Jan. 18, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – University of Dayton senior Colleen Williams was selected second in the fourth round, and 26th overall, by the Washington Spirit in the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft this morning at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
“It’s like a dream come true. Since I was four years old this has been my dream to become a professional soccer player,” said Williams. “I’ve always remembered this one time when I was in a restaurant with my family and they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I replied, ‘I really want to be a professional soccer player.’ My brothers both bet me $20 that I would never be a professional soccer player. I proved them wrong and I’m going to collect. They were joking with me, but as a 12-year old it really fueled the fire.”
Playing in Washington D.C., Williams will only be about three hours from her hometown of Titusville, N.J.
“It’s the exact team I wanted to play for,” she said. “To be able to see family and friends is amazing. Plus, it is the Capital of our country. Who could ask for more?”
Her new Washington Spirit coach, Mike Jorden, a native of Dayton, Ohio had the same feelings about drafting Williams.
“We’ve been keeping an eye on a lot of college players and Colleen was on our radar from day one,” Jorden said. “She has a great history of scoring goals and setting people up. After the allocation we got a goalkeeper, defenders and midfielders. We had a need for someone who could create. We felt she was a perfect fit. As a native, I am thrilled to draft a player from Dayton.”
The newly-formed NWSL is made up of the following teams: Chicago Red Stars, Washington Spirit, FC Kansas City, Sky Blue FC (NY/NJ), Boston Breakers, Western New York Flash, Seattle Reign FC and Portland Thorns FC. “These past few days in preparation for the draft Colleen has been nervous and excited,” said UD head Coach Mike Tucker. “Since day one she has wanted to be a professional soccer player. To see her get this opportunity is wonderful for her and our program.”
Williams is a three-time NSCAA All-American and a two-time Hermann Trophy candidate, as well as a two-time Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year. Her senior season she racked up 17 goals and 14 assists, was first in the NCAA in assists per game (.7) and third in points per game (2.4). She led the Atlantic 10 in scoring for a third consecutive season, plus led the conference in seven other offensive categories, including shots, goals, assists and points. She holds UD records for career goals (58), career assists (50) and points (166) and for single-season assists (15 in 2011). She is just the 20th player in NCAA women's soccer history to have at least 50 goals and 50 assists.
“Colleen is one of the best overall players we have ever had at Dayton,” said Tucker. “She is certainly the most driven to succeed. She brought a lot to this program and would never accept anything less than your best shot at success.” Williams, along with UD junior Juliana Libertin, will be honored Saturday, Jan. 19 at the NSCAA Convention for being named to the 2012 NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Women All-America Team. She will also meet her new coach and start the next chapter of her soccer story.
“Everything is falling in place for her,” said Tucker. “The location of franchise will allow her family to see her play more. It is a wonderful fit for her to have an important role right away.”