UNC Forward Joins Defending W-League Champs
Washington has already won a pair of NCAA titles at North Carolina
Pacific Palisades, Calif. (Sunday, March 15, 2009) – The Pali Blues Soccer Club announced today that University of North Carolina forward Nikki Washington is joining the defending W-League champions for their 2009 season. Not only does Washington bring national team experience to the Blues, she also has a pair of NCAA College Cup crowns on her resume.
"When you are trying to defend a title, bringing seasoned winners like Nikki to the table is critical,” Blues head coach Charlie Naimo remarked. “Her versatility and leadership will make us a strong group again in ’09."
Washington, a native of Mesquite, Texas, recently completed her junior season with the Tar Heels this past fall. She made an immediate impression at Chapel Hill, tallying 15 points on three goals and nine assists during her freshman season in 2006. She was a finalist for the Soccer Buzz National Freshman of the Year, while also being named to the All-ACC Second Team and the All-ACC Freshman Team. Additionally, she was selected to the Soccer America Freshman All-America Second Team and the Top Drawer Soccer Rookie Second Team. She and the Tar Heels were also national champions in 2006 after knocking off Notre Dame in the championship game, 2-1. After registering 21 points on seven goals and seven assists over her sophomore year, Washington was named to the Soccer Buzz All-Southeast Region Second Team. She also received ACC Tournament MVP honors after notching a score in each game of the ACC Tournament. This past fall, she recorded 19 points on five knocks and three assists, and she got a nod to the Soccer Buzz All-America Third Team after helping UNC to a second national title in three years.
"Nikki brings a lot of experience at a young age,” Naimo commented. “She has competed in club national championships with the Dallas Texans, won two NCAA titles at UNC and most recently captained the U.S. U20 Women’s National Team to a gold medal at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Chile this past fall."
Washington has logged time with the U16, U17 and U20 sides of the U.S. Women’s National Team. As Naimo stated, she has already reached the pinnacle of the sport with the U20 team this past December when the U.S. National Team won the 2008 FIFA U20 World Cup in Chile. Washington supplied her team with a pair of assists during the championship run.
Prior to heading to Chapel Hill, Washington had a very successful club career with the Dallas Texans. Serving as captain of her team, the 2005 Parade Magazine All-American was named an NSCAA Youth All-American in 2003, 2004 and 2005. She led her club to three straight Premier League Championships during those same years. Her club also won the 2003 State Cup, 2003 and 2004 Lake Highlands Classic League titles, 2005 U18 Disney Showcase, and she also played on the winners of the 2004 and 2006 ODP National Championships.
The USL W-League played its inaugural season in 1995, and it is recognized as the premiere development league for female players in North America. The Pali Blues Soccer Club was the winner of the 2008 W-League championship in just its first season of play, and the team will open their second season against the Los Angeles Legends at the Stadium by the Sea on Saturday, May 9th, at 6:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased today by calling (310) 264-4649.