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Three Rutgers Soccer Players Included on Preliminary NWSL Draft Eligibility List

Madison Tiernan, left (Photo by Jeff Auger - Double G Media)

Madison Tiernan, left (Photo by Jeff Auger – Double G Media)


Yesterday, the NWSL released the preliminary list of eligible players for the 2017 NWSL College Draft.  The list included three Rutgers University seniors Madison Tiernan, Erica Murphy and Erin Smith. The trio are members of the second graduating class in program history to advance to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments.


Rutgers alumna continue to make their mark on the soccer world after graduation.  Notable Scarlet Knights in the NWSL include Brianne Reed (FC Kansas City) and Erica Skroski (Sky Blue FC), who completed their rookie seasons in 2016.  In 2017, Kristen Edmonds (Orlando Pride) will begin her fourth NWSL season, and Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash) has played in all five season for the domestic league.

Skroski will be reunited with Rutgers keeper Casey Murphy at the U-23 Soccer Camp taking place January 6-13 in Carson, California. Edmonds and Lloyd were named to the 29-player roster for the US Soccer Camp in Carson, California January 13-23.

Of the three, Tiernan most likely has the most immediate star player potential.  However, all three benefit from the reputation of the Rutgers program under head coach Mike O’Neill and associate head coach Megan Ryan. Rutgers attracts and refines athletes who will buy into a system that prioritizes an unselfish, aggressive style of soccer. O’Neill and Ryan emphasize the notion that leadership and proper execution are qualities that transcend one’s graduating year. Here is a bit more about the three NWSL hopefuls:

Murphy recorded one assist and four goals her senior season, including the game-winner against Penn State in the Big Ten Quarterfinals.  The Millstone Township native transferred from Monmouth University (alma mater of two-time World Cup Champion Christie Rampone). She played three seasons at Monmouth University, where she recorded 26 goals and four assists, including 35 points (16 goals, 3 assists) her junior year.

Tiernan started all 23 games of the 2016 and posted a career high 28 points (11 goals, 6 assists).  The co-captain finished her career with top ten records in tied for fifth in game-winning goals (tied for 5th with nine), goals (6th with 25), points (7th with 66) and shots (2nd with 275).  The forward was named Second Team All-Big Ten, and College Player of the Year by the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association (SJSCA). She is also tied for fourth in Rutgers history for matches played (84) with Erica Skroski.

Smith, the lone defender of the trifecta, contributed to the seventh Rutgers goals-against average below 1.0 (0.78) since 2008.  She and the backline also aided in 12 shutouts for the Scarlet Knights during the 2016 season.  In her four years, Rutgers maintained a 40-3-4 home record at Yurcak Field.  Smith started in 73 consecutive games, including all matches her junior and senior year. Smith was named to the First Team All-Big Ten, as well the NSCAA Second Team All-Great Lakes region.

Erin Smith, left (Photo by Jeff Auger - Double G Media)

Erin Smith, left (Photo by Jeff Auger – Double G Media)

The fifth NWSL College Draft will take place on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention in Los Angeles.  The event is free and open to the public.  The event will also be lived streamed, but details not yet been announced.


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Erica is the Sky Blue FC Beat Writer in addition to providing overall coverage of Women's Sports.
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