so I definitely do not want to call this an official retirement.”
Hayes, 25, has played with Sky Blue FC for the entirety of her professional career. After being selected with the no. 6 overall pick in the 2014 NWSL College Draft, the New Jersey native competed with her hometown club over the previous four seasons. She scored a team second-best five goals during the run of play during the 2017 NWSL season, adding four assists to her offensive production. Her portfolio over the past four years includes nine goals and six assists, making 44 starts over 74 appearances.
“On behalf of everybody at Sky Blue FC, we want to wish Maya all the best as she enters this exciting new chapter of her professional life,” said Tony Novo, Sky Blue FC President & General Manager. “We cannot thank Maya enough for her contributions over the past four seasons. Needless to say, we would love to see her put on the boots again in the future if she feels the timing is right. We know she will remain a strong supporter of Sky Blue FC on the field, and her work ethic will certainly lead her to continued success back in the classroom.”
One of the most decorated players in Penn State history, Hayes was a three-time NSCAA All-American. She was named a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist for three consecutive years, including her being a finalist in 2011. She was also a three-time first team All-Big Ten selection, as well as the Forward of the Year in 2011 and 2012. The New Jersey native ended her time as a Nittany Lion with 71 career goals, the third most in program history. She is also ranked third in career points with 163.
On the international front, the former U.S. U-23 WNT player was a member of a U.S. side that won the 2012 FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup, as well as the 2010 and 2012 CONCACAF U20 Women’s Championship.
Sky Blue FC will play four matches this preseason at Sportika Sports in Manalapan, N.J. 2018 Sky Blue FC season and half-season tickets are on sale now, and fans can purchase them today by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849). For all of the latest news on Sky Blue FC, follow us on social media: @SkyBlueFC