Four Student-Athletes Selected in National Women's Soccer League College Draft

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Four Big Ten women's soccer players were selected in the 2014 National Women's Soccer League College Draft, including three in the first round. Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo, Michigan's Nkem Ezurike, Nebraska's Jordan Jackson and Penn State's Maya Hayes will all continue their careers professionally.

DiBernardo was drafted by the Chicago Red Stars with the No. 4 overall pick, becoming the highest drafted member of the Fighting Illini in school history. A three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, DiBernardo scored seven goals and tallied a career-high seven assists during her senior campaign, helping Illinois reach the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. She was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a two-time NSCAA Scholar All-American.

Ezurike was selected eighth overall by the Boston Breakers. She is the Wolverines' all-time leader in goals (49) and points (118). The first-team All-Big Ten selection scored 15 goals and issued 10 assists during her senior year, helping Michigan advance to the Elite Eight. Ezurike also became the first player in program history to receive an NSCAA All-America first team honor.

Jackson was selected by the Houston Dash with the No. 28 overall pick in the NWSL draft. The 2013 Big Ten Midfielder of the Year collected 30 points last season, including nine goals and a conference-best 12 assists. She also earned NSCAA Scholar All-America honors and helped the Cornhuskers win the Big Ten Championship and Big Ten Tournament title.

Hayes was drafted sixth overall by Sky Blue FC. A three-time NSCAA All-American, Hayes scored a team-high 19 goals and collected six assists last season. She was a three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, first-team NSCAA Scholar All-American honoree and earned back-to-back Big Ten Forward of the Year honors in 2011 and 2012.


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