Averbuch brings U.S. National Team experience to the Wildcats (Photo by John Dorton, ISI Photos).
New Jersey Native Has Won Two NCAA and WPS Championships
The New Jersey Wildcats of the USL W-League made official on Wednesday that U.S. National Team midfielder and New Jersey native Yael Averbuch has joined the team for the 2012 season. A resident of Upper Montclair, Averbuch brings a strong championship pedigree to the Wildcats, winning a pair of NCAA College Cups while playing at North Carolina to go along with two professional titles in three seasons of play in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS).
“Yael is a very technical player, and she brings to us a lot of experience in WPS and with the national team,” Wildcats head coach Jim Gabarra remarked. “She will provide us with leadership, as well as stability, in the middle of the field. She will certainly be a big part of the back bone of this team. Additionally, I think it is really important we get as many New Jersey players as possible involved with the Wildcats and Sky Blue FC, long-term wise.”
Averbuch has played at every level of the U.S. National Team, and she owns 16 caps and a goal with the senior team. A veteran of the USL W-League, she became its youngest player ever when she debuted for the New Jersey Lady Stallions in 2002 at the age of just 14-years-old. When it came time for her to go to college, Averbuch attended the University of North Carolina and started every game over the four years she spent in Chapel Hill. Her 105 consecutive starts became the all-time record for both the Tar Heels as well as standing for the most in NCAA history. She served as team captain during her junior and senior campaigns, also helping North Carolina to NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2008. Individually, she scored 32 goals and 29 assists over her college career, one of the goals being an NCAA record breaker when she registered a tally just four seconds into a match against Yale University. She was also a three-time NSCAA All-American and All-ACC selection a player, as well as being named a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy following her junior season. In acknowledgement of all of the success she had while playing in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels retired her #17 college jersey in 2009.
Once she finished up college, Averbuch became the fourth overall pick in the 2009 WPS College Draft by the New Jersey-based club Sky Blue FC, which recently formed an official partnership with the Wildcats. She made 14 starts over 18 matches during her rookie year, also helping Sky Blue FC to an unlikely run to the inaugural WPS Championship after winning three road games in eight days. She remained with the team for her sophomore campaign as a professional, making 19 starts over 23 games and scoring a dazzling game-winning volley against the Philadelphia Independence. This past WPS season, she played with the Western New York Flash and helped the club to the league title, her second championship in three years as a professional. At the conclusion of the 2012 WPS season, Averbuch headed overseas to Russia and played with FC Rossiyanka.
The New Jersey Wildcats will open the 2012 W-League season with a road contest against the New York Magic on Saturday, May 19th. The following week, the team opens its home slate at The College of New Jersey when it hosts the North Jersey Valkyries at 8:15 p.m. Tickets for that match are available now and can be attained by calling 732-720-9163. Individual game tickets as well as team and family packages are available, and more information about the Wildcats can be found at www.njwildcats.com.