Jan. 17, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Senior forward Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) of the University of Michigan women's soccer team was picked in the first round (eighth overall) by the Boston Breakers in the second annual National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Draft on Friday (Jan. 17) at the NSCAA Coaches Convention.
"I can't put this feeling into words," Ezurike said. "To be able to keep playing, it's just an awesome feeling. I'm so excited to see what the next stage of my career is going to bring. I can't wait to get started and be with Boston."
She is the second U-M player to be picked in as many years, following former goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer (2008-12), who was chosen by Seattle Reign FC in the fourth round last season.
"I'm so excited for Nkem," said Michigan head coach Greg Ryan. "I think it is a very well-deserved opportunity. She has the potential to be a key impact player for Boston. She's a natural goal-scorer, and what she showed here over four years at Michigan convinced me that she's going to continue to do that at higher and higher levels."
Arguably the best player in the 20-year history of the program, Ezurike goes to Boston after setting numerous career and season records during her four-year career at Michigan. She departs as the program's all-time leader in goals (49) and points (118) while also becoming the first player in the program history to receive an NSCAA All-America first team honor.
As a senior this past season, Ezurike helped guide Michigan to an 18-win campaign and a spot in the NCAA Elite Eight, scoring 14 goals and issuing 10 assists. For her efforts, she was named a semifinalist for the 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy, the highest individual honor in collegiate soccer.
The NWSL is entering its second year of competition with nine teams across the country. Fellow seniors Shelina Zadorsky, Holly Hein, Meghan Toohey, Tori McCombs and Kayla Mannino were also among the 185 players eligible to be chosen but went undrafted.
Contact: Brad Rudner