PHILADELPHIA — Penn State’s Maya Hayes was chosen with the No. 6 overall pick in the National Women’s Soccer League’s annual college draft on Friday afternoon.
The senior forward, who finished her career No. 3 on the Nittany Lions’ all-time goal-scoring list, was selected by Sky Blue FC, which is based in Morristown, N.J., in the nine-team pro league run by the national soccer federations of the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“I don’t think it has really hit me yet,” said Hayes, a native of West Orange, N.J. “I am very humbled to have this opportunity and I want to thank my parents, my coaches, my teammates, Penn State and everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. I truly don’t think that I would be here today without all of the support and help I have received over the years. I am looking forward to a bright future with Sky Blue and I am excited for what the future holds.”
The three-time All-American became the second-highest selection of a women’s pro league in program history. Only Christie Welsh, who was No. 2 in the 2003 WUSA draft, was picked higher.
Hayes amassed 19 goals and 21 assists during her Penn State career, with a team-high 19 goals to go with six assists as a senior, and also helped the U.S. Under-20 national team to the World Cup title before her junior season.