Utah Royals FC Select Three Players in 2019 NWSL Draft
SANDY, Utah - Utah Royals FC selected three players in the 2019 NWSL College Draft on Thursday, selecting Michelle Maemone with the fifth pick in the third round, Madeline Nolf with the ninth pick in the third round and Alexandra Kimball with the fifth pick in the fourth round. All three players will join the club ahead of the commencement of preseason. URFC preseason dates are set to be announced in the near future.
"Having such low picks that we had in this year's draft, we went deeper in our scouting process than we would've with higher picks," Utah Royals FC Head Coach Laura Harvey said. "We identified each of the three picks as players we wanted to select with those picks. We're happy that we were able to get the players we wanted. Now we're just looking forward to getting back onto the field with the all players. We have competition at every position and right now and that's a good problem to have."
Having featured collegiately for Pepperdine University, Maemone played to a standout career that began in 2015 and culminated in 2018. The San Jose, California native featured in 78 matches for Pepperdine, 69 of which were starts. Maemone notched three goals in her collegiate career while registering four assists. During her senior year she featured on the backline as well as up top for the Waves. Helped Pepperdine to a West Coast Conference-best 0.82 goals-against average in her 19 starts as a senior.
"The first thing I thought was obviously excitement, but I was also extremely humbled by this opportunity and the fact there are coaches out there who believe in me and who are willing to take a chance on me," Maemone explained. "I am so excited to come in and play wherever they want me to play. I just got off the phone with Coach Harvey and said she can always count on me giving 100 percent, no matter the day. My coaches kept encouraging me in this process and this is just another reminder that there are people out there who believe in me. I am so excited for this journey and I cannot wait to get there and get after it with my new teammates."
Nolf was selected from Penn State University where she spent five seasons including a redshirt year in 2016. She started all six matches for the United States U-20 Women's National Team at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in 2016. As a redshirt senior, Nolf and the Nittany Lion defense posted 14 shutouts and allowed just 13 goals in 25 starts on the backline. In all, the Omaha, Nebraska native earned 77 starts over her collegiate career.
"I feel really blessed and I am so grateful to be picked by Utah," Nolf said. "I just want the opportunity to train with the best and learn from the coaching staff, especially in Utah."
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Kimball was selected from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill a redshirt senior where she appeared in 92 matches for the Tar Heels, making 13 starts. Kimball scored nine goals and registered seven assists in her time as a Tar Heel. During her time at Chapel Hill capped her collegiate career having earned 994 total minutes on the field. She has previously spent time training with the Portland Thorns of the National Women's Soccer League in summer of 2013 and URFC last year.
"I was born in Salt Lake City and my whole family is there, but I actually grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where I went to school," Kimball explained. "Getting back to Utah with the opportunity to play in front of my family, has always been a dream of mine. Especially now with Utah Royals FC being a part of the NWSL. I am just excited to get to work, improve my game, and hopefully be a piece for Laura [Harvey] to use this season coming up."
URFC is entering its second season in NWSL, having finished the inaugural campaign fifth in the league, just two points removed from a playoff berth. Rio Tinto Stadium boasted the league's second-highest attendance during the season, with an average attendance of 9,466 per game.
Season tickets for the 2019 Utah Royals FC season are now on sale via www.RSL.com/NWSL or 844.REAL.TIX. The full 2019 NWSL schedule is expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.
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