Photo Courtesy of Pepperdine Athletics
On Jan. 17, Pepperdine’s Senior Michelle Pao was selected in the third round of the National Women’s Soccer League college draft held at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention in Philadelphia. Pao was selected in the third round of the draft by New Jersey Sky Blue FC.
As a Wave, Pao played primarily as a defender, where she was able to secure NSCAA All-American second team honors in 2011 and a three-time NSCAA All-West Region pick (first team in 2013 and second team in 2011 and 2012), while being named to the WCC All-Freshman team in 2010 and becoming the only Wave in history to earn All-West Coast Conference first team honors all four years.
“This is an awesome honor for Michelle and a great recognition of all the hard work she put in over her four years,” said Soccer Head Coach Tim Ward. “It’s a special day for her and I expect her to do great things as a pro. I think it’s also a great compliment to our program and the culture we’ve built, where we’re producing some of the best players in the country. The WCC had six women picked, which also shows the strength of the conference we play in.”
The NWSL is in its second year, and serves as the premiere professional women’s soccer organization in the United States. The league consists of nine teams and is continuing to grow since its inauguration last year.
Pao is the second player from Pepperdine to be selected to play in the NWSL. Pepperdine goalkeeper Roxanne Barker was taken by Portland Thorns FC in the fourth round of the 2013 draft.
Follow Chirag Patel on Twitter: @cbpatel86