UCLA women’s forward Zakiya Bywaters was drafted No. 1 overall today in the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League draft, going to the Chicago Red Stars. The Pac-12 Player of the Year led the conference in goals (15), points (34) and game-winning goals (6) as she helped the Bruins to an NCAA quarterfinal appearance.
The NWSL is the latest incarnation of the top-tier professional women’s soccer in the United States, and is made up of four teams from defunct Women’s Professional Soccer. Last year, UCLA forward Sydney Leroux was picked No. 1 overall in the WPS, going to the Atlanta Beat.
Yesterday, men’s midfielders Fernando Monge and Ryan Hollingshead were taken two picks apart in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. Monge, an all-conference first teamer, went No. 18 overall to the Montreal Impact. FC Dallas picked Hollingshead, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year, at the top of the second round.
They were the 60th and 61st Bruins ever taken in the SuperDraft’s 18-year history. Second-place Maryland has 40 players drafted all-time.