Jan. 16, 2009
LOS ANGELES - UCLA midfielder Christina DiMartino was selected as the third overall pick by the FC Gold Pride on Friday, headlining a trio of Bruin players who were chosen in the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) Draft in St. Louis, Mo. UCLA senior McCall Zerboni (47th pick - 7th Rd.) and former goalkeeper Valerie Henderson (33rd pick - 5th Rd.) were also selected by the Los Angeles Sol.
"I'm delighted that these players have been selected and that their careers get to continue," said UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis. "I think they will be wonderful additions to their teams and I look forward to continuing to watch their growth and cheer on their success."
DiMartino, from Massapequa, N.Y, was one of the top players in all of college soccer in 2008, as she was named a finalist for both the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy and Honda Award. She earned NSCAA/adidas All-America honors for the third year in a row, leading the Bruins to their sixth straight Pac-10 title. The 2008 Pac-10 Player of the Year, DiMartino was also instrumental in helping UCLA to its sixth straight appearance in the College Cup. She had six goals and six assists on the season, moving her into the top 10 all-time at UCLA in career scoring. She will be reunited with former teammate Jill Oakes (2002-05), who was selected by the FC Gold Pride in the WPS General Draft back in October. The team is based out of Santa Clara, Calif.
Zerboni, from San Clemente, Calif., enjoyed the finest season of her career in 2008, ranking third on the team in scoring with 20 points (7g, 6a). She was the Bruins' leading scoring during the NCAA Tournament, scoring four goals and adding an assist in UCLA's run to the Final Four. She leaves UCLA ranked fourth all-time in NCAA Tournament scoring with 21 points (7g, 7a). Zerboni started all 25 matches for the Bruins this past season.
Henderson, from Orinda, Calif., completed her eligibility at UCLA in 2007. She enjoyed a remarkable four-year career, ranking No. 1 all-time at UCLA in victories (76), shutouts (38), and goals against average (0.63). She owned a 20-2-2 overall record in her senior season of 2007, starting every match for the Pac-10 Champion Bruins. UCLA reached the NCAA College Cup and won the Pac-10 title every year of her career, highlighted by trips to the NCAA Final in 2004 and 2005. Henderson had played with the Pali Blues of the W-League after completing her eligibility at UCLA.
Defender Erin Hardy, who was projected to go in the first few rounds of Friday's draft, elected not to keep her name in the draft pool and will continue working towards her degree at UCLA.
Please visit www.womensprosoccer.com for more information about Friday's draft.