Photo courtesy of NWSL.
Sky Blue FC selected 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy winner, Costa Rica international and Penn State University midfielder Raquel Rodriguez with the second overall pick in the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft on Friday. With the selection, Sky Blue FC brings in a championship playmaker who played every minute for Costa Rica in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup last summer before leading Penn State to the 2015 NCAA College Cup title this past fall.
“I am absolutely delighted to add a player of Raquel’s caliber,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “Raquel is truly one of the best players to come through the draft in recent years. She has already proven herself at the college level as well as on the international stage. She will be a huge part of everything that we are trying to accomplish in the upcoming season, and she is someone who will play a vital role in the success of our team.”
Rodriguez joins Kelley O’Hara as the second MAC Hermann Trophy winner on the Sky Blue FC roster, an elite distinction awarded to the best player in NCAA Division I soccer. She recently completed an exceptional senior campaign in Happy Valley, starting 27 matches for Penn State and recording 18 points on a diversified six goals and six assists. None of those goals were bigger than her game-winner in the NCAA Women’s College Cup final, where her 72nd minute tally lifted Penn State to its first ever national championship by defeating Duke, 1-0. In addition to claiming both the NCAA’s greatest team and individual awards, the Nittany Lion captain was also honored in 2015 as the NCAA Women’s College Cup Most Outstanding Offensive Player, NSCAA Scholar Player of the Year, TopDrawerSoccer Player of the Year, TopDrawerSoccer Best XI First Team, Honda Sport Award winner, NSCAA All-America First Team and All-Big Ten First Team, among others.
For her college career, Rodriguez made 90 starts over 93 appearances, registering 74 points on 23 goals and 28 assists. The 22-year-old has always had a knack for scoring when the stage was biggest, tallying nine game-winning goals over the past three seasons.
On the international front, Rodriguez has been a member of the full Costa Rica National Team since 2012, recording 25 goals in just 40 appearances. The San Jose native proved once again to rise up when the lights were brightest last summer in Canada, scoring the first FIFA Women’s World Cup goal in Costa Rica history when she buried a 1-1 equalizer against Spain in her nation’s first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup game. Despite being an amateur player, Rodriguez has been nominated for CONCACAF Female Player of the Year accolades the past two consecutive years.
Sky Blue FC acquired the second overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft via a trade with Portland Thorns FC earlier this morning. The draft is taking place at the NSCAA Convention inside the Baltimore Convention Center.
2016 season tickets for Sky Blue FC are now on sale! Season ticket packages start as low as $130 and can be purchased online today. For any questions regarding season tickets, call the Sky Blue FC tickets department at 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849), and a team representative will be happy to assist you.
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