West Virginia women’s soccer has produced several professional players in the past few years, but today was an historic first for the program. Two players were drafted in the first round of the NWSL College Draft, both by Sky Blue FC.
The New Jersey-based club selected forward Michaela Abam with the fourth pick in the draft, then chose defender Amandine Pierre-Louis with the sixth overall pick. Duke was the only other school to have two players selected in the first round of the draft.
This also marks the first time two Mountaineers were selected in the same draft.
Abam, a Houston native, leaves WVU a proven goal scorer. Her career 42 goals are the third-most in program history. Abam was also a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Award in 2017.
Pierre-Louis continued the tradition of excellent Canadian players for Nikki Izzo-Brown at WVU. The Montreal native was a two-time All-Big 12 team member and finished with 14 goals and 6,561 total minutes played.
With the No. #6 pick, the @SkyBlueFC Amandine Pierre-Louis of West Virginia University.— NWSL (@NWSL) January 18, 2018
The Houston Dash are now on the clock.#NWSLdraft | Live stream: https://t.co/cmPrhLavnN pic.twitter.com/EvV2UIkXR0
Last year, legendary Mountaineers Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence, both members of the Canadian women’s national soccer team, signed professional contracts with French clubs, but would have been selected by American clubs had they opted for that route. Before that, Francesca Silva was drafted by FC Kansas City in 2014 as the 19th overall pick.
Sky Blue FC was founded in 2009 as part of Women’s Professional Soccer. When that league folded in 2011, the club continued to operate until the National Women’s Soccer League began in 2013. The club plays at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Preseason begins for most clubs on February 19 and the season begins the weekend of March 24.