For the second consecutive year, Sky Blue FC has drafted a member of the reigning NCAA national champions with its first pick
Kayla Mills of USC was selected fourth overall by Sky Blue in the 2017 NWSL College Draft on January 12. The team selected USC’s Miranda Freeman with the 10th pick in the first round. In the third round, Sky Blue selected Kailen Sheridan of Clemson, Madison Tiernan of Rutgers and Catrina Atanda of Clemson with the 23rd, 24th and 30th picks respectively. With its final pick, No. 34 in the fourth round, Sky Blue chose McKenzie Meehan of Boston College.
In 2016, Sky Blue drafted Raquel Rodriguez No. 2 overall after she completed her senior season at Penn St. by winning a national title.
“It is fantastic to have been able to draft both Kayla Mills and Mandy Freeman in the first round,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “They are two players we identified as far back as September. We knew they had great personalities in addition to possessing fantastic qualities both on and off the field.”
Mills, the 2015 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, during the 2016 earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors, while switching positions to more of a holding midfield position. She was also named to the Women’s College Cup All-Tournament Team.
The West Covina, Calif.-native appeared in 89 career games for the Trojans and was on the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy Award Watch List, after earning NSCAA All-America Second Team honors as a junior in 2015.
Freeman, the 2016 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, became the third Trojan taken in the first round. In 2016, Freeman earned the first All-American honors of her career as she was named an NSCAA Second Team All-American.
Kailen Sheridan, a goalkeeper, made her debut for the Canada Women’s National Team in March 2016. Before arriving at the senior team, the Ontario native played for the U-17, U-20 and U-23 sides. While backstopping the Clemson Tigers, Sheridan made 76 appearances, recording 229 saves and 28 shutouts. The Canada international received an NSCAA All-America Third Team nod in 2015 while also receiving All-ACC honors after each of her four seasons at Clemson.
Tiernan will join Sky Blue FC after a career season for the Scarlet Knights in 2016 with a team-high 28 points on 11 goals and six assists. She earned NSCAA Second Team All-Great Lakes Region and Second Team All-Big Ten honors as a senior, ending her career at Rutgers second all-time in shots (275), tied for fifth in game-winning goals (nine), sixth all-time in total goals (25), and seventh all-time in points (66).
Atanda played in front of Sheridan at Clemson University, and the Belle Mead, N.J. now heads back to her home state where she won four state titles with Sky Blue FC development academy partner PDA. This past fall, she paced the Clemson attack with a team-leading 12 goals and four assists, helping the team to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA College Cup. Additionally, she received an NSCAA All-America Third Team nod, All-ACC First Team honors, as well as being selected to the Top Drawer Soccer Best XI Third Team.
Meehan, who received her MBA from Boston College in December 2016, finished her collegiate career as the program’s all-time leader in points, goals and game-winning goals. She became the all-time leader in goals scored as a junior against Pittsburgh. In her final season at BC, Meehan notched her final goal against Virginia to give her 58 career goals and 124 career points.
She is a three time All-ACC honoree, twice named a first team selection. Meehan was named to the 2016 NSCAA All-Southeast Region second team and was a three-time preseason Hermann Trophy Watch list honoree.