Zakiya Bywaters Selected as No. 1 Overall Pick in NWSL Draft
Jan. 18, 2013
UCLA forward Zakiya Bywaters was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the inaugural 2013 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Collegiate Draft by the Chicago Red Stars. She is the second UCLA women's soccer player in a row to be chosen with the top pick by the sport's professional league, joining Sydney Leroux, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2012 WPS Draft.
Bywaters also becomes the 11th UCLA player in all sports to earn a No. 1 draft selection, joining Bruin legends like Lew Alcindor (NBA), Bill Walton (NBA) and Troy Aikman (NFL).
"We are extremely proud of Zakiya for the honor of being selected number one overall in the NWSL draft," said UCLA head coach B.J. Snow. "Z had a tremendous career as a Bruin that was highlighted by a remarkable senior year. To be recognized by the new professional league with such a distinction is a true testament to her abilities on and off the soccer field. We can't wait to continue to watch her grow."
Bywaters, from Las Vegas, Nev., was the 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year, a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy and a consensus first-team All-American. She led the Pac-12 in scoring with 15 goals, six game-winning goals and 34 points. In her UCLA career, she played in 92 games with 88 starts and scored 23 goals with 21 assists for 67 points. She ranks seventh on UCLA's career assist and career multiple-goal games (5) lists, and her six game-winning goals this past season rank 10th on the Bruins' single-season chart.
A longtime member of the U.S. Women's Soccer Youth National Teams, Bywaters helped lead the U-20s to the 2010 CONCACAF Championship and started all four games for the U.S. at the U-20 World Cup that year, recording a goal.
Two Bruin alumnae were allocated to NWSL teams earlier this month - Leroux to the Boston Breakers and Lauren Cheney to FC Kansas City.
UCLA's No. 1 Overall Draft Picks (11)
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