CHICAGO – Senior Maria Sanchez, who helped lead Santa Clara women's soccer to a No. 12 finish in the final United Coaches Poll and RPI and the 28th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, was drafted with the sixth pick of the second round, 15th overall, by the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women's Soccer League College Draft Thursday morning.
"It's my childhood dream to play professional soccer," said Sanchez. "I'm so grateful for the chance to play for a team like Chicago. I can't wait to get started and get on the field with such amazing players."
Sanchez, who spent the last two years at Santa Clara after transferring from Idaho State, was named First Team All-West Region and First Team All-WCC for her senior campaign.
Despite missing three games while playing with the Mexican National Team, Sanchez led the nation with 16 assists, tied for seventh most in Santa Clara history and the most by a Bronco since 2001. Twice this season she tied a program record with four assists in a game (Aug. 20 vs. Cal, Nov. 3 vs. Pacific). She also added eight goals and led Santa Clara with 32 points.
During her junior season, Sanchez led the Broncos with six assists and added five goals for 16 points while appearing in all 23 games.
She joins former Broncos Meg Crosson (Washington), Julie Ertz (Chicago), Bianca Henninger (Houston), Sofia Huerta (Houston), Alyssa Kleiner (Seattle), Katherine Reynolds (Portland), Meleana Shim (Houston), and Dani Weatherholt (Orlando) in the NWSL.
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