Jan. 16, 2009
ST. LOUIS, Mo. --- Seven former WCC standouts were selected in the inaugural Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) Draft. Headlining the list of WCC players taken was the University of Portland's Megan Rapinoe, the 2008 WCC Player of the Year, who was the No. 2 overall selection taken by the Chicago Red Stars.
Santa Clara University led the way with three players selected, while Portland and the University of San Diego each had two players taken. The seven players join seven other former WCC standouts already on WPS rosters.
Rapinoe, who was joined by former Pilot Lisa Sari (66th overall pick), graduated in December after earning All-America honors as a senior in 2008. Rapinoe finished the year with five goals and 13 assists. She missed most of the previous two seasons with knee injuries, but still capped her career among the school's top 10 list in both points (88) and assists (28). She is also one of just eight players in school history with 30 goals and 25 assists. Prior to her injury issues, Rapinoe was making a push for a USA National Team spot and has since been invited to the USA WNT training camp. Sari was a four-year starting midfielder for the Pilots and helped the team to an undefeated 2005 NCAA Championship run. She scored 10 goals with 15 assists in a holding midfield role for Portland. Sari has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Pilots and will continue that role while playing professionally.
Rapinoe and Sari join four other players with UP ties that have already been placed with WPS teams. Olympic Gold Medalist Stephanie Cox will team with Sari in Los Angeles; Christine Sinclair is with FC Gold Pride (Bay Area), Angie Woznuk is with St. Louis Athletica and Cori Alexander was taken by Sky Blue FC (New York/New Jersey).
Former Santa Clara women's soccer standout players Brandi Chastain '91, Chioma Igwe '08 and Brittany Klein '08 were drafted. Klein was the 14th overall selection, Igwe the 28th, and Chastain the 45th pick. The trio joins current WPS players Marian Dalmy '07, Leslie Osborne '04 and Aly Wagner '02.
Former San Diego great Leigh Ann Robinson and current senior Brittany Cameron were both drafted. Robinson was taken with the 40th overall pick to the FC Gold Pride team located in the Bay Area and Cameron was taken No. 52 overall by the Los Angeles Sol. Cameron, who was named the WCC's Defensive Player of the Year, helped San Diego to a second place finish in the WCC standings this season, helped lead the team to the most wins in conference play in program history and helped the team advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.